Here’s How Each Zodiac Sign Can Best Set and Stick To New Goals, According to an Astrologer
There are some universal best practices when it comes to goal-setting, like, say, making your goal SMART, linking it to an intention, and ensuring it feels intrinsically motivating. But even so, there’s not a single right way to work toward them. Some people like to write them down; others prefer to share them with friends who double as accountability partners. Some enjoy the process of working through multiple short-term goals successively; others are more inspired by the prospect of achieving one big goal. Because astrology is thought to influence these kinds of personality-based preferences, the temperament of your zodiac sign may illuminate how you tend to set goals—and which goal-setting strategies might work best for you.
Your sun sign (the zodiac sign you’d typically read a horoscope for) reflects how you express yourself, says astrologer Ryan Marquardt. In that way, it can affect “how you will typically embody a goal that you’re working to achieve for your personal growth or development,” he says. On a spiritual level, your sun sign is also “how you shine in this world or appear dim,” he adds, “so it can help define the types of goals and goal-setting pursuits that make you feel like you’re coming alive and moving toward the best version of yourself versus the ones that just don’t seem to track with your core identity.”
“Your sun sign can help define the types of goals and goal-setting pursuits that make you feel like you’re coming alive.” —Ryan Marquardt, astrologer
Beyond your sun sign, a couple other pieces of your astrological chart can hold clues about how you best set and stick to new goals, says Marquardt. “I’d also consider the signs that occupy your 10th house of career, which is where your ambitions lie, and your sixth house of routines, which is how you tend to establish daily patterns and habits that funnel into those larger goals you may be chasing,” he says. (You can find that additional intel by inputting your birth date, time, and location into a chart generator like this one.)
Understanding the vibe of your sun sign—and, if you want to go deeper, the signs of your sixth and 10th houses, too—as it relates to goal-setting can also help you identify why you’re running into roadblocks on the path to different goals, and how you might set goals in better alignment with your star-sanctioned disposition.
Below, Marquardt breaks down how each zodiac sign naturally approaches goals (or…tries to avoid them), plus how to use that intel to set goals you’ll actually achieve.
How to set and stick to goals, based on your zodiac sign
As the very first sign of the zodiac, you’re a natural-born trailblazer, Aries. Chances are, you tend to pursue paths that others haven’t gone down before (or at least paths that feel that way to you) and set goals largely on instinct, says Marquardt. “That’s often a good thing because your instinct is typically right, but sometimes, your impulsive pursuits can come at the expense of others,” he says. “So, every now and then, it’s worth pushing yourself to slow down, take a breath, and consider whether there might be another path you could take toward a particular goal.”
Once you settle on a goal, it’s also important to put your full focus on it, rather than trying to multitask. “If you have a to-do list, always do the number-one thing, see it through to completion, and then move onto the next,” says Marquardt. “You likely won’t fare well with potential distraction.”
You really like to be able to see the destination at the end of the journey, Taurus. Overly lofty or long-term goals that leave too much up in the air go against your nature as a fixed sign that dislikes change. The important thing to remember is that any goal implies some amount of change—a departure from your current state of being, says Marquardt. To open your mind to the idea of change, he suggests reassuring yourself of your natural resourcefulness and ability to stay grounded, no matter what.
As the sign that rules over the second house of resources, “you typically have what you need to succeed at your disposal, and you don’t need to go looking too far outside of yourself to get where you need to go,” he says. That’s all to say, a goal doesn’t have to feel like a huge risk; you can use your existing skills and talents to pursue a new goal that isn’t actually that far out of your comfort zone, adds Marquardt.
Ever the creative, Mercury-ruled air sign, you’re rarely low on ideas or inspiration for goals—so much so that you tend to take on more goals than are really feasible to achieve. While you are a great multitasker, if you find that you’re lacking follow-through, examine all the goals you’re pursuing. Then, “try to figure out which ones are actually serving a long-term desire and which ones might just be interests or passions of the moment,” says Marquardt. Though you might become easily wrapped up in temporary interests, letting some of those go in favor of a few long-term goals will improve your staying power.
Because engaging in some form of creative daydreaming is basically inherent to your nature, it’s also a good idea to actively schedule time for it—so it doesn’t creep into the time you’ve set aside for your goals. To do so, Marquardt suggests practicing the Pomodoro technique (25 minutes of work, followed by 5 minutes of off-time, and repeat) whenever you really need to get something done.
You’re a feeling-over-thinking sign, Cancer. As a result, you tend to gravitate toward goals that reinforce your comfort or safety (or will eventually do so), says Marquardt. To some extent, tapping into your emotions to guide your goals is a good thing, he says; you definitely want any goal that you choose to pursue to be something that, deep down, feels good to you.
But at the same time, you don’t want your goals to become so entangled with your emotions that you start to attach them to your worth as a person, he caveats: “Cancers can really start to second-guess themselves or minimize themselves and think that they don’t deserve to achieve a certain goal or level of success.” To counteract that potential for self-doubt, surround yourself with a support system of people whom you know believe in your worth and ability to succeed, says Marquardt.
You work best toward a goal that you know will get you noticed, Leo. And receiving praise and recognition can be a positive, motivating force, leading you toward more and more milestones, says Marquardt. The only problem arises when you start pursuing things with the exclusive goal that others react and applaud; in this case, when they ultimately do recognize your work, it’ll just feel like empty praise, he says.
“Instead, focus on just achieving the best work that you can do for yourself, and learn to be your own cheerleader,” says Marquardt. When you really shine in your work—in the way that only you can do, as the sign ruled by the sun—others will naturally notice.
If there were ever a sign that loves a to-do list, it’s you, Virgo. Any goal that you can break into a step-by-step process is really your jam, says Marquardt. “For Virgos, the biggest life changes and growth often come through the small, incremental steps that they incorporate into their everyday routine,” he says.
Just try to not get too deep in the weeds, though. “Occasionally, be sure to zoom out and assess the big picture, so you can be sure that all the efforts you’re exerting are actually helping you achieve what you want,” says Marquardt, “and so that you don’t get so overly focused on the minor flaws or hold-ups along the way that you can’t see the progress you’ve made.”
You have the tendency to fall into the trap of adopting a goal because someone else suggested you do so or because you think it will please someone you care about. As the sign of relationships, after all, your strength lies in perceiving others and acting diplomatically—not so much in going after something for yourself. Marquardt suggests taking some time to think about what your true goal might be in a world where other people had no influence, and allowing your ego to be a factor in it.
Once you decide on a goal, it’s also important to set up boundaries. “Yes, you’re great at compromise and negotiation, but certain things are non-negotiable,” says Marquardt. Some conflict or disagreement might be necessary along the path to achieving a goal, and that’s okay.
You prefer to pursue goals with the privacy and security that comes from relying on me, myself, and I. “Scorpios make their moves in the background, often in a sleuth-y way, to the point where they’ll achieve something, and everyone else will be like, ‘What? I didn’t even know you were working on that!'” says Marquardt. The thing is, all of us need help from others at some point in time, and becoming too self-reliant and autonomous in your work toward a goal can leave you stuck when you reach a roadblock.
It’s certainly not your natural tendency to disclose what you’re working toward—much less, struggling with—as it can feel like a loss of power and control, Marquardt concedes. And you have a tough time trusting others, he adds, assuming that they have ulterior motives. But if you can remember that your loved ones are there to support you and that you can ask them for help, you’ll be better off in the end.
“Go big or go home” is basically your life mantra, Sagittarius, and that energy certainly extends to goal-setting. Ruled by Jupiter, the biggest planet in the solar system, you tend to come up with larger-than-life goals. “Your goal list probably looks more like a bucket list, filled with things that, realistically, you may not get around to,” says Marquardt, “but it’s exciting to consider them as goals, nonetheless.”
The challenge for you comes in the planning and the logistics, which can feel limiting in practice. “It can be fun to just throw yourself into a whole different circumstance and hope it works out in your favor, and sometimes, it will, since you have Jupiter’s luck on your side,” says Marquardt. But other times, you’ll run into a situation where you have to plan or change directions in alignment with other peoples’ goals; your best bet is to view it all as part of the journey—as something that opens you up to even more different perspectives and possibilities, says Marquardt.
You get the honor of being the most goal-oriented sign of the zodiac, Capricorn. Your planetary ruler is Saturn, which rules over long-term time, instilling in you a relentless drive toward big ambitions. That sets you up well for achieving any long-term goal you set your mind to—so long as you don’t lose sight of the details along the way. “It’s important to remember that the payoff you receive after achieving a big goal will be all the greater if you don’t cut corners to get there,” says Marquardt. “You’ll do better by operating as judiciously and by-the-books as you can.”
You thrive with a goal that, in some way, challenges the status quo, Aquarius. As the change agent of the zodiac and the sign that rules groups and community, “you often find yourself aware of problems impairing the collective good and in search of answers,” says Marquardt. And the pursuit of how to fix things for the better can lead you toward meaningful goals that you enjoy going after.
Your challenge is in remembering that society’s progress isn’t just resting on your back and just because you think you’ve found a solution doesn’t mean it’s the only one that exists or that it will always work, says Marquardt. It’s often when your fixed-sign energy clashes with your progress-oriented goals that you run into trouble—at which point, “it’s important to remember that there’s rarely just one solution to any problem,” says Marquardt, “and change is the only constant in life.”
Thanks to your rulership by dreamy, mystical Neptune, you have a rich inner world, Pisces. “You can easily fantasize and dream up a vision of the life you want to live,” says Marquardt. To some extent, though, that’s often an abstract vision—something conceptual or based on a certain feeling that doesn’t translate so seamlessly into real life, he says. And that’s why he suggests creating a vision board to quite literally root your goals in the physical world.
In determining how that board looks, be sure to tune into your personal aspirations. “Pisces rules transcendence of the ego and often operates by osmosis, absorbing other peoples’ interests and goals as their own,” says Marquardt. Similar to Libra, it’s important for you to identify what you want, and at the end of the day, be your own person, “even if your goal has the very Piscean quality of moving you toward unity, merger, or collective action,” he adds.
This article was written by Erica Sloan who is the lifestyle editor at Well+Good, where she writes and edits articles about sleep, sex, astrology, travel, career, financial wellness, and other elements of daily life that intersect with one’s well-being.