I read about this great behavior study program to help students be more successful during college IDEAS42 (link below). With the school year approaching and entirely different rules of engagement nipping at my heals, I’m looking for strategies. This site is well worth checking out if you have kids of any age. It really made me think about the partnership between parent and child required to aid success with transitions. I’ve come to realize that NUDGE is a pretty swell word.
NUDGE is different than telling someone WHAT or HOW or WHEN to do something. It’s a little bit gentler and it’s quieter. NUDGING is setting up the possibility of a beneficial behavior being implemented. And sometimes that’s the best we can hope for with ourselves, our loved ones or colleagues…the possibility.
I think about the use of NUDGE with food, money, exercise, reading, chores and so much more. If I wash fruit, cut up vegetables and make them front and center when the fridge is opened by hungry customers…I’ve nudged them (or myself) to a good choice.
If I leave out books that I think the kids would love or magazines opened to an article I think they would enjoy without saying a word…I’ve maybe nudged them into reading something I think they would be interested in. This is way more effective than telling them. I read things to my husband Jeff and pretend I don’t want them to hear it. I do that a too much. Ask my kids. It drives them bananas. A nudge is better.
This year I’m going to fill a basket with graph paper, binder paper, paperclips, tape, highlighters, pens, a stapler, a zip drive, a ruler and whatever else they may need to be successful…NUDGE them toward self sufficiency. And potentially avoid a run to Staples late at night. This helps me too. Having a shelf with cards, envelopes, stamps and an address book makes it way easier to get a message in the mailbox.
As a WIFE and MOM, I don’t want to be a NAG. I would much rather NUDGE.
I have a college age son and I know that I need to be on top of deadlines for him. I don’t mean schoolwork, but other things…dentist, applications for trips, health care, financial management, family birthdays (so he can call or send a text) and so on. I won’t do this forever, but NUDGE is the right thing to do for a lot of young adults. And they can have a sense of accomplishment.
When I lay out my sketch book, charge my ipad, phone and put a note about my intentions for the day next to my coffee cup…I’m a tiny bit closer to accomplishing what I want to get done that day. When I don’t, I’m less likely. The same is true with automatic savings plans, laying out our exercise clothes, making to do lists or putting reminders in our phones, on the fridge or on a calendar.
I’m hardly saying I’ve got this organizational stuff nailed. It’s an area of profound struggle for me. But, NUDGE…well, that I can wrap my highly disorganized head around.
The power of NUDGE.