Over a century after the invention of the electric washing machine, why do marketers still put “New and Improved” on laundry detergent? Because…. it still sells laundry detergent. Which says what about us as consumers? We like New and Improved. In our innovative culture, we do not just like it. We expect it. When something actually is New and Improved, our world gets better.
Do we expect the same of ourselves? Becoming New and Improved?
Looking for this answer myself in 2012, I asked, “What seems to bring the most happiness in my job?” and resolved to do more of that. From time to time, people tell me they sleep better, or have fewer arguments about money, because of some simple reminders about the plans we have developed together. To get feedback like that makes my whole year.
It seems that people appreciate reminders to not let emotions hijack a well-laid program. Despite our best preparation and planning, we all have moments of doubt, where we irrationally fear that we are missing something in our financial plans. At those times, we are at risk of doing something we will regret. Not immune from emotions, I have those moments, too. To get through them, I take a few minutes to run my fears through a program that constantly tests new assumptions. You could call it the “rational wringer.”
Occasionally after a big news story about the economy, I receive an email, a phone call, or a question expressing doubt, fear, or outright panic. We run the fear through the wringer program, remembering that emotion, not the markets, is the biggest risk to the well-laid plan.
However, even though I know fear, doubt, and panic are normal and human, I feel like I have missed something when I get that phone call. Maybe there is a way to create “constant coaching,” so those moments might not happen as much. Perhaps, the coaching could be more accessible, more frequently. In 2012, I’ll be looking for and creating New and Improved formats for clients, newsletter and blog readers, and even people whom I may never meet. Hopefully everyone can use them and sleep better, too.
New and Improved Holly P. Thomas, LLC: Now with scrubbing reminder bubbles! Coming to a website near you….
What could you do in 2012 that would reinvent your life, or, perhaps recharge your batteries? I would love to hear from you.