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how to: (jewish) new year’s resolutions and s.m.a.r.t. goals!

Updated: Feb 12, 2019

A goal without a plan is just a wish – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) begins on Sunday, September 9 at sundown. And this means that as a Jew, I have the opportunity to write not one but two sets of New Year’s resolutions. Today I want to help you set a S.M.A.R.T. goal that you can and will follow through on!

Since 2013, I have taken part in a project called 10Q, which emails you a question a day for 10 days (the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur). Afterwards, you send your answers to the secure online vault. One year later, your answers are unlocked and returned and the process begins anew. Yesterday I received my answers.

One of my favorite questions asked is: How would you like to improve yourself and your life next year? Is there a piece of advice or counsel you received in the past year that could guide you? Self-improvement is all well and good but without a plan, it remains a wish. If I wanted to say become organized, without a plan that would remain a lofty goal.

First, what does that mean to become organized? Do you want to organize your home? Your personal life? Your work space? And what are steps you can take to achieve that goal? Your goals need to smart: S.M.A.R.T.

Sample Goal Setting

Specific: my goal is to organize my paper files (even if you're paperless, you still need some paper and you should have it accessible).

Measurable: I'm going to take a Sunday and go through all the paperwork I have. Within this goal there are a number of smaller tasks. Here is how I would go about it: separate all paperwork into piles based on category (put a post it next to the piles so that you remember what's what); create a shred pile for paperwork with sensitive information and a recycling for regular trash; have a to do list for things you find that need to be taken care of and put them in a to do pile; create file labels based on how you'll think to look for each item; put papers in files and back in drawer (if you don't have a filing cabinet, think about going for a file bin.

Achievable: It's not going to be easy but getting a start on it will help me feel more in control of my life. I need to know where my tax paperwork is, the lease for my apartment, my insurance documents, etc.

Realistic: This will not take me an hour and it will not be fun (unless I'm a crazy person like Tori) but it needs to be done so that I can protect myself and my family members in case of emergency.

Timely: I will do this in the next 4 weekends. I have time on Sunday afternoons. I'm going to have a friend check in with me to see if I've done what I said I'd do.

Getting organized is a great goal and like most goals, it has steps. Figure out which step is most important to you and start there. Follow the format of S.M.A.R.T. goals to keep you on track and let me know how it goes!

Try my tips and tricks above and let me know how it goes! You can email me at and follow me on Instagram @toritheorganizer.


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