The Year of Motivation!

American Muslim Mom Year of MotivationWhen I reflect on my past years collectively in my personal, professional and spiritual lives, I can see an overwhelming themes:

2009: Rebirth.

Personal: Lost my mommy. Finding my daughterhood, wifehood, mommyhood deeply! Living for today, with no regrets.
Professional: Got fired for all the right reasons. My new voice was born: The American Muslim Mom voice; hence, its official launch!
Spiritual: Living Islam freely and not defensively especially with those I love most, my non-Muslim family. Living Islam purely for Allah’s pleasure and His alone. Finding humility. Accepting mortality.

2010: Acceptance.

Personal: Accepting 4 surgeries, and accepting that someone else can educate my girls, like public school; at least for four-months. Accepting that hubby can and does a lot for us, in my absence.
Professional: I can’t work as much; but its high quality posts that makes the biggest personal/professional impact so we achieved massive growth here at American Muslim Mom.
Spiritual: Memorized the most Qur’an ever. In between all my down-time of pre & post-surgeries by myself…I accepted myself.

2011: Endurance.

Personal: Regaining physical strength and mobility that I haven’t had since being diagnosed with brain disorder 2005. Not allowing excuses, enduring HARD work.
Professional: Massive growth of American Muslim Mom with critical team-building, strategic HARD work.
Spiritual: Fasting more year-round. Qiyam al-Layl year round. Learning how to read the Qur’an with Tajweed. Granted by the grace of Allah alone my dream come true: Hajj! Hajj Mabroor, Insha Allah! Ya Rabb! Ameen!

2012: Peace.

Personal: After four years never living in one city, state or country for more than 4-months in a row and much of it apart from hubby; for 6-straight months we settled down in Los Angeles, CA (Southeast) from Connecticut (Northeast). Slowed down dramatically! Finding peace in my much loved homemaking, wifehood, and massive mommy time on my terms. Peace with my highly-sensitive health issues, hardships in leaving family, peace with difficult family members; the hardest being with Muslim family and friends; and peace that my extended family needs me and I must be there for them because that’s what family is all about!

Professional: While I was practically not present for American Muslim Mom, data, stats, and income, all settled at a peaceful level. Coming to peace with both the worries that I’m not returning (thank you kindly for noticing!) and disappointments from total strangers who actually allow them to hurt me personally and caused me to even consider selling the the American Muslim Mom brand! Fortunately, my girls yelled at me for even considering giving up something that’s partially their’s!

Finding peace that the majority means more to me in the minority! The mere minority who does not know me professionally, let alone personally, has NO place in my life period. So, peace that my numbers and community believe in me and what the American Muslim Mom brand stands for. THIS is what is worth working for–not the few haters.

Unfortunately, the haters that hurt me the most were NOT ignorant, hateful, non-Muslims, they were actually the self-righteous, opinionated Muslims (whether they knew me and my family personally or not).

Comping to peace that I did let some down; but the beauty of being a solopreneur is that I can and I did choose my Spiritual and Personal life before my Professional.

Couldn’t Reach the American Muslim Mom in 2012? This is why…

Oh, I forgot to add that I had to increase my bandwidth just 3-weeks ago, only to find out that 1000s of my emails did not get forwarded to my gmail account. I’m still catching up and forwarding, replying to 14,000+ emails that didn’t reach my gmail, while my gmail still has 1,500+ (350+ priority) unread.

So, if you never got a reply from me, please resend or use contact{at} It caused us MANY missed emails from my book publisher, so if they were accepting of this technical mishap; I’d assume others (especially those who I wasn’t expecting an email from, such as a strangers soliciting my attention), would be equally as accepting. Yes, there’s still have a tint of anger, so I need to bring some peace into 2013 too. ;-)

Spiritual: Fasting even more year-round. Even more Qiyam al-Layl year round. Learning how to read the Qur’an with Tajweed and memorize! TOO many hardships to come to peace with as an American Muslim: hate mail and harassment in public by non-Muslims, but nothing compared to the hardships, sadness, disappointment, frustration of dealing with Muslims in Muslim countries and America. But, add all the bad, we found single-digit fabulous Muslims scattered sporadically throughout this world…so I came to Peace that the minority actually makes the difference in this dunya and akhira.

Peace that we endured our fair share of hardships that my family was granted my second dream come true: Umrah with our girls. May Allah accept our umrahs! Ameen!

Peace that there is no better place on this Earth, accept Mecca with my family; and therefore Allah granted my family the time to be together as one. Traveling is great, don’t get me wrong; it’s our lifestyle, but the Peace gained by being stationary for once is…well, Peaceful!

2013: The Year of Motivation!

Personal Motivation: Maintaining 3-digit weight (first-time in 18 years…believe me: gaining weight is as hard as those who who work to lose weight), and achieving 90th percentile in a particular fitness challenge. Motivating myself through my next two scheduled surgeries (tomorrow), but because I’m in the best physical and spiritual shape in years I am bouncing back faster, more energetic, and more powerful than ever before. In 30-days I’ve already achieved massive goals. So, I’m motivating myself for maintenance.

Personal Motivation: For my girls. We have HUGE Milestones to reach this year, academically, physically, and spiritually. I’m staying motivated in motivating them to achieve the goals that they set for themselves.

Professional Motivation: Staying Motivated Through My Brand Bust! I’m faced with HUGE opportunities that does not include selling, but massive partnering. I’m motivated to oversee these changes for optimal expansion. Staying motivated to blog more consistently, and regularly…my major downfall in 2012.

Planning for “my desire not to work” by outsourcing even more. In reviewing what posts gets the most traction its those in which I internalize my experiences and use them as lessons or motivators for me and YOU my loyal readers/sisters in Islam. So, I am sharing relevant motivational tips.

Spiritual Motivation: I memorized more Qur’an in 3-weeks than in my 14+ years of being a Muslim, mashaAllah. I’m reading, reviewing and memorizing every day, which includes translation and tafseer. I’m staying motivated to keep this up! In memorizing Surah Dhuha (Daylight), I read the tafsir and there was a beautiful hadith

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah sallalahi alayhi wa salem directed me to fast three days of each month, and to observe two Rak`ah Duha (optional prayer) at forenoon, and to perform the Witr prayer before going to bed. [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim].

For the past 2 years, as shone above, I’ve been fasting and praying more, etc. but its inconsistent. Also, having monthly breaks always messes up my schedule or motivation to regain the momentum. But, this hadith came at I time that I needed to read “You Must Do It, Ponn!”. I already had a break and I found new ways to deal with the lack of motivation, like, making dhikr and du’a during prayer times instead, or using my digital Qur’an, mobile, and teaching books to continue with the Qur’anic studies, etc. These are examples of relevant motivational tips.

Muslims Need More Motivation!

Another drawing factor was according to this survey report, Muslims need some Major Motivation, especially mothers for themselves their husbands and kids. I’m Motivated to Help Myself, Are You?

Like they say, you cannot help others fully unless you help yourself first.

So, there you have it. This Year is My Year of Motivation. Is it for you too!? Or, something else?

How to Create a Themed-Year

The theme should be broad enough to cover ALL areas of your life, not just business (think business, personal and spiritual)

Make the theme short and sweet: 1-2 words MAX

The theme should be consistent with your values, mission and purpose. Here are more details and here if this simple explanation is too short.

I reviewed my list of Milestones (our Tasks assigned, Goals set, Milestone deadline dates to achieve), and my girls’s list and the overwhelming theme we noticed is that it all lies on My Motivation to get myself and them through it all. I’m the motivator of this household, I put everyone to sleep, wake everyone up to pray, get hubby out the door for work, and much more. I’m a Massive Motivator–and this year I’ll need even more.

In reflecting with my dearest colleagues and friends regarding my life (personal and business) the same theme came up: What’s motivating you Ponn? It’s obviously not money or status. I’ve been thinking about this a lot the past couple months, because I kept telling everyone its hubby & the girls. I love being a wife and mother. I want them to succeed in their goals…and they actually cannot do it without MY Motivation!

I love being able to be my brother’s sister…I was motivated by motivating him!

YOU need my tips, so I’m motivated to share what motivates me!

There are even more deeper very personal reasons beyond what I’m willing to share, but one of my best friends said it succinctly the other day to me “You’re probably my dearest and best friends in my life right now…yet, you’re the MOST mysterious person I know. I know, I know you…but, there’s A LOT I don’t know about you; and I’ve come to grasps with that.”

I have my fair share of secrets, with my husband, with my girls, with others, and most importantly with myself and Allah.

So, if there’s anything that motivates me right now, it’s to make my secret goals a reality–because I’m motivated to do so.

So, what’s your motivation today? Are you motivated to set your own themed-year? Or, do you want to jump on my Motivation-wagon?

I’m known for my high-level of productivity, and people always inquire how I do it all

1. Review and Reflect on your past year…I wrote past years since the inception of American Muslim Mom because it just clicked for me.
2. Create Your Theme.

Using The Active Voice in Your 2013 Theme

Did you notice the ACTIVE voice in my 2013 Theme? I purposefully did not write in the future “I will do this or that”, or “I want to do this or that”, I’m writing as if I’m doing it now, achieving it now.

It’s all about semantics, using the right words to get the job done. Using your mental strength to get the physical done. It’s more than Mind-Over-Matter, because let’s face it, as Muslims we can intend all we want, we have ALL the right intentions, which is all positive things and counted as good deeds. BUT, the ACTION of getting it done, the strength of that good deed is in fact measured by the its ability to get done.

For example, I intend to give money to the poor is one good deed. But, if you give money to the poor, you get another good deed…but the very action of doing it increases to an unknown amount of good deeds, for example, you established new habits for the entire family to spend less, save more, give more money, not be wasteful with money, etc. The long-term affects of your action can not be taken for granted, because the ACTION is so much harder to do!

So, rather than intend or speak to the future, write it out in the present “I give more money to the poor each week.” You’re envisioning the ACTION already done, and you’re working towards that end, rather then goal-setting and letting yourself down with an unanswered intention.

Keep in mind, here’s another way to look at Intentions and Actions.

If a bad intention comes up, like “I intend to yell at my kid”, do not ACT upon it! Follow-through with a Good Action, talk to them in nice tones = ACTION done.

Or, keep your intentions pure with “I speak to my kids in nice tones always”. Follow-through and ACT. Surround yourself with Positive Intentions AND Even More Positive ACTIONS!

Are you motivated to act now? Comment below and weigh in!


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  1. Kenza says

    Dear Ponn,
    What an inspirational post. I am writing this comment with tears in my eyes because you have been with me since I first arrived to the US. I have been reading your posts, dreaming to have enough motivation to educate my girls and work from home in a way that makes them and me good muslims. Thank you for opening up to us and sharing your ups and downs…. Yes, we need motivation and this post came at the right time subhane Allah, at least for me. Please don’t sell, muslim sisters need you and, we, new immigrants whose emaan and spirituality got burried under the fact of being born muslim. We need an eye opener about the blessing we are in. You were mine with Allah help. So jazaki Allah kheir from the bottom of my heart. And I will make duaa for you. May Allah grant you a better health inchaallah.

    • says

      Wa-alaykum asalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu my dearest sister Kenza.

      I’m sitting here in tears, pit of my stomach pain, and my girls saying “and you thought people wouldn’t take it/this post well”…but, I knew it had to be done so I did.

      I just came online because I leave for the hospital in 30-minutes and keeping myself busy until then is good for my mind. ;-)

      My girls are also telling me “I told you so…no one would want you to sell”. Subhan Allah, even if the timing was just for us–this blog (my writing) is ibadah for me, and it (our determination and effort to be good Muslims, Muslim moms and raising our kids righteously) will serve to speak for us on the Day of Judgement, inshaAllah.

      Jazaka Allahu Khayr for your ever so kind du’a. You and your family are in my du’a as well.

      I love you dearly for the sake of Allah, my dear Kenza!

  2. says

    Assalamu alaykum!
    Ponn I read this post, and I am thankfull for Allah to read this, because I couldn’t enter to your site.
    I thank you to write this post as I remembered my goals. Please don’t give up this blog.
    Being a muslim mom in Russia I downloaded your free ebook, but couldn’t read it. Today I already read it (sometimes I used a dictionary), and I want share my feelings from this book too.
    The book is great, subhanallah! May Allah bless you and give you good health and iman.

    I try to be a good muslim mom, but sometimes I need good motivators like you.
    As a teacher of English, I have a young blog. InshaAllah, when you become more healthy, I will ask you questions about blogging.

    May Allah bless you!

    • says

      Wa-alaykum asalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu dear sister Rumiya.

      MashaAllah, you I am and what I write, as all my words are dedicated to our One Creator.

      Jazaka Allahu Khayr for your heart-warming words, du’a, and touching experience.

      It is purely my pleasure to write and help anyone, as blogging posts like this is very reflexive and deeply meaningful to me…to help another sister is a blessing and gift that only Allah can grant. Allahu alam/Allah knows best!

      That is so cool you started blogging! My girls and I love your gravatar, since archery is dear to our lives. As for blogging tips, my best advise now would be hop over to my girls’ site they are masters at professional blogging (making $ blogging, traffic building etc.). I’m helping them share everyone anyone to start blogging and blogging well…If kids can do it, so can you!


      You and your family in the far lands of Russia are in my du’a.

      Touched from the bottom of my heart!
      Fe amani Allah, I leave you now in the trust of Allah! :-)
      P.S. I am/will not sell AMM, as you’re another reason why I shouldn’t. alhumdulilah!

  3. Maryam F says

    As salaamu alaykum warahmatullaahi wabarakaatuhu!

    Wow! What a de-stressor post!:):)

    Welcome back on board!

    I need such motivational posts sometimes, to pull up myself when I feel down.

    May Allaah bless you and yours, Allaahuma aameen!

    • says

      Wa-alaykum asalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu dear sister Maryam.

      Jazaka Allahu Khayr…you can hear my voice, eh? ;-)

      Ameen! Ameen!

      You and your family are always in my du’a.

      I love your dearly for the sake of Allah.

      Fe amani Allah, in the trust of Allah!

      Yes, I’m here to stay!…inshaAllah, online blogging while on this dunya. ;-)

  4. says

    Assalamu Alaikum Ponn,

    I had been missing your mails for sometime and am glad you’re back on track. Enjoy your perspective on life and issues and hope to take tips here and there and shape my life…In Shaa Allah.

    I’m a published writer and children’s author with 4 books, Al Hamdulillah, to my credit (more details on my writing on the stated website), however, right now my energies are focused on running a parenting page on Facebook where I impart Conscious Parenting tips and tidbits and share motivational/inspirational/fun quotes and photos, not just to Muslims, but thankfully, quite a lot of the 500+ fans are Muslims…

    I’m seriously toying with the idea of starting a blog on the same theme and In Shaa Allah, hope to look up KidBloggersClub, as per your suggestion, to kickstart it as I am a total novice in this area and need all the help I can get!!

    Jazak Allah Khairan and may Allah make your personal and professional struggle easy and grant you and your family every success and blessing in this life and in the Hereafter…

    With warm wishes, salams and dua’as all the way from the Middle East,

    • says

      Wa-alaykum asalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu dear sister Lisha!

      Awesome news…really! Glad I motivated you…the girls saw you downloaded JuJu’s ebook–there’s some real gems more mom bloggers don’t know since most are not doing it for profit.

      Jazaka Allahu Khayr for all your du’a, salams…with a huge virtual hug–Right back at cha!

      I love you for the sake of Allah! Thanks for sticking around, I promise to stay, insha Allah.

  5. says

    Salam Alaikom Ponn,
    May Allah grant you and your family health and saber to deal with the hardships in your life. This post is inspiring, I like the goal-writing part and having a word to describe your year. A theme year. I’ve missed your emails and seeing you on Twitter. Don’t sell AMM. May Allah grant you motivation year long and reward you for all the work you do.

    • says

      Wa-alaykum asalam wa rahmatuallahi wa barakatu dear, dear Nour!

      I guess it’s late to ask…but, how was your trip back home!? ;-)

      Yes…the last I’ve really been online.

      My girls and I LOVE your new site & company name! Absolutely gorgeous. Yay-You! Mubarak! May Allah grant you toefeek! Ameen!

      Yes, I’ve missed you too…Twitter, I’m on sporadically, definitely more than blogging, but working on changing that.

      Ameen! Yes, Allahu Alam. I’m here. Alhumdulilah!

      Please give me some breathing room…I have a bunch of deadlines to meet, but I WILL work you into a project too. I love your dearly for the sake of Allah Nour.

      My du’a for you and your family as well.

      Fe amani Allah.

    • says

      Thanks for sharing. The best way to share a link and not be off-topic, is to link your name so the live link is “Shelley”. You already shared your link in the appropriate SEO post. I didn’t want to unapprove this post and mark it as spam. It’s obvious your new. Jazaka Allahu Khayr.


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