Andy Williams (yes, that Andy Williams — the sweater-loving crooner) wrote the words we all know and even sing but too often don’t really live.

Ask 100 people to describe in just one word their own December and Christmas season and you’ll undoubtedly hear words like: rushed, chaotic, stressful, busy, and demanding. Very few, if any people, will say, as Mr. Williams sang, that it’s “wonderful”.

(photo courtesy of Pinterest)

So many of us are busy shopping and buying and ordering and wrapping; grocery shopping and cooking and cleaning; and rushing to and fro picking up last-minute necessities, attending parties and programs, and simply hustling and bustling through this season of the year.

Even if we pause now and then to soak in the beauty and wonder of this most-precious season, those moments are all-too rare and fleeting for many of us.

So when you read the next paragraph, you might be tempted to stop reading, to say “I don’t have time right now to think about that!”  But give me just a few minutes of your very-busy day; I believe I have something to offer that just might help you as we approach Christmas and, just  seven days later, a new year.

Once Christmas is past, we turn our attention to New Years and to New Years resolutions. I don’t know about you, but I quit making New Years resolutions about 10 years ago. I had been horrible at keeping them anyway, I reasoned, so what was the point?

But about 4 years ago, I came to the end of the year feeling unsettled, out of focus, and somewhat rudderless. My mode of living was reactive; I spent the vast majority of my time just going through the motions, responding to outside circumstances without much thought, and as a result, the precious gift of that previous year had not been very productive.

I decided to make some changes, but I knew that a set of lofty resolutions weren’t for me, so I came up with a plan. No resolutions, no lofty goals that looked great on paper but were nearly impossible for me to sustain for a long enough period to make any real difference.  A simple and very fun plan.

And then I put it into practice for one year.

It worked! I was more successful some months than others, some days more than others. Overall, though, at the end of that year I looked back with a sense of accomplishment and peace. And yes, it felt wonderful!

Just as importantly, I learned so much that year about a topic that had for the previous 8 or so years become dear to my heart — reacting positively to a major life change through life redesign.

It’s the topic I had planned to write about when I started this blog several years ago. But I wasn’t ready several years ago. I had to live through the process myself for several years before I could write about it. As a result, the blog floundered, I wrote in fits and spurts, trying to make it work. And it really didn’t.

But that was all part of the process, as I can see now.

So what does that mean? It means I’m ready now. I’m ready to focus on life redesign after a major (positive or negative) life change. I’m committed to sharing with you every Wednesday something that can help you make needed or wanted changes in your life.

I hope you’ll join me and be an active participant in my little blog this coming year. I hope you’ll subscribe so you don’t miss any posts but that you’ll come here and share your own thoughts and experiences. I also hope you’ll share this post with your friends.

Next Wednesday I’ll be sharing an exciting opportunity for you. It won’t cost you a single penny, you won’t have to download or purchase a single thing, and it involves something designed to help you — and me — redesign our lives so that at the end of 2019 each one of us can look back at the previous 12 months and say it really was a wonderful — and fun and productive — year.

I do have one little assignment for you. It might take you a minutes; it might take you a bit longer than that. But however much time you invest, I ask that you do it thoughtfully, with deliberation and intention.  Before next Wednesday, write down the answer to the following prompt:

          List, in order, the priorities that you want to guide your daily life.

In other words, don’t look back at how you prioritize things now and how you allot your time and resources now. Instead, what are your true priorities, the ones you want to live by.

Once you’ve come up with your list, I hope you’ll share something about it with us via a comment here on the blog. Your list itself may be very private, and I understand that. Perhaps you’d like to share how this little activity went for you (was it harder than you expected? easier?), or perhaps you’d like to share something to help or motivate others who are thinking about their own priorities. Or perhaps you feel comfortable sharing your actual list.

Whatever you feel comfortable sharing, I hope you’ll do so through a comment.

And don’t forget to check back next Wednesday. I’ll share my own list and an exciting announcement!

(photo courtesy of Pinterest)