Okey dokey. The first week of Ramadan is over, meaning we’re a quarter of the way through this month. Time to go over my Ramadan plan and see what’s working and what needs tweaking.

1) Read the Qur’an.

Going very well, thank you very much. I have slacked a couple of times, but because I’m not doing it every day it’s easy to catch up on. Either way, I’m on target. YAY! Or even: Alhamdulillah!

2) Qiyam ul-Layl / Tarawih.
Not praying, so N/A.

3) Dua.
Hmm… If I were to give myself a rating I’d say 50% success here. I usually forget to say them first thing in the morning and wind up saying them in the early afternoon, but I always say them in the evening. And doing them whilst washing up works brilliantly – but only for dua. I clearly did not think it through properly, because you really can’t do tasbih, or any other adhkar that requires counting on your fingers, while washing dishes. And when I said I wanted to do more dua, I was including adhkar in my definition of dua. So, yeah, I need to make a more concentrated effort with regards to my dua.

4) Revise Qur’an.

Zilch. This is the one I feel most guilty about. I haven’t been fasting, so I haven’t been praying, so I haven’t prayed Tarawih, so I’ve had a heck of a lot more time to focus on Qur’an and I haven’t. Not to mention the fact that I should really have made the most of what Ibadah I can do while Aunt Flo’s here.

Inshallah, praying Tarawih will give me a boost, because I’m praying at home and I need to know what I’m going to be reciting.

5) Avoiding gossip and backbiting
Ok, I’ll give myself an 80% mark on this. Conversationally, I think I’ve been pretty good, but on examination, it could have been better. With regards to the web, I’ve been really good. (Bar a two minute slip up Sunday night. Which I’m going to pretend didn’t happen. Denial is not just a river in Egypt, yo! Geddit?! Denial. The Nile. I know, I’m a comedic genius. 8) )

6) Increasing sincerity in prayer.
See number 2 above.

Actually, that’s not right. Just because I’m not praying it doesn’t mean that I can’t focus on increasing my sincerity. There’s stacks of research I could be doing to figure out what might help and what might hinder for when I do get back to praying. *Slaps wrist*

Other, not particularly religious, goals I had for this Ramadan are more about keeping a healthy perspective: not eating too much (i.e. reminding myself that fasting does not mean gorging oneself at night), working out and trying to maintain a positive attitude. I’ve had to reign myself in on the food, which is funny considering I’m not even fasting!! There’s no excuse for me to be stuffing my face for half the night, after all. Working out has been a bit hit and miss. I know I can’t exercise when I’m fasting, especially in this heat (I’ll dehydrate faster than a dolphin in the Sahara), so I’m trying to work out at night. I only managed that once, and then the electricity went. Stretching by candle-light is actually quite calming. 😀

Maintaining a positive attitude is a lot easier when I’m not fasting – no crazy sugar lows, no dehydration, no general crankiness, etc, etc, etc. However, according to everything I’ve ever read on the subject, the key to staying positive is to make a conscious effort to be positive throughout the day. Not gossiping/backbiting really comes into this, by making me focus on the good things I can say about people. And, now that we’re on the topic of saying good things about people, can I just say how impressed I am with people here in general. Despite the heat, the thirst, the looooong days and a few idiots, most people are so good-natured. I honestly believe that if you didn’t know it was Ramadan you wouldn’t know people were fasting from their behaviour. From the stall owners in the market, to the police men in the street, to shop owners, to bus drivers. And if they can do it, so can I!

Over to you – how are your goals going this Ramadan? What’s working out for you? And, more importantly, what do you need to work on more?