Echoes of Elul Day 11: New Beginnings

By Mitchell Cohen

Years ago, a close friend, who is a much more observant Jew than me, asked what I was up to. I gave him the standard response we give all of our friends, “All good.” We talked some more and I shared that family, work, health, everything was just fine. This friend wasn’t content with that answer and shared with me that sitting still, or not advancing, is the same as moving backwards. I did a little bit of research and learned that we humans need to move forward in spirituality every day. I gleaned from Zechariah 3:7, “If you walk in my ways and safeguard my charge, I shall permit you movement among these immobile (angels.)”

This past year, I joined another book group, this time, with work colleagues. It was a Covid-thing, whatever that means. We assigned books and chapters, the same way we’d tackle a project for work. I found the most impactful book we read to be “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. It was fascinating to arrive at the realization that small things, atomic in size, would eventually result in big changes.

So, I started doing little things, like push-ups and stretches immediately after waking-up in the morning. What happened? The hip pain that I had always experienced, especially after a long drive, disappeared.

I also started drinking a giant glass of water first thing in the morning, walking the dog and listening to news podcasts, spending at least 10 minutes a day practicing guitar, and setting other exercise goals.

Recently, I took on the goal of studying for an industry certification. The material was daunting and I didn’t have the time. But, I carved out time between 5 and 6am, every day, to study and will take the test before February, 2023.

There’s an old saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
How do I keep moving forward? I take on more and more “Atomic Habits.”

2 Responses to Echoes of Elul Day 11: New Beginnings

  1. Eileen/Mom September 7, 2022 at 12:12 pm #

    You inspire me to take an ‘atomic bite’. I don’t know what it will be, but as I begin a new decade, and we all begin a new year, it will be a move forward.
    L’shana Tova my boychick –

  2. HJC September 7, 2022 at 3:54 pm #

    So wise for such a young man.