Developing a simple plan for change

At this stage, you might have quite a bit of information about your consumer wisdom scores, what they mean, and how you compare with the general US population. Maybe you have also learned something about the tendency for consumers to cluster around specific profiles, or types. The next step is to decide where you most want to improve your scores. The real goal, of course, is not to increase your scores – but to become a wiser consumer, and to improve your overall well-being. But, having a tangible, measurable goal will help you think this through.

There are a few different ways you could approach this, and none is necessarily better than the others (and, this is something you can revisit along the way). For example, you could just focus on your current raw scores, and try to improve along your weakest dimensions (aiming for a consistent level across all dimensions). Or, you could focus on your relative scores, and try to match the national average scores for each dimension or even try to exceed them all by a consistent margin. Finally, you could consider the idea of consumer types; if you found one type or more that seems to fit your current habits, then use that as a starting point to figure out where you want to focus (targeting another type’s profile, for example). The key, however, is to be intentional in your approach. I think it is important to have a goal in mind so that you can focus on changing specific sets of habits first (i.e., dimensions of consumer wisdom). Doing this across the board might be a little overwhelming; a focused and sequential approach is likely to be less intimidating, and potentially more likely to succeed.

To help you think this through a bit, here are two more worksheets that you could create on a sheet of paper (or print this page) – or simply read this and follow the thought process. First, decide if you want to approach this using your raw scores (ignoring national averages) or your relative scores (relative to national averages).

If you want to use your raw scores, transfer your raw scores to the worksheet below. Do this for each dimension (raw scores range from 4 to 28 for each dimension). Mark these with an “x”.

Transfer your raw scores for each dimension.
Mark these with an “x”.

If instead you want to use your relative scores, transfer your relative scores to the worksheet below. Do this for each dimension. Mark these with an “x”.

Transfer your relative scores for each dimension. Mark these with an “x”.    

Now, regardless of which approach you are taking, think about each dimension in turn and consider what your goal is 3 months from now. That should be enough time to work on turning new practices into habits and, at that point, you can revisit this if needed.

Then, using your worksheet, simply identify what your target is with a dot or a small circle in the same column. Do this for each dimension. Remember, this is your 3-month goal – be ambitious but realistic. At the same time, don’t worry too much about these numbers. What you are really trying to do is gauge how much change is needed along each dimension: none? a little? a lot? This is all about helping you focus and prioritize.

Over time, my plan is to post more blogs with deeper dives into each of the six dimensions of Consumer Wisdom (this will take some time, but will happen!). Keep a look out for these since they will help you with specific tips and some inspiring stories from the people that I have interviewed for my research!

Next: A deeper dive into the six dimensions of Consumer Wisdom

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