Here at Knudge, we’ve noticed that some of our new members take a long time to start assigning nudges to their clients. Behavioral economics research tells us why.

One of the biggest barriers to behavior change is the Status Quo Bias: the tendency to stick to whatever path we’re on, even when we are convinced that better things await us on a different path. It’s the psychological version of physics’ inertia. It keeps us right where we are because switching to something new and better is just so much more… effortful at the beginning.

If you’re like most Knudge users, you signed up with Knudge for one or more of the following excellent reasons:

  • You want to make it easier for your clients to remember and complete their To Do list.
  • You want to cut down on the time you spend ensuring follow-up tasks get done.
  • You want to harness the power of behavioral economics for your practice.
  • You want to see how long Dave’s hair will get before someone tells him the barber shops are open again.

“We decided to not overthink it and used it with the next 13 clients that we met with and created nudges for the action items that came out of their meetings.

It just worked.  Even clients that have been notoriously negligent were completing their tasks.

Moving forward with a paid subscription was a no-brainer, but the Baker’s Dozen was a great way to test it out.”

Dan Lauer, Lauer Financial

But if you’ve been putting off getting started with it, chances are that the status quo default might be holding you back from reaping the benefits of doing things differently. 

Fortunately, there are a number of hacks for getting out of this trap. One of our favourites is the Fresh Start Effect. It simply involves deciding that an upcoming date will be the one on which you’ll make the clean break from less effective follow-up procedures. Declaring a fresh start boosts people’s optimism about the future, and increases the motivation to change and persist.

There are some dates that pack a more powerful punch when it comes to overcoming the status quo bias. Mondays are good. Beginnings of the month are good. So is the date of the month on which you signed up for Knudge, or the anniversary on which you became a certified financial professional. Heck, you could even choose Warren Buffett’s birthday (August 30th, for those so inclined).

It takes a big of doing to extricate ourselves from the sludge of habit and familiarity, even when better things become possible when we do. If you’re ready to declare a Fresh Start, tell us what your intentions are by dropping us a line at  Who knows? Dave might just be able to offer you a personalized training session. And, as a bonus, you can check out his hair.