Many of you already know what this acronym stands for--in case you don't, it reminds us to "Keep It Simple Stupid." Sorry about that last word--not my creation, so I cannot take the liberty of changing it. If you prefer more positive language, replace the last "s" with something like...well, it may be harder than you think....Santa, Stella, silly, spectacular me, super star...you get the idea. The phrase was actually created by Kelly Johnson, an aircraft engineer for the Navy, in the 60's. His beliefs: unnecessary complexity should be avoided, and systems work best when they are kept in their most basic form. This concept isn't limited to airplane design--it applies to human life as well.
I encourage you in these last weeks of 2017, to try to live a little more like this acronym suggests. How can you simplify your life, one baby step at a time? If you are anything like me, and tend to use the all or nothing method of approaching new behaviors, attitudes or practices, you may also experience little benefit. Why? it is too much! Too much change, too much effort, too much discipline, and too much focus on the end result. We forget that the value lies in each step, and not solely on the end result.
Over the past year, I have tried to focus on taking baby steps/making small changes here and there; breaking things down into manageable, digestible pieces, in all that I do. It requires patience (not my strong suit), and sometimes the desired outcome occurs more slowly than I want, but I'll be danged; the approach works amazingly well. I have more balance, less stress and an overall sense of well being--more consistently. I find that I slow down and listen more attentively, and experience more genuine moments in my days, because I am not rushing to squeeze more in. Of course I fall down the rabbit hole some days, but now I am able recognize it happening, and simply begin again. That is progress!
The seemingly small actions we take--the simple ones that seem too easy to make a difference are exactly where you want to begin; especially in these over busy--over stimulating weeks ahead. Can you gracefully decline an invitation or schedule a get together in the new year, and spend an evening at home with your peeps? Can you bake a little less and instead go for a walk or get some extra sleep? Can you delegate a few tasks or ask for help? Often people are just waiting for the invitation to contribute. Have you hugged your spouse or kid lately? Have you had a walk, stretch or a good read? Seriously, we get so busy, that we forget to take care of the simple things....often, the personal and relational interactions that keep us connected and fill our bucket. Make time to fill your bucket-any amount of time is beneficial!
I encourage you to close your computer or put down your pen etc., take a few quality breaths--breathing in peace and calm, and exhaling out all (fill in the blank) tension, stress, etc. Repeat if necessary, and then take one small action toward simplifying your hour, day, week, etc. I encourage you start right now in this present moment and take a simple action or two each day, and then see what you notice.