Do you remember last year? Do you remember resolving to make this year a better year? Do you remember making a list of things you were going to work on? Do you remember resolving to make this a year of spiritual growth and change? Yet somehow, another full year has passed, and somehow this year has become very much like last year. Do you wonder, “how can I approach God again, when I haven’t kept my previous resolutions?”.
In our prayers we refer to God as “Our Father, our King”. Yes, God Is the mighty omnipotent King of Kings, and that can be a little intimidating. But God is also our father, our loving father in heaven. The title of “father” precedes the title of “King”. If we have fallen short in some aspects of our lives, and fallen short in our previous attempts to remedy our shortfalls, don’t despair! As long as you are sincere, your father will give you another chance.
Think about what you want to change or improve. Think about what went wrong with your previous resolutions. Think about ways you can make your resolutions more likely to be successful this year. Are you trying to tackle too many things at one time? The Sages tell us not to work on more than one or at most two things at a time. What if you know you have a dozen or more things to work on? You should still pick one or two items, and pray that God gives you the time to work on the other items in the future. Are your resolutions realistic? There is nothing wrong with starting with something relatively easy to attain, “low lying fruit”. Try to build some momentum before tackling the great spiritual mountains. Are they measurable? If you are starting to slip, a monthly or quarterly review can help you get back on track. If you use last years’ failure to accomplish your goals as the springboard to success this year, not only won’t your father be disappointed, he will be proud.
Happy New Year!