With our brothers and sisters in Israel under attack, please consider choosing one of the items below to strengthen. In that merit, may God bring peace to Israel and the world.
Generally, the things we do on a regular basis define us and determine whether our lives are full of meaning and fulfillment. Ironically, often this category gets pushed to the side and we give priority to the errands and distractions which come up each day.
This daily checklist helps us pay attention to the constants in our lives, the things that are always important. Read over this checklist and see which items you already do. Congratulate yourself for engaging in these important activities. Then, choose one that you do not yet do and are motivated to start doing; make it a daily priority (or at least a weekly priority). Once that becomes a habit, choose another. Over time, you will be able to check off daily each item on this list (although the time spent on a given item will vary per day).
Many of the 10 items below are discussed in greater detail in my other articles.
Between us and ourselves:
1. Focus on my good points. The things about me and what I’ve done that I’m proud of. With God’s help, using my strengths, I will overcome the challenges of today and become a better person.
(If you have accomplished anything on this checklist yesterday, that is reason enough to compliment yourself.)
2. Take care of my health. Eat healthy, exercise and get enough sleep.
Between us and our fellow:
3. Do not harm financially. Do my best not to hurt people financially.
(Ways you may have harmed others financially include: Being late in agreed upon payments, withholding monies belonging to others, not keeping your word or taking advantage of people. If you realize you have harmed someone financially, as soon as possible, make amends and ask for forgiveness.)
4. Do not harm emotionally. Do my best not to hurt people emotionally or cause them distress in any way.
(Ways you may have harmed others include: Being hyper-critical, yelling at them, ridiculing what they did, making hurtful comments, ignoring them or speaking negatively about them. If you realize you have harmed someone emotionally, as soon as possible, ask for forgiveness.)
5. Do acts of kindness. Help others as best I can.
(Look for ways to help others, e.g., volunteering, giving someone emotional or material support, advice, or helping someone find a job, a spouse or a needed resource. In addition, show others appreciation, consideration, and interest, and give them warm greetings, compliments, and encouragement. )
6. Nourish a relationship. Spend time connecting with at least one person in my life.
(Often, you will want to spend some time each day, nourishing a few close relationships. Remember, it is quality, not quantity. When you are with these people, be with them; put on hold all distractions.)
Between us and God:
7. Speak to God. Talk to God and connect with Him throughout the day.
(Three ways to do this: (1) Recite daily at least one prayer with intention. (2) Thank God for what is going well in your life and ask for His help with challenges. (3) Tell God that you know He guides every aspect of your life for your highest good, but you need His help to really believe that. )
8. Study Torah. Study God’s Torah during a set time.
(There are many areas of Torah to study, find one you are currently most drawn to. You can study from a book, read an online article, attend a class, listen to recorded lectures during your commute or while exercising, or study with a partner.)
9. Avoid spiritual pollution. Do my best to stay away from temptation and spiritual pollution.
(For example, as best you can, stay away from morally loose environments and be discriminating in what you read, watch and listen to, avoiding that which harms you spiritually. See, “4 Ways to Safeguard Your Moral Purity.”)
10. Observe the Torah. Observe the Torah, as best I can, and repent when I lapse.
(The Torah contains God’s wisdom for living, and the opportunity to observe the Torah is a primary reason He created us. Observance is not all or nothing; the more you observe, the more you benefit, in both obvious and hidden ways. Pick a particular area in which you are motivated to strengthen your observance.)
Looking over these 10 items, which one will you start doing today?
For a one page version of this checklist to put on your fridge or desk, click here.