Shazam and Other Ridiculous Solutions
The simple habit that changes my life is putting my fingers on the keyboard and starting to type. I’m never sure of the result. I am sure of the first step.
Even a monkey can put his fingers on a keyboard.
One push-up in bed:
Stephen Guise changed his life by committing to do ONE PUSH-UP a day. He couldn’t exercise 30 minutes a day. But he could commit to one push-up a day. (Mini Habits)
Guise recalls the night he went to bed and realized he hadn’t done his push-up. He rolled onto his stomach and did one push-up in bed. SUCCESS!
If your commitment is ridiculously simple, you’ll be able to achieve it. Put on your walking shoes every day, for example.
The Shazam Method:
Perhaps follow-through is lacking on your team. Have your team give a ridiculous name to ‘lack of follow-through’. Call it Shazam!
Once a day – everyday – use Shazam in a sentence.
- At the end of the day, stick your head in someone’s office – smile – and exclaim, “Shazam.”
- In the morning, greet one person with, “Shazam!”
- Use Shazam as a question. Just look at someone – out of the blue – and ask, “Shazam?”
Design an intervention and lower it by 90%.
Set the most ridiculous goal you can imagine. If it seems ridiculously simple and easy, you’re on the right path.
- Write the phrase ‘Gratitude Journal’ at the top of a piece of paper and leave the tip of your pen on the paper for 10 seconds every day.
- Open a book and look at the page for 10 seconds every day.
- Breathe deeply for 10 seconds to increase your ability to be present every day.
- Say thank you once a day.
You must begin to finish.
What ridiculously simple commitment might you begin today?
*If you haven’t figured it out, this post is inspired by Mini Habits by Stephen Guise.
The issue I have with small changes is that they have small (non-measurable) impacts. If you do one press up per day, you are not going to get fit within your lifetime. If I’ve got to use calculus to measure the result, nobody is going to get fired up.
Thanks Mitch. You speak the truth. If all you do is one push-up a day you won’t get fit. If you don’t begin, you won’t get fit either.
The first small change isn’t the end in itself, is it, Dan? The real story would be about a guy who did one press up on day one, two on day two etc until he was doing four sets of fifty, then adding in dips, pull-ups (note I’m sticking with bodyweight exercises here!) and hence gained a significant level of fitness. The point is you have to keep making small changes – doing one press up a day isn’t making a change after day one!
What happened for Guise is he ended up doing a 30 minute workout the first day. He decided to do one push-up and ended up doing more. He did one pull-up and did more. He did one sit-up and did more. He calls that one push-up the Golden Push-UP.
There’s only one point for me. You can’t get there unless you begin. It’s easier to begin if the bar is low. A high bar prevents some from even beginning.
Having said that, like I replied above, you are exactly right. If all you do is one push up a day you’re dead in the water.
If I at least get down and do one push up, it almost always turns into a minimum of 10 and usually another 10 sit ups and then even a plank for 30 seconds, but if I don’t do one, the rest of the stuff never happens and I spend more time thinking about being out of shape than it took me to do all of those things combined. It starts with one…..
Thanks Pat. Exactly. Like the phrase, “It starts with one…”
I think this is about building the habit than expecting early results. Maybe 1 a day for a couple of weeks then 5 for a few weeks and so on.
Thanks Lucille. It is about building habits… hence, “mini habit.” But, if you do one push up, you’ll probably end up doing more, even on the first day.
Thanks, Dan. My book has been waiting for the first stroke of the pen (keyboard). This is great encouragement to just do it.
Even a monkey can put his fingers on a keyboard… 😉 Best wishes. (Don’t talk to me about writing a book… UGH!! I’ve started three or four.
Well, the monkey is at the keyboard. I thought I would start typing and see if I had anything to write. That is what you mean, right? Just to START to “Just Do It!” And it works.
My fingers remind me that we are working on a 90-day program of continuous continuous improvement to support the team building and organizational culture changes after one of our simulations. The idea, which seems totally unique to the T&D world is about “one finger typing,” I guess.
Do one minute of “structured journaling” around improving people and performance every day. And do some group summary and discussion once a week. But unlike one pushup, these daily things are additive and accumulating.
And what is amazing is that this whole theme is actually captured in a book and has a name – mini habits. I guess that having a name makes it real.
Have FUN out there…
Thanks Dr. Scott. Wonderful illustrations. I don’t want to go beyond one minute though. 🙂 Best wishes with your 90 day program.
“Beginning,” is the first step of a process. A quality process produces a quality product. When dissatisfied with the product, examine the process. Doubters may want to roll out in the morning and try making one-hundred pushups on the first day out. Start where you are; determine where you are willing to go; commit to the process.
Thanks Russell. Let’s not bother to begin is the goal is 100 push ups. 🙂 For one, I just don’t have time to do 100. Plus, if all I can do is 10, 100 push ups is like climbing Mt Everest.
One push up is better than no push ups- start today on your commitments.
Great comment Tim! THANKS
Exactly. Thanks Dawn.
We only will get out what we put in! Just a little motivation goes a long way, developing a commitment to make a difference is were we hopefully end up! So motivate, commit, change, make a difference and develop a mindset that becomes successful! “Shazam”
Thanks Tim. I had forgotten that Shazam was a Gomer Pyle expression. ha! Well, Gohhhhlly!
Good morning Dan;
Got a chuckle as I read today’s blog. ‘SHAZAM’ The reason, as you know Dan I am inherently a positive up beat guy. ‘However’, when I ran cell blocks for the Pa. Dept. of Correction quite often one’s resolve to remain positive is frequently tested. Of coarse this applied to my staff as well.
One particularly stress filled day as the end of our shift was near I was on the cell block housing area sharing a laugh with an group of inmates, (yes this behavior is aloud). I lost track of time as I noticed the next shift beginning to arrive. I returned to the control room to address the oncoming shift of the days activities. When I entered the control room I received baffled looks from staff on both shifts. Apparently my guys shared the particularly ‘rotten’ day we had and someone asked me, “Sarge, how the -ell do you do it?” I asked what he meant and went on to say, “you always seem to be in total control of your emotions when others could spit razor blades, especially in tense stress filled moments like today, what’s your secret?” Without skipping a beat or even thinking about it I waved a hand across my face, put on a BIG SMILE and replied ‘abbra-ka-dabrah’. Everyone broke out in laughter and from that day forth when things got tense or someone simply had a bad day, someone would blurt out abbra-ka-dabrah and all would chuckle, regain composure, and get back to business as usual.
Obviously this was not magic on my part, but as time would prove, this always seemed to snap people out of their negative emotions and bring them back to center.
Shazam, abbra-ka-dabrah, what ever it takes. We’re all at our best when we remain positive. It improves our focus, makes mundane task’s a little easier to bare, and helps us to be more effective no matter what your job is. And the added bonus, it’s much better for our health.
Sounds quirky but whatever we do to remain positive that make’s our life, work, and relationships more positive is a benefit to everyone.
“Put a smile on your face, even when you don’t feel like it.” It doesn’t only make you feel better, it’s effect on others is ‘contagious’.
Can you say, “ABBRA-KA-DABRAH”, I bet you can!
Awesome story!! I just read it to my wife. She laughed too. 🙂
Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers next week as I have a promising interview in Harrisburg with Devo Promotions Advertising & Marketing.
Thanks & HAVAGOOD1
Wise words. Thank you.
‘Harder to resist at the end’ is highly ironic from a genius mind who was renowned for not finishing any thing important (to others) at the moment …
including the Mona Lisa (he continued to refine the parts that continue to intrigue us most throughout the last half of his life) … including the many text(book)s he had planned (he may have influenced and accelerated the enlightenment by centuries) …
One is curious about what it is that he meant that he was resisting … beginning once again to finish?
Vs. Kafka, “the only good thing about it is that I am rid of it.”
I guess what they both struggled with deciding if something was “ready” to properly begin; if it was worth it; and if the “achieving” was worth its “doing.” Ready, set, go!
I suppose it depends on what the definition of “is” is.
Begin what? End what? Is it mine, or is it yours – to say?