New Year’s Resolutions by the Sign

Kelli Fox

The time has come once again to reflect on the year that is passing and look forward to the one ahead. The practice of making resolutions for the New Year has its roots in ancient Babylon and Rome, where people made promises to their gods and reaffirmed their commitment to their chosen paths. Just as it did thousands of years ago, the approach of January 1 stirs an urge within us to make this a better, happier, more fulfilling year than the last one. It’s the promise of a fresh start, a blank slate.

The only question is, what should your New Year’s resolutions be — and how can you make them stick this time? If you’re uncertain about what to set as your intention for the New Year, or tired of making resolutions that just don’t pan out, look no further than your Sun sign for guidance. This wealth of information can steer you in the right direction when it comes to making an internal commitment to progress. Read on to find out all about your own, best New Year’s resolutions.

Aries (March 20th - April 19th)

For energetic Aries, the best New Year’s resolutions are those that focus on channeling your considerable energy toward a worthy goal. With your bold, competitive, me-first personality, you often get stuck in a loop of chasing after your own goals without giving much thought to everyone else around you. Resolving to do more volunteer work may be working a bit against type, yet there’s little you like more than a challenge, and your leadership skills can be a real asset to any charity or humanitarian organization you might get involved with. If committing to volunteer work doesn’t appeal to you, you can achieve a similar goal on a smaller, more personal scale by resolving to develop your sympathy and compassion for others. Resolve to make it a habit in the new year to commit one small, random act of kindness each day. This could be anything — holding the door for someone, telling your coworker they’re doing a great job, or even paying for a stranger’s drink at the coffee shop.

Taurus (April 20th - May 20th)

For self-indulgent Taurus, your resolution for the new year should focus on curbing your hedonistic habits — whatever those might be. Whether your vice is spending too much money on frivolous things, eating too many sweets or lounging around when you know you should be working, it’s well within your power to gain control. You see, you have a secret weapon to use against your tendency to overindulge: Once you’re committed to a path, you possess excellent willpower and endurance. If you make a serious promise to yourself to indulge in sweets only once a week, for example, or to set aside an allowance for “play money” that fits within your budget, you’ll find it easier than you thought to stick to your new rule. The key is not to be too severe in your restrictions. If you know you enjoy shopping, allow yourself to do so once a month; make it a treat, something to anticipate and work toward, and stick to a budget when you do. See? Easy!

Gemini (May 21st - June 20th)

For talkative, expressive Gemini, a great New Year’s resolution is to become a better listener. As a natural storyteller and communicator, you’re unusually adept at verbalizing your thoughts and feelings. But have you ever made it a point to close your mouth and open your ears more often? You’re already quite observant, but when you consciously turn off the chatter and open yourself to receiving others’ messages, you’ll be amazed at the things you learn about the people around you. You’ll also be amazed at your own emotional response to their stories, problems, hopes and fears. After all, deep, intent listening leads to greater empathy for others; as you learn more about someone’s thoughts and feelings, you develop a more holistic view of them as a human being. Most Geminis tend to meet life from a playful, lighthearted perspective, which certainly has its merits. But becoming more deeply and emotionally engaged with your fellow human beings has undeniable benefits, too.

Cancer (June 21st - July 21st)

This year, Cancer, resolve to lighten up — not by taking everything, even serious matters, as a joke, but by letting go of emotional burdens from the past so you can move forward into the future. If you’re like most Cancers, your deeply feeling nature, along with your close connection to family and loved ones, means you carry old hurts and responsibilities that you may not even be aware of. It’s time to relieve yourself of those burdens that have no bearing on your current life. This might include releasing guilt or regrets you carry regarding choices you’ve made, forgiving someone who hurt you, or giving up a misplaced sense of responsibility you may have toward others. To make this transformation, you might start by attending therapy sessions with a counselor, reading self-help books about codependency or the power of forgiveness, or beginning a yoga or meditation practice. Any of these activities will help you gradually let go of the past in order to live more freely in the here and now.

Leo (July 22nd - August 21st)

Stylish, dramatic Leo — you’re used to being in the spotlight; people just can’t help but take notice of your sunny, passionate nature. This year, make a resolution to step aside and let others shine, in whatever way that makes sense in your life. This might mean committing small, daily acts, such as going out of your way to let your employer know when a coworker has done a great job, or making your friends feel extra special by telling them exactly what you love about them and why. You might also resolve to do something on a larger scale, such as channeling your passion toward an entirely selfless goal, without any expectation of recognition or compensation. You could join a volunteer organization, become a mentor to a child, or sponsor a struggling artist or musician. Donating your time and efforts to others will make you feel great; it will increase your inner sense of wellbeing along with your confidence that you’re making a positive impact on the world.

Virgo (August 22nd - September 21st)

Efficient, hardworking Virgo — you deserve to make it your New Year’s resolution to let your hair down a little this year. Your life tends to be all about self-control and striving for perfection; you set high standards for yourself and then do everything you can to meet them. This is certainly commendable, as it’s a reflection of your deep-rooted values, but it’s also a tall order to live up to day in and day out! You deserve some fun and relaxation, just as much as everyone else. You also deserve the leeway to make mistakes from time to time. In the new year, resolve to work a little less and go out with friends a little more; to let go of some of your rules and systems in favor of ushering a bit of friendly chaos into your life. Practice taking a deep breath, releasing any tension in your shoulders, and smiling as you tell yourself, “All is well.” Developing greater self-acceptance will create a deep sense of wellbeing that then spreads outward to everyone around you.

Libra (September 22nd - October 22nd)

This year, resolve to increase the balance in your life, in whatever way that applies. Libras tend to be kind, social people who strive for harmony in work and relationships, but that can actually lead to various kinds of imbalance. You might find yourself going out on the town too often with friends, and not spending enough time on your own; you might spend too much money on indulgences or defer to others too often, even when it would be better to take a stand. For the new year, focus on balance within yourself. If you need to gain control of your eating or your finances, make a diet plan or a budget with occasional indulgences built in, so you’ll be more sure to follow it long-term. If balance is needed in your relationships, find small ways to practice being assertive, such as declaring which movie you’d like to see or restaurant you’d like to try instead of waiting for others to choose. You’ll find that small changes become a habit over time; before you know it, you’ll be living a more balanced life.

Scorpio (October 23rd - November 21st)

For Scorpio, life is about intensity, passion and control. Whether you direct those elements toward yourself, your work or your relationships, in some way, you’re constantly balancing between control and chaos, and equally drawn toward both. This year, make it your New Year’s resolution to give up some of that illusion of control, in whatever way that applies to your life. For some Scorpios, that might mean delving into a spiritual practice that emphasizes yielding to and appreciating the great, unknown power of the Universe. For others, that might mean working on building up your sense of faith regarding your future path. Still others might choose to work on connecting deeply in intimate relationships without becoming possessive, obsessive or controlling of the other person. At your best, you’re a deeply nurturing soul with great capacity to help others. On that note, you might also make a resolution to channel your undeniable personal power toward a selfless goal. You’ll gain a valuable sense of fulfillment from exercising your generosity.

Sagittarius (November 22nd - December 20th)

As an enthusiastic student of the world, many Sagittarians live up to the old saying about jacks of all trades who are masters of none. This year, make it your resolution to pursue your passion in a more focused way than ever before. No more stopping and starting, no more getting sidetracked — because, while life is definitely the ultimate adventure, you’ve got to keep an end goal in mind. Whatever that goal might be is up to you, and should be based on your particular passion. Your New Year’s resolution should be to launch or complete formal training with a goal of graduating from student to master. You’re a natural teacher, after all; people look to you for leadership and inspiration. This year, make your dream a reality, whether that means working toward becoming certified as a teacher, personal trainer or yoga instructor; pursuing a higher-education degree; or even becoming a professor in a subject you find fascinating. You’ll be truly fulfilled when helping others broaden their minds.

Capricorn (December 21st - January 18th)

For hardworking, dedicated Capricorn, your New Year’s resolution should be to make more time to relax, whether with friends and loved ones or on your own. Commit to building regular retreat days into your schedule — days when you do nothing more than while away the afternoon with a novel or at a day spa (and leave your smartphone at home, so multitasking is not an option!). The same goes for spending less time working and more time with loved ones: Schedule regular family nights or dates with your sweetie, and regard those commitments as sacred. But here’s the kicker: Make a second resolution not to turn relaxation and fun into drudgery. If you’re too serious and single-minded about it, loosening up could become just another task to cross off your checklist. The idea is to incorporate leisure time into your life in such a way that creates balance, not in a way that adds more stress to your plate. Focus on learning to welcome downtime, levity and outright silliness as important elements of a well-rounded life.

Aquarius (January 19th - February 17th)

For Aquarius, it’s easy to make a New Year’s resolution related to improving the world around you. Progressive or humanitarian efforts are simply in your nature; your mind is geared toward volunteering, charity work and activism. This year, try making a resolution that hits a little closer to home — specifically, resolving to connect more naturally, emotionally and intuitively with your loved ones. You can be a bit emotionally aloof, even from the people with whom you’re most intimately connected. In your own heart and mind, you know you’re committed to them. Therefore, you might think it’s unnecessary to reaffirm your connection over and over, or you might actually feel uncomfortable with mushy or passionate displays of feeling. This year, resolve to welcome those messy, emotional moments that make relationships so funny, sweet and satisfying. Commit to telling your honey or your kids how much you love them, every single day. Take your sweetheart out for a romantic date every week, or surprise them with a sentimental gift that represents your adoration. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how satisfying it feels to broaden this area of your life.

Pisces (February 18th - March 19th)

For selfless, nurturing Pisces, this is your year to make a New Year’s resolution to be kinder and gentler. Not to others; you’ve already got that down to an art. No, this year, resolve to demonstrate greater kindness toward yourself, and to treat yourself with the same gentle, tender respect that you afford others. That may mean a variety of different things, based on your particular life. You might want to work on setting firmer boundaries in your relationships, so others can’t take advantage of your kindness so easily. Alternatively, you might want to focus on pursuing a goal you’ve always held dear, but have put off in favor of taking care of the people you love. It’s time to get a little selfish, Pisces. This will probably feel foreign at first, and distinctly uncomfortable; your task will be to work through these feelings of discomfort. Sooner or later, you’ll be able to make occasional selfishness — putting yourself first, in whatever way applies — a habit.

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