August 30, 2020
A colleague of mine sent out a beautiful message yesterday. He titled it: Modest Goals for Elul. He began by sharing some thoughts on Elul:
“…As we prepare internally for the New Year, we are tasked with the mitzvah of Teshuvah. We are meant to realign our lives with our principles, repair our relationships, and refine our hearts. The goal is to enter the New Year with clarity, resolve and an open heart.”
He then went on to share that he recognized that he needed to set the bar lower for himself this year. After all, like so many of us, he felt like he was just “getting by”. Between the pandemic and racial injustice, leadership challenges and the unknowns of the days to come, he was exhausted and angry and doing everything imaginable to fight off despair. And so he shared that given the current circumstances he was going to set more modest goals this year.
Here was his list:
I will practice Mitzvah #1: to treat everyone the way I would hope to be treated.
I will apologize when I fall short.
I will remember to breathe and calm myself.
I will find good ways to laugh.
I will take some walks and let nature console me.
I will take good care of my body.
I will look around and enjoy watching the season change.
I will do my best to be kind to myself and others.
I will be brave and I will not give in to despair.
My colleague was right. We are all doing the best we can and this year might be a time where we need to adjust our expectations and do the best we can as we try to navigate these crazy days.
Here’s the big question:
What are some of your realistic Elul goals?