What sort of behavioral architecture would help make your goals easier to accomplish or maintain?

There is structural design in everything around us, both in nature, and in the man-made. Most of it we take for granted. For instance, when was the last time you questioned the integrity of the building you sit in this moment, reading this post? Probably never. But at some point, many engineers and architects put a lot of thought into it. They toiled over and tweaked the design again and again, so that you don’t have to think about it. Not only is good architecture functional, but it is aesthetically pleasing as well.

With a bit of planning, thought, and creativity, we can actually do the same thing when it comes to simple behaviors and choices we make on a daily basis, which affect such things as our health, happiness, and over-all well-being. This planning and structure to our personal environments is often referred to as behavioral architecture or choice architecture.  Quite simply, the way we set up or engineer our environments at work and at home can have tremendous influence on our daily behaviors. In short, we can implement a design that helps lead us to make better decisions, and potentially create healthy habits.

The Montana Meals and Montana Moves Challenge of the Month for March is to make at least one structural design change in your office or home, that will lead to a healthy behavior change.  Enter the challenge by sharing your architectural modification, and telling us how effective it was. A nutrition/diet based modification will be an entry into the Montana Meals Challenge, and an exercise, fitness or general health modification will be an entry into Montana Moves Challenge. Feel free to make as many modifications as you’d like. This is your very own behavior experiment!

We’re going to elaborate much more on this concept throughout the month, but the following are some examples of behavioral architecture to get your wheels turning. Also, begin by thinking about those 2014 Goals you wrote in January. What sort of behavioral architecture would help make your goals easier to accomplish or maintain?

  • Place a bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter and keep it stocked
  • Place a yoga mat beside the television
  • Use the bathroom on another floor/wing of your building
  • Move the printer or trash can on the other side of the office so you have to get out of your chair to access them
  • Set an alarm on your phone or desktop to remind you to stretch or take a walk
  • Place washed and cut vegetables in clear containers at eye level in your refrigerator
  • Lay out your workout clothes or pack your gym bag the night before

The prizes this month are: Snapware glass storage containers from Montana Meals; Yoga Mat and bag from Montana Moves. Share your Behavior Architecture strategy and results with us by Tuesday, April 1st to be eligible to win! Email to wellness@montana.edu or fax to 994-2391 with the subject March Challenge.

You must be an MUS Insured Plan member to participate.

One thought on “Challenge of the Month: March!

  1. Wow, at first I panicked, wondering what I was going to do, and then it hit me, an idea! I’m excited.

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