Title: Upgrades: Life Changing Habits for the Jewish Woman
By Chaya Fried
Do you want to go or grow through everyday life? If you answered the latter, Upgrades: Life Changing Habits for the Jewish Woman, by Chaya Fried, is the book for you!
In seeking new 30-day challenges to try out and integrate, often we don’t even know where to begin! In the preface, the author describes how she wrote this book “to give Jewish women everywhere a smorgasbord of ideas” for personal growth. The book is divided by the months of the Jewish calendar; every month has a unique theme. For example, the chapter on Elul focuses on personal growth, Tishrei focuses on davening. Then after an intense month of yomim tovim, Cheshvan focuses on habits related to routines and organization. Different ideas will speak to different women. For instance, the chapter on Teves focuses on self-care. Some of the ideas for habits to achieve in this chapter include: sleep 7-8 hours every night, get 30 minutes of outdoor time each day, write down positive affirmations each day, and exercise every day.
The back of the book contains a template for tracking progress. One can set up and track a goal based on the 4 P’s: Pick, Plan, Pledge, and Program. First, pick a goal. Next, plan when you will complete the goal, how you will do it, with whom you will complete the goal, and a backup plan. Then, in the pledge area, you will create the set up and accountability for meeting the goal. Finally, in the program area, you will chart your daily progress for 30 days.
There is no right or wrong way to use this book. You can choose to start with the current month, or pick a month that focuses on an area that you’re interested in improving in. Some ideas demand more coordination of people and resources than others, i.e., scrapbooking family memories, a family photoshoot, etc. Others only require simple reminders on your phone or sticky notes, i.e., saying a perek of Tehillim every day, drinking 8-10 cups of water daily, etc.
If you pick up one new habit each month, imagine how well-rounded you will be in one year from the time you start!