May 7, 2021
Today I am very excited to have
Dr. Katy Milkman joining me on the show. She has done so much
amazing work over the years, some of which you have heard me share
in episodes already, including the fresh start effect and
temptation bundling, which as mentioned in last week’s episode with
Jon Levy, is the most downloaded episode of the year to
I love her research and the
insights she has been able to share with the world so far. As
you’ll hear in today’s episode, Katy is an amazingly smart person
who has a knack for finding links others may not have seen yet. She
leads amazing teams of students at Wharton and works with Angela
Duckworth on the Behavior Change for Good Initiative, she is also
the host of the Choiceology podcast, and her brand new book,
Change, just came out
- [00:07] In today’s episode I’m
very excited to introduce you to Dr. Katy Milkman, author of the
new book How To
- [01:18] She leads amazing teams
of students at Wharton and works with Angela Duckworth on the
Behavior Change for Good Initiative. She is also the host of
the Choiceology podcast, and her brand new book,
Change, just came out
- [03:34] Katy shares about her
background and who she is.
- [05:35] Melina and Katy discuss
the foreword of Katy’s new book written by Angela Duckworth (you
won’t believe what she said!).
- [07:53] Katy shares about her
fresh start research and how it all started.
- [09:11] There are moments
throughout our lives that feel like new beginnings. New Years’
feels like a new beginning, but you can also have other new
- [10:34] Their research on fresh
starts and the power of those moments to change our motivation and
therefore our ability to make an impact for the better on our lives
is the biggest ah-ha for Katy from her research.
- [12:44] The fresh start
research took about two years from the first conversation to the
publication. It was quick because the findings weren’t subtle.
(Katy and Melina discuss the differing timelines in academia and
- [14:33] They had some results
and it was clear what they had learned within a few months, but the
insights and documenting of the results usually takes the
- [15:45] Katy shares another
favorite research project she was part of about making people
- [17:38] Instead of giving
poorly performing students advice, they flipped the script and put
them in the position to be the advice-givers to
- [19:01] When people are asked
for advice, it improves their motivation to achieve in that
- [20:56] There is this huge
power in recognizing that when you coach others you are helping
- [23:21] Too often we don’t take
the time to figure out what is the actual barrier to
- [24:10] It is important to make
sure you are not solving the wrong problem before you deploy your
- [25:53] 9% of premature deaths
in the world are due to inadequate physical activity. If we can
figure these behavior change problems, we can really save
- [26:48] 40% of premature deaths
due to decisions that could be changed. This is a really big
opportunity for impact, but it all starts with recognizing one of
the challenges any individual is having.
- [28:41] If I have this problem.
I know a lot of people struggle with this as well. I am going to
figure out the why for all of us and how we might change it and
make it better. It can help you change everything by looking at it
in a positive way.
- [30:26] Katy shares one of the
most frustrating findings of her career. A ton of things did work,
but it didn’t create lifelong change.
- [33:23] It is important to have
a reasonable goal with behavior change.
- [34:52] If you want to create durable change, it has to
be a durable commitment and durable solutions instead of something
- [36:42] It can be really
disruptive to have a fresh start if things are going really well.
It is really hard to hold on and keep making
- [38:46] If we want to change we
have to remain vigilant.
- [39:27] Katy and Melina share
their love for Harry Potter.
- [42:30] Check out the Harry
Potter audiobooks. They are SO amazing!
- [44:09] Mindset has a huge
impact on what we can achieve.
- [47:05] Melina shares her
- [48:31] Melina’s first
book, What Your Customer
Wants and Can’t Tell You is officially on presale and available
on Amazon, Bookshop, Barnes
Book Depository, and Booktopia. Buy today and be one of the first to receive
a copy when it officially launches May 11, 2021. (NEXT
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I hope you love
everything recommended via The Brainy Business! Everything was
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know, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That
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More from The Brainy Business:
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What Your Customer Wants and
Can’t Tell You on Amazon, Bookshop, Barnes
Book Depository, and Booktopia