We celebrate the start of another year. It can be an interesting dilemma for the Jewish community, as we also celebrate the start of the lunar New Year on the 1st day of Tishrei, known as Rosh Hashanah. How do we find the appropriate compromise between the two? One is an international party, the other with more intensive tones. Perhaps my proposal might find resonance for some.
There are approximately three months between the two dates commemorating the start of the lunar new year and the solar new year. Those who take the time to review the past year beginning with the sounding of the shofar in Elul may have promised themselves and others to change a behavior, focus on something new, devote more time to someone(s) or something – in short, you may have made a New Year’s resolution. January 1 affords an opportunity to check up on that pledge with one-fourth of the year concluded. How are you shaping up? Was the sincere intent that you began the new year with met? If yes, that is wonderful and I congratulate you upon reaching your goal(s). If no, not to worry. Most of us are well-meaning, make resolutions, but do not fulfill them. January 1 provides us with the opportunity to briefly pause, reassess our progress, and if needed, devote time and energy to meet at least one of the goals we set.
At the six-month mark, which would be around Passover, a half-year assessment is due, with a chance to observe the progress you are making and hopefully fulfill your resolution(s). Some resolutions require a bit more effort than a simple one-minute task; they might take an entire year. The challenge is to set the bar at the proper height so that you can successfully fulfill your goals. You can’t keep lowering the bar if you are not fulfilling your original intent. Keep it constant and give your best effort. If the resolution(s) that you originally set were of great value to you, then you owe it to yourself to do your best.
May the new year of 2019 see all of us reaching our goals to make each of us and this world a slightly better world than the year before.