Researchers at San Diego State University looked at whether a simple sign could persuade people to better choices.

For 10 non-consecutive days they posted a sign in front of an airport escalator encouraging travelers to take the stairs instead. Some examples:

• Please reserve the escalator for those who need it.
• Don’t lose time, lose weight. Use the stairs.
• If you want to feel younger, act younger. Step it up! Use the stairs.

The result? On days when the sign was present, twice as many people took the stairs.

Significantly, the prompts appeared to work for all types: those who exercise frequently and those who never exercise were both persuaded to take the stairs this time — because of the sign.

Sometimes all you need is a little nudge. Maybe a note strategically placed near the refrigerator, near the door, near your computer, near your sofa, near your Bible is all you need to make the next good decision. Who knows? It could work.

Those close to you could sometimes use a nudge, too. (A nudge, not a nag.) Most people know what they need to do — and they really want to do it — but apparently it helps to be reminded.

Let’s see if we can make it habit to remind ourselves and gently remind one another.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)