This year, Richard Thaler won the Nobel Prize for Economics for his work in Nudge Theory. This is the idea that you can change the behaviour of large groups of people by making small changes which “nudge” their behaviour in a different direction. Good examples are that, in Spain, organ donation is an “opt out” decision, meaning everyone is automatically enrolled to donate their organs unless they say otherwise. As such that country has a far higher rate of organ donation than in Australia, which has an “opt-in” system. Or it could be something as simple as putting plastic fly in a urinal, which is what they do at Amsterdam’s airport, which apparently encourages better aim and reduces cleaning costs! We even have a nudge theory unit in NSW.

Nudge theory is used across different areas in our life, including health and safety. So it got me thinking: we’re often trying to improve our own behaviour (wish I exercised more, ate less junk food, sound familiar?) So how can we improve our own behaviour by making small changes in our lives? Here are some ideas:

Eating

When you go to the shops, make sure you don’t go on an empty stomach and always have a shopping list. These aren’t just old wives tales, they’re actual ways you can prevent yourself from buying too much food you don’t want!

Also, Use a smaller plate – you’ll actually serve yourself less food, eat less and still feel satisfied!
Exercising

Exercising with a friend will help make sure you do it more often – even setting a reminder on your phone can help motivate you!

Money

Here are some great tips for making your money last longer – from labelling your savings accounts to rewarding yourself when you get it right! You might be surprised at how simple techniques will trick you into saving more money.

Reminders

Sometimes we forget to do the right thing and fall into bad habits. So it could be as simple as putting a reminder on your phone which will help you get into better habits – what do you need to change?