The Year of the Rat Is In Full Force —
And Yours to Own

It feels so long ago already: January 25th marked the beginning of a New Year. Not the Western New Year, the beginning of which, if you remember correctly, is usually accompanied by a mild champagne hangover, confetti flecks stuck to your skin and a cavalcade of aspirational resolutions: Eat better! Sleep more! Exercise regularly! Yes, to all of the above! While it’s the enduring habit of mindful intention that will keep these resolutions in motion for the duration of 2020, the reality is most of us have likely already forgotten about or inadvertently forfeited our personal promises. Let’s use the Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, as a second opportunity to take stock and consider the many months ahead.

It’s the Year of the Rat (farewell to 2019’s Year of the Pig), one especially symbolic, since the Zodiacal Rat is the first in the repeating cycle of the calendar’s 12 animals. This means 2020 is considered a time of fresh beginnings and deep renewals, and we’re offered an opportunity to capitalize on this exciting period of potentially immense change, major jolts of energy and all-around personal evolution. We’re already over a month in, but new starts can, and ought, to happen every single day. 

While the Rat isn’t as inherently cute as say, the Monkey and not as widely beloved as the Dog, there’s a lot to appreciate about these sharp-minded creatures: Keen intuition, great adaptability, bold enthusiasm and an innate ability to make friends are all among their good qualities. So with that in mind, here are some healthy, easily attainable goals, inspired by the controversial but arguably charming Rat: 

Take time to chill out. 

Strong, prosperous and lucky: The Metal Rat Year is positioned to be fortunate for all Chinese zodiac signs, so expect positive energy. Maybe even too much energy, to be honest. Rats are quick-paced, ever-moving, high-energy creatures who tend to forget to slow down and take a moment. Focus on relieving stress but not by getting lost in yet another Netflix binge or scrolling mindlessly on Instagram (although, admittedly, there’s a time for both!). If you’re not giving yourself at least five solid minutes a day to meditate, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Whether you enlist the help of an app like Calm or Headspace, or just take a few long moments on the yoga mat to get centered, just a little meditation breed a lot of good energy. 

Start the day off right.

Go, go, go! Out of all the animals in the Chinese zodiac, the Rat is most likely to run out the door and tackle the day without a bit of breakfast. Foggy and faded by noon no more: Make a promise to give yourself an early advantage by making a protein-packed smoothie first thing: Think chia seeds for omega-3s and fiber, blackberries for vitamin C and brain health, and dark, leafy greens for antioxidants (yes, kale lives on in 2020), to name a few superfoods that should be in your mix. If keeping all those ingredients on hand seems daunting, try a trusted organic smoothie delivery service, like Daily Harvest for fresh, portable, ready-to-blend meal replacements.

Incorporate precious metals and embrace tranquil colors. 

The Rat is known for adoring opulence, so it’s no surprise its element is metal. Gold, to be specific. As for its lucky colors, serene shades of blue will set the tone. Combine gold and blue with Jennifer Meyer’s sapphire-accented gold hoop earrings or The Row x Oliver Peoples round-frame sunglasses, two investment pieces built to last long past 2020. Or enhance your beauty sleep with Slip’s luxe gold silk sleep mask. Did you know the metal element creates water? So by surrounding yourself with more golden shine, the rest is more likely to flow. That, or any excuse to pick yourself up a much-deserved present. 

Recognize the power of scent. 

The Rat’s lucky flowers are the lily and African violet. Attract your own good fortune by trying a new perfume with one of those floral notes: Tom Ford’s White Suede Eau de Parfum has just a hint of lily-of-the-valley, set against top notes of saffron, thyme and bergamot, for an effect that’s more sensual than sweet; while Gucci’s The Virgin Violet, out of the famed house’s first Haute Perfume line, is feminine and powdery in a good way, thanks to elements of musk, iris, vanilla and, of course, violet. 

Think long-term.

We’re not all natural planners, investors or entrepreneurs, and if we were the world would be a pretty competitive, Type A-packed place. Then again, it doesn’t hurt to think ahead, especially in the year 2020, an ideal time for starting new ventures and evolving what you already have. Whether it’s through buying some real estate, launching a new business or tackling a big project that’s always been a dream, now is the time to strike. Just don’t think long-term during your in-the-moment meditation sessions. 

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