Let’s start 2016 by being really real: I typically file the concept of New Year’s resolutions under “bullshit.” Why should anyone need a bank holiday—an arbitrary calendar date—to dictate when and how they should change and grow? The truth is, you can do that any time of the year, but implementing solidly healthy habits—whatever that looks like for you—and keeping that positivity flowing takes way more focus and steadfast discipline than expecting the poor, dehydrated souls you’re brunching with on January 1 to hold you accountable.
The first month of 2016 may seem drab and slow, but this January bursts with quiet opportunities for monklike meditation and sowing seeds for a fresh start. Willpower comes in spades as intense Mars settles into Scorpio on January 3, where he’ll stay until March 5, granting us a stronger sense of self-discipline and determination. Think carefully about your goals and resolutions—you won’t be able to give them up once you get started!
Mercury will be backtracking in retrograde from January 5 to 25, so expect communication mishaps and tech glitches to halt any forward movement to a turtle’s pace. Mercury’s infamous retrograde period is not a good time to implement any changes (ahem, resolutions), but it is excellent for setting your 2016 goals—especially professional ones. Take this month to map out a practical plan to achieving them; by next month, you’ll have the cosmic green light to burn rubber on the road to success.
The Capricorn new moon on January 9 will leave you feeling so fresh and so clean-clean, especially when it comes to reassessing ambitions. Mercury, the sun, and the new moon will all be stationed in practical Capricorn, and all three will demand you take a trip into the past to pinpoint and fix mistakes that blocked success and growth in 2015. Romantically, hearts will open by month’s end with a full moon in Leo on January 23. Pleasure-seeking fun rules the day, but Venus’ place in sobering Capricorn will lend a practical subtext to whatever you do.
Capricorn: A Powerful Difference
This is your power month, Capricorn, and your friendships will be the shining jewel in your tiara. (I know, I sound like a broken record—but social endeavors have been vital to almost every move you’ve made in the last couple of months.) Mars will set up camp in your 11th House of Aspirations and Personal Goals from January 3 until March 5, so beyond circulating socially, you’ll likely feel a great need to help others, especially with humanitarian efforts. Your altruism will be inspiring to others, so you have a real shot at making a powerful difference.
Tricky Mercury, ruler of communication and technology, will be in retrograde from January 5 to 25, in your sign, which may push you to rethink how you’ve been communicating. Frustrations may rise as you find yourself tongue-tied or unable to clearly express yourself. Big decisions will be near-impossible to make until after January 25, so you’re better off waiting until February if possible.
The new moon on January 9 grants you the tools to clean your life’s slate for a new beginning. Mercury, the sun, and the moon will all be in your earthy, pragmatic sign, urging you to reconsider your perspective on an important personal matter of 2015. Expect a major boost in confidence—both in your appearance and in your romantic life—after January 23, when love goddess Venus enters Capricorn.
Aquarius: Prepping for Success
On January 3, Mars will charge through your career sector where he’ll stay busy until March 5. The first months of the year will be gangbusters for your career, and thanks to go-getter Mars, support will come in spades helping you smash your business and professional goals. What’s more, if there’s an obstacle, Mars will build a bridge and open the gate. You’re simply unstoppable, Aquarius—take advantage of the energy and go for that promotion or ask for that raise.
Although Mars will be supportive through 2016’s first months, Mercury will be in retrograde from January 5 to 25, an indication that you’ll need to slow down and keep things chill this month. The tricky planet ruling communication and technology—two of your favorite things—will be backsliding through your 12th House of Privacy and Secrets, which could prompt you to revise an important and deeply personal decision made in 2015. You’d do well to make any big decisions on your own sans nosey input after the 25th. The full moon in loveable Leo on January 23 will brighten your relationship sector. Expect to feel deeply connected to your partner or significant other!
Pisces: Ironing Out the Kinks
If you’ve been toying with the idea of going back to school or pursuing an advanced degree, there’s a good chance you’ll get serious about that goal in the first months of 2016, especially between January 3 and March 5. Alternatively, you may work toward finishing a creative or artistic endeavor, especially when it comes to publishing a book. Your highest-held beliefs and values may come under attack this month, and you’ll almost certainly rise to the occasion. There’s a chance that this could signal a legal battle, and if so, you’ll have the odds strongly in your favor.
Reconnecting with old friends (and possibly rekindling old flames) will likely come into focus this January, since Mercury will be traveling retrograde from the 5th to the 25th. January will be perfectly poised for ironing out any kinks, both in your relationships and in your day-to-day life. Technology-related projects may stall to snail speeds this month, so exercise patience in launching any new endeavors or buying any new gadgets until next month.
Aries: Maximize Everything
January starts with a bang—quite literally, as your fiery ruling planet, Mars, links up with the curiously compatible and equally intense sign of Scorpio. From January 3 through March 5, Mars will be all over your 8th House of Transformation and Sexuality, either establishing a meaningful sex life with a new love or deepening and enriching your sexual bonds to your partner or S.O.
The connections created now will lead to important gains in emotional intimacy. Merging physically will prompt you to merge psychologically, revealing parts of yourself you keep safely tucked away from most. Along with growing closer than ever to your Number One, your confidence will be at an all-time high, which could translate to more aggressive strategies in increasing your money-making potential.
Mercury will be retrograde from January 5 to 25, which might dim your shine when it comes to impressing VIPs at work. Self-expression will likely be stifled, so sit tight on scheduling any critical meetings until February if possible. Alternately, take the month to review your blueprint of success and assess the progress you’ve made so far. Whatever career plans you devise this month will go swimmingly, thanks to the Capricorn new moon on January 9 and Venus’ entry into your career sector on the 23rd. Once Mercury goes direct on January 25, it’ll be smooth sailing.
Taurus: Soldier of Love
Relationships—both business and personal—have been the main focus for the past few months, but these themes will be highlighted more intensely than they’ve been in almost two years. This is thanks to vigorous Mars penetrating your partnership sector on January 3 where he will stay until March 5. During these months, you’ll feel compelled to stick your neck out in the name of love—and to go to battle for your relationship ideals.
Committed Bulls might find their partner or S.O. entrenched in their own personal battle. In true Taurean fashion, you’ll rally to do whatever it takes to support your partner or significant other and rise to the occasion. This will likely draw the two of you closer, intensifying sexual vibes and upping the ante overall in your sex life.
At work, you and a partner or confidante could be working furiously to accomplish a goal or make headway on an important shared project. Something brilliant could materialize around January 18, but slow your roll: Because impish Mercury will be in retrograde from January 5 to 25, you’ll need to call upon your trademark Taurus patience. Communication screw-ups will be plentiful, especially if you work in travel, publishing, or advertising. Pay extra-close attention to the events around the full moon on January 23: Joyful news from your family is on its way to warm your earthen heart!
Gemini: Through the Fire
The year starts out on a shaky foot with your ruling planet, Mercury, moving retrograde from January 5 to 25. More than likely, you’ll feel a distinct shift in your equilibrium. Although you’ll feel out of balance and weakened, these aspects are perfectly primed for you to get some work sorted behind the scenes.
Rejiggering finances for the coming year could take your focus away from other things in your life, especially in the realms of taxes, a debt, insurance, or joint financial endeavors. You may feel that you’ve exhausted your patience, but by the end of the month you’ll be thankful you went through the fire to align everything to your best interests. Finally, your money situation will be stronger than ever.
Your ambitious streak will be practically fluorescent from January 3 through March 5, when Mars enters your 6th House of Work and Health. Watch out for January 18 when you could be hand-picked for a special work assignment or earn special recognition from the bigwigs.
Cancer: Compromise Is Key
The New Year begins with a heavy focus placed on improving a relationship, either business or personal. Mending and strengthening this partnership is possible but not without putting in the work. Be very careful in choosing words this month, Cancer; Mercury will be retrograde from January 5 to 25 in your 7th House of Partnerships and Marriage, making it extremely easy to put your foot in your mouth.
Committed Crabs who’ve been avoiding making an important joint decision with their partner or significant other will find that putting it off is no longer an option, and will need to work quickly to come to an impasse. Making a concrete decision together will not come easily. Now’s the time to employ your legendary Cancer empathy—try your best to see things from your partner’s point of view, then weigh your options. Compromise is key.
The new moon in super-compatible Capricorn on January 9 in your partnership sector signifies a fresh start, making it possible for your relationship to thrive. Venus will follow suit on January 23, brightening that part of your chart. What’s more, Mars will stoke the flames of passion as he tours your 5th House of Romance and Pleasure from January 3 through March 5, magnifying your sex drive times 10.
Leo: Ready for Change
You can sense a big change is on the horizon, but you know opportunity won’t just fall into your lap. This month has a lot of potential for you to establish new habits, shifting your life’s overall direction for the better. Before anything can be initiated, Mercury’s retrograde period from January 5 to 25 will likely throw you for a loop, insisting that you backtrack through your past work. Though annoying, you’ll be glad you put effort into the finishing touches—sure to catch the eye of VIPs at work.
Because Mercury will be retrograde for most of the month in your 6th House of Work and Health, you may be vexed with needing to review your habits and everyday routines. January 9’s new moon will fall into your professional sector, making job offers plentiful for lateral moves—especially from former employers—in the two weeks after. You may be offered a freelance gig around this time that could pay handsomely. By the 23rd, this temp work may become a permanent position that stokes passion in your heart.
Virgo: Exorcising Demons
The New Year gets off to a sour start with Mercury, your ruling planet, traveling retrograde from January 5 through 25. This entire month will be dedicated to revisiting long-held values and ideals around your love life. Issues you thought were dead and buried will rise from the grave and haunt you.
Your first instinct will be to sweep everything under the rug and move on—but that won’t be possible. Hard work will need to be done to sort through these problems to improve your relationship with your partner. Fortunately, brighter days are on the horizon with a friendly new moon on January 9, followed by Venus gracing your 5th House of Romance and Children on January 23.
Work-wise, you could set your sights on a big achievement, either in a contract, communications project, or writing assignment after Mars enters your communication sector on January 3. Unlike the other signs, don’t be discouraged to speak your mind during the retrograde period—your speaking, writing, and overall communication skills will be very powerful until March 5. A word of caution: Don’t sign major agreements or contracts until after January 25.
Libra: Your True Worth
In the last months of 2015, you might have come to the conclusion that your money wasn’t being stretched as far as its potential could take you. This month, you’re filled with the fire of determination in getting your money issues settled. Lucky Libra, one of the most socially affable signs of the zodiac, can depend on their network—just wait and watch as all the old friends and cheerful acquaintances practically leap from the woodwork to help you find more fruitful work that’s better suited to your talents.
A big spike in your workload is likely to result from this, especially from January 3 through March 5. Though slightly overwhelming, you’ll be able to manage the lion’s share with typical Libra grace. A side gig or freelance work could become plentiful now, too, and your coffers will be overflowing with cash. Pay special attention to the events around January 18; if you play your professional cards right, you could negotiate a much higher salary or hourly rate than your current paygrade.
Handle all communication matters with kid gloves this month, especially from January 5 through 25 when Mercury will be in retrograde. Listen carefully and speak less, particularly when talking with a child or close family member.
Scorpio: Get What You Want
You’re in the catbird seat when it comes to starting 2016, Scorpio, especially with one of your dual rulers, Mars, setting up shop in your sign from January 3 through March 5. It’s been nearly two years since the fiery, red planet has linked to Scorpio—and you’ll definitely feel the energy! You’ll be cosmically supercharged with enviable stamina and drive, making these months ideal for initiating a project you’re passionate about. You almost can’t lose.
Though your muscle is at an all-time high, you might have to summon super-human patience and your classic Scorpio willpower when it comes to communicating clearly and effectively. Since tricky Mercury will be retrograde from January 5 to 25, hold off on signing contracts and leases and purchasing new cars, electronics, phones, and computers. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and delve under the surface—doing the detective work early will ensure that you avoid annoying future problems.
A brilliant full moon in Leo on January 23 in your career sector may thrust you into the spotlight at work. Make big moves in your career after the 25th—again, you’ll be in the sweet spot to get what you want.
Sagittarius: Get a Grip
Being extra cautious about what you spend your energy on this month, Sag. After a taxing holiday season, you’re likely feeling energetically depleted and weighed down. It’s not a bad idea to schedule time off to recharge your spiritual batteries from the inside-out. Caring for yourself now is not only essential for your immediate health and well-being, but also for the rest of 2016.
When Mercury goes retrograde from January 5 through the 25, you’ll feel driven to put your finances under the microscope. Now’s the time to take a hard look at the seemingly miniscule expenses that add up, ultimately bogging down your budget. Carefully review your credit-card statements with a fine-tooth comb and asses what money-suckers are necessary luxuries and what can be sent to the chopping block. By the end of the month, you’ll gain a better grip on your finances—but not without a few big changes.