Fly under your ‘I don’t feel like it’ radar
The best way not to improve is to force yourself tremendously. Either, you bounce back in no time, or you might not even get started. Don’t overdo it.
Easy does it. Small steps. Less is more. Persist. Plan long-time.
You can always do a tiny bit better than not improve at all.
The impossible is never demanded by Judaism.
If your effort is too much to bear, you might do something wrong. Ask around, ask your rabbi, ask a loved one. You might be trying to push open a door that opens by pulling.
Do regret, in one go, all the bad you did, but build back better bit by bit.
While the Ten Days of Repentance are a prime opportunity to repent, and the Month of Ellul before it, too, the Jewish year invites us to atone every first of the Jewish month, and every evening before retiring. Yet, there is no need to wait for any of these times. ‘Now’ is always the best time.
How can you hope the Heavenly Judge forgives you if you dislike His kids? Humanism is at least 50% of Judaism. That includes … you.
How can you atone for the past by making a mess in the present? So, if you have Corona, stay home. From there, G^d can hear your prayers very well.
Jewish Law forbids us to see ourselves as bad. That would ‘allow’ us every sin in the Book. So, when we sinned, it was against our better judgment.
The Talmud explains that any sin only comes from a silly mood. No one is intrinsically evil. Rabbi Nachman of Breslow says: If we think we executed a capital sin, it probably was one whose penalty is whipping; if we think it was that, paying a fine was probably enough. If we think we need to pay, maybe we don’t. But in any case, we must run from feeling guilty. Once we feel bad about ourselves, all our defenses against sinning have melted.
Happy New Year!