بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
I hate that feeling when I find old goals that I’ve written on notebooks or sticky notes, bare, with no check marks or crossing them. It’s like my failure to accomplish them is staring me right in the face, and there’s no way of denying it. However, with this 3 step approach, I’ve gotten better at reaching my spiritual goals, so I’m sharing them today with you so that you can use them too 🙂
A while ago I had been watching a video by Tony Robbins, I’m not sure how many of you have heard of him, but this guy is just plain amazing. So inspirational, so intelligent, nearly every time I watch any of his videos I learn something that makes me reevaluate my whole life, and see it from a new perspective. One of these videos in particular that affected me dramatically, explained how our happiness comes not in accomplishing our goals, but more so in the progress that we make to get closer to those goals.
It doesn’t mean you’re not going to be happy when you finally reach your goal of weighing 125lbs, but at the same time, weighing in at 140lbs. today and then weighting yourself at 139lbs. the next, will give you a sense of accomplishment and happiness nearly as much as reaching that goal will. That’s why being able to see the progress in whatever goal you’re trying to reach is important. It helps you stay motivated and happier despite the fact that you’re not “there yet.”
Anyways, now let’s connect the dots between my unachieved goals, and what we’ve just learned from Tony Robbins. So the connecting dot here, is that the unchecked goals are my finish line, and Tony’s idea of progress is the way in which I can reach that finish line.
Finding a way to track my progress and achieving a small part of that final goal each day helps me stay motivated. I think this is a crucial concept we have to start incorporating when setting our goals, especially the spiritual ones.
So the question now becomes, how can I apply this concept to reach my spiritual goals?
Easy. I’m pretty sure at some point in your life, you’ve decided that “omg this year I want to start praying everyday” or “this Ramadan, I’m going to learn how to read arabic and read Quran”, and then the years pass by and Ramadans come and go, and you tear piece after piece of notebook paper with those goals written on them. And the problem is that each time, you lose motivation before you get to the destination. Here’s a quick steps-list of how to keep yourself motivated by applying this concept, and inshAllah, it will help you reach your goals in the future.
For this example let’s say you are trying to get into the habit of praying every day. The last time you prayed was probably a couple weeks ago, and only because you were at the mosque with your family, you only know a few words to perform prayer, and arabic isn’t even your first language. Here’s how you would stay motivated to do that.
STEP 1 | SOMETHING TO KEEP TRACK–
Write your goal down on a sheet of paper or index card ex: ” I want to pray every day”, then make a quick chart to be able to check off/mark the days that you do end up praying.
STEP 2 | MAKE A LIST–
Make a list of all the things you have to do in order to get the task done. For example, in this case, in order to pray, you will need the physical ability to get up, do ablution, have a prayer matt, lay the prayer matt in the right direction, know which way to lay the prayer matt, have a prayer outfit, memorize what to say, know what stances to take, knowing what time to pray, knowing what each different prayer is called, etc. Make a list of these things, that way the task will look a lot easier, and checking off each little thing will motivate you to keep going (hopefully lol!).
STEP 3 | PACE IT OUT–
After figuring out all the actions associated with the task/all the necessary steps to reach your goal, you have to make peace with the fact that you’re not going to be able to do everything in one day, you will need to give it a little time. You have to take it step by step starting with today, so you should ask yourself, what can I do right now to get to that goal, is there anything on that necessary steps list that I can do and check off right now? In this case, downloading an app that tells you the prayer times would be something that you could do right away. Another thing would be to do a quick google search and print out the words for prayer. And then from there you can maybe each day read that sheet once or twice, until you memorize it, or even after a week or two, lay it on your prayer matt and recite from it while praying until eventually it becomes a habit.
And I know this might sound a bit easier said than done, but the trick here is to pace out the steps little by little until you catch momentum. Downloading an app isn’t the same as doing prayer, but I think that the person who downloaded the prayer app and now knows the times of prayer, is closer to doing prayer than the person who hasn’t even taken that little step or given prayer a thought at all.
And like Tony says, it’s about progress! Good luck 🙂