1. OVEREATING. By the end of Ramadan, your appetite should have reached a nadir and you may often “forget” to eat even when you’re no longer fasting! This is the best time to train yourself to eat only when you’re genuinely hungry and avoid overeating and wasting food.
2. SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE. Let me tell you the truth: the more you sit there, the more tired you get. Staying in bed till Dhuhr will not conserve more energy than rising up immediately after fajr. Try it out and thank me later!
3. GOSSIPING AND BACKBITING. These are two great silent killers of good deeds any day, anytime! You definitely want to steer clear during this Holy month, and promise yourself not to go back again.
4. KILLING TIME. Our lives are bound by time; never the other way round. Free time is not useless time, but an extra opportunity to add value to your life. Ramadan teaches us how to utilise every minute to earn Allaah’s pleasure. Instead of just “killing” time, spend it wisely before it slips away.
5. POOR ORAL HYGIENE. If you only brush your teeth once a day before Ramadan, you will be forced to brush twice! (suhoor and iftar) Also, if you had a slight mouth odour, it would become worse while fasting. So, if you like yourself and care about your neighbours, you will want to use miswak more often. Then, why not just carry on with that routine beyond Ramadan?!
6. JUNK FOOD. No matter how busy you are, try to eat a healthy food at iftar (at least). Fatty foods are the worst things you can put into an empty stomach. If dinner is too late and you really need to swallow something, let it be dates, other fruits or vegetables. Shun that chilled bottle of Pepsi and drink water instead!
7. TILL DAY BREAK. Allaah has created the night for rest. Don’t cheat yourself. Unless you’re on night duty, you need to sleep. Whatever you’re doing; whether it’s tahajjud, reading or browsing; it shouldn’t span the entire night. Think about the barakah of eating suhoor… Think about catching up with two nafils before fajr… Think about the need to pray fajr on time… Think about the need to be alert and productive the next day… All these require that you get a reasonable amount of sleep at night.
8. SMOKING. Smoking is a dangerous habit and a strong risk factor for hundreds of diseases. It has NO benefit whatsoever. It’s a great idea to stop smoking in Ramadan, because cravings are generally easier to tame.
9. DRINKING ALCOHOL. Once you are able to cut down on your alcohol intake during Ramadan, then you’ve taken a bold step towards stopping in shaa Allaah.
May Allaah assist us. Aameen.