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.