The Jewish New Year celebrates the birthday of the world for all people and Yom Kippur asks us to reflect about our own humanity. During these days of awe we search for answers about how to improve our relationships with those around us. We face and apologize for our moral transgressions against others and grant forgiveness to those who have hurt us.
Divisive conflicts and frightening extreme tribalism highlight our need for connections and communal relationships. Amidst the cacophony and sounds of discord, the blast of the shofar is clear and direct. It signals a wake-up call to take stock and challenges us to make changes in the way we live.
To refocus and generate plans you can implement, here are some guidelines to use:
Identify what you can control. Direct your energies to the areas where you have the ability to change and let go of those you need to accept. The realization that you can’t do everything gives you the freedom to refocus on what you can do.
Set clear goals. Keep yourself motivated by breaking them down into steps you can accomplish, one by one. As you complete each objective, acknowledge your success and build on it as you reach toward your ultimate target.
Recognize your inner power. Draw on your strengths and resources to move closer to your goals. Turn first to the skills and talents you’ve used before and then add new perspectives to help you change.
Connect with family, friends and community. Seek help from those who can sustain you and offer help to those in need. Express gratitude to your network of supportive relationships that nurtures you and encourages your growth.
When you make a commitment to change, you’ll learn to prioritize your efforts as a way to find balance in your life. It certainly won’t be easy, but the joy you gain from achieving what you set out to do will nourish you throughout the year. A Happy New Year to you and yours.