The KISS Principle


April showers = high grass

A quote often repeated and occasionally attributed to Albert Einstein is: The Definition of Insanity is continuing to do the same thing and expecting different results. This flows along with my last Power of 10 post talking about waiting for things to change. On their own. I am beginning to see, feel and experience the results of efforts I have been making to simplify and reduce physical, financial and emotional clutter in my life. I am spending more time weighing options and planning (or in Contemplation and Preparation for those who speak MI). By slowing down, staying focused and trying to avoid adding things to my plate I am experiencing real results.

What really helps is when I apply the KISS Principle, that is, Keep It Simple, Stupid. When I over-think or make overly elaborate plans, either nothing happens or there are too many steps and I quit. I’ve been studying organized people and learned they make lists. WOW! I am using a notebook to write down my plans and ideas. I am going back to check these and see what is done and needs doing BEFORE adding more to my agenda.

In January I started using an Excel format to track my finances. As a visual Learner, this means I see my fixed expenses and watch progress. I’m meeting goals to pay down debt and have a family vacation. This is actually working. I am less stressed. Who knew having a plan works?!? Planning also helps me close the gap between Motivation and Effort that brings me Success.

So, for the end of April these are my 10:
1. I will KISS away my habit of putting things off until I have “time” to do it. Well, I have the same 24 hours each day that we all have. Right now this means working each day on a section of tax records – childcare, medical and business expenses – to be done by May 5th.
2. I will KISS away some money chaos by closing out one of my 2 checking accounts. One person, one bank. I have to pay off a credit line to do this. Also an act of self-care.
3. I will KISS away another lingering issue with “letting go” because I save useless stuff. My inbox was almost 900 e-mails. I used the Outlook tool to sort by sender then deleted over 300 e-mails. Some back to 2011! That’s a 30% reduction in 45 minutes. Why was I holding on?
4. I will KISS away another piece of my Insanity issues with time and clutter. I will mail the last few holiday greeting cards. I know – its April! A truth we’ve all heard is: Better late than never.
5. I will KISS away future clutter by not taking on something I don’t need. Ask: Is it a need or a want? How does it help me? Yesterday I was dumpster diving a shabby chic dresser and mirror from the curb. I stopped my car. I made space. I moved 2 drawers into the Volvo. I stopped. I took the drawer out. I closed the door. I left. Hooray!
6. I will KISS away too many plans for next week. Have you heard “Failing to plan is planning to fail?” I am going to be a solo parent while my kids’ dad recovers from surgery. So, 1) I will make sure I know my kids’ afterschool activities, 2) I will plan meals, shop groceries and prep, and 3) I will plan to go to sleep 30 minutes earlier each night. I think this is called Getting Ahead of the Game or The Best Defense is Good Offense.
7. I will KISS away some stress by adding walking to my routine. What is simpler than a walk? It is a known stress reducer & anti-depressant, especially morning light. I found out in California that I was able to do some hiking. My dogs and kids will enjoy this, too! Win-Win-Win.
8. I will KISS away some physical pain doing self-care while I binge on HGTV. Aaron told me about how he gets relief from back pain and with foam rollers and stretching. My hips, calves and legs have been hurting from sciatica. Self-care may lead to fewer doctor appointments and OTCs. Plus, time I already have on the couch could replace time I spend at the chiropractor – about 6 hours each month.
9. I will KISS away some more clutter – this time visual clutter outside my house. I will get rid of scrap metal and bring out my containers for gardening. I will make sure my grass gets cut. With the rain, parts of my lawn are over 12” high! I will get my 15 year-old behind the lawn mower.
10. I will KISS away some negative by eating fresh foods this weekend – Spring has such wonderful tastes of artichokes, berries, asparagus, lamb and green salad. I’ll make a fresh soup for my lunches next week.

Besides the Definition of Insanity, I included a few phrases we’ve all heard like “The Best Defense is a Good Offense” and “Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail.” These phrases are simple reminders that I can substitute for negative self-talk. Shaming myself never helps. These phrases are repeated because they are true for many people. While I am unique, this gives me a sense of community.

Peace be with you,
Dr. Catherine