What is virtue without a little vice? We’ve just about reached that point in the month where our New Year’s Resolve is starting to fatigue and our less productive shadow selves (a.k.a. the real us) threaten to resume control of our bodies and force us to do horrible things like sleep under a mountain of laundry or zone out when someone introduces themselves. Things we’d hoped to leave behind with the last decade.
So, in the spirit of resisting black and white thinking (a New Year’s Resolution if I ever heard one) and embracing a little darkness, I’m celebrating all the nasty little vices we’ll be allowed to hang onto this year, according to astrological forces. These are the bad behaviors likeliest to emerge in 2020 per the stars, so we might as well succumb to them now, draft a few defensive talking points, and warn our friends. (They’ll be annoying in the new year, too.)
Aries: Being career-obsessed
You are climbing ladders in 2020, and people around you will know. From brunch to the movies to the laundromat, you are in full networking regalia, with a firm handshake and a crisp elevator pitch at the ready. As eye-roll-worthy as your friends may find this new upstart you, the truth is that your career is and will be hot this year. The next 12 months are prime “shoot your shot” season—if you want it, you’ll go after it. So by 2021, when you’ve nabbed a sweet promotion and entrée into new circles, you’ll have retroactively justified acting like a hotshot this year.
This year is a little bit of a victory lap for you, Taurus. You are or will soon be the recipient of some very good life news—Ph.D. completions, engagements, lottery winnings, etc. And in 2020, armed with excellent cause to celebrate, you may be a little prone to humblebragging. You’re the sign of understated luxury and class, so while you may have it all, you never like to broadcast it… outright. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be tooting your horn in a low-key (or so you think) way. But Taurus, you’re fooling absolutely no one—except maybe yourself—when it comes to your faux-sheepish presentation of your good life. So let your brags be as big as they can be. You can afford to compromise your pristine exterior and be a little gauche like the rest of us. It’s relatable.
Gemini: Talking to everyone except the person you have a problem with
As the communicator of the zodiac, you’re not naturally secretive, Gemini. In fact, it’s your transparency that often forms a foundation of trust—you may not always be nice, but you’re usually pretty obvious when you’ve got an issue with someone. But this year, you’re going to be a little more focused on boundaries and protecting yourself from unnecessary conflict—which sounds lovely and healthy, and we all support you. However, that means your shit-talking may end up taking a more circuitous path around the object of your anger to other, adjacent allies. But by the time they’ll get wind of it, you’ll be halfway over it, so tread carefully.
Cancer: Being a little much about your partner online
While there is officially nothing immoral about being the type of person who captions yet another Instagram with, “He’s all right, I guess…” with a bunch of heart-eye emojis, it’s not cringe-free content, either. The thing is, this year you’ll have good reasons to share some treacly, overly earnest posts about your most significant relationships. Whether you’re getting married, signing on a new collaborator, or just showing up for your friends in a big way, partnerships of every stripe are the headline for you this year. So even though you’re clogging up your friends’ feeds, eliciting mild to strong feelings of nausea, at least you’ll believe you have a perfectly good reason.
Leo: Thinking you can power through instead of resting
Well aren’t you the hero, Leo? The back of your throat feels a little scratchy, so you, what, go for a run anyway? Raise your hand to help your friend move or take on a new assignment at work just to prove a point? You’ve always believed you’re a little invincible, but this year will truly endow you with the good fortune and physical resistance needed to survive your reckless behavior. Doesn’t mean it’s not best practice to go home and load up on vitamin C as soon as you feel the chills—or to rest when you’ve been burning yourself out—but your unusually strong constitution in 2020 may enable you to believe you’re really as invincible as you’ve always believed.
Virgo: Closing Instagram only to open it right back up again
This probably isn’t your year to throw your phone in a river and live off the spoils of the land. While we’re all addicted to our screens, you’re really in the thick of it in 2020, opening apps and then closing them and opening them back up again. (Maybe it’s a metaphor, maybe it’s not.) This little dance is all the more compelling because it has ritualistic properties: you wake up, grab your phone, scroll the feed, fire off some takes, rinse and repeat. And you’re nothing if not a creature of habit, Virgo—whether those habits are helpful or harmful. But this one can function as a conduit for your prolific mind this year, as you will be feeling more expressive than ever. You may suffer the occasional thumb cramp (and the ongoing deterioration of attention span), but at least the content will be good!
Libra: Leaving without saying goodbye
Parting is more sweetness than sorrow when you never have to look at someone’s boo boo lip as they try to persuade you to stay out past 9 p.m. In 2020, your destiny is to Irish goodbye wherever you go, removing the most powerful threat to your iron resolve: peer pressure. Without the opinions of others influencing your judgment, you’ll have the space to go to bed early, wake up with the sun, peruse your morning newsletters, enjoy a fresh nectarine, and a jog around your neighborhood before strolling into work, glowing with endorphins and the relaxed shoulders of a live well lived. Mornings like that are well worth cutting an evening short.
Scorpio: Not texting back in a timely manner (or ever)
You’re not going to be better at texting this year. I would tell you to inform your friends, but you would never do that, at least not in a way that would be easily understood. In 2020, communication is going to be a key theme for you, and you’ll want to understand and be understood more than usual. But your tactics are rarely so straightforward—Scorpios would rather avert their gaze and create an unsettling chill in a room that connotes a certain displeasure rather than walk up to someone and give them grief to their face. Your instincts for subtlety (or obfuscation, depending on the generosity of the interpreter) are about self-protection—you’d prefer to limit access to information that can be used against you. But you’ll be caught in the tension between wanting to be seen and heard and… never ever wanting to be seen or heard. So we’ll expect to hear from you quarterly with a confusing emoji that somehow says it all.
Sagittarius: Retail therapy
You, Sagittarius, unmaterialistic creature of letters and philosophy and obscure baseball statistics, are going to indulge in one of the most off-brand habits in 2020: retail therapy. You will find a lot of satisfaction in the comforts of the physical world, and if you have to fork over some dough to get that rush, you’re more likely than ever to do so. (I recommend shopping second-hand for the planet’s sake.) But here’s the twist: This is a money-making year for you. If you’re looking for gainful employment, you will likely find it, and if you stay in the same job, you may be showered with raises, bonuses, or commissions. So the happy ending is that you’re picking up not only an expensive habit, but the means to pay for it.
Capricorn: Putting yourself first in your relationship
I’m not saying this won’t be the year you find love, Capricorn. It might even be the most glittery and romantic 12 months you’ve had in a while, whether you’re shacked up or looking or neither. But when it comes to prioritizing your needs, your mental health, and your sense of autonomy over softer, lovier-dovier concerns, you’re all in for yourself in 2020. That’s wonderful news for everyone except maybe your partner, who will need a thick skin, some serious instincts for independence, and clarity around what is merely annoying vs. a deal-breaker. But if your relationship can weather a year of you figuring out what you need, it’ll survive many more than that.
Aquarius: Flaking out on plans
You might argue this isn’t a vice, Aquarius, especially since you see most social commitments as loose at-will agreements based on the contingency that you’re exempt if you enter an indoor cat kind of mood. This year, you’re very much an indoor cat. You’re going to need a lot of alone time and a strong sense of personal space and freedom. You’re cocooning and transforming this year, and, more than any other sign, you have the highest potential to emerge a resplendent and glorious butterfly by December. And that means that, in 2020, your standing RSVP to any social engagement is a solid maybe.
Pisces: Outsourcing your self-esteem to others
Everyone likes a little attention, Pisces, but you might like it a little too much in 2020. The taste of external validation has addictive properties, we’re told, and you’re more likely than ever to succumb to its siren call and lean on compliments and the adoration of others to buoy your own self-image. But you can forgive yourself for these sins in advance, Pisces, because you’re going to be quite popular this year. Your magnetism was never in question, but you’ll find yourself invited everywhere and naturally making friends and connections at an exponential pace. So while it’s risky to put all your self-esteem eggs in the basket of other people’s affection, you can at least diversify by having many, many baskets.
Graphic by Maggie Hoyle