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#45 How to Not Waste Your Life This Year

It’s only the second day of the year and we’ve already wasted a lot of it!

Want proof? Just look at how full you’re trash bin is!

In this episode of “Now Is the Time” I’m talking about what you and I can do in order to not waste this new year!


Piles of Waste

Just after Christmas a blizzard blew in from the North and dropped nearly two feet of snow on us in one day. It made driving in town nearly impossible and trash pick-up unthinkable! The picture above shows the results of about 5 days without a trash pick-up.

Here’s the point, we don’t often feel like we are wasting that much time, money or energy because we don’t waste it all at once. We do it little by little. Time keeps us moving forward and it’s rare when a person can reflect on his life and accurately measure the volume of wasted life.

Usually this only happens when people come to the end of their life, when they have little time left. It is then that they look back and regret the waste of the past.

Ponder Your Past

One of the first steps in learning not to waste your life is to spend a little time reviewing your past year. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What activities did I engage in that had little meaning or long-term significance?
  • Where did I lose time because I was distracted by trivial pursuits?
  • Which of my habits or hobbies tend to steal time from me?
  • How much time on average did I spend daily on these meaningless activities?

Now multiply your answer to the last question by 365! What’s your answer?

That should at least give you a rough idea of how much of your life you might be wasting.

Find Your Purpose!

It could be a bit depressing to stop there. Yes, you wasted some of your life last year, we all did. But now let’s think about how we can turn that around.

Before we can decide how to live our lives effectively we must clearly understand our purpose in life. A clear understanding of purpose is the only way to properly evaluate what is waste and what is constructive in our lives.

I like how John Piper puts it in his book “Don’t Waste Your Life”:

“The Bible is crystal-clear: God created us for his glory. Thus says the Lord, “Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory” (Isaiah 43:6-7). Life is wasted when we do not live for the glory of God. And I mean all of life. It is all for his glory. That is why the Bible gets down into the details of eating and drinking. “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). We waste our lives when we do not weave God into our eating and drinking and every other part by enjoying and displaying him.”

Make Resolutions with Purpose

Resolutions are great. The problem is that we so often fail to make resolutions with our purpose in mind. We tend to make self-centered resolutions that focus on our own temporary benefit.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to lose weight, eat healthy or stop smoking. Go for it!

The question is “Why?” What is your goal, what is your motivation, what is the point?

One of the reasons we often break our resolutions is because they lack a significant purpose and thus they also lack motivation.

Start with your purpose, to glorify God and make each of your resolutions an integral part of your life’s God given purpose.


Question: What do habits or activities do you need to change in your life to live out your God given purpose?

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I am a pastor, missionary, and preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Ukraine since 2007. God blessed me with a wonderful wife and 5 amazing children!

My greatest passion is to teach, encourage, and exhort others to turn to Jesus, who is Savior, Lord, and God!

  • Fantastic post, Caleb! We need to concentrate on those core 3-5 goals and avoid the non-essential tasks that only steal our time.

    • There certainly is a lot in life that can distract us from what is important. I like the New Year because it’s a time to step back and evaluate what I’m spending my life on. Blessings to you in 2015 Dan!

      • me too! It allows us to adjust if needed.