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The Best New Year’s Resolution, According to Your Zodiac Sign

Ready to put 2020 behind you? Here’s how to make sure that 2021 is exponentially better.

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Smart goals that are tailor-made for you

Everyone can probably agree that it’s time to leave 2020 in the dust, but a pressing question looms: Will 2021 be any better? According to astrologer Emily Ridout, each and every person will need to make a number of significant choices in the coming months. That may seem daunting, but it’s also helpful, as it can aid in setting New Year’s resolutions and goals. To find the best path to take, understanding planetary alignments is key.

Arguably, the most influential astrological event of 2020 was the Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn conjunct, and while these planets will transition into new placements, they will still be just as meaningful in 2021. “Many astrologers believe this was the thing that sparked all of what we collectively experienced [in 2020],” Ridout explains, “from COVID to what was going on politically to reexamining racial issues in the United States. We’ve had some big change-makers in some heavy-hitting signs.”

In 2021, Jupiter and Saturn will move into Aquarius, and the major issue at hand will be to decide what, after all that has happened, still matters. After being stripped of almost everything, what remains dear? The way a person answers that question should be their focus for the new year. You’ll have more success with your endeavors at certain times of the year: Check out which months will be the luckiest and unluckiest for your zodiac sign in 2021.

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Aries (March 21–April 19)

Aries is a cardinal sign, and as it happens, cardinal signs were affected the most by the astrological events of 2020. (You may want to look into how to de-stress based on your zodiac sign.) “What this transit did above all else is remind us that our time on Earth is finite,” Ridout says. “You can move into a more powerful place this year that’s able to face adversity because you know the foundation you’re standing on.” For Aries, that means figuring out what it means to be true to themselves and resolving to do only those things that align with that. “Substantially adhere to yourself while not bulldozing others,” she recommends. Aries should make a pact with themselves to follow only what they feel is right, not what others tell them.

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Taurus (April 20–May 20)

Some aspects of 2020 will, for better or worse, carry into the new year. “Uranus is still in Taurus, which offers shocking change—things on the financial plane, things on the environmental plane,” Ridout notes. “There’s still some energetic upheaval as we are working to settle into truly restructuring and building a future.” In 2021, Taurus must take the lessons of the previous year and learn how to be stable in unstable times. One practical way to approach this is to practice what she calls “grounding activities,” such as yoga, tai chi, or meditation. Many people have started practicing meditation in quarantine—and won’t give it up even after life gets back to normal.

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Gemini (May 21–June 20)

Geminis spend a lot of time in their own heads. Their 2021 New Year’s resolution should be to fight that natural inclination so as not to drive themselves crazy. “Their minds are so quick and there is so much information coming at them all the time that it would be easy for a Gemini to get overloaded,” Ridout says. “Right now, the news can be overwhelming. Give [your] mind a break. Go for a walk. Dive into something more timeless and less topical.” One way to ease the mind of a Gemini would be to limit screen time and focus on what’s right in front of them. Spend more time reading—perhaps with the perfect classic book for your zodiac sign.

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Cancer (June 21–July 22)

Cancer, a cardinal water sign, has also had a particularly rough year. Still, people born under this sign may not be able to admit it. “Water signs—and sometimes earth signs—will sacrifice their own well-being because they think there is virtue in it,” Ridout says. These are the people who believe taking care of others is more important than taking care of themselves. While that’s a noble idea, every Cancer still needs to partake in dutiful self-care. Resolve to do so in 2021. Set aside a certain amount of hours per week to indulge a hobby, let yourself splurge on a spa day, or do whatever else you need. Find the best hobby for you, based on your zodiac sign.

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Leo (July 23–August 22)

It will be sunny Leo’s job in the new year to be a beacon and help others through tough times. “Leo is the sign most gifted at being themselves,” Ridout says. “It can be such a boon to others and to themselves if they can be a positive presence.” By virtue of being themselves, Leo can offer strength and guidance to friends and onlookers. Resolve to actively set a good example and keep up the positive attitude. Volunteer your time to those who need help, like the elderly or the impoverished. Here are more ways to volunteer and make a difference.

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Virgo (August 23–September 22)

The limitations of this past year have been crushing to Virgo, a sign that always wishes to be productive. Feeling stuck, they’ll be pondering what steps to take to get out of this confusing time. “[They should] find a way to organize themselves around their deepest dream,” Ridout recommends. “Sometimes Virgos will feel scared or unworthy of their deepest dreams; they’re unsure about how to do the thing they were put here to do. Some Virgos just need to articulate it.” Whether you know exactly what you want out of life or you’re still hammering out the details, the new year is a time to figure out how to put your plans into action. Plan your dream wedding, or write the memoir you’ve always wanted to publish. If you’re looking to change things up professionally, make sure you know your biggest career strength, according to your zodiac.

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Libra (September 23–October 22)

Libra enjoys peace, balance, and beauty. Unfortunately, 2020 was anything but that. This tumultuous year has people of this zodiac sign craving stability, but it’s important that they recognize what kind. “Libra balance, if left untested, can be surface-level balance,” Ridout says. “A stronger relationship would not be based on niceties, but on a depth that can be made stronger by facing adversity.” It’s a necessary distinction to make for one of the most polite zodiac signs.

Basically, Libras don’t like rocking the boat, but the boat is already in rough waters, so they might as well find true north. Real balance in society can only be struck when the truth is made known. “They’re the peacemakers of the zodiac,” Ridout says, “so more than ever, we need the Libras to speak truth to adversity.” Resolve to be more vocal about your opinions this year. Do the hard work of making the world more just, and don’t let anyone back you into a corner.

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Scorpio (October 23–November 21)

Sometimes it’s not what happens that matters most, but how a person handles it. This can be especially true of Scorpio, who doesn’t always let people in. “Scorpio energy is very sensitive,” Ridout says. “It can be very secretive and guarded.” But that grit-your-teeth-and-bear-it attitude isn’t always the best approach—especially right now. “Let your feelings be known,” she advises. “Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.” Resolve to express your vulnerabilities with the people around you, join a group of like-minded people who can help bring you out of your shell, or even start going to therapy. See how one therapist is staying sane right now.

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Sagittarius (November 22–December 21)

A fire sign like Leo, Sagittarius is a bright personality that brings joy to others. By simply enjoying their own life, they can make the people around them happy and hopeful. “In the face of restriction and difficulty, how can you have fun?” Ridout asks. “It’s not selfish; it’s a gift to the people you are having fun with. How can you put more fun into yourself, your community, or the broader world?” After a year that has been sorely lacking in laughter and play, it’s your job to take on the role of Mary Poppins: “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and SNAP—the job’s a game!” Create weekly virtual game nights with your friends, for example. Everyone needs a break. Plus, check out what the 2021 winter solstice means for your zodiac.

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Capricorn (December 22–January 19)

That monster Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto conjunct in 2020 actually happened in Capricorn, and boy, did people of this zodiac sign feel it. But don’t despair! There is an antidote to the misery that you can, and should, work into your New Year’s resolution: Define success on your own terms, not someone else’s.

Capricorns are very hard workers who get immense pleasure from their accomplishments. However, Ridout warns that the motive for this is sometimes unwise. “They secretly want to be admired,” she says. “They want to build something good that’s worthy of admiration.” Too much focus on external praise can be unhealthy and unreliable. “Self-admiration is key. What matters is if you think what you built is amazing.” Capricorns should aim to free themselves from expectations. Resolve to take less direction from others, and rethink your priorities. Be aware of your biggest fears so you can make peace with them and truly move forward.

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Aquarius (January 20–February 18)

According to Ridout, the Jupiter-Saturn conjunct presents a unique, seemingly paradoxical problem in 2021: “Jupiter expands things; Saturn restricts things.” If anyone is going to make sense of this, it would be Aquarius. Innovative and intelligent, Aquarius can create brilliant solutions where others see brick walls. “They have the opportunity this year to expand how they’re innovating and build a structure around it,” she says of the air sign. “It’s the dawning of the Aquarian age.”

Notably, this is also the sign of humanitarian energy, so people born under this zodiac sign may have a great hand in fixing society’s current problems. Piece together a vision of the future and then take concrete steps to enact it. Resolve to set aside a specific amount of time each day to dedicate to your personal projects. This is your favorite chore, based on your zodiac.

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Pisces (February 19–March 20)

Neptune, the ruling planet of Pisces, is actually in Pisces now, placing even greater emphasis on the dreamlike, the artistic, and the spiritual. People of this sign should fully embrace this incredible energy and dive deeper into those areas of life. “Release the belief that [you] have to care about certain things,” Ridout recommends. You’re no Capricorn, and you don’t need to pretend to be. “It’s OK to focus on what truly intrigues you. It’s essential to grappling with the hard things that we face.”

Use 2021 to become more involved in your art or spiritual practice. This could mean getting more involved with church, taking a more intensive yoga class, or painting that masterpiece you’ve been dreaming about. Next, take a look at what Chinese astrology says is in store for you in 2021.

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Taylor Markarian
Taylor Markarian is a regular contributor to Reader's Digest's Culture, Advice, Travel and Pets beats. She is also a music journalist who has contributed to Alternative Press, Loudwire, Revolver, Kerrang! and more. Markarian is the author of the book, 'From the Basement: A History of Emo Music and How It Changed Society', which analyzes the evolution of punk and mental health. She holds a degree in Writing, Literature & Publishing from Emerson College.