If I have a bad habit of coming late to shul or to yeshiva what can I do to improve?
First of all, if you come late because you go to sleep late, then the first thing to do is to make sure you start going to sleep early. You must get sleep – it’s of utmost importance to get enough sleep. And then make sure that you have an alarm clock to get you up.
Now, in case that doesn’t help, make a neder – listen to me because you can use this eitzah for other bad habits as well – make a neder that the first time that you come late will cost you fifty dollars to a tzedakah that you don’t like. If you’re a Satmerer make a neder that you’ll give fifty dollars to the Lubavitcher Yeshiva – and vice versa. Just one time – not forever. But trust me, you’re going to keep putting off that first time. You’ll make sure to get up on time in the morning for fifty dollars. If, chas vi’shalom, you are oiver you’ll have to give fifty dollars that week. Don’t delay! And then you’ll take another neder that if it happens again, the first time it’ll cost you another fifty dollars. Little by little, I guarantee that you’ll stop coming late.
TAPE # E-231 (April 2000)