This is what Mercury Retrograde will do to your New Year’s resolutions

Ah, Mercury. We love talking about the planet, especially when it’s in retrograde. Everything is more chaotic during this time — our phones glitch, our travel plans falter ever so slightly, we hear from an ex. It’s the name of the game. Or rather, it’s the name of Mercury Retrograde. The final retrograde for 2017 falls between December 3rd and December 23rd. And even though it’s not technically on New Years, Mercury Retrograde does affect your New Year’s resolutions, and that’s because planets have a “shadow period” when they’re going in and out of retrograde. Mercury Retrograde itself is when the planet seems to spin in the opposite direction as communication, travel, and technology (all things Mercury rules over) go a bit haywire.

Mercury Retrograde’s “shadow period” lasts two weeks before and after it goes retrograde. So while New Years isn’t *technically* during retrograde, it does fall during the shadow period, which is pretty much the same thing. During both retrograde and its shadow period, we see technology messing up, travel being delayed, and old flames coming back into the picture. We’re encouraged to back our phones up, to always have a plan B, to avoid traveling, and to put off signing important documents.

This retrograde is actually a blessing in disguise, though, giving us a true fresh start for the New Year. In an Intuitive Astrology post on Forever Conscious, Tanaaz explains the importance of slowing down this season. They say,

"The theme for December’s retrograde is really about releasing and shedding all the mental blocks and thought patterns from 2017, so you can enter 2018 with a fresh perspective and a new outlook. Whatever messages you need to hear will arise during the retrograde period. However, it is likely that you won’t truly be able to understand them until Mercury goes direct again on December 22nd. In order to hear the messages Mercury has for you, spend time clearing your mind of any unnecessary thoughts or mental chatter."

When we free ourselves of all we want to let go of, we’re able to really see what we want to call in this next year.

But what does this mean for our New Year’s resolutions?

Well for one, it’s important to give ourselves extra time and space the first couple weeks of the year, so we can actually start getting these things done. Slowing down and taking time to tend to your goals is the best thing you can do for yourself. Don’t rush into anything! There’s no time limit on resolutions anyway. And make sure to keep in mind that the first couple weeks of 2018 may have a bit of a bumpy start. If you’re signing up for a new class across town, make sure to give yourself plenty of extra time to get there. If your resolution includes an expensive purchase, it’s probably better to wait until after the shadow period is over to hand that cash over.

Plus, rather than start on new goals for yourself in 2018, why not try finishing what you started in 2017? Making an effort to stick to something you’ve already built a foundation for will only make your resolutions more retrograde-friendly! In other words, this is the perfect time to handle unfinished business — so instead of seeing your resolutions as additions to your “to-do list,” see them as a way to check off bullet points that are already on this list. Who says you can only make resolutions on New Years anyway? You can totally add to your goals later on in January if completing your resolutions isn’t fulfilling enough.

If your New Year’s resolution includes traveling more, upgrading your phone, and signing a book contract? Well, give yourself a couple weeks to get jiggy with it, and make sure that you don’t start on anything new until after the 11th of January.