December 15, 2012

It was about this time last year that I found myself right in the middle of a little thing I like to call an ‘over capacity’ incident. I was in NYC with 15 back-to-back meetings. The story goes like this. We’ve all been there: Full blown survival mode with your head down just getting from meeting to meeting, and then came a lightning bolt. It was a call from a friend. Someone whom I respect greatly – it was Alana Golob, one of my fellow Digital Royalty team members who called with a solution to a problem I didn’t know I had. Long story short; her solution was amazing. After too many meetings, too many flights, too many things I ‘must do’, I needed an adult time-out. So I blogged about the episode, Forbes picked up the story and over the past year I started sharing the concept, the solution, within my keynote speeches to corporate execs, moms, and students. Long story short, people of all sorts like executives, teachers, college students, moms and kindergarteners are embracing this idea – daily.

Enter ‘Ready, Set Pause’, a simple concept that has evolved to impact many people over the past year. Alana and I knew there was something special to this after implementing the concept into our own personal and professional lives (Which often overlap by the way).  Intuitively, we knew the benefits were powerful – psychologically and physiologically. However, my degree from the number one party school in America (Go ASU!) and Alana’s degree in skiing (Go NAU!) weren’t too helpful in proving our hypothesis scientifically.

So, we brought in a scientist: Dr. Mark G. His real name is Mark Guadagnoli (Gwa-dan-yolli) but that’s tough to pronounce so we call him Dr. Mark. He has a duel PhD in Cognitive Behavior and Human Performance. We sum that up as our Dr. Royal Fancy Pants, our own personal Royal Scientist. The guy is legit.

Dr. Mark implemented the Ready, Set, Pause concept into his collegiate classrooms and then studied the impact. We wanted to know what the possibilities were for this thing we dreamt up out of necessity. We established metrics. If you’re not familiar with this metric called the ‘Net Promoter Score’, let me introduce you. The NPS is a way to identify if a consumer/guest/fan will recommend a product or service to someone they care about. It’s the simplest form of an approval rating and indicates if the ‘word of mouth’ factor will surface. Dr. Mark’s results for the Ready, Set, Pause concept were above average. A 90% approval rating. So, simply stated, 90% of the people who did the Ready, Set Pause exercise day after day said they would recommend it to someone they care about. Score.

Next, a student from Dr. Mark’s class recommended it to her mom. Mom happens to be a kindergartener teacher of 50+ 5-6 year old very active and easily distractible children. She implemented it into her classes as a behavioral management tool and now we have 50+ kindergarteners practicing the Ready, Set, Pause on a daily basis. When Mrs. Gretchen (aka, Mom) says “Ok, class. Time for a . . . Ready, Set, Pause.” They stop. The kids instantly pause what they’re doing. Heads go down on the desks, the room is silent and it’s Mrs. G’s way of resetting the learning environment. “It’s an instant reset”, says Mrs. G says. If children are able to learn how to disrupt a moment of stress at an early age, the mental and physical health benefits are extensive.

We don’t know where this is going. Frankly, we’re just excited to let it unfold. The fact that this concept has impacted several thousands of people, due to social media, makes us happy. We’ve begun to incorporate Ready, Set, Pauses into many of our Digital Royalty University classes, as we believe a short pause will help our students retain information longer.

Our global question is this: What if the world did a quick Ready, Set, Pause everyday, when convenient? What if children learned to adapt a regular pause into their daily lives at a early age? The more we do this, the better, because according to Dr. Mark, when we exercise the mental muscles used to take this reset, the more efficient and effective we become at achieving the result. Physiologically, according to our Royal Scientist, if we practice it, we can achieve the same benefits from a 30 second Ready, Set, Pause as we do from an eight-minute Ready, Set, Pause. Boom. Practice makes progress.

Through the art of social communication channels, our team practices this everyday. It’s become a daily ritual on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Social media is the perfect tool for people to share their experience with Ready, Set, Pause and they can also lean on their social community to help hold them accountable in taking their daily reset. Alana and I truly believe we can scale the act of good, kindness and positivity through social media. We’re starting with a pause. Take a moment for yourself and share your results by using the hashtag #ReadySetPause on Twitter. Pay it forward.

If you’re interested in participating in our study, please reach out to us: and include “Ready Set Pause” in the subject line.

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