How to Set Yourself Up for a Great Year


As we stand at the threshold of the Jewish New Year, a time when our cosmic contract is renewed, we have the opportunity to begin the year with a new mindset, one that is not polluted by the anxieties of the past year. Furthermore, the New Year is called Rosh Hashana for a reason. “Rosh” means head. The day is not just the beginning of the year. It is also the head of the year. And like a head, Rosh Hashana is the “central nervous system” that controls and regulates all the days of the year (like the mind that governs all the parts of the body). This means that your new attitude on Rosh Hashana has the power to affect and draw in new energy throughout the entire upcoming year. Here are three ways to start drawing that positive energy down for yourself.

Take a Step Back to Focus on the Big Picture

One way to begin is to take a step back from your life, and look at the bigger picture. All challenges can seem daunting at face value. All monsters look frightening from close-up. When we rise up and look at things with a birds-eye view, most adversaries don’t appear that threatening.

Instead of being overwhelmed by the myopic ground level view, Rosh Hashana, when our contract is renewed, behooves us to go back to the point of departure and focus on the reason we are here in the first place. When you have wandered off course, the wisest thing to do is to retrace your steps and return to the point prior to getting lost. The good news is that a new year is upon us, rife with many new possibilities. If we only allow ourselves to pull ourselves a bit back and out from our enmeshed lives, we can transcend many of our doubts, and see new opportunities, as an old reality gives way to a new one.

Seek What Makes You Uniquely Human

Beyond all the complexity of life, beyond all our jaded experiences, beyond all the clutter and noise, we each have within our souls a very quiet place – a soft and gentle voice – a beautiful core whose pleasantness we can behold; an inner sanctum which we can regularly visit. This is who you are at your purest core. This is what you looked like when you were a newborn child.

And this is the place we return to every Rosh Hashana, when we celebrate the collective birthday of the human race. We are part dust, part spirit – a body and a soul. On this day each year we return to our origins: Not the dust part, but the spirit – the dimensions that makes us uniquely human.

Review and Realign Your Activities

Now is the time to review and realign your activities. As a new unprecedented energy enters your life in this New Year, open yourself up to looking at your life in a new way, offering new possibilities. Instead of seeing yourself as a product (or victim) of your past — of last year’s circumstances, look up and act differently. Act like a new person, and you will see yourself as a new person. Instead of seeing yourself a a material being, connect with your soul. If you are too immersed in your material job, now is the time to introduce spirituality into your life. Find ways to use your work to help make the world a better place. Volunteer your time and skills to virtuous causes. Infuse your work with a refined sense of ethics. Be a good person.

Exercise: Review the things you are involved in and see how you can connect then to a higher purpose. Journal about it in your MyMLC journal.


Go deeper into this subject: Rosh Hashanah: New Year | Rosh Hashanah: One Request | Labor Day | A  Blessing from Simon Jacobson for Renewal

Live with Rabbi Simon Jacobson
Bored? Trapped? How to Rejuvenate Your Life
Wednesday, September 13, 2023 @8:30pm
Live Stream | Podcast

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Marilyn Benson
4 years ago

the podcasts are very helpful. even reading the written posts as listenable items would make them more accessible to me

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