Get motivated on Blue Monday 2018

The third Monday of January, this year the 15th of January, is now known as Blue Monday due to a combination of post-Christmas blues, cold dark nights and the arrival of unpaid credit card bills.

There’s an obvious nod to the best-selling 12-inch single of all time of the same name, released by snythpop pioneers New Order in 1983.

We imagine their record label, Factory Records, weren’t too happy either to discover that the original die-cut sleeve (designed by Pete Saville to resemble a floppy disc) was losing them money. Eventually, there was a happy ending as ‘Blue Monday’ shifted over 1.1 million long-playing singles – a figure unlikely to be beaten even in these more vinyl-friendly times.


‘Blue Monday’ the day in January, was arrived at, allegedly, after a university professor developed a formula to calculate the most depressing day of the year:

[W + D – d]TQ


Where W = Weather, D = debt accumulated, d = ability to pay that debt, T = time since Christmas, Q = time since failing our new year’s resolutions, M = low motivational levels and Na = the feeling of a need to take action.

The calculation seems plausible, if a little crude, but in reality, it was dreamt up by the PR team at Sky Travel.

Wikipedia says the concept is little more than pseudoscience. However, 2014 saw Blue Monday invoked by legal firms and retailers of bottled water and alcoholic drinks. Other versions of the original story purport to analyse social media trends to ‘calculate’ the date.

I do like Mondays

Blue Monday, the mid-January Monday, has now passed into urban myth and occasionally crops up, sometimes taken seriously and sometimes debunked.

Team 10Eighty are an upbeat bunch and we always see the New Year as the best time of the year for a Career MoT. As January begins last year’s slate is wiped clean and on the horizon are 12 months of new possibilities and opportunities.

It may be dismal, damp and chilly at the moment so find all those reasons to be cheerful, and celebrate good times whatever you can:

  • Celebrate Martin Luther King Day, also on the 15th it’s a federal holiday in the USA, so why not take a day off in solidarity (if you don’t live in the US, obvs!)
  • Look forward to Winnie the Pooh Day on January the 18th, have a picnic (an indoor one if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere) and celebrate A.A.Milne’s birthday
  • Take a detour on the way to the office and buy a bunch of sunflowers or some scarlet tulips for your desk or maybe brighten up a colleague’s day
  • Do a random act of kindness – compliment a stranger (in a non-creepy way) , pay for the person behind you in the queue’s coffeee, make someone smile, pick up some litter, or call a random person on your Contacts and surprise them Scott Mills style by saying: ‘I love you’!
  • Be good to yourself – every 20 minutes get up, stretch and spend two minutes moving around. Don’t eat ‘al desko’ have a sit-down lunch with a colleague you really vibe off and take a mini-digital detox, leave your phone behind too
  • Be good to others – thank the people you come into contact with every day such as , checkout staff, doormen, security staff or customer service folk. They may only be doing their jobs but they will surely appreciate some eye contact, a smiley ‘hello’ or a cheery ‘thank you’.
  • And if you’re a turophile (that’s the technical term for a cheese aficionado) why not take the day by the short and curlies by treating yourself to 200 grammes of the cheese created by Blur bass player’s Alex James known as ‘Blue Monday’? It’s “a rich pasteurised, sophisticated blue cows milk cheese” and just a fiver from the Cheese Society’s website.

Monday kicks off a whole new week. And if you didn’t quite keep up your New Year resolutions over the last 14 days, try again this week. Failing that Chinese New Year, the Year of the Dog starts on Friday 16th February 2018 so you could take a resolution reboot next month.

Mind you, if you have kept your resolutions since Jan 1st enjoy some cheese or coffee today and pat yourself on the back.

Michael is Chief Executive of 10Eighty. 10Eighty is a career and talent management consultancy that helps organizations maximize the contribution of their employees by ensuring satisfying jobs and careers for their employees. Michael is a Human Resources professional, having worked in the National Health Service, Insurance, Commodities and Derivatives industries. He has worked within the career coaching business for fifteen years, both managing a £7 million business and delivering bespoke, one to one career coaching. In the last 15 years Michael has run businesses that have helped 75,000 people make successful career transitions. He is a frequent commentator in the press/media, which includes a range of topics on “successfully managing your career” and talent management. Most recent media mentions have included BBC South, CNBC, Radio4, Financial Times, City AM, Financial News, Evening Standard, The Sunday Times, The Grapevine and HR Magazine, to name but a few. He writes a careers column for People Management, a blog for the Human Resources Magazine and is a regular contributor to The Thompson Reuters HR Portal. Michael is known as a thought provoking speaker in the HR industry. In the last 18 months, Michael spoke at the Careers Partner International Conference, NHS breakthrough conference, NHS North West Leadership Academy, London School of Economics, University of Westminster’s Talent Management Conference, ICAEW Finance Directors Conference, CIPD learning and development conference and CIPD branch seminars. He is also Chair of the CIPD’s Central London Branch. Additionally is a non executive director of Marshall ACM, an e-learning company and the Total Reward Group, a compensation and benefits consultancy. Michael plans to publish his book “The guide to everlasting employability” in the Autumn 2012. He has just launched an iphone app “careers snakes and ladders” and an online interactive version of the book in collaboration with Marshall ACM to coincide the launch of his new business 10Eighty. Michael has a degree in Economics, a MBA from Warwick Business School and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. He holds an accreditation from the British Psychological Society for the use of psychometrics. Michael has completed the Fairplace Internal Accreditation Programme, the training element of which is externally recognised by the Association for Coaching. Michael Moran was until January 2012 Chief Executive of Fairplace and a main board director of Savile plc, the career and talent management consultancy. Fairplace is part of the Savile Group, an AIM listed plc. The Savile Group was placed 16th in the Sunday Times top 100 small companies in 2010.

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Michael Moran – CEO 10Eighty

A blog about career and talent management, things that might help you with your career and in your job.


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