Nabiha started Ramadan with a good kick, zealous to complete her goals and take the steps towards the changes she wanted in her life. She was extremely excited, following her strict regime ‘To a T’. Extremely careful not to skip a day, for she had made up her mind to change and make the most of this blessed month. She did good, until the tenth day of Ramadan hit, the first third, she was feeling over-confident, and her motivation started to wane – just a little. She decided to give herself a break – just for one day.
BAM – the last ten days are approaching faster than she imagined; the first ten days surely hadn’t been so fast had they? She felt guilty, having become lax with her goals and fell further behind than she would’ve dreamed, her to-do list now piling up. Her motivation was pretty much a thing of the past, and she had to struggle and fight to try to catch up. She felt despair…would she be able to make the most out of the last ten days like she’d originally hoped?
Many of us face a similar, if not the same, situation as Nabiha. We start off Ramadan all excited, rearing to go, only to crash and burn before the end has even arrived, feeling unmotivated with the idea of ‘throwing in the towel’ becoming more and more appealing as the days speed by.
A common mistake that we make is setting unrealistic goals that are general and broad. After falling into this same trap time and time again, in countless situations a wise teacher taught me how to make SMART goals. Which means making your goals:
S – specific, significant
Make sure that your goal is well defined and that it’s clear to anyone has basic knowledge of your goal.
M – measurable, meaningful, motivational
Measure whether it’s obtainable and how far away is the completion.
A – attainable, achievable, action orientated
Make sure you can actually achieve your goal within the set measured time that you’ve set above.
R – realistic, reasonable, result-orientated
That you can realistically do it with your given resources available, taking your level of comittment into account.
T – time based
Make sure you have enough time to complete your goal and not too much time as this can affect your project performance.
One valuable lesson my mom taught me was to eat my ‘Elephant’, goal, bite by bite rather than trying to swallow it whole. As we can undoubtedly vouch from experience, it’s extremly easy to get overwhelmed by looking at the big picture. Even though the last ten days of Ramadan are almost here, it’s not too late to re-evaluate your goals and readjust your plan, using the SMART template above as a guide.