The Jewish New Year happened this week! A friend asked me, “Do you make resolutions like at the traditional New Year?” The answer is yes, and no. During the Jewish New Year and the holidays surrounding it, we go inward and we ask, “What can we leave behind? And how can we be better next year?”
The tradition is lovely, but I believe we can choose any time any day to bring a self-improvement practice into our lives. Did you ever make New Year’s resolutions, only to disappoint yourself a few weeks later by breaking them? And then you went right back to it after you broke the resolution right? Yes, I didn’t either. Don’t give up, anytime can be another opportunity for growth, and a chance to decide what you can do to be better.
The season change from Summer to Fall, when the energy shifts and we naturally begin to go inward is a perfect time to take stock of where you are and where you want to be, and move toward closing the gap between those!
It’s a two-step process, and I recommend you do it anytime you become aware of something you want to change in your life.
Identify what no longer serves you in your self-improvement journey and leave it in the past. During the time between Rosh Hashana, the New Year and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, Jewish tradition guides us to perform a ceremony called Tashlich. The ritual is pretty cool, we take bread crumbs and throw them in a moving body of water to represent the casting off of our sins from the previous year. You can make this ritual your own by clearing something that doesn’t serve your health out of your life. How about that closet or drawer that’s overflowing with things you haven’t used in years? You can clear emotional junk the same way. Is there someone in your life you feel you owe an apology and the emotional weight of it is junking up your life? Call them, write to them, apologize and try to clear that heavy energy. If the person isn’t someone you can communicate with (maybe you don’t feel safe approaching them because they have reacted aggressively towards you, or they are no longer living) write the message you would send them anyway. Writing is a great way to clear things. Then, instead of breadcrumbs, tear the note into tiny pieces and release it a flowing body of water, or even burn the pieces (safely) and let them float away on the wind.
Make promises. Promise you will TRY to do better next year. It’s the trying that matters. So many of us give up on our New Year’s resolutions the first day we skip the gym, or take that drink, or eat that cookie. Don’t give up, keep trying, keep failing, and keep trying some more until the promise to try becomes a new habit. Or perhaps your new habit is to show more kindness, open doors for people, be a better listener, drive with more awareness of your surroundings, practice gratitude for everything you have. Whether it’s a physical improvement or a mental/emotional one, there’s no time like the present to try to improve. You have opportunities daily if you just use your awareness.
As the autumn winds kick up and begin to blow the falling leaves around, take stock of your life and see what you can release. Let it blow away, and fill the space of that clean drawer, or that emotional energy with a promise. To do better, to be better.
Coaching can help, if making or sticking to those promises doesn’t seem doable, I’m here for you. Start your new year off with a boost of confidence: schedule a free consultation!
You don’t have to wait for the calendar to tell you it’s time to make a change, you get to choose!
Blessings and to all who celebrate, L’Shana Tova,