Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

One of my favorite expressions is “KISS”, which stands for “Keep It Simple Stupid”. I, of course, am always the last “S”.  It is a principle that has a lot of applications, believe it or not.  I used the principle when playing golf, in my law practice, and it has an application at the end of the year, other than its more traditional “kiss” which is a custom on New Year’s Eve.

The principle of KISS is straightforward.  It suggests that if one simplifies the task in front of you into simple steps, you can accomplish a lot.  If you attempt to do too many things at once, then your chance of success dwindles.

This is the time of year that we often reflect on the past – what has happened in this past year that is important or significant.  It’s also a time to think about what next year will bring and what we plan to do new or differently. The end of each year is often a time for making resolutions for the New Year.

In the above passage, Paul is exhorting Timothy to set a goal of doing his best to present himself to God as one approved, and to correctly handle the word of truth in his life. That’s a resolution we all could adopt. It’s straightforward and not complicated.

I’ve been an active person for my entire adult life. I have observed people make a New Year’s resolution to get more exercise.  They go to the local health club and sign up with good intentions. Every January, you can see the effect: the health clubs are crowded.  It thins out in February, and by March, the number of new people have all but disappeared so that the regulars can enjoy their exercise routines without feeling crowded.

What happens to those resolutions?  Well, like a lot of other things, they don’t get etched into habits that stick.  One theory of mine is that the resolution to exercise more in the New Year was one of many resolutions, instead of being the only one.

So, what does KISS have to do with the end of 2016 at hand and looking forward to 2017.  Everything, I suppose.  It’s a little like your golf swing.  In golf, there are probably 100 different things that you can do to improve your swing.  Unfortunately, your mind can only handle one “swing thought” at a time.  I used to joke about holding my “swing thoughts” down to the top seven, knowing that I was only capable of one swing thought at a time.

So, for golf, KISS means that you only work on one swing change at a time.  Once you perfect that change, and then go on to the next one.  Don’t try and do several at once.  It just won’t work, and you’ll get frustrated

I practiced law using KISS as a motto – try to keep it simple even though some of what I did was complex.  My clients understood that I was always looking for a way to solve a problem with the simplest solution rather than the most complex.

KISS when applied to year ends is somewhat the same.  Often, I find that people who have a list of New Year’s Resolutions often fail to carry through, other than for a brief period at the beginning of the year.  If I had 10 resolutions to accomplish in 2017, my chances of accomplishing them would be remote.  If I choose one resolution, or maybe two at the most, my chance of success is much better.

My challenge here is to everyone to choose a KISS resolution for 2017.  Come up with one or maybe two things you want to do accomplish in 2017. Ask yourself this question: What is the one thing I want to achieve next year?   Keep the list to a manageable number of things to tackle. You might look back at 2017 as being the first year in which you succeeded in keeping your resolution.

Bill Mann

MENTOR TAKEAWAY:  Help your mentee use the “KISS” principle in life, not just in coming up with goals for the New Year.

WORSHIP: Listen to Matt Redman use the principle of “KISS” in his song “Let My Words Be Few”:

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