Eid party food 2011

Ok, so technically Ramadan is over. Except that for a lot of Muslims it isn’t. Muslims like me who have days to fast, making up for when we couldn’t fast in Ramadan. As those days are rewarded as days of Ramadan, and the fact that it is encouraged to fast the six days the month after Ramadan also, Shawwal – to me – feels like a bit of a lacklustre sequel to Ramadan. A sequel, because of all the fasting left, and lacklustre because often you fast by yourself, there’s no Tarawih in the mosque, no atmosphere. Ramadan is easy. This is the month that a lot of people find hard.

So as it’s the following on from Ramadan (when I set some goals for myself to achieve) I’d like to set some goals for myself for this month. In fact I’d like to start setting goals for myself on a monthly basis. Why monthly? Because according to studies, monthly goals work better over the long-haul than either short-term (which are too much effort) or long-term (which are easy to forget) ones. I’m also continuing with my division of priorities for goals. So here goes:

 Things I will do Inshallah:

1) Finish reading the Qur’an. I was reading it before Ramadan and then stopped so that I could restart it for the new month. I read 41 hizbs, so I only have another 19 to go Inshallah.

2)   Perform 4 Rakat of voluntary prayer a day 4 times a week. This may include Duha’ prayer, Qiyam or anything, so long as it’s 4 extra rakat.

3)   Morning and evening Dua. I need to keep this up. To make it a bit more challenging I might learn a few new ones. Might.

4)   Work on my thesis for 2 hours a day, 4 days a week for starters. (My thesis is about Islamic Fundamentalism in Western writing, so it qualifies as an Islamic goal, methinks.)

 Things I’d like to do, but might not:

1)   Blog twice a week. This is doable. Especially if one post is an update on my goals.

2)   Read the Qur’an again in its entirety. (At the beginning of the year I set myself the goal of reading the Qur’an 3 times this year, excluding Ramadan. I read it once and started on the second time, and I hope that seeing as I have built the momentum and habit I can complete this one this month too.)

3)   Revise three hizbs from the end of the Qur’an.

4)  Keep a food diary. I’d also like to keep distinct meals, so that they don’t become a continuous graze, but I think keeping a food diary will help that, so it’s really part of the main goal.

These are just my Islamic goals, and don’t include all the things that I’ll be doing over the next 5 weeks anyway, such as:

–    Making up my days from Ramadan.

–    Fasting the six days of Shawwal.

–    Getting back to teaching again.

–    Getting back to exercising regularly when I’m done fasting.

–    Reading more (especially the Hunger Games trilogy) and listening to audio books (always non-fiction).

–    Phoning my friends and staying in touch more.

Obviously a lot of my goals for the coming weeks are a rinse-and-repeat of my goals from Ramadan, and that’s mainly because I’ll be fasting for two of these weeks and I don’t want to set any goals that will be hard to achieve when my energy levels – and therefore self-control (seriously, the lower your energy levels the worse your self-control) – will be depleted.

Do you have any goals for September? Islamic or otherwise? How are you going to achieve them?