What is Gentle January?

What is Gentle January?

Gentle January is a more tender and compassionate approach to the traditional "new year's resolution" culture that can create a lot of shame and pressure to make changes that you may not be ready for, able to, or want to make. Instead, let's softly land into 2024 by showing ourselves a little more TLC (tender, love and care)!

Why should we shift to Gentle January?  

‍Gentle January acknowledges that this month is often very hard for many people. Money can be tight after the holidays, January tends to be the coldest month in most cities across Canada, and a new calendar year can create a lot of pressure to set goals and improve or change ourselves for the better. Not meeting these goals can also create a lot of feelings of shame.

Gentle January offers us an alternative to meet ourselves where we are as we begin the new year.

Gentle January encourages self-compassion and is an opportunity to reflect on mindset over goals.

Shifting to Gentle January emphasizes our journey, rather than our goals.

It acknowledges that progress is not linear. This creates a new outlook on fulfillment.  

Gentle January can help us realize that our value is not placed on the finish line toward a goal or set of goals, but on the effort taken along the way.  

This outlook allows us to be human. And when we acknowledge our own humanity and imperfections, it can help build our tolerance towards things that seem to set us off course.  So, when we have off, slow, or missed days, we don't see the need to judge ourselves or use them as negative scorekeeping against our targets, or our worth and value, but rather, accept these as part of our journey.

How To Gentle January

Practicing Gentle January is unique to you. The intention is to not be in comparison with others around you. Everyone is on their own individual path, and everyone’s journey looks different.

Let's take what you learned in 2023 and build on it with empathy for all the past things you've conquered. The past version of you is resilient, powerful, and knowledgeable. The present version of you is the same, with more compassion and the ability to be kinder to yourself.

While your Gentle January mindset can be focused on taking better care of or improving your mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, or sexual health, it's important to remember that your health and well-being are a journey that will continue to evolve 365 days of the year! You can think of Gentle January as a way to start this year’s journey off with a good note.

Here are a few ideas to start your Gentle January journey in 2024:

  • Spend 5-10 minutes each day thinking about a moment that made you proud of yourself.
  • Spend 5-10 minutes each day to process and understand any hard emotions you may have had that day.
  • Find and surround yourself with people who accept and respect you.  
  • Create boundaries of what you will do with people who don't re-energize you or bring you joy.
  • Consider journalling your goals (whether that be around mindfulness, gratitude, joy, personal goals, professional goals, social goals, etc.).
  • Consider joining therapy (there are more accessible options online or through community health organizations).
  • Create an anxiety chart that helps you regulate the reality vs. the anxious thought.  
  • Create a personal mental health toolkit for emergencies.

Regardless of what you decide to do with your January, it's essential to give yourself the grace of being human and remind yourself that progress is not always linear.

Happy New Year!

- The Sexfluent Family

Share this post
Back to Blog Home