You make promises to others all the time, but when do you ever promise yourself anything? And how focused and effective are your promises in bringing value to your life in this world and the next? Here are 9 promises you should be making daily to get the most out of your day:
1. “I promise to formulate an intention for everything”
Your intention is so powerful. All actions will be rewarded according to their intention. The easiest way to score high points on your book of deeds is by making the intention for your everyday actions sincerely for Allah. You cook, you clean, you raise children, you work, you help, you eat organic, you exercise all as part of your normal routine. Make Allaah’s pleasure the goal and every moment will be worth it. Read more on how to optimize through your intentions here.
2. “I will speak kindly and conscientiously to my children”
Reflect before you speak. It may be difficult when they break your favourite glass dish after repeated warnings, but valuable lessons are learned in those moments. So don’t ruin it with hasty words that could be hurtful. Don’t mix bad words with bad moods. If your day isn’t going well, or you’re upset about something, take time to calm your emotions. Children are easy targets but promise not to take your anger out on them. They’re actually really great at cheering you up. Give them 5-10 minutes of undivided attention and see your mood uplift. They are after all the coolness of our eyes.
3. “I promise to speak kindly and conscientiously to myself”
You speak silently to yourself all day. Assess your tone, language, and vocabulary. Are they inspiring and comforting words, like the ones you offer to a friend? Or do you insult and put yourself down? Be mindful of what you whisper because those thoughts will settle in the heart and become who you are. So tell yourself the truth, you’re wonderful, capable, determined!
4. “I will take a step closer to Allaah”
We know our final abode is the hereafter. Everyday is a day short on our lifespan, so lets make everyday a day closer to Allaah and therefore Jannah. Allaah says, in a Qudsee hadith: “Whoever draws close to Me a hand’s span, I will draw close to him an arm’s length. And whoever draws near Me an arm’s length, I will draw near him a fathom’s length. And whoever comes to Me walking, I will go to him running. And whoever faces Me with sins nearly as great as the earth, I will meet him with forgiveness nearly as great as that, provided he does not worship something with me”(reported by Muslim). This is the one promise most effective in bridging the gap between you and Allaah. How can you days go wrong when Allaah is drawing near you at a faster rate than you are to Him?
5. “I will keep in mind that I don’t and can’t control everything”
You have certain capabilities but unfortunately no superpowers. Do what you’re able to do and whats within your means. Make dua and leave the outcome to Al-Qadeer, The Omnipotent One who does control everything, Allaah. You’ll find ease in knowing that you did try and a greater power will facilitate the rest.
6. “I promise to guard my tongue from backbiting, gossiping, and foul language”
The tongue is the strongest muscle in the body and the most destructive to others and yourself. “When man wakes up in the morning each day, all parts of the body warn the tongue saying, ‘Fear Allah as regards us; for we are at your mercy; if you are upright, we will be upright and if you are crooked, we become crooked.” (Sunan Tirmizi: Hadith No 2407). A single word can crumble all the good deeds you’ve worked for. It can break relationships and ruin someone’s honour. Speaking your mind is not always virtuous so when you’re about to say something displeasing to Allaah, bite your tongue!
7. “I will appreciate the beauty and power of my role”
No one can claim motherhood is easy, but it’s definitely a powerful and rewarding role. Acknowledge that you’re a mom for life and appreciate all the beautiful moments that come along with it. Recognize that you are a contributor to this ummah and through your children you can bring great change!
8. “I promise not to let yesterday hold me back from today”
Don’t allow the shackles of pain and regret dictate how you spend your days. Take the lessons of yesterday to help you move forward today.
9. “I promise I won’t regret today”
Promising yourself that you won’t regret today forces you to make conscience decisions about every action you take. Ask yourself before every action: Is there benefit in this? Is Allaah please with this? Will I kick myself later for this? You will evaluate your tasks better and choose activities that add value to you and your family’s life. Even if all you did was change diapers, cook, clean, and chase kids (which is A LOT), sticking to promise #1 ensures that the day isn’t wasted. The key is to have a productive day with Allaah as the centre of your goals. That way you won’t have regrets but only lessons to carry on to a better tomorrow.