Dan Heath: Hi, everyone. Dan Heath here. We’ve been getting lots of messages from listeners wondering about more episodes of Choiceology. And I’m here with news. Very good news. But before I get to that, I hope you’ll permit me a brief look back at the seven episodes of the first season. As a host the episodes are like your children, and you’re supposed to love them all equally. But of course we have favorites—don’t we?—and I’m just going to tell you who my favorite children are. First, the “Summit Fever” episode, which was about an ill-fated hike to the top of Mount Everest. And then secondarily, the final episode of Season 1—it’s called “How Tomorrow Feels Today,” which shows you just how wrong we can be about the ingredients of a good life. So if you’re new to Choiceology, might I suggest you check out those two for us at our best?
Dan Heath: Now on to Season 2. Season 2 is coming. And for the record it only took about a tenth of the time that you wait between Game of Thrones seasons, so I hope we get some credit for that. This season will be a new journey with, drum roll please, a new host. I’m working on a new book right now that has sort of taken over my life, and as a result of that I am passing the baton to someone significantly more capable and competent than me. Her name is Katy Milkman. She’s a professor of operations, information and—most importantly for us—decisions at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Katy is terrific. She’s at the forefront of behavioral economics research. I’ve cited her work many times in my own books, and honestly in my mind she’s like the working man and woman’s behavioral economist. She is particularly good at helping us find real, concrete, practical ways to make better decisions in our lives. You could not be in better hands, folks. So ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Katy Milkman. Katy, what do you have lined up for us in Season 2?
Katy Milkman: Well, first, thanks for that incredibly generous introduction, Dan. I know so many listeners will miss you immensely, and I am one of them. But in Season 2, we’re going to be diving into new topics—things I’ve studied as a scientist and that my Wharton MBA students find particularly fascinating, along with new stories and real-world experiments. So there’s a lot to get excited about. We’ll feature sports heroes, Nobel laureates and everyday folks faced with monumental decisions. And I’m excited to introduce you to even more insights from the brilliant behavioral economists around the world who make up my community of friends. There’s a big focus this season on giving listeners useful tools and strategies to make better choices in every aspect of their lives. For instance, I’ve done some research about what I call the fresh-start effect that you’ve written about, Dan.
Dan Heath: Oh yeah. You got to talk about this. This is great stuff. My brother and I wrote about this in our most recent book, and it’s super helpful.
Katy Milkman: So my collaborators and I have done some research on what we call the fresh-start effect. This is a phenomenon where our motivation to tackle our goals actually becomes stronger following certain moments in our lives that feel like fresh starts. So the beginning of a new week, month, year or following birthdays. These are particularly great opportunities to seize that motivation and tackle our goals.
Dan Heath: So it’s kind of like that same burst of motivation we get on New Year’s Day with our new year’s resolution. You’re saying we can basically make up our own New Year’s Days.
Katy Milkman: That’s right. And in fact New Year’s is just one of many opportunities we have in our lives to start fresh. At the beginning of a new year we feel like, “I’m a new me.” Last year when I failed to achieve my goals, that was the old me. But this is the new me, and the new me is all over it. But it turns out that that’s not a feeling we get just at the beginning of a new year. We get it at the start of lots of new cycles. So the start of a new week or a new month, following a birthday. All of these times feel like a fresh-start opportunity, and as a result they’re the perfect moment to grab our energy and our motivation and do something big and new.
Dan Heath: And this is Choiceology’s fresh start. We’ve got a new season with a great new host. Good luck, Katy, and Godspeed to you and the Choiceology team.
Katy Milkman: Thanks a lot.
Dan Heath: Season 2 arrives on October 29th. Mark it on your calendar. And you can subscribe of course on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you listen. There’s more details at schwab.com/podcast. I’m Dan Heath. So long for now.
Disclosures Reader: For important disclosures, see schwab.com/podcast.