I always end up becoming more religious during Ramadan, but then after the month is over, I’m back where I started. How can I make changes that last through the year?

Ramadan has become a bit ritualistic for many people. It is important that we reflect on why we do the things we do in Ramadan, as opposed to going through the motions without a second thought. When we do something because God asked us to, we must first give it thought, make the intention that we are doing it for God, and then learn all we need to about it so we can do it correctly. 

By reflecting on your actions, when you start your Ramadan, you will be more aware of the ultimate reason, to please Allah, and you will do everything with Ihsaan (excellence). When Ramadan is over, a great idea is to fast in the month of Shawwal as well (the next month) so that the habit of fasting doesn’t die down. Six fasts of Shawwal are equivalent to the reward of an entire year of fasting. Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) would fast every week on Mondays and Thursdays. Of course you can take it at your own pace – but fasting is a great way to remind oneself of the spirituality and connection to God.