Which Foot Do You Hop On? 3 Fun Ways to Split Your Group

Several times throughout a sequence of activities you will come across a need to split your group in half. I have learned three fun ways to split the group without having to count-off or count people. Each of the following activities somehow will divide the group of participants pretty close to equal. Try them out for a quick change of pace.

1. What Foot Do You Hop On?

Ask each participant to hop on one foot. Tell the people hopping on their left foot to move to one side of the room, and the people hopping on their right foot to move to the other side of the room.

2. Thumbs on Top

Instruct the participants to clasp their hands and interlock their fingers. Once their hands have been clasped, have the people with their right thumb on top of their hands separate from those with their left thumb on top.

3. Cross Your Arms

Ask the participants to fold their arms across their chest, and see which arm is on top of the other arm.

What other ways have you used to split a group?

June 2013 – 12 Workshops – 9 States – 700 Participants – Our Craziest Month Yet

June was a very busy month for Paradigm Shift! As you can tell in the title, we hosted workshops in nine states with over 700 participants. The month included a leadership camp, a few keynote addresses, and over 10 team-building & leadership workshops.

Paradigm Shift Leadership Workshop

Paradigm Shift Leadership Workshop

Paradigm Shift Leadership Workshop

Below you will find the locations of the workshops presented during June:

June 2 – Oklahoma State University Upward Bound Staff Training – Stillwater, OK
June 3 – Northwestern Oklahoma State University Upward Bound – Alva, OK
June 3 – Redlands Community College Upward Bound – El Reno, OK
June 4 – Neosho County Community College – Chanute, KS
June 4-6 – Tulsa Community College Upward Bound – Stillwater, OK
June 6 – Crowder College Upward Bound – Neosho, MO
June 12-14 – Enertia Conference – Las Vegas, NV
June 16 – Alabama A&M Upward Bound Staff Training – Huntsville, AL
June 23 - College of Charleston – Charleston, SC
June 24 – Trident Technical College – Charleston, SC
June 25 – Carl Albert State College – Sallisaw, OK
June 27-28 – Texarkana College Leadership Camp – Texarkana, AR

I would like to personally thank the groups that brought us in to facilitate, and the Paradigm Shift consultants who criss-crossed the nation to work with these amazing participants.

Paradigm Shift Leadership Workshop

Paradigm Shift Leadership Workshop

Ryan Eller
Founder, Paradigm Shift


Quadrants – A Powerful Time Management Activity

I have used Quadrants many times to really help my clients and participants focus on what is most important in their everyday life. I challenge them to live a life hanging out in Quadrant 2.  It appears this activity was popularized by Stephen Covey and created by Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Number of Participants: Unlimited
Time:  15-30 minutes
Activity Level:  Low
Props:  Quadrants Worksheet

To determine what is important, not important, urgent and not urgent.

For those who are not familiar with quadrants, here is a picture and a brief overview.

Paradigm Shift

  • In Quadrant 1 (top left) we have important, urgent items – items that need to be dealt with immediately.
  • In Quadrant 2 (top right) we have important, but not urgent items – items that are important but do not require your immediate attention, and need to be planned for.
  • In Quadrant 3 (bottom left) we have urgent, but unimportant items – items which should be minimized or eliminated. These are the time sucks, the “poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part” variety of tasks.
  • In Quadrant 4 (bottom right) we have unimportant and also not urgent items – items that don’t have to be done anytime soon, perhaps add little to no value and also should be minimized or eliminated.

Have the participants fill in the Quadrants one at a time as you give them examples for each square. Really dig deep to define which areas of their life fall into different Quadrants. This activity goes perfectly with other time management initiatives that help the participants really break down the things they do on an everyday basis.


  1. Instead of this being a time-management activity, make it a budgeting activity. What are some items that we purchase that are in Quadrant 1 (replacing water heaters, medical bills, etc.)? Quadrant 2 (Savings, Vacation Planning, College Fund)? Quadrant 3 (overdue bills, interest charges)? Quadrant 4 (Video Games, Things from Sky Mall)?

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What are some things you can eliminate from your schedule (Quadrant 4) immediately?
  2. How do some things from Quadrant 3 keep you from being productive?
  3. Can you name the times when you felt most productive? What Quadrant were you in?

Facilitator Notes:

Be prepared with examples for each quadrant and really help each participant brainstorm. This has several practical applications if the participant will truly focus on staying in Quadrant 2.

Have you used this activity? How would you implement it into your program?

Ryan Eller
Founder, Paradigm Shift

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Refuge Catalyst Communication Workshop

There are very few groups that I can really experiment with, but I love trying new activities with the Refuge Catalyst team. Sometimes the activities are successful, and sometimes they aren’t, but I always have a great time with this team. Thanks for helping me grow as a leader, facilitator, and overall person.

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Ryan Eller

NEO Upward Bound Team Building Workshop

This last Saturday Paradigm Shift was at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in chilly Miami, OK playing with the great students from Upward Bound. We played a ton and learned a lot about leadership and goal setting.

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I had a great time with you guys and look forward to seeing you dominate your dreams.

Check out the rest of the pictures by clicking here.

Ryan Eller


SMART Goals Paper Fold

Paradigm Shift

Almost everyone has a goal or a dream, but many do not know how to make their goals SMART Goals. This activity will help participants make their goals more specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

Number of Participants: 1-Unlimited
Time:  15-25 minutes
Activity Level:  Low
Props: A piece of paper per participant (any size will work, but the larger the better) & writing utensils.

Objective: Use this interactive activity to help participants make their goals SMART goals. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound)


  • Give participants a piece of paper and ask them to fold the paper in half 5 times.
  • Instruct the participants to write their goal on one side of the paper. They can write it out, illustrate it, or be as creative as possible.  (Example goal: Go to college)
  • Ask the participants to unfold the paper once, flip it over, and write down a goal that is more specific. (Example: Go to college and major in Nursing)
  • Encourage the participants to unfold the paper again and make their goal measurable. (Example: Go to college, major in nursing and graduate magna cum laude)
  • Invite the participants to unfold their paper one more time, flip it over, and make sure their goal is attainable by writing down examples of things they know they can do to achieve their goal. (Example: I have graduated HS, I excel in science and math, etc.)
  • Ask the participants to unfold the paper once more, flip it over, and now make sure their goal is relevant. This is the “why” of the SMART Goal…why would want to achieve this goal? (Example: Write reasons why they want to accomplish this goal: More money for my family, better career, etc.)
  • Ask them to once again unfold their paper and make their goal time-bound. (Example: Go to college and major in nursing, and graduate magna cum laude by May 1, 2016)
  • For the last step, ask the participants to unfold the paper one last time, flip it over, and write their new SMART Goal. Ask them to sign the paper and date it.

After the activity, the participants should now have a piece of paper with their SMART Goal, some factors that say how they could achieve the goal (attainable), their reasons for attaining that goal (relevant), and a date to accomplish the goal (time-bound).


  1. Encourage participants to draw or paint their goals, this will help them become more realistic.
  2. Bring old magazines and newspapers, scissors, and glue to let the participants make their last page into an art masterpiece.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What did it feel like once you had a SMART Goal?
  2. Do you feel like you are closer to achieving your goal now?
  3. What is the next action step now that you have a SMART Goal?
  4. What were some of the things on your relevant page? Why do you want to achieve this goal?
  5. Who can help you achieve this goal?

Facilitator Notes:

It is usually very beneficial to combine this workshop with a brief introduction to SMART Goals. It works to explain SMART Goals either before the activity, or as a step-by-step guide during the initiative.

Let me know if you have any questions on how to implement this into your program or have any ideas on how to use SMART Goals Paper Fold.

Ryan Eller
Founder, Paradigm Shift

If you would like to receive information regularly that will include new and fresh activities and materials, please subscribe to my blog by clicking here
You can follow us on Facebook by clicking here or on Twitter by clicking here.

SWASAP 2012 – New Orleans Edition

Paradigm Shift is in New Orleans! We are exhibiting, presenting, and hanging out with the fine folks from SWASAP (Southwest Association of Student Assistance Programs). SWASAP represents the TRiO programs in the states of OK, TX, NM, AR, and LA. I am member of SWASAP, and look forward to this conference every year, especially when it is in NOLA. I love the culture, the food, and architecture of this one of a kind city.

We are enjoying our time in New Orleans, but there is business to be had as well. Paradigm Shift is presenting a concurrent workshop, “Constant Motion” during session one at 2:30 on Monday in the Maurepas Room. We are also presenting “We are the Music Makers” during session three at 1:30 on Tuesday in the Borgne Room.

If you attend you will receive a free copy of our e-book, Not the Same Name Game Book and a discount on a Paradigm Shift workshop in 2013.

Below are some pictures of my time so far, and keep posted for more information about the Paradigm Shift presentations on Monday and Tuesday.

Beignets at Cafe de Monde.

Jennifer, Lisa and Lindsey in the market.

Gator Po’Boy

Bourbon Street

TRiO Works and we are happy to be here! Come see Ryan in the Exhibitor’s Area to hear more about the Paradigm Shift workshops in 2013.

Ryan Eller
Founder, Paradigm Shift






MAEOPP Conference Recap

I love MAEOPP! These TRiO folks know how to throw a great conference, how to promote TRiO, and of course…how to have a good time. I had another great day exhibiting on Tuesday as I met hundreds of professionals who were passionate about seeing their students and participants succeed.

In the afternoon I was able to present a professional development workshop titled “Constant Motion.” Thanks to all who came and learned with me, it was a pleasure facilitating with you. Please enjoy the giveaway and I will send you the sequencing list of activities ASAP!



I can’t wait to visit the MAEOPP states in 2013. Check out the workshop link at the top of this page to see the upcoming dates. I’m also already fired up about MAEOPP next year…TRiO works!!!

Ryan Eller
Founder, Paradigm Shift