Yom Kippur, the Jewish High Holiday, began Tuesday at sunset and continues through today at nightfall. Jews throughout the world will observe this day, also called the Day of Atonement.
From the evening of October 2 to the evening of October 4, Rosh Hashanah was celebrated as the Jewish New Year. This two-day holiday is followed by additional days ending with Yom Kippur, all of which are called the Ten Days of Repentance, or, the Days of Awe.
Yom Kippur is observed most commonly by not working, attending services in the synagogue, fasting from sundown to sundown, and most importantly, reflecting on the past year and asking for forgiveness or pardon for any sins. The day emphasizes personal responsibility for one’s actions.
Even if you are not Jewish, the concept of this Day of Atonement can be an inspiration. After all, how often do you make the time to sit and be introspective about your life? What if you had a New Year that was in September or October that prepared you for a fresh start? Why not, we ask?
Every December 31 we celebrate New Year’s Eve and then New Year’s Day with a party (or at least watching the ball drop) and New Year’s resolutions. We feel renewed, and hopeful! But that feeling can be generated any time of the year.
Take October to examine your life. Are you in balance? When it comes to family, friends, work, health, money, spiritual and other major segments of your life – are you happy with what you have created? Are you taking personal responsibility for your actions – and your results?
Whether it is mid-October or December 31, it is always a good time to examine your goals. Are they still as valid and obtainable as when you first set them (and hopefully, wrote them down?) It has been said that we don’t go straight toward our goals…sometimes it is more of a zig-zag path. That is ok, as long as you are making forward progress. If some of your goals are not working any more or need to be adjusted, why not take a few days and create an updated plan? Shake it up! Look at things from the top, the bottom and the sides – and brainstorm! You’ll feel motivated, the introspection may give you new ideas, and you will lessen the stress that you may have placed on yourself just because the end of the calendar year is nearing!
You can create a “new year” at any time. Pause. Examine. Regroup. And thank the High Holidays for the idea!