ow that we are fully immersed in January’s brutally cold, seemingly endless vortex, it seems appropriate to ask: How long did your resolution last? When did you break your wine hiatus or exercise vow?
As Man Repeller learned last year, keeping resolutions is hard. We all know this and yet we make them anyway. We strive to save more money and eat more vegetables and use our long commutes to read novels instead of conspiracy theories about Kylie Jenner’s pregnancy (…a friend’s resolution. Obviously not mine).
The calendar may be a weird human construct, but the universe does want us to move forward: 2018 is the celestial equivalent of a movie makeover, jam-packed with retrogrades and blood moons. This is bound to be a year that forces us out of our comfort zones. And what else is a resolution good for? If the universe is affording us the best environment to evolve, then we owe it our best effort to try, don’t you think?
As evidenced by my questionable commuter habits, I’m no hero — but if there’s one thing I’m sure about after studying the planets swirling around in a starry soup, it’s the power of self-examination. We can never hope to improve if we can’t take a good critique. So without further ado, let’s take a look at your sign’s famous pitfalls or obstacles and resolve to move beyond them. Here’s my best guess at what your 2018 resolution should be, according to the zodiac.
As the first sign in the zodiac, Aries is the baby of the celestial family. This often manifests as curiosity and zest, but it can come off quite childish, too. You’re well-intentioned but often get caught up in the heat of the moment; it may be difficult for you to compromise with others, and you’re plagued by impatience. Your assertive, fiery spirit urges you to run ahead and blaze a trail — sometimes at the expense of others.
This year, focus on your listening skills. Tone down the Monica Geller voice that whispers you always have to be number one in your ear at all times. It’s true that nobody likes being told to wait or being told they’re wrong, but it’s not a crime to have a different processing speed. Take the time to explain your point of view, to collaborate and to accept defeat when appropriate.
As the quintessential earth sign, change is really jarring for a Taurus. You are uniquely stubborn and apply this characteristic to every aspect of your life. It’s either impossible to tear you away from your computer for a lunch break or it’s impossible to find you underneath your blankets. If you’ve set yourself a deadline, all other responsibilities fade away. If you’ve decided to stay in and watch Netflix, persuading you to go out is a Herculean task.
Persistence and purpose are rare gifts; you’re decisive when choosing a path to take and resolute in following through. But this can be limiting. Paths have obstacles by nature, and it can often be beneficial to re-evaluate a decision halfway through. Nobody is lucky enough to follow the right side of the fork every single time (not even a Taurus who overanalyzes literally everything). In 2018, try expanding your senses and chilling out a little bit. Reorganizing a lackluster plan — or abandoning a terrible one — does not mean failure.
Gemini is represented by the twins, which is the birth of the sign’s misguided “two-faced” reputation. The truth is that Gemini epitomizes inner conflict. You are curious, desperate for stimulation and notorious for taking on too much. You will often spread yourself too thin, take an interest in any number of different topics, and then abandon each one in succession to chase something shiny.
Experimentation is valuable, but inconsistency becomes an excuse for avoiding accountability; it means you never have to face failure or mediocrity. Dipping your toe into a number of different pools without ever submerging can seem appealing but ultimately robs you of any full experience. So push yourself to complete one specific task at a time this year. It can be big or small: finish a book; learn to play a song on the guitar; self-impose an early deadline to submit a project at work; run a marathon. Commit to something and follow through. I promise you’ll like it in the end — even if the sense of accomplishment is fleeting.
Cancer is a famously protective, sensitive and romantic sign. You are dedicated to believing the best in people, and that’s an enormously attractive trait. It can also be easy to take advantage of. You’re a heart-on-sleeve type of person who is constantly looking for love. A Tinder date can smell that from a mile away.
The truth is, though, that you are so much more than a person looking for love. Dedicate this year to embracing your own unique, independent personality. Unfollow people on social media who make you feel inadequate. Compliment your reflection. Brag about your own handiwork. Get that dramatic haircut you’ve always wanted. As you cultivate a clear, beloved self-image, it will become harder and harder for bad dates or gross DMs or flaky people (who are unworthy of your love) to erase your self-worth.
A Leo’s aura is truly infectious. This should usually be read with a positive tone, but occasionally, it can backfire. When you have a bad day, everyone has a bad day. Leo’s characteristic pride and self-interest can be blinding — so when situations begin to go south, you tend to interpret other people as the root of these problems.
In 2018, make a pact with yourself to say sorry more often. You’re not always right. You know it deep down, and pouting isn’t a good look on anyone. Be generous with the benefit of the doubt. Be mindful of projecting your own insecurities onto the people around you: Are you angry because of what they did, or are you angry because of the way you perceived it? Remember that not every sharp tone is a personal attack.
Virgos are renowned for their analytical and organizational skills. They are the true perfectionists of the zodiac. This cautious nature can sometimes cause you to cling to your realism — which then turns into skepticism. You’re dubious when it comes to romance and prefer to keep your desires and feelings guarded.
It may serve you well to remember that emotional responses are just as valuable as intellectual responses. This doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice your practicality, but many relationships breathe better with open communication. This year, try to allow yourself to be vulnerable. Commit yourself to the belief that you are capable of loneliness and openness without losing your strength.
Libra is the peacemaking sign. You are an excellent mediator because you hate seeming biased and love to be well-liked. An ideal Libran approach finds the most comfortable middle ground with the fewest emotional casualties. It’s a gift for the people around you — but it can often leave you wanting. Your needs tend to fall by the wayside in favor of balance, especially in your own intimate relationships.
Instead of smoothing over every hurt feeling and unpleasant interaction, learn to identify the stuff that needs unpacking in 2018. Pick your battles carefully — and when you do, confront people compassionately and clearly. Don’t jump right to fisticuffs, but passive aggression will get you nowhere. This resolution is all about making your thoughts known in order to keep peace in the long run.
I can tell you right now that as a Scorpio, you use the eggplant emoji too often and you take way too long to reply. If you promise to use this new year to rehabilitate your texting habits, consider it a personal favor. You’re an emotional, intense and sometimes volatile sign, but you text like a robot who has never been taught how to love. Work on that.
On a more consequential note, handle your resolutions with care. Scorpios are uniquely capable of transformation, so you don’t really need the new year to self-reflect — but your reflection can be a double-edged sword. You tend to throw yourself into attempts at transformation and develop serious tunnel vision. In worst-case scenarios, you let your insecurities become weapons, and friends and family fall by the wayside. Remind yourself that self-doubt is only helpful when it inspires you to be better, not when it manipulates you into withdrawal. Compare yourself only to your previous selves.
Sagittarians are aggressively easy to get along with. You’re comfortable in almost any social situation because you’re super-cute, super-charming and could talk your way out of a bear trap. People like you immediately — but sometimes that’s the problem. It’s nice to be liked, but not at the expense of your delightful strangeness or quirky habits or the interests, passions and desires that make you who you are. It’s natural to get caught up thinking about how other people perceive you, but sometimes you have a hard time stepping back from the popularity game.
Don’t worry about looking cool this year. Stop worrying about how other people define you because you don’t fit one definition. You’re messy. You’re a case of meat and nerves and cells sloshing around (and I mean that as a compliment). It’s useless to oversimplify your personality in public for the sake of a reputation; we’re only on this planet for a short visit. There’s not enough time to question yourself. Too many things to do. Go.
Capricorns may specialize in terrible puns and mismatched socks, but those aren’t necessarily “flaws” or even vaguely resolution-worthy. You don’t have time to match socks. You’re probably too busy to even read this article — and you probably don’t mind, either. Capricorn’s calling cards are responsibility and perseverance. You will put every item on your to-do list ahead of frivolous reading.
The thing is, productivity is admirable, but self-sacrifice isn’t always necessary. “Selfish” is not an insult anymore. We are in the age of self-care, and it is miraculous. You’re allowed to prioritize your needs, value your mental health and, as cliche as it is, enjoy a damn bubble bath this year. In fact, throw some salts and essential oils in there! Be spoiled! Light some candles! Exfoliate! Scrub yourself clean and moisturize that skin until it glistens! (We officially have crossed over into metaphor territory. We are no longer speaking exclusively of personal hygiene.)
As an Aquarius, freedom is of the utmost importance to you. You’re a born revolutionary and value your open-mindedness. However, in your pursuit of independence and individuality, you can become opinionated to the point of stubbornness. Once you commit to a mindset or ideal, you’re unwilling to let go. You refuse to bend to please another person or to sacrifice your own values in order to impress — which is an admirable way to live but sometimes comes across as invariable self-interest.
There’s no need to rebel or fight just for the pleasure of it. By nature, you are concerned with the condition of humanity rather than just one or two people; try to put that into practice in tangible ways in 2018. Seek to share knowledge with others in order to bring them around to your point of view. Do so in a sensitive way, rather than combatively. Help others so they can help themselves.
Pisces is a hypersensitive sign. You are suffused with empathy and subconsciously absorb positivity or negativity from others. In fact, you are so in tune with the spectrum of human emotion that you often avoid making hard decisions if it may negatively affect someone else. While this is noble and kind, it’s also exhausting. You can only afford so much support if you’re not receiving the same amount in return.
You are more than capable of balancing compassion and maturity, and you have every right to expect a level of respect from your loved ones. It may not feel natural to stand your ground, but it’s necessary when your comfort zone begins to breed toxic relationships. Never let anyone depend on your forgiveness or get comfortable with disrespecting you. You are allowed to ask — or even demand — that your needs be met this year. When you start to water yourself down to please other people, that’s right when you need to stop.
Illustrations by Allison Filice; @allisonfilice.