What we need to think about now – in Tishrei 5780 – is Tishrei 5781. That’s what Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira, zt”l – a chassidic Rebbe who was murdered in the Holocaust and left wonderful writings behind – writes. In his personal diary, he penned the following:
“If you would like to worship G-d and elevate yourself so that you won’t be on your 70th birthday what you were on the day of your Bar Mitzvah, please do the following: Every year, set for yourself a goal. If your name is Reuven, for example, imagine what kind of Reuven you will be next year – what will your achievements, your service of G-d, and middot be like in one year from now.
And that imaginary Reuven should be a measuring stick for you to assess yourself throughout the year. How much are you still lacking in order to be that imaginary Reuven? Is your daily service and acts of self-improvement enough to reach the level of next year’s Reuven?”
At the beginning of a year, we have to picture where we want to go, and then we must check whether we have moved forward toward our destination. We have to make sure we grow not only in the number of years but also in quality of years.