Our brains do this thing where they put important tasks on the back burner just to avoid having to do them right away . If you have an exam in a month, your brain will tell you that 4 weeks is a long time away, so worry about it then. Unless you really buckle down and fend off your brain, you’ll procrastinate until the night before the exam. In those 4 weeks, you’ll do everything instantly; check social media, go out for Sunday brunch, and buy the next hyped-up over-priced sneaker. All because we’re programmed to gain instant gratification from the mind numbing activities that society has to offer. But studying? “Nah, it’s too early to study”.
That exam is kind of like Ramadhan in the sense that a year ago we told ourselves we’d be better prepared for it this year than we were last year. Unfortunately in that time, we did everything under the sun to put it off, and again here we are. Even as I write this a couple days before Ramadhan, we are still defining being prepped as having enough samosas and pastries ready to go for the 30 days ahead. Although, that is one way to prepare for the holy month, it’s definitely not priority. Rather we need to ask ourselves, are my mind, body and soul prepared for a spiritual rejuvenation? Typically Ramadhan comes at a time when our imaan has slightly drifted. For most of us, we’ve just gone through 11 months of infrequent visits to the mosque, ice cream binges and daily whatsapp hadith forwards. This is not an ideal situation for one to be at their spiritual best, but that’s okay! Ramadhan is here.
A great first step would be to put our phones down. Let’s be real, our phones are a leading cause of distraction. They distract us to extents that we don’t realize. I find myself mindlessly picking it up several times throughout the day without thinking, and I know I’m not the only person that does this. This act in itself will allow us to have a more spiritually prosperous month. And no, this is not BuzzFeed. I will not be providing a list of “30 things to do to have a blessed Ramadhan”. Rather, to keep it simple, I think an all-encompassing act would be to practice mindfulness- the quality or state of being conscious or aware. This doesn’t mean to have your guard up all 30 days, but rather to have your mind right and present in each moment so that you’re the one making the decisions and not your habits. Studies show that it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days to create a new habit. If you’re able to either create new ones during Ramadhan, or set yourself up on a path to take on better habits once it’s over, you will surely have a more beneficial and prosperous month and it will allow you to carry it forward throughout the year as well, In Sha Allah.