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The Power of the 'Nudge'


Making decisions can be hard AF.


How much have you sweated over:

  • Which of these 8 million Netflix series' should we watch next?

  • Which school should I send my child to?

  • Should I tell my teenager what I really think or keep my mouth shut?

  • How long can I possibly scroll through Instagram tonight?

  • Should I go to the gym or sit on the couch?

  • Which of these 300 plain white tablecloths should I buy from Amazon?

  • Should I have an apple or Doritos?

  • Which black yoga pants should I wear today?


Some of the issues we face when making both 'big' and 'small' decisions are well known in the psychology, marketing, sociology etc... fields such as:


  • Decision Fatigue: Making decisions can be mentally draining. The more you make each day, the more drained you can become, making even simple choices feel overwhelming.

  • Analysis Paralysis: Hi Overthinkers 👋🏼 Too much thought and excessive analysis of options can lead to paralysis.

  • Lack of Information: Insufficient or confusing information can leave you feeling uncertain.

  • External Pressure (perceived or otherwise...): Hello societal expectations and opinions of others... These weigh heavily on us and can cloud your judgment and decision making ability.

  • Choice Overload: Known as the "paradox of choice", when we have too many choices, it's challenging to decide because we worry about missing out on something better.



 

Enter... the Nudge


 

The power of nudges was described in great detail in the best-selling book, Nudge; Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein. (See also, Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman).


A nudge is "any form of choice architecture that alters people's behavior in a predictable way without restricting options or significantly changing their economic incentives".


In other words, it's a subtle change in the way choices are presented to encourage people to make better decisions while still giving them freedom of choice.


YESSS!!!!!


 


Understanding the Nudge &

It's Close Friend, The Snudge



 

We know that people often don't make rational choices, and their decisions can be heavily swayed by the way choices are presented.


Nudges gently steer you toward making choices that align with your long-term goals and well-being.


The goals your Best Future Self has in mind for you.


Woo Hoo 🎉


We could discuss nudges, their implications, and ethical considerations for days, but for this post, we'll focus on the power of self-nudges, or Snudges.


These are ways you can influence your own environment so that you are making the desirable option the easiest choice to make.


👉🏼 For example, if you want to eat healthier but you are constantly surrounded by your kids' junk food and your partner's sweets, it's going to be challenging to make good choices around food.


👉🏼 A simple nudge here would be to keep some cut up fruit at eye level in the fridge - and put the junk food and sweets out of sight.


Essentially, make it easy to do the thing you want to do (eat more fruit) and harder to do the thing you don't want to do (find yourself at the bottom of a Cheetos bag).


 

Thirty-Five Snudges for YOUR life!


 

See below for a list of 35 Snudges you can use to live a happier, simpler, healthier, and more fulfilled life.


Write down any that resonate, then ask yourself, Could this work in my life?


Make a list of what you would like to try and then... resist the urge to change everything at once.


Take it slow.


Remember, Small Changes = Big Wins.


  1. Put your workout clothes out the night before; include socks and sneaks! This is my very FAV Snudge ❤️

  2. Organize your workspace to minimize distractions (hello iPhone!) and nudge yourself toward focused work

  3. Print out a motivating quote or positive affirmation and keep it out where you can see it regularly.

    1. If the clutter doesn't work for you (I'm with you), keep it in a closet or drawer where you'll see it often. Toothbrush cabinets and desk drawers work well here 🙌🏼

  4. Save more with an automatic transfers to savings accounts - you won't miss what you don't see

  5. Place your vitamins/any meds near the coffee maker so you remember to take them daily

  6. Create a soothing bedtime routine to let your body know it's time for sleep. Think: warm shower, reading, deep breathing....

  7. Keep a gratitude journal to nudge yourself toward a positive mindset

  8. Schedule "me time" or "fun days" on your calendar. It's not selfish, it's a necessity

  9. Keep healthy snacks out and at eye level, make it easier to make nutritious choices

  10. Similarly, keep unhealthy snacks out of sight and inconveniently located to reduce mindless eating

  11. Designate a "device-free" hour or "no-tech" day for quality family time

  12. Enter important occasions like birthdays in your phone's calendar

    1. Pro tip for weddings! Make the wedding entry repeat each year for a built in anniversary reminder 🤓

  13. Have each kid make a list of healthy snacks and lunches (that they will actually eat) to save time and patience (!) on hectic mornings

  14. Establish a "no screen" policy during meals to encourage meaningful conversations

  15. Automate what you can - sky's the limit here

    1. Health check up reminders

    2. Emergency or rainy day funds to a dedicated bank acct

    3. Credit card payments

    4. Online bill pay

    5. Social media posts

    6. Thermostats, lighting and security systems

  16. Join an exercise class or start a hobby with a friend to enhance accountability

  17. Keep a list of your favorite hobbies or activities for when you need a mood boost - you'd be surprised how likely you are to forget even things you enjoy doing

  18. Do the same for easy weeknight dinners, fun things to do with the kids, restaurants you want to try etc...

  19. Organize your phone for efficiency and productivity - keep distracting apps (social media, shopping etc..) on the last page

    1. Bonus! Turn off the alerts, banners and badges so you don't feel compelled to constantly check your phone

  20. Set specific work goals and track your progress

  21. Use the Pomodoro Technique (focused work for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break) to boost productivity

  22. Figure out what your peak energy hours are (for many, it's the morning), then schedule your most important tasks during this time

  23. Create a work-related vision board for career inspiration

  24. Use a doorway affirmation - I ❤️ these!

  25. Use positive self-talk to boost confidence before meetings or presentations

  26. Clean up your inbox by unsubscribing to emails you no longer want

  27. Use the Focus feature on your phone to create undistracted work time - Another FAV ❤️

    1. If you're worried about missing an important call, you can select who can call even when Focus is turned on

  28. Create a visual representation of your financial goals, like a "debt-free" thermometer - I just learned about this, look here!

  29. Find out what makes you laugh and then seek opportunities for laughter and humor everyday

  30. Try reusable shopping bags and containers to reduce waste

  31. Conserve energy by auto-setting thermostats to energy-efficient temperatures

  32. Opt for digital documents and receipts - Hello CVS 👋🏼


What are some Snudges you can/already do use in your everyday life?




With love and excitement for all the snudges coming your way,

Carolyn

x




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