Happy new year, and where do we go next?

As I write this post, which you should receive on Wednesday January 4th, it’s actually Tuesday the 3rd, in an unusually cold, wet California. Where oh where did those blue skies go?

Anyway, like many, I’m back at work after a longish break over Christmas and New Year but – boy – it seems hard to get going again. In fact I’ve sat for over an hour willing myself to write this. Not because anything’s particularly wrong (although I did get bitten by a dog yesterday, but that’s another story) but simply because the new year has caused me to reflect on what I’m doing, and where things are going.

2017-01-04

Although I’m hugely grateful for the overwhelmingly positive feedback from Moodnudges readers, it feels to me as though it’s time for some kind of refreshment.

When I started writing these kinds of posts, back in Moodscope days, I think things were different in terms of online content. A few months from now, I’ll have been writing regular mood-related emails for ten years. A whole decade.

Back in 2007, emailed newsletters were still somewhat novel, and the daily volume of messages arriving in people’s inboxes felt much, much lower than it does today. Nowadays, however, I know I have to allocate at least an hour a day to go through my emails, the great majority of which aren’t for me personally. Most just get clicked and ignored.

There’s no way I’m unique in this. I’m sure you must find yourself drowning in emails at times, too.

So something, I think, needs to change – but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe I could be writing much shorter content, published reasonably frequently? Or we could go the other way, with weekly posts that are more in-depth? There again, perhaps video or audio would be a better format than the written word?

I wonder if you have thoughts on this? What would you like to see? What would be useful?

What’s the single biggest problem you have that I might be able to help with?

I’d love to know what you think, so I truly encourage you to add a comment to the Moodnudges blog. It feels like a golden opportunity to engage you and our other brilliant readers in some interactive dialogue.

I can’t wait to see what people say, even if it’s simply to brag that the weather’s warmer where you are, and that you didn’t get bitten by a dog.

Woof woof. Happy new year!

45 thoughts on “Happy new year, and where do we go next?

    1. I would second this. I can read at my own speed but video holds me to its pace, which I don’t like, and so I rarely view such videos.

  1. I like both the written word and the occasional video. The latter makes me feel as though I have a personal relationship with the writer – but I work in the visual world so perhaps that’s not surprising. Why not try s video and ask for feedback after?

  2. I too would prefer to see the written word….. I have no preference as to frequency but would prefer a regular nudge. They always seem to turn up when I need one. Thanks

  3. Have missed your emails so much over the holiday. My inbox has been full of invitations to buy this or that. These are deleted unread but your nudges are always opened, read and somehow feel very personal and reassuring. I reread some of your posts on the blog instead so maybe its about highlighting this as a resource with less frequent nudges. Anyway I really appreciate all your efforts!

  4. Your posts have been a lifeline to me, often turning up in my inbox when I need them the most. Although we’ve never met, you feel like a friend. Somewhen who is there for me when I feel alone or lost as is often the case with low mood. I’d be very happy to receive video posts as a trial. As for frequency, I for one prefer more rather than less. As I said earlier, sometimes you have been the only person there for me.

  5. Jon, I think the length and depth of the ‘nudges’ in your book are just about right, for me anyway. I would simply write a weekly blog like this, with an e-mail link. What I miss are share/ re-blog buttons other than for twitter. Would a wordpress site be better, do you think?

  6. I love your written daily ‘nudges’ and the length for me is perfect – thank you! Life is complicated enough and some things do not need any further embellishments and that includes your blog.

  7. Hi Jon and happy New Year to you and everyone else…hoping no one else got bitten by a dog too!
    I’ve followed you for years now and having met you, I feel the warmth you send through the nudge. An occasional video is good…you’ve done so before, however, I do appreciate the written nudge. Got a lot from your book too, so thank you and if you can….keep on doing what you do best! KW

  8. I also like the written nudge. As I am now in the habit of reading your emails, it does not take long to scan down my in box to find it.i too have missed them over the holiday. Thank you for continuing with them. They really help me.

  9. I would like to think that these e mails also help Jon himself and wonder if we can ask you, Jon, what you would LIKE to do? This personal touch is powerful and along with other authentic sites “works” for us. I agree that it does seem more laborious to remain in the form it is, this does not been that it is broken.
    Most of my inbox is strewn with offers and pushy requests so, like Jude, I find your messages both thoughtful and genuine.
    I think that you should continue to be true to yourself and see what transpires. It does not have to change right now this minute but might evolve over time as we are open to ideas.
    Do you do any face to face work? The energy from this could feed into this community perhaps?
    I look forward to whatever you do, please keep us in the loop…..
    Thank you, as always.

  10. I like the short messages rather than long ones, but both is good. I dislike the word “should”, always feels like an autocratic word! I’m currently reading the mood nudges book, very helpful. Thanks and keep up the good work.

  11. Well done on your almost 10 years of moody writing!
    I love the written word but I also love eye catching pictorial quotes or sayings too…these seem to linger longer…

  12. Shorter is better for me as when I need your nudges most I can only concentrate for short periods. I loved your book ‘Nudge your way to happiness’ and recommend it to others, could you write another practical daily step approach or add it to these emails?
    Not sure about video as I look at your emails at work and I couldn’t do that with video.
    One thing for sure is don’t stop!!

  13. Hi Jon and Happy New Year to you too. I’ve been reading your messages for years now and although I hardly ever suffer from low moods I still find them inspiring. My favourites are when you relate something that you have been doing or that has happened and use it to suggest something we could do to brighten the day for ourselves and others.
    I would prefer them kept short so they can be read quickly because if they were too long there might be a danger of leaving them “to be read later” and we know how things like that tend to pile up!
    I appreciate the onus of having to produce something relentlessly every couple of days but as previous comments show, you are doing a great thing just by being there for people.
    Good luck whatever you decide but I would miss you if you weren’t there.
    PS I really liked the book.

  14. Happy New Year Jon

    I too missed your emails over Christmas but maybe it is time for a shake up. I think an occasional video link would be great. I also like the idea of a mix of long and short emails. So how about you making the decision depending on how you feel ? You might enjoy the variety and hopefully this would help your mood. Would be a surprise for us and if say a video link wasn’t suitable for a particular day we could save it for when it would be more convenient.
    Thank you for all you do.

  15. I like the short emails. Most mornings my inbox is overflowing but reading your messages, well, I make it part of my routine to do this, no matter how many other things are going on. So many of us forget to take time out, get caught in the every day routine. When your message pops up it reminds me to slow down and to think about me, reflect, stop the madness for a minute. I think continuing the email messages would be good but maybe mixing it up a little, videos, links to useful info etc I also think you need to do what you think is right too. I’m about to buy the moodnudges book and am looking forward to reading it.

  16. Hi Jon,

    Happy New Year!

    I like the emails the way they are. It’s good not having them every single day, and I prefer written to audio or video. However I do really like podcasts – have you thought about making one? I remember you mentioning being on the radio but not sure if you’ve done a podcast before (apologies if you have). I really like the content, 99% of the time it’s interesting and relevant.

    Kind regards,

    Lizzy

  17. Hi Jon – Happy New Year! I enjoy your Nudges and intend to work with the book. Just need to plan time in my schedule to do it for the 30 days.

    I enjoy your nudges and for me, like others, they often seem to turn up at the right time but perhaps weekly might be better, with a link, perhaps, to more in-depth thoughts from time to time?

    Thank you so much for both Moodscope and for your current work. Both have helped to (almost, a few weeks more to go )wean me off the medication I have been taking since 1990. Couldn’t have done it without you!

    With heartfelt thanks and kindest regards

    Valerie

  18. Hi Jon, your emails are often the highlight of my day; offering me a moment to reflect and re-balance. I like the written messages as I receive them on my work email and thus easier to incorporate into my day than videos; I always read the emails or flag them to read later, videos I would try to watch at home if I remember. Less frequent, like once a week-ish would be fine too though.

    However, I agree with Claire, though it’s great you’re consulting us, whatever you do should be something that is enjoyable / feasible for you for it to be sustainable; I for one are grateful for your insights however you decide to share them.

  19. Hi Jon, I too have followed you since your Moodscope Days, I remember really missing reading your daily comments after you left. The regular thoughts though not daily are always thought provoking, and I too like the written format best, but then I’m a bit of a technological dinosaur. I recently went back to look at some of your early Moodscope comments recently as I remembered you’d done one on moodtracking and had looked at Chickadee’s approach to using Mood tracking. I guess if I were to wish for any changes to your content it would be inclusion of theories which are currently influencing approaches to mental health issues, you touch at times on books you have been impressed by or new thoughts/approaches but an expansion of this would interest me – maybe twice a month. You may feel you are shouting to the breeze when you push the send button on your thoughts button but we are listening. Happy New Year to you and pleased keep writing your thought provoking moodnudges. Karen

  20. I much prefer written content and very rarely open audio or video content in emails. I really value the current format and always read your emails before trudging through the remainder in my inbox.
    Not sure if I have anything more useful to offer in the way of bright ideas – I like what you’re doing!

    1. Dear Jon, I agree entirely with Lizzie’s sentiments. I never delete your ‘Nudge’ and have just recommended them to my partner’s very reticent brother, who amazingly accepted the help. Please just keep keeping on. Please, and thanks.

  21. I prefer the written word to video. Also more frequent, if shorter, emails are extremely helpful to me. There has been more than one morning, while trying to force myself to go through the routine of getting ready for work, when I’ve opened an email from you and found something that immediately gave me hope and lightened my mood. In short, the more I hear from you the better. Not, however, at the expense of your own strength. You must take care of you.

  22. I’ve been with you for 10 years, Jon, and thank you for that.
    While I appreciate the tone and length of the pieces you’ve written for years, I could use some different perspectives. You know what I might like? Links. Links to the research you are reading, links to others’ thoughts on mood upkeep. Links to scientific studies and new approaches. Old ideas fashioned in new ways. A different way to say the same thing.
    Thanks for everything, and good luck in the new year.

  23. I enjoy reading your emails. Personally I prefer written format than video. I’ve enjoyed links to apps and book immensely. I’m more likely to read shorter bits of writing if they are frequent. I’d agree that links to research would be interesting plus feedback on your research.

  24. Thank you for your writing! I especially appreciated the “Christmas is just a day” reflection and shared it with a friend who found it meaningful also. Please continue writing, although I might watch a video of you made it. I like your daily emails but if you need to go weekly or random, that’s ok too. Any length is fine!

  25. Do keep writing Jon. Although my inbox gets too full and I sometimes takes a day off reading any emails I always make time to read yours. I’ve followed you from moodscope about five years ago since my father died and I feel as if I’ve learned a lot. I’m not a morning person and it’s usually late in the day when I read. I like a few visuals sometimes, especially landscapes.

  26. Jon,

    I enjoy your e-mails very much. I “discovered” you on Moodscope, but I, now, find most of the “posts” there depressing & have quit using the scoring.

    I realize these may help many people – as they did me when you were there – so I don’t mean to be critical. It’s just not the same to me, anymore.

    I hope you’ll continue with your insightful, concise messages. ‘Just my opinion.

  27. Hi Jon,
    It has to be the written word for me too. I won’t watch/listen to audio-visual because the nature & quality of engagement with written words is what I want.
    Your steady nudges are so much appreciated. Re length & frequency, anything from half a page to two is fine & from every other day to weekly works for me.
    My greatest problem, since you ask, is probably finding the willpower to get up & go to bed at the same (earlier) time each day, which is something you used to advise on Moodscope – so I value the dependability & consistency of your ‘voice’ above all.
    Here’s to the 360 opportunities of 2017!
    Warmest wishes,
    Carol

  28. Hi Jon

    Although I’ve never been in touch, I too have been a constant follower, since that first article in the UK press. I’m with the consensus: please keep up the short emails as and when you can; frequent is good. I seldom read the blog, but I can see now that is also a useful resource. We are a community. Links, as others suggest, would be interesting but I’m not too keen on videos. I prefer to continue to picture you sitting in a cafe in San Francisco writing to us all!

    I’ve had the book, unread, since you published. Somehow it’s become an insurance against the time when I feel my mood slipping again…

    Like so many who’ve written, I feel an enormous debt of gratitude to you. Look after yourself. We need you, but that in itself hopefully won’t become a burden to you.

    Just one final thought. We are a community and could we build on that somehow? Is the intensity of the positive response you’re deservedly getting a poor reflection on the help we’re offered (if we get any at all) from conventional healthcare providers? I seem to remember you did try to feed your approach into a structured system but when it comes down to it I think the job you are doing writing to us and supporting so many of us so successfully is invaluable. Thank you.

    Happy New Year.

    Siobhan

  29. I like the emails and think they’re just the right length. The days I’m too busy I skip them and read them another day. And I keep the ones that give me a good boost

    Happy New Year

  30. Hello Jon,
    Happy new year to you. Please do carry on with what you’re doing. I look forward to your emails and always read them. They help me through on my bad days. Whilst I have no objection to video, I much prefer what you write, as I can read these anywhere, and discreetly. I do my Moodscope score on my phone every day on the train to work (except for weekends, obviously), and your emails invariably pop up just before, or after I do it, so it gives me a chance to stop and reflect. Incidentally Moodscope wasn’t the same after you left and I no longer get the daily reminders from Moodscopers as I find them counterproductive-I much prefer yours! And even though we’ve never met, I consider you a friend, a sort of fatherly “email uncle” who checks in now and then with nuggets of wisdom to keep me on the straight and narrow. 😊

  31. I have been reading your emails since May 2011 when you were on Radio 4. I’m glad to see them in my inbox and I ALWAYS read them. For me the length of post and frequency are about right
    Very few people know that I have depression so it’s like having a message from a friend. I appreciate the thoughtfulness and relevance of your posts.
    Please keep doing what you are doing – as long as you don’t find it too onerous.
    Thank you for all your hard work.

  32. I love your Moodnudges as they are, Jon. I can appreciate that without knowing what people out there are thinking, it must be hard to gauge if they are still valued, but you are truly an unsung hero to many of us. You work so hard to lift our spirits, and you do.

    Incidentally, funny how many more people have commentated than usual…. You knee jerked us all into reacting! Mostly, we’re just nodding and approving!

  33. Dear Jon

    It is great what you are doing and you are giving a lot of yourself and your time. It helps people and I think what you do and consistently do is brilliant and it has helped me. However there is you to think of and you need to do what inspires and motivates and meets your needs too ( I am sure you don’t need me to say that! Please don’t take it in a patronising way as not meant like that). I wouldn’t change a thing as I have no criticisms of what you do but I am sure and many others too will like /love what you do next or get used to it. There will always be some that don’t as people don’t often like change . The only thing I wouldn’t be open too and would be weary of is opening the newsletters up to other people to do or take turns or contribute like on the other service moodscope – I stopped that as one message /blog arrived which had been met through by a moderator from someone who was quite ill and suicidal . This person needed help and support but I found it quite triggering being exposed without warning to someone’s distress like that and there were others like that too . That was plenty that were reflective and inspiring.

    What I like best that you do is to be honest and confront feelings but you do it in a way that I find manageable and not distressing. Thank you . Happy new year

  34. Meant to open – opening up the newsletters to trained professionals to add comment now and again if difficult for you alone I think is fine , I just wouldn’t subscribe to one where guest contributions were from people currently struggling with mental health problems who are in distress as I find that triggering. Thankyou

  35. I agree that your warmth & positive regard for your readers, along with being able to read at my own pace make the current format preferable. However it made me think; would a live chat (Facebook, FaceTime,Skype meeting) session once a week be fresh and immediately insightful? The immediate interaction with your followers could provide the fresh boost you’re after? Good luck, I hope you find what you’re looking for ☀️

  36. I’ve been following you since I started Moodscope in 2011 and I read a good 90% of your emails. While the in-depth idea has appeal, I doubt I’d keep up when my mood is low. Maybe if you go down that route write a short mail like now with a link to more? I like that your nudges come straight into my email. If I had to go and look for them online I’d read less. I like the ones where you do bits of research and ask us to participate. The results are always interesting. I would really appreciate if you could write about managing the highs of bipolar as well as the lows, as there’s a lot less info about this out there. Most of all, thank you for your consistent blogging over all this time. You are clearly touching many lives, even if we don’t often say so. Than you.

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