How to Quickly Make Better Choices Easier

With so many options to choose from, you likely feel exhausted from time to time. Learn how to get a few easy wins with choice architecture.

Choice architecture is exactly what it sounds like. It's designing situations so that you're more likely to choose the best option for you.

Some quick changes can be found at the end of this article.

The most famous example of choice architecture comes from the financial world.

Richard Thaler is a Nobel prize winning economist. Thaler won his nobel for combing work in psychology to work in economics. Thaler suspected decisions don't exist exclusively on a spreadsheet.

You don't buy ice cream purely based on price per ounce.

Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein co-wrote a book called Nudge. In Nudge, the two spoke of how employers get their employees to save more. One example of a financial nudge is having an opt out retirement policy as opposed to an opt in.

Economics was not the only area Thaler and Sunstein covered. They applied this line of thinking to health, the environment and business.

Nudges are gentle pushes towards positive decisions.

What are some examples of situations of situations where you might need a nudge?

  • When you can't decide what to eat
  • If you have a problem saving money for retirement
  • When you don't feel like going to the gym

You may have noticed that these situations all involve decisions. Some choices may not seem big at the time but, they add up.

You don't fill your refrigerator with homemade rice crispy treats (miss you grandma). You also likely don't keep giant Oreo cookie jars all over the house. Those would be examples of making it easier to do oh so good feeling (well maybe for the first 4 cookie) bad things.

Here are some ways that you can make more positive choices more likely:

  • You can keep cookies up, and away from your plain sight. You might even opt to buy individually wrapped cookies.
  • When you cook, you can make more than one meal and freeze the extra. If you already have food ready to go, you make eating healthier easier.
  • Opt for funds to be transfered into your retirement accounts automatically. According to Thaler, some employers also offer an automated program.
  • If you plan on going to the gym, lay your clothes out for later that day. If your clothes are with you when leave work, it's just a stop on the way home.

Read more about why you can't rely on your motivation to reach your fitness goals.

Without giving away all the details of the book, the wrapped cookie trick is a cool one. Every time you go to eat a cookie, you will be faced with a decision. Should you eat another one?

Wrapping forces you to stop and think about it.

What are some ways that you can hack your life to make things easier on yourself?

Can you get foods you don't need out of your house? Can you take a different way home? Reshape your workflow to make you move more?

When you've run out of ideas, ask someone who has experience making the changes you want to see in your life.

Phone: 1-573-443-1495