Why is it so hard to change?
Every year we stand before God and promise to grow.
And we mean it! We really do want to become the better version of ourselves that we know we are capable of.
And yet –
Here we are – another year later, making the same promises, the same commitments.
How can we take this sincere desire for actualizing our potential and translate it into real growth?
There is a famous Midrash that before God gave us the Torah, He went to all the other nations and asked them if they wanted it. They all asked, “what’s in it?” to which God responded with the mitzvah that would be their biggest challenge, and so they refused. However, when God asked the Jewish nation they simply accepted and received.
One Chassidic Rebbe asked, if the Jews had asked that question, what would have been God’s response? What is it that really challenges the Jew? He answered that it was the mitzvah that was given before the giving of the Torah to put a fence around Mount Sinai, not allowing everyone to ascend along with Moshe to the top of the mountain.
We all want to be great! We want to build! And sometimes that is our biggest challenge.
Imagine a woman standing in front of God on Rosh Hashanah committing herself to no longer getting frustrated with her family. She promises to never lose her cool. To always be present with her emotions and to keep them in check.
How long will this last?
The issue is not her desire – to always be calm and collected is an amazing goal! The issue is, she may be setting an unrealistic expectation for herself.
She needs to recognize that this is a process and a journey that involves making consistent changes over time! And to be successful this year she will need concrete goals and to have the right skills, tools and support to take the first steps.
I know I spent years making this mistake. Every year I committed to being better – a better Jew, a better wife, a better mother and daughter and friend. And every year I felt I was repeating the same goals, but with no idea how to actually obtain these ideals except for some vague ideas and concepts that I believed in but that did not give any clarity in how to go about actually putting them into practice.
It was only when I started learning, creating and applying real, practical skills that a real light went on in my life. I no longer had just ideas – now I had answers! Now I had steps to take on my journey.
In order to make Rosh Hashanah about more than just meal plans we have to use the weeks before to clarify our goals and desires for the coming year.
For Yom Kippur to be about more than just getting through the fast while balancing davening and children we have to use the Aseret Yemay Teshuvah to begin taking practical steps.
And to make this year better than the last we have to build an action oriented plan to empower ourselves in creating the life we want to live.
In order to make a real change we have to really DO something different!
I have created the “Be the Change in 5778” Challenge in order to join and support women in each of these steps over the coming weeks.
Commit to making this year one of real growth and change by joining the challenge!
I’ve made it easy for you to be the change and see the change in your life, because when you join this challenge, you will begin receiving the support, accountability and direction to make real change happen.
I look forward to having you there and to sharing this journey to build connection and intimacy in your home!
Wishing you and your family a Shana Tova U’Metuka!