Friday, December 30

Out with the old

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?


  1. A truly great post to start the new year out with...and I can SO relate! Thank you for your wise words and Happy New Year, Richella! ♥

  2. What a wise post to start the year. Your honesty always inspires me. The first one...wise stewardship of time really hit me hard. I retired from 31 years of teaching a couple of years ago and then was hit with the loss of a parent and then moved my mom to be near me a year ago. I let all that throw me for a loop with time management. While those are all good excuses, it is just that an excuse. I have to do better with my time management and quit "just thinking" on what I need to do. Thanks for sharing!!!

  3. Oh, and a wonderful Bible Study on comparison is the one by Sandra Stanley. A very easy read and a free app with her talks on it make it a great study.

  4. This post really caught my attention. I was telling my husband only this morning that I do not seem to be getting much done. I have taught school all my adult life, had three children, and flipped houses at the same time.

    Compared to my younger life, don't seem to get much done. My husband keeps reminding me that I am retired and that I do not need to do anything. The guilt still lingers in my mind.

    I enjoyed your transparency and wise advice. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  5. You always seem to have the best attitude about life!....Happy New Year Richella!!!

  6. This is a pondering post. I will need to think of what to get rid of so I can make changes. Thanks for your honesty and the intentionality behind this post! I always enjoy reading what you write! I consider you an online friend! Happy New Year!

  7. I'm just now getting to your post Richella because I've not been writing (or catching up on blogs) much lately. I can relate to all three of the areas you've struggled with but the first one you mentioned is making life quite frustrating. Being an empty-nester is grand but my days can be so random. When I wasn't allowed to wholly choose the pace or direction of my day I moved mountains but now I seem to only get behind. I have a brand new calendar/planner that I received for Christmas and it is time to schedule a day on it where I can sit down and make a regular plan for my days. I know of other bloggers that do that and they are amazing! Oops! That sounds like a bit of comparison!
    Anyway, be encouraged. You are someone I admire greatly and you impart light to all who read your words.
    Blessings to you in 2017,


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