This post is about the Jewish month of Shvat, as it relates to The Chazak Plan: A 12 Month Journey to Spiritual Strength.
Rosh Chodesh Shvat begins Friday night, the 27th of January, and lasts for one day.
The 15th of this month is Tu B’Shvat, the New Year for trees. An aspect of this holiday is celebrating and elevating the physical. Part of sanctifying the physical is taking care of the body with which God entrusted you. During this month, choose to upgrade either your sleep, exercise or diet habits.
Pick one change you will make on a daily or regular basis, for at least this month, and using your checklist, track how often you do it. If you find the change very easy, add another one. Some examples: Go to sleep 15-20 minutes earlier each week until you feel refreshed in the morning; exercise 2-3 times a week or go for a daily brisk walk; cut out sugary drinks and/or foods from your diet, limiting them to special occasions. Make water your preferred beverage. Cut back on refined and highly processed foods, eating a more wholesome diet.
A related point of focus for this month is to consider if there is an area of your life where your relationship with the physical has become unbalanced and excessive, e.g., overeating, overspending, overworking, or overuse of the internet or your smartphone. Most of us have at least one area which, at a minimum, wastes our time and takes us away from more fulfilling activities. This month, pick one behavior to rein in and one behavior you would like to do more of instead. Taking back control of how you spend your time will enhance your self-image and you will feel better about yourself.
Questions for the month:
“What will I upgrade this month, my sleep, exercise or diet habits?”
“Is there an area of my life which has become unbalanced and excessive, which at the very least wastes my time? How will I rein it in and regain control?”
“What would I like to do with the new time I free up?”
Take care and may God grant us success in the coming month,