The Power of new beginnings

Benny Katzenberg, Ettie Yamey, Henny Bernstein, Estelle Pillemar and Rhona Handler

As we start the new year and plan for a variety of things — some minor and others having far reaching effects — the first couple of weeks of the Jewish calendar allow each of us to reflect and plan.

Humans, it seems, are attracted to the power of new beginnings. Scientists call the dates to which we assign such beginnings ‘temporal landmarks’. 

Many of us start the year — the secular or Jewish year — with plans. The chances are that within eight days you will have given up on your New Year’s resolution, or your enthusiasm will be fading fast. By the eighth day 25 percent of people who made resolutions have failed to keep them. By the end of year, fewer than 10 percent of resolutions will have been kept. Some psychologists point to willpower as the culprit. We only have so much energy to put to new endeavours. As the day-to-day grind of new obligations pile on, we lose our motivation to reach the goal we set at the beginning of the year.

Plans and goals soar on the first day of the year by 80 percent. They also spike on the first day of every month and the first day of every week. Something about days that represented ‘firsts’ switches on people’s motivation. 

By opening a new mental account, we can close the books on the past and open a fresh start. We are mentally reborn, ready to take on a new challenge. 

Here’s the fascinating part: According to career analysist, Daniel Pink’s research, Instilling an otherwise ordinary day with personal meaning generates the power to activate new beginnings. Although the first day of the year is usually assigned a special meaning, we actually have the power to do that all year long. 86 days in the year have been earmarked as days when we can make a fresh start. The most effective include: Mondays (52), the first day of the month (12), and the first day of each season (4). The list also includes national celebrations, religious holidays, your birthday, the first day of school, the first day of a new job, anniversaries, and the day you finish a big project.

How to ensure you get the most out of your year

Every year, just before the beginning of the new year, one should take stock of where you’ve gone with your goals that you had for the year that you are completing and where you would like to be by the end of the year that is about to begin. Make sure that there is time to refresh and gain perspective before the year begins.

Understanding this mental hack is a powerful tool. Build fresh starts into your marketing. Send your customers reminders or specials on their birthdays. If you own a bakery or restaurant, mark every start of a new season with a special event and products unique to that time of year. Attract customers who also look for new beginnings.

This is not only for those in business. You can take heed of this advice in your personal life too. Supposing you have a rough beginning to the first quarter of the new year. Rather than waiting until the next quarter, an obvious fresh start date to smooth out the bad start, find a meaningful moment occurring sooner — to get back on track with a positive attitude — change your goals and ideas which will certainly fuel a creative burst of energy.

This reflection and planning can be used in every aspect of your life. Use every fresh start to celebrate victories, acknowledge past mistakes or weaknesses so that each year is better than the previous one.

Diana Sochen Executive Director 

A little giggle on travelling
I have been in many places, but I have never been in Kahoots. 
Apparently you can’t go alone. You have to be in Kahoots with someone. I have also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognises you there. I have, however, been in Sane. They don’t have an airport, you have to be driven there. 
I have made several trips there to my children, friends, family, family and work. I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I‘m not too much on physical activity anymore. I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place go to, and I try not to visit there too often. I have been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm. Sometimes I’m in Capable, and I go there more often as I’m getting older. One of my favourite places to be is in Suspense! It really gets the adrenaline flowing and pumps up the old heart! At my age, I need all the stimuli I can get. I may have been in Continent, but I don’t remember what country that was in. It’s an age thing. They tell me it is very wet and damp there. 
Life is too short for negative drama and petty things. So laugh insanely, love truly and forgive quickly!

Social and Personal
Sadie Graziani — great-grandson 
Special Birthdays
Ella Blumenthal
Dinky Braun
Merle Shapiro 
Anita Stoch — grandson
Esther Swartz — granddaughter
Averil and Malcolm Lee — 50th
We extend our sincere condolences to our members who have lost family members:
Nora Chin — partner, Hans Kahn
Edie Busch — nephew 
Pam Koonin — partner, Benny
Doreen Kantor — son, Jeff
We welcome New Members to the CJSA family:
Vivienne Basckin, Ralph Bub

Special events for September
Twilight Suppers
Sea Point 10 September Debra Barnes of the Two Oceans Marathon Organisation R70
Milnerton 12 September Stuart Diamond, Director SAJBD R70
Wynberg 18 Debra Barnes of the Two Oceans Marathon Organisation
Sea Point 3 September Cape Quarter R30
18 September Pyjamas and Jam Restaurant, Strand R40
25 September Company Gardens R30
Milnerton 24 September Kirstenbosch Gardens R30
Wynberg 9 September Pyjamas and Jam Restaurant, Strand R40
16 September Grand West R30
23 September Cape Quarter R30
West Coast 10 September Cape Quarter R30
Men’s Schmooze
Sea Point 17 September Stuart Diamond R10
Milnerton 5 September Hessel Meilach R10
Wynberg 11 September Stuart Diamond R10

Save the Date New Pathways for Ageing Seminar
CJSA Biennial Seminar — Wednesday 6 November
R350 includes teas and lunch

To read the full version of this month’s Chronicle in PDF, click here

To read the editor’s column for this issue, click here

To read the most read story of last month, click here


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here