The beauty of consistency is that small changes that may seem insignificant if repeated consistently over time yield impressive returns. So why don’t you take advantage of the power of consistency to radically change your life this year? Here are 5 ways you can make consistency work for you this year and indeed every year.
The Prophet ṣallallāhu alayhi wa sallam said “The most beloved actions to Allah are those performed consistently, even if they are few.” Sahih Bukhari
1. SAVE MONEY:
When we start a new spending habit like buying frozen yogurt, it starts unconsciously and before we know it, it has become a habit; if we don’t have frozen yogurt two or three times a week, we start to feel like something is missing. In the same way if we choose to consciously start saving a fixed amount weekly it will become a habit. The key to staying consistent is doing something that’s manageable and pain free. Depending on your income, pick something that you won’t notice. Something that you could easily spend on a frivolous purchase and start to save it weekly or daily. Get yourself a piggy bank if you don’t want to make a bank deposit out of it. If all you chose to save is $10 or N1000 a week, it might not seem like much but in a month that’s $40 or N4000. In a year that ends up being $520 or N52,000 – it still might not be much, but when you compare it to $0 or N0 suddenly it’s a lot of money.
2. FAST MORE OFTEN
Fasting anytime outside of Ramadan is really challenging. Sometimes the weather is too hot, or the day too long. At other times work is too demanding, the kids have worn you out and you’re just too hungry not to eat. It’s very easy to come up with excuses not to, which is why picking a time and sticking to it consistently no matter the weather or what life throws at you is crucial to success in this area. Choose a day, I prefer a work day because time goes quickly when you’re busy. You may prefer a weekend because your job requires a lot of physical energy, just find a day that’s most convenient for you and stick with it no matter what. When that day comes around unless you’re sick, travelling or otherwise indisposed, make sure you’re fasting. After awhile it will become second nature. Last year I was sick in Ramadan and I ended up having 17 fasts to pay back plus 6 days of Sitta Shawwal I wanted to do. I had 23 fasts to pay back!! When I saw those numbers lined up I thought wow, this is going to be really really difficult and take a very long time. But Once I started, I only took a few breaks in between and didn’t stop till I’d finished. Because I was consistent, my body became used to it and I was able to finish those fasts much faster than I thought possible. So pick a day today and run with it. In a month you’d have fasted 4 times, in a year that’s 192 fasts! excluding Ramadan. Isn’t that amazing?!
3. SHORTER MORE EFFECTIVE WORKOUTS:
Everyone wishes they had more time to work out. And even if you manage to start working out, it takes very little for you to stop. It’s a challenge to commit an hour or even a half hour to work out 4 or more times a week. So the excuses keep piling up. Now what if I told you that you just need 15 minutes a day to get a good workout? How difficult is it to carve out 15 minutes of your day for an activity? It’s only 15 minutes, do you think you could commit to that? If you commit 15 minutes a day, consistently to a workout you’ll be amazed at the difference you’ll see in 1 year. Just make sure to make those 15 minutes work. Do high intensity workouts and you can burn up to 300 calories in such a short time.
4. INCREASE NAFILS:
For many years, I would only pray Salatul Fajr without praying Raka’atanul Fajr. I had no idea how important it was. I didn’t know that the Raka’atanul fajr is considered to be more valuable than the whole world and everything inside it. Now that I do – I make an effort to consistently do it. I do it even when I’m still drowsy and want to run back under the covers because even if I do it, I still have to pray Fajr. I try and imagine the reward that is in those 2 Raka’ats and I can’t. Can you? If Raka’atanul Fajr won’t fit into your schedule because you’re a zombie first thing in the morning, then try 2 Raka’ats after Salatul Magrib. Can’t do that, there’s Shafi and Witr – praying them after Isha earns you the same reward as if you spent the entire night in prayer! Talk about a shortcut! Don’t do all of them, if that’s too daunting, but pick one, and do it consistently – because if you do, even when you are sick and are unable to perform them, a reward will be written for you as if you did it, because Allah knows it was only your illness that prevented you from performing them.
5. MEMORIZE MORE SURAHS:
As children learning the Quran happens organically because we go to school and learn but once we’re older and stop going to Quranic school it makes it more challenging because we have so many things vying for our attention. We have work, family obligations, health concerns and off course lets not forget r & r. So it becomes quite challenging to make time to memorize new Surahs. Many a times we consider it a victory if we make time to recite the Quran so memorization usually gets taken of the table. But what if you could start memorizing Surahs again and all it would take would be 5 to 10 minutes every day? If you can consistently commit 5 minutes a day to memorize just 1 verse of a Surah. You would be surprised by how many verses and how many Surahs you would memorize in a year. Repeat after me: I commit to consistently memorizing 1 verse a day this year. That’s 365 verses in a year. If that’s too much, then commit to memorizing 1 verse every other day. That’ll give you 2 days to memorize each verse.
Consistency is an amazing tool, but it only works if you put it to use. If there’s anything you want to accomplish this year, even if it’s not on this list, chances are consistency is just what you need to accomplish it. So go out there and change your life this year, all you need is consistency.
Now if only I could become more consistent about blogging…