Making your environment work to your advantage🍭
Did you know that your environment has a substantial influence on your behavior? Do you recognize this? It is four o'clock in the afternoon, you worked hard all day and started to feel hungry. You look around and see a big candy jar on your desk. Before you know it, the candy is transferred from the jar into your mouth.
What is a nudge?💨
This candy jar is called a nudge. Why? Because it makes eating candy easy to do. That's what nudges do, make behavior more likely to be executed. There are many forms of nudges; they can be physical, like the candy jar, and other ways such as smell, sound, and more. In technical jargon, it is a manipulation of the choice architecture.
The presence of the candy jar makes it more complicated than necessary to eat healthily. In this case, nudging works against your goals. However, it can also be used to your advantage. Let's explore self-nudging! This is the art of making your environment work for instead of against you.
Fruit vs. candy🪅
Let's replace the candy jar with a fruit bowl. If you are hungry and there is only fruit available, chances are you will eat fruit. This is another nudge technique called defaulting! With defaulting, you only make a limited number of options available. If you choose healthy options as default, you are always on the safe side!
So pay attention to what your environment looks like. Do you want to eat less sweets? Then put them in a place where they are hard to find. Do you want to stop smoking? Remove all smoking materials from your home. Want to go for a run in the morning? Put your running shoes next to your bed.
These minor changes could be the little push that you need to proceed.
You're about to embark on a self-nudging adventure. You can find more examples of nudges and other tips & tricks on NewU!
We look forward to seeing you on NewU.
Bart & Gijs from NewU