My roommate used to say about Ramadan that 30 days is really a commitment. You need to prepare yourself at the beginning of Ramadan to get through the entirety of it. And I know that if the next 20 days of Ramadan pass like the last 10 (well, 9, as today is the 10th) have, then I'll truly have missed out.
This year, the onset of Ramadan for me came with a few uncertainties and some big tasks on my plate. For example, I wasn't sure if I would be graduating or if I would need to take an additional class in the fall semester. I also have my own wedding coming soon inshaaAllaah which I need to plan, plus the honeymoon. While I was busy worrying about these things, I didn't make a clear plan for Ramadan, or set any goals. I pretty much had in mind some very light health and spiritual objectives, but I didn't clearly define them, so I haven't done a great job of meeting them.
And as the 10th of Ramadan is now upon us, I think my plan is past due--but I don't think it's too late, yet. Because Ramadan is a unique time of the year for spiritual development, I want to concentrate on Ramadan-specific spiritual goals (while bearing in mind that I don't want my health objectives to fall behind.) So this Ramadan, I want to finish reading a translation of the Qur'an in this month, because understanding the meaning, even a little bit of the meaning, vastly increases my faith and love for Islam. And after all, Ramadan is the month of the Qur'an, so the very least I can commit to is reading the meaning in English. I've read about 5 juz' so far, so I'm a little behind, but not devastatingly so. Another goal for me has been to listening to a Qur'an class. I found it tremendously beneficial last Ramadan, but the timing of the class is proving a difficulty. However, it might still be possible for me to fit it in if I plan ahead of time and stick to a schedule. The class is beneficial in that it helps me understand the Qur'an even more.
Another major Ramadan goal for me is to attend taraweeh prayers nightly unless I have some extreme excuse not to. Plus, I want to have khushoo' in those prayers. One night this Ramadan I spent most of the qiyyam thinking about wedding dresses--how embarrassing! Leaving the masjid after that, I decided that my worship needs to take priority. So the wedding planning will have to take a back seat for the rest of Ramadan.
I also want to make sure that I am not breaking fast alone. The first few days of Ramadan were a real blessing for me because I was able to spend them seeing people I hadn't seen in a long time--I've recently moved kind of far away from the masjid and so I haven't been around it quite as often. And truthfully, I do miss being so close. Since there are pretty much daily iftars at the masjid, I don't see any excuse to be breaking fast by myself.
These are just a few of my Ramadan goals, that I'm trying to push myself into achieving by writing them down and making them public. Maybe other people have different goals, but these are mine. Ramadan won't last forever, and I want to make the most of it while I can.