We set intentions all year, but there's no time like New Year's to zero in on bold goals. Here's how you can harness the power of your personal astrology to transform your dreams into reality in 2020.
Even if you're resolution-averse, it's difficult to not feel inspired by a fresh calendar year. There's a natural urge to train your eye on self-improvement and set New Year's intentions.
From swapping fro-yo dinners for clean eats to hitting the pavement for a morning run at least three times a week, resolutions have a rep for being overwhelmingly health-conscious—but they can look a little different. Think: pitching that business proposal to shake you out of a professional rut, ending that toxic friendship, deleting stale dating apps and trying to meet someone offline, or moving somewhere new and revitalizing. (You can even set multiple resolutions, like this writer who's setting 20 goals for the year 2020.)
No matter what your resolutions look like, making sweeping changes can feel daunting. As a result, you may feel like you could use some serious help following through on your proposed game plans. So, why not take insight from the planets into consideration?
Your sun sign is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to your personal astrology, but it does play a significant role in who you are at your core, shaping your sense of self, identity, individual style, vitality, self-esteem, and confidence. This is especially apparent during your sign's season. If you identify with your sun sign, you likely feel even more alive, self-assured, and like your personality is even more amplified than usual during your season.
The qualities of your Sun sign can lend especially relevant insight as well. Each element (fire, earth, air, water) has a fixed sign (Leo, Taurus, Aquarius, Scorpio), a cardinal sign (Aries, Capricorn, Libra, Cancer), and a mutable sign (Sagittarius, Virgo, Gemini, Pisces). The fixed crew are known as the most likely to be resolute, often refusing to budge on their view or plan; the cardinal group tends to initiate projects and offer a big-picture perspective, but can lack follow-through; the mutable club is the most adaptable but also changeable.
You can make the most of the energy associated with your planetary wiring any time—so why not use it to help set the tone for a whole new year? Here, how you can take advantage of the power of your sign to nail your resolutions in 2020 (and every year after).
Aries (March 21–April 19)
Your ultimate resolutions are... anything that makes you feel like you've "won" a competition, given that your ruling planet is action-oriented Mars (named for the God of War). This could be literal (like training for and running a race) or figurative (feeling like you've one-upped a colleague by getting your pitch green-lit over theirs). You also do well with goals that are physical by nature, so consider an aggressive resolution that will bolster your health, like finally attending that kickboxing class on the regular.
Traits to harness: Your fiery passion, trailblazing nature, and the ability to think on your feet
Watch out for: Impulsively diving into something you don't really want to see through; impatience that can curb follow-through; quick temper, which could throw you off your game (if the latter is true for you, try Kristin Bell's quick trick to ease up on the anger)
Taurus (April 20–May 20)
Your ultimate resolutions are... intentions that reflect your love of art, beauty, sensuality, comfort, and security. Your ruling planet is Venus, which oversees romance, money, beauty, and relationships of all kinds, so resolutions that are fueled by these themes can be particularly powerful and motivating for you. Maybe you've been wanting to de-clutter your space, transform that situationship into an actual commitment, or train and score a position that will pay you what you're worth.
Traits to harness: Your down-to-earth perspective, ability to be methodical, and tenacity
Watch out for: Hardheadedness (which is related to being the fixed, aka most resolute or stubborn, earth sign); occasional lackadaisicalness that can stem from wanting to avoid discomfort; being driven by materialism over deeper, more fulfilling aims
Gemini (May 21–June 20)
Your ultimate resolutions are... related to the way you express yourself and connect with others, thanks to your ruling planet Mercury, which oversees communication, transportation, and technology. Anything that fuels your perpetually heightened sense of curiosity, feels social, and stimulates you mentally is bound to be a winner. Build your social following by signing up for that networking conference, taking an online class to hone your professional skills, or make new friends and amp up your fitness by trying different workout studios. (See: Why You New Year's Resolution Should Be to Try Something New That Scares You)
Traits to harness: Your communication skills (obvi), adaptability (which is related to being the mutable, aka easy-going, air sign), and inquisitiveness
Watch out for: Lacking attention span and changeability (both of which can make it tough to focus on your goals and strategies for hitting them) and occasional nitpickiness which can get you caught up in minutiae and prevent you from seeing the big picture
Cancer (June 21–July 22)
Your ultimate resolutions are... emotionally-charged, given that you're ruled by the moon, which oversees emotional identity and our most innate needs. You're deeply sentimental and heartfelt at your core, frequently driven to nurture and care for others. You might resolve to work through any chronic relationship issues that have been stressing you out. Zeroing in on methods (like meditation or therapy) that can help you get more centered in your own feelings can feel empowering as well.
Traits to harness: Your emotional intelligence, big-picture creativity, and compassion
Watch out for: Allowing a gloomy, brooding mood to pull you off-course; refusing to open up about your emotional battles even when they might be inhibiting your progress; being inclined to enjoy only the beginning of a project as opposed to the whole experience of it (a result of being the cardinal water sign)
Leo (July 23–August 22)
Your ultimate resolutions are... passionate, positive, and fueled by self-confidence. Ruled by the image-conscious sun, you're driven by opportunities to command the limelight. Chances are, you'd like to be recognized as a leader or to attract some level of fame. Own this by getting after the leadership or influential role that suits you best. You also tend to offer tons of enthusiasm and energetic light to those you care about most, so consider resolutions related to ensuring that your relationships are reciprocal—and that you're treating yourself just as well.
Traits to harness: Your optimism, passion, and charisma
Watch out for: Getting hung up on a narrow, limited view of what your game plan should be (a fault of being the fixed fire sign); self-confidence that veers into self-centeredness and prevents you from seeing the big picture
Virgo (August 23–September 22)
Your ultimate resolutions are... detail-oriented, service-driven, and health-conscious. Ruled by communicator Mercury, you love gathering all the information before mapping out a strategy. Virgo also rules the sixth house of daily routine and health. You're all about self-improvement—of your wellness, how you care for others, of your professional skills—so resolutions are more like a daily versus annual thing for you. For that reason, your first-of-the-year intentions might be more about giving yourself a well-deserved break, figuratively (work on curbing that self-criticism) or literally (step away from the list-making and take a vacation already!). (Related: How I Learned to Run Races for Fun, and Not PRs or Medals)
Traits to harness: Your keen ability to research and plan ahead, your analytical thought process that helps you problem-solve, and your caring heart that often guides you to doing what's right for the greater good
Watch out for: Perfectionism, overthinking, and being oversensitive (likely as a result of overthinking, thanks to your cerebral, Mercury-ruled ways)—all of which can put the kibosh on taking or sticking with action
Libra (September 23–October 22)
Your ultimate resolutions are... guided by your key principles of balance and connecting with others, as your ruling planet is beauty-loving Venus. In terms of a health goal, you're all about resolutions that address your inner equilibrium (like working with a holistic-minded doc on your hormonal balance). Libra rules the seventh house of partnership, so you'll also do well to make moves to bolster friendships, work relationships, or a committed romance. Anything that involves letting your inner social butterfly shine is sure to have lasting appeal. You might also want to move the ball on your creative endeavors, as you're naturally drawn to self-expression through various art forms (dance, music, theater, makeup art).
Traits to harness: Your social grace, imagination, diplomacy
Watch out for: Indecisiveness (#airsignproblems), repressing emotions that would be better dealt with upfront, passive-aggressive behavior that can occur as a result of wanting to avoid confrontation at all costs—all of which can throw you off your game
Scorpio (October 23–November 21)
Your ultimate resolutions are... razor-focused and related to stepping into your own power and magnetism. Ruled by Pluto, the planet of transformation, you're often motivated to evolve in ways that aren't necessarily visible to the naked eye but are more related to psychology or connecting with others on a deeply intimate, spiritual level. Zeroing in on a challenging professional goal (like achieving recognition or a more senior position on the job) might be thrilling, but you would do just as well to pick a resolution that supports your emotional well-being, perhaps lightening your grip on the reins and seeing where the universe takes you.
Traits to harness: Your leadership skills, dedication, ability to see the many complex mental and emotional layers of any given situation
Watch out for: Obstinacy (as the fixed water sign, you tend to dig your heels in), obsessiveness, and secrecy, which might cause you to resist change and keep you from opening up to new information and promising approaches that could fuel success
Sagittarius (November 22–December 21)
Your ultimate resolutions are... supportive of your never-ending thirst for knowledge and adventure. Ruled by expansive Jupiter, you're wired to think bigger and bolder is usually better and, as the ruler of the ninth house of higher learning and adventure, you're on a life mission to broaden your horizons at every turn. For these reasons, it's a no-brainer for you to resolve to travel more, choose an exciting new area of study, or connect in a more philosophical way with people in your life. You also love to entertain and bring others joy and laughter, but you'll do well to offer yourself the same level of cheer and warmth.
Traits to harness: Your propensity to take risks, speak your mind, and soak up new information
Watch out for: Restlessness, recklessness, or going to extremes, which could compromise your ability to stay the course
Capricorn (December 22–January 19)
Your ultimate resolutions are... related to good, old-fashioned, hard work. Ruled by Saturn, the taskmaster planet that oversees rules and regulations, you're driven to keep your nose to the grindstone, putting in slow, steady effort on a mission to reach the peak of your own personal mountain (just like your symbol, the mountain goat). But because you're constantly focused on the practical steps required to achieve, your New Year's resolutions could be a brilliant opportunity to break free of traditional career or health-related goals. You might do well to find new ways to infuse your life with fun, light-heartedness, relaxation, and self-care. Frame it as putting in a different kind of work—on your happiness. (Here: 20 Self-Care Resolution Ideas for the New Year)
Traits to harness: Your drive, discipline, and pragmatism
Watch out for: Leaning too heavily on conservative approaches, allowing yourself to get overworked (and potentially resentful as a result), stoicism
Aquarius (January 20–February 18)
Your ultimate resolutions are... progressive, forward-thinking, and humanitarian. As the ruler of the eleventh house of networking, you're a natural-born team player and are often thinking more about what's best for your community or people in the global sense versus you as an individual. Meanwhile, your ruling planet, game-changer Uranus, urges you to fight convention at every turn. For that reason, you might not want to set a resolution at all—or go with a quirky, unexpected approach. Maybe you want to learn about the science of CBD for your wellness routine, how to program the app you wish existed but doesn't yet, or feed your humanitarian impulses by getting involved in a local campaign or charity.
Traits to harness: Your open-mindedness, friendliness, and originality
Watch out for: Feeling like you have to be detached or go with a route that's completely untraditional in order to succeed
Pisces (February 19–March 20)
Your ultimate resolutions are... charged by your deeply felt emotions, creativity, and intuition. Ruled by Neptune, the planet of imagination and dreams, you tend to be artistic, and your greatest inspirations stem from being in your feelings—something you're apt to be quite often. Your best resolutions will support your ability to identify and work with your at-times overwhelming empathy toward healing others and yourself. You'll also do well to land on intentions related to sharing what's in your heart through performance, writing, art, or another form of self-expression.
Traits to harness: Your dreaminess that can easily translate to impressive creative work, empathy, sensitivity
Watch out for: Getting so swept up in your dream state that you struggle to maintain a grasp on rational thought, relying too heavily on escapism or wallowing when you're feeling down