Nudge is concept I came across when I researched how to bring about organizational culture change. Nudge is the gentle push. Culture change happens with little nudges. For instance, one coworker smiling at another in the elevator, or one manager acknowledging an employee for taking an unpopular risk. Change happens one nudge at a time.
Similar to culture change which can be overwhelming to any organization, I feel overwhelmed at times by changes I desire in myself. I will tell myself I want to lose weight, be more focused or be courageous, but the thought often stops there. I then beat myself up for not changing – for not doing more or not performing better. And then I compare myself to other people who seem so far ahead of me. This cycle only leaves me feeling defeated, hopeless, and bad about myself.
Today, I realize I can make the changes I want by changing my habits one nudge at a time. To lose the five pounds I have gained, I cut back just a little bit on my meals, and go to the gym one more time a week. To build discipline and productivity, I cut back on 30 minutes of TV viewing a day and work outside my home one more day a week. To become a writer, I commit to writing at least 100 words a day for 100 days.
Whatever I desire to become, I can do so by little nudges. Little nudges are not overwhelming, and they encourage me daily with the small improvements I see in myself. Make a micro decision differently - take a micro-step towards my goal. Little steps take little effort and add up quickly.
So, what nudge can I make today?