Whether you love or hate setting resolutions, it can be hard for anyone to go from December 31st to January 1st and instantly start making any changes or implementing new routines. Around my house, I just finally finished taking down the Christmas decorations, unpacking from seeing family, and doing the deep cleaning and furniture rearranging that always seems inevitable after taking down the tree.

With the year we all had, I think most of us are just tentatively stepping into the new year and feeling that little excitement of a fresh start. I usually love setting resolutions and dreaming of all the things I’ll do with the year ahead of me. My 2020 resolutions included a lot of travel and a lot of fun trips, and one of my main priorities was spending time with people I love that live far away. Obviously, all of that was a challenge, so this year I find myself not really wanting to set resolutions in the same way but still wanting to set a few intentions.

The first New Moon of the year falls on Wednesday, January 13th and if you’re like me and feel like you’ve been on an extended sleepy holiday, this is a great time to actually kick off 2021! I’m going to talk a little bit about the benefits of setting intentions and how you can use the elements in your birth chart to see what areas may be helpful to focus on. 


How Being Intentional In 2021 Can Give Us a Semblance of Control

2020 reminded me of a fact I sometimes like to ignore…we actually have no control over the events happening around us or really anything in life. The only thing we truly have control over is the way we choose to show up in the world. Setting intentions is slightly different than traditional resolutions because instead of tangible goals or things that can be checked off a to-do list, they’re more about ways of being. Even though 2020 was challenging, it reminded us of the importance of being present, taking care of our health, being kind to others, and slowing down. All of those are great intentions!

If you’re starting to think “Oh great, here come the inspirational phrases,” don’t worry, I’m not suggesting your intentions have to be along the lines of “Dance like no one is watching” or “You got this!” But 2020 took away a lot of things we felt were essential to our daily lives and everyone experienced different challenges. Whatever you put into practice to stay sane or a motto you adopted probably became intentions even if you didn’t realize it at the time. Not only does being intentional about the way we show up help us feel a little more in control, but it’s also a great form of self-care. We often think of little luxuries as self-care (baths, grooming, reading a good book) but daily practices are another form and one that can benefit us in the long term. 


No Clue What Your 2021 intentions Are? No Problem, Look at Your Birth Chart!

I say it all the time but, one of the reasons I love astrology is that your birth chart is what it is. You don’t have to take a quiz, there isn’t a bias, and it’s basically a nicely laid out deep dive into your psyche and inner world. If you’re just getting started and wondering the specifics about your birth chart, you can read a little more in my article about using your birth chart here. You can also use Cafe Astrology to calculate your own unique birth chart. Whether you’re new to it or it’s as familiar as an old friend makes no difference for this exercise. You’ll want to look at the signs in your chart and also their element. As always, the internet is very handy, but for a quick reference:

Earth signs are Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

Air signs are Aquarius, Gemini, Libra

Water signs are Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Fire signs are Aries, Leo, Sagittarius


Take stock and see if your chart is leaning heavily towards any one element. If you feel like your chart is pretty balanced, then you’ll want to look at what’s called your five personal planets and what signs/elements they’re made up of. These are your: 

Sun – How you function in the world

Moon – Who you really are, how you show up around your inner circle

Mars – How you take action and your impulsive nature

Venus – What makes you feel good, your romantic personality

Mercury – Your communication style


This Seems Like a Lot…What About Intentions Again?

Ok now here’s the actual meat of this article (took a while but we’re here). You can create intentions based on what element is most prominent in your chart. We often forget that we’re all very different people and need different things, and resolutions and intentions aren’t one-size-fits-all.

There can be such a big emphasis on getting out of our comfort zone that it’s easy to forget that being comfortable and giving ourselves what we need can be a great way to take care of ourselves and our wellbeing. This isn’t to say you won’t step outside of your comfort zone during 2021 but when you do, you’ll be ready for it because you’ve been taking good care of yourself!

I’ll use myself as a tangible example: Three of my five personal planets are in earth signs and I have a few other planets there as well. Because I have a lot of the earth element in my chart, I created intentions to focus on the grounded and practical ways I can nourish myself this year. I have a tendency to put off grocery shopping and end up with nothing to eat in the house, so I’m creating a weekly routine where I shop on the same day each week and get enough groceries to create healthy meals at home (such a Virgo). I also did a deep clean of my space, bought a few new plants, and filled a bag with clothes to donate – all very earthy practical things that help me feel ready for the new year. An intention you create using the predominant element in your chart is one that will set you up for success.

After you have the element you feel is dominant in your chart, if you’re not sure what intention to create you can look up the element and see what it represents and center your intention/intentions around ways to nourish it. For example, if yours is fire, you could set an intention to channel your power and drive into something you’re really passionate about. If it’s air you could think of things that make you feel playful and free and incorporate more of them into your daily practices, if it’s water you could start a daily journaling practice to let your thoughts flow. It can be completely unique to you and it should be something that makes you feel like you!

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