In need of self-transformation? But no idea how?
Here are a few steps that can be your guidelines:
1. Understand your reason.
Why do you want to change? To impress someone? Tired of living like you are living right now? You decide. But the ultimate reason for changing is of course because of Allah. Because with that, you get reward not only here, but in the hereafter just as well, insyaAllah. And one thing about changing for the sake of Allah is that your reason is always there, so the chances of you having second thoughts are reduced to almost nil. When you want to change because you like someone and trying to impress him or her, he or she might go away, or taken or die. When that happens, your reason to change is gone. So you won’t change anymore. Which is bad, if you are actually planning a change for the better.
On the authority of Omar bin Al-Khattab, who said : I heard the messenger of Allah salla Allah u alihi wa sallam say:
"Actions are but by intention and every man shall have but that which he intended. Thus he whose migration was for Allah and His messenger, his migration was for Allah and His messenger, and he whose migration was to achieve some worldly benefit or to take some woman in marriage, his migration was for that for which he migrated."
How would you want yourself to be like? What part of you do you want to change? Aims would drive you to where you want to be. It is also aim that determines what you have to do in order to carry out the change. That is why aim is something crucial, without which, you would be lost. Maybe you were someone with bad mouth odour, and you want to change that. So you will have to practice oral hygiene even more religiously, like brush your teeth after every meal. Or something like that. Another instance is that you are someone with ‘bad-tongue’ in that you like to talk bad about others. Realising this is a mistake, you want to change it. Because of Allah. You know He does not like it. So you will have to keep your tongue busy with good things like zikir.
Here comes the most important and hardest step. Now that you know your reason, and you have set your goal, it is time to work it out. No use planning without actually putting it into actions, yes? This is entirely up to you.
For each one are successive [angels] before and behind him who protect him by the decree of Allah . Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. And when Allah intends for a people ill, there is no repelling it. And there is not for them besides Him any patron. [ar-ra’d : 11]
Taking the previous instance, ‘bad-tongue’, your effort will be keeping your tongue busy with good deeds like zikr. That way you will not have much free time to talk about other people. And always remind yourself about the change that you want to make. That will prevent you from doing what you always do. Resist the temptation of carrying out this bad habit. Pray that Allah will make it easy for you and that He will help you through it. Remember that He is always there.
And your Lord says, "Call upon Me; I will respond to you." Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell [rendered] contemptible. [ghafir:60]
The thing about changing for the better is that it is never easy. No one says it is. It is always hard to even begin, let alone keeping it within you for the rest of your life. But know this: the first step is always the hardest, the first cut is always the deepest. As you go along, you will actually doing it without even realising it. It is indeed your habit. Say, do you remember when you first perform you solat? Did it occur to you that you were once forced to do it, and at the beginning you did it reluctantly? Look at yourself now. I bet you perform your solat without having people to remind you anymore. So when you have reached your goal, remember to look back to where you were and see yourself now, not to be proud of yourself, but to be grateful that Allah has actually help you through it. And now that you are a new you, it is time to help others that might still trapped with the’ you’ that you once were.
And those who strive for Us - We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good. [Al-ankabut : 69]