Blue Monday & not the New Order kind


in HR, Mentoring, Uncategorized

Just as we have Cyber Monday and Black Friday the recent phenomenon of “Blue Monday” is just around the corner. I became more aware of this last year as it just so happened my partner’s birthday falling on this exact day. No wonder he didn’t feel like celebrating this year especially, what’s special about Mondays….right?

Blue Monday according to the world wide Web tends to be the 2nd Monday in January as calcluated by very clever people as follows  \frac{(C \times R \times ZZ)}{((Tt + D) \times St)} + (P \times Pr)>400 and is dependent on factors such as the weather, debt level, time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational and feeling the need to take action. Always the optimist I did find that Cliff Arnall, who is credited with this work did also calculate that 24th June is the happiest day of the year so I will check back in on this in the summer.

What is interesting here is the themes around both resolutions/goals, motivation and need for action to create change to lead us to happier life experiences whatever they are.  Over the last week or so I have and I am sure you will have witnessed alot of noise about “new year, new you” “transform your life” whether that is your health, your weight, relationships, business, money, career. This can seem insurmountable for many. Whilst I won’t claim to help you with the other “Life” stuff let’s begin to talk about careers, how we go about creating andinstilling real enduring change.

I have posted before that I have a venemant belief that change does absoultely not have to be collossial or completely different or a U turn to bring about real and meaningful change that you want.  From my reading over time I wished to bring together some small but “doable” tips because you never know where it might lead that can work for you if you are looking to improve your current role or thinking about change.

  1. Think small not big

May seem obvious but even Margaret Heffernan in her book “Beyond Measure: The big impact of small changes,” talks about how creating strong cultures isn’t about multi-million dollar programme but the small actions of each employeeregardless of level which creates the biggest impact.  Plant a tiny seed, in the right place and let it grow!

2.  Use current habits as a trigger for new ones

This should get round the problem of combining the right amount of motivation to do something which you find hard or don’t think you have the ability to do.  With an everyday habit/behaviour tell yourself  “After I check my faviourite social media, I will ……… see if my LinkedIn profile statement is up to date 4 e.g. These are the wise teachings of BJ Fogg in his Ted Talk. Go on try it. Plant this seed and see how you get on.

3. Switch your environment

This doesn’t mean move house, decide to work from home but Science shows that our environments help us change behaviour. How about tweaking one part of your surroundings be it external and your immediate raidus. What about step chaning your commute for one day, get off a stop earlier, take a different turning into the office, listen to music you wouldn’t usually listen to rather than srollling your Apps!

4. Celebrate your victories

And celebrate them NOW! BJ Fogg in his Ted talk rallies us to do this. Whether it’s telling ourselves we are awesome or doing a little dance. Have your “Yay” moment, don’t delay, don’t wait for anyone else. So often we equate success to mean BIG such as landing that amazing job! Ok so you didn’t get the job offer (yet) but did you get selected to interview, or even had an news you got shortlisted. Take this! Celebrate this! This will in turn build your internal confidence.

5. Don’t be too hard on yourself

We constantly tell one another especially kids in our lives to be kind to others but what about us. If it hasn’t worked out like we planned or not worked at all, what has been the outcome? Very often nothing fundamentally bad has happened. Often this less than percfect experiences, could be feedback from your manager or on a project can be exactly the stuff we can learn from. Making mistakes isn’t easy to experience but does allow us to learn and growth. Employers far more in the current job market want to see real evidence of this growth mindset.

So as we stare into the face of this year’s Blue Monday, what will you be doing to get one “small” step closer to the happiest day of the year in June? Would love to hear.