It’s the Eve of Rosh Hashana. I did not intend to write anything today, but a wind of inspiration hit me somewhere in between my head-less chicken run around in the kitchen to finish roasting a brisket and make lemon pies. Before heading into the new year, I want to share a couple of thoughts about the road ahead.
Breathe in, breathe out. And…go.
Last week, a friend sent me a mile long list of resolutions she intends to set for the year ahead. It was ambitious, well thought out, and clearly outlined the ways in which she intended to become a better, smarter, sharper, more organized person in the year ahead. It was also an impossibly long list. Within thirty seconds of sending me the list, she asked: “But, how am I meant to do it all?”
Ah. The catch.
Fresh starts provide an opportunity to examine ourselves and our decisions, and try to piece together a new, better version of ourselves for the future. It’s a great idea in theory, but most of us never see our resolutions through. We dream big and abandon quickly. It’s a roller coaster ride of emotion that ends with an unchecked to-do list.
What we really want is to become better versions of ourselves. We do that by promising to wake up at 6am for a morning run (guilty as charged), or setting aside time for our families, helping others, being slower to anger and frustration—insert your resolution here. How are we meant to do it all?
We forget that change is a sprint, not a marathon. If your goal is at the top of the ladder, you best believe you have to climb the whole darn thing in order to make it to the top. Skipping steps is not an option.
In order to become your best self, you have to begin with baby steps. We are not a society that favors or appreciates baby steps. We love large leaps, grand discoveries, breathtaking experiences that knock us off our feet and make us feel anew. Those experiences are great. I chase those experiences. But, I’ve also come to realize that it is often the little moments that shape us into who we really are.
It’s the small moments that create change.
The Rebbe shared that Rosh Hashana is meant to be about a return to yourself. It is a day in which you look within, in order to shine outwards.
What does returning to yourself actually mean? Reflect. Where have you been? Where do you want to go? Is your life equipped to take you to the next step? No? Okay, good. Behold, an opportunity for change!
In order to blossom into the best version of yourself you first have to examine the tools you have. Maybe some of them are broken. Maybe some of them need to be sharpened. We do the best we can with the tools we have, but sometimes, our tools are junk.
You can’t sew a garden with a broken shovel.
How do we make resolutions that we can stick to? By starting small, and building up. Look within yourself, and ask yourself what you really want. What are the steps you need to take in order to attain your desires?
Start small. One moment at a time. Start by returning to yourself. Listen. Listen more. Listen deeper. What is your heart telling you it wants? A fresh start is an opportunity. Big opportunities are built from small moments. Simple decisions build into life changes.
Your life is like a garden. Tend to it slowly, lovingly, attentively, and your goals with sprout. Give it time. Breathe. Water generously. Take One. Step. A. Time.
Resolve to take your time this year. You deserve it.
L’Chaim to what I hope will be a sweet, beautiful, lovingly tended to year.