It’s that time of year to reflect on the past and set goals for the new year, but it’s no secret that Rosh Hashanah resolutions are often unfulfilled. This might be because the process laid out for repententance is pretty onerous, and transformation isn’t always easy. Regardless, here are five small steps toward self-improvement you can actually stick to and may get at some of the elements of personal growth you may be looking for:
1. Connect with old friends and family so you can be a part of your community. Making an active effort to see people you didn’t see enough last year is an easy way to improve from the past and remind the people in your life how important they are. If you’re far from home, setting up a video chat or phone call can make all the difference to those who might be missing you!
2. Set aside time for hobbies. It’s easy to push our hobbies to the side when school gets hectic, but having activities to work on outside of class helps relieve a lot of studying-related stress and can help your emotional wellbeing.
3. Try new ways to get organized. Scribbling your class schedule on a piece of scrap paper may have been your way of life last year, but there’s always room for improvement when it comes to organization. Colour-coding your classes, getting an agenda from your student union or using a wall calendar can make all the difference in your student success.
4. Say thank you for the unexpected things. Thank your teachers for a thoughtful lesson, your friends for their creativity, your family for their comforting recipes and the people in your community for things they’ve done for you, big or small. It only takes a minute to send a thank you text or email, and a little positive reinforcement goes a long way!
5. Don’t forget to take breaks. Everyone needs a little vacation, and the winter holidays are a great time to get away and have some fun after the fall semester. It’s not too late to register for a Winter Birthright Israel trip!
Most importantly, remember that resolutions for the new year are not promises – don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t save up for that new car or quit eating sugar. A resolution is something to work towards, not a promise!