1-4 As Christians we should be looking to the things above for inspiration, guidance, etc., etc. We shouldn't look to this world for answers or help. We need to be looking to Christ. If we claim we are Christians then we are in him, so in him we should be finding what we need.
5-9 Paul doesn't leave anything off this list. If we are in Christ, we should no longer be a part of any of those things from our former life. There should be a difference between the former and now.
10-11 It is all about Christ and who we are in him. It isn't who we were or how the world might define us. We should be defined by Christ alone.
12-14 And it is more than just not being like before. We must be all these things as well. How many times throughout the Gospels do we see Christ demonstrating these characteristics. And one doesn't come without the other. If we are compassionate, then we will also be kind, gentle, and patient. And isn't love the thing that summarizes all those characteristics?
While we may mess up on this walk that we call the Christian life, we must keep trying. We must keep striving to put God first and to put away all those things of the old life. We must work at becoming more Christlike, more loving. There are people in our life that test on this. There are situations in our life that test us on this. However in those things that we are facing, let's take some time to stop and ask, "What has Christ already done for me?" When we answer this question, I'm willing to bet we no longer find any reason we should be continually failing the tests life throws at us.
Sometimes it is difficult to be doing the right things and saying the right things and thinking the right things. Let's not forget to take a step back and remember why those are the right things and try again to get it right.