How to Use Birthdays to Nudge People to Become Better

July 29 2017, 2:34pm

Birthdays are one of those strange traditions we have. Whereas with Thanksgiving, we stuff ourselves silly and shop until we pass out the next day, birthdays compel friends to do most whatever the birthday person wills. This compulsion to do what the birthday person desires is an excellent opportunity to do more than just eat or go clubbing.

It is an opportunity to nudge people to become better individuals.

Vegan birthday dinner

If a goal is to get your family to eat more healthily, having your birthday dinner at a vegan place can be a great way of introducing new, healthier types of food.

Playing bubble soccer

Perhaps a goal is to get friends to network more. Having a birthday party where various groups of friends come together to play archery tag and bubble soccer can be a great way of generating new connections.

I've done all of these activities to great effect—sometimes all it does really take to enact change is a little nudge.

Other birthday events I've had or planned include:

  • A murder mystery party
  • Scavenger hunt across all of Irvine
  • Oyster shucking in Marshall
  • Ski/snowboarding trip in Big Bear

Although these events were put on for differing reasons, they all come down to exploration, experiencing new things, and allowing friends to discover something potentially new and exciting.

What have you done for your birthday? Why that event?

PS: In doing research about birthdays, I found some of these links interesting. This page has some great decorating ideas. Here are some unconventional ways of organizing and 130 ideas that you can use back home.