Goal setting and completion is important and is an exercise that can give life meaning and purpose. Jews feel accomplished when they have completed a year's Torah reading cycle as it is no small task to navigate these complex Five Books of Moses. Reading the Torah can be thrilling, disturbing, enlightening, boring, and comforting all at once. But we have to ask if the purpose of reading the Torah, or of completing any worthy goal for that matter, is about the completion of the task or is it about what you discover along the way?
Martin Buber wrote, "All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware." You think you know why you are marrying someone, or why you took that job or why you are buying a house. But you may be unaware of the hidden rewards, or secret destinations, of the endeavor. Being present to those unexpected revelations along the way shines light on the true meaning and purpose of our journey.
Instead of concentrating on what you will get done this year, focus on how you will feel doing it. Instead of asking "What am I going to do?" ask "Who will I be when I do it?" Our spiritual health and well being is nurtured with this as our kavannah/intention and when our soul is enriched, we are better equipped to bring our material goals to fruition.
During our holiday Simkhat Torah/Joy of Torah, we finished the Torah, acknowledging loss with the death of Moses. And then we immediately turned to the beginning to celebration Creation once again. So just as we danced and rejoiced on Simkhat Torah, let's join our heads and our hearts and our feet and dance together into the new year, open and welcoming of the secret destinations we come to along the way.