How To Avoid The January Funk

How are you doing? Is the January Funk messing with your mind and playing with your attitude? Well the good news is you survived Blue Monday, the unofficial “gloomiest day” of the year.


The first Blue Monday was declared on January 24 in 2005 as part of a press release from a travel company. The date was a result of research used to discern travel trends and holiday bookings. And while science has debunked the gloomiest day of the year theory, there is no denying seasonal factors like post-holiday depression, increase debt, and inclement weather can be a catalyst for the January Funk.

But the good news is there are three things you can start doing today to beat the January Funk.

Get Active

Take a walk, start a new hobby, and volunteering your time are all ways to become more active. Reorder your life to include what is new and what creates excitement. Remember it’s hard to stay in a funk when you’re excited about things on your calendar.

Tip: What do you enjoy doing on the weekend? Incorporate a component of this activity or at least some planning into your work week.

Application: I had a client who loved hiking on the weekends. So they set aside time at lunch on Wednesdays to do research for futures hikes they wanted to plan.

Get Focused

Sometimes a funk sets in during periods when a person is over overwhelmed. Too much to do with too little time or too little help…does this sound familiar? And what makes this so challenging is our busyness keeps us from recognizing we’re actually in a funk. Yet if we were to ask coworkers or family members about our attitude and mental disposition they would confirm a funk has set in.

Tip: Narrow your focus. Try to find three things you need to accomplish or make significant progress in by the end of the week or month. Then celebrate milestone moments along the way. It’s tough to stay in a funk while you’re crossing things off your “to-do” list.

Application: A couple of years ago I was hired to help a dealership group reorganize on of their stores. Every department needed attention and the sheer volume of work would have been easy to spiral into a funk. Fortunately the owner accepted my suggestion we assess what was both critical and urgent before creating a project timeline. By using a modified version of Stephen Covey’s Time Management Grid we determined the top “Big 3” things we need to focus on first without being overwhelmed with the rest.

Get Connected

It’s hard to be in a funk when you are doing life with other people. This is especially true when relationships have developed with people who share common interests. The best kind of group is one where they care enough about you not to let you find your way into a funk.

Tip: Step out and get connected. What interests you? Where do you want to grow? In this age of information overload, it’s easy to research what could be a good fit when you want to get connected. Use Google to find “things to do” in your home town, check out to find specific groups where you have interests or passions, and ask friends and coworkers for recommendations.

Application example: I know my involvement with One Thing for Men since 2009 has helped me avoid the January Funk when challenges and adversity has found its way into my life. Just being able to connect and develop relationships with other business leaders has been so important. Plus finding guys who strive to apply the Bible principles we talk about each Friday in their lives and careers has impacted me on a personal and professional level.

No one wants to be in a funk or has time to stay in one. Hopefully the information shared will be useful. And let me know if the tips help you avoid the funk or showed you how to navigate out of one. But if you need a little help, or some guidance along the way, let me know!

What is your best advice for getting yourself out of a funk? Share a comment below.   

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.