You can do anything (but you can’t do everything)

I love it when a month starts on a Monday. It’s nerdy, but there’s nothing like kicking off a new day, a new week, and a new month at once.

We all like to get a lot done with our time, and we all know the frustration of failing to live up to that ambition. If you set a lot of goals, and you try to back them up with good habits, then you know the pain of falling off the wagon.

Committing to a week of exercise often turns into waiting for Monday, when you can give yourself a second chance. Challenging yourself to chart a month of spending turns into waiting for the first of the next month — and saying that this time, you mean it.

It’s a good thing to have goals, and to know your priorities. But it’s also easy to overextend yourself, and to make a bunch of promises you can’t keep, even if only to yourself.

A day like today is appealing, because it feels like a chance to start from scratch on several goals at once. I’ve been looking forward to this one especially; I’m working through a lot of my own challenges lately, and I could use a fresh start.

But there’s nothing fresh about making the same mistakes again and again. The challenge of a day like today, when it feels like you can do anything, is to recognize you can’t do everything.

Today, I’ll try to do what I can. Tomorrow, I’ll try to do more. I’ll try to stay present, and to be honest with myself about whether whatever I’m doing is the best use of my energy. When it’s time to slow down, I’ll slow down.

I’m looking forward to it, and I wish you luck in trying it yourself. It feels like the best way to reconnect with what matters, and an opportunity to do more by doing less.