Friday, December 30, 2016
Everywhere I look, I find people eager to begin the new year. My inbox is flooded with offers to help me set goals, get organized, and accomplish more in 2017 than ever before.
We love a fresh start, don't we?
Yet January 1 is just the next day on the calendar. It will be the start of something new only if we put an end to something old.
Here's what I need to put aside before I can begin anew:
Wasting time. As much as I hate to admit it, this has been a big problem for me in 2016. At first I was puzzled about it, because this is a new problem. I never used to waste time!
Finally I realized that I didn't waste time in other seasons of my life simply because there was never any time to waste. When I had small children, a house to keep on a tight budget, and a small business to run, I had to steward my resources--including time--very carefully. These days I have fewer constraints on my resources, and I confess I've been wasteful of them.
Good stewardship requires great intentionality. To stop wasting time, I've got to understand what I mean to do and stop allowing myself to be distracted by activities that add no value to my life or others' lives.
Wanting credit. This is a big one for me, although I've only recently realized it. I'll be very happy working, serving, doing things for others, and then bam! I'll be hit with a wave of self-pity when no one recognizes my contributions.
How often have I read that there is no limit to what can be accomplished if you don't care who gets the credit for it? (The actual quotation is from Charles Edward Montague, the English essayist: "There is no limit to what a man can do so long as he does not care a straw who gets the credit for it.")
The inverse of that is also true, I've learned: there's very little that can be accomplished if you care too much who gets the credit for it. I need to kick this habit to the curb.
Comparing myself to others. I'm pretty sure that I struggle with this one more than anyone I've ever known--although of course I'd have to do a careful comparison in order to be sure. Ack! I'm determined to get to the bottom of this one. As a matter of fact, I've been doing a careful study of why I'm so prone to comparison and how I can change.
I want to be free of the shackles of comparison.
As I look forward to the fireworks of celebrating a new year, I know that I need to put the old year behind me. Doing that is going to require hard work on my part and a lot of help from God.
What about you? What are the old habits you need to bid good-bye so that you can embrace the new?