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You probably have heard it’s the year of “insert animal name here” before, and maybe you aren’t sure where that comes from. Well, in the Chinese tradition, each year is represented by one of twelve animals: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. The people born in any particular year are believed to share the characteristics of that year’s representative creature. Such a zodiac system has existed in Chinese culture for thousands of years.

So what is this year all about?

This year is the Year of the Rat, and in terms of yin and yang, it is yang because it represents growth, movement, and new beginnings as opposed to yin, which is still and nurturing.

For all of us, the year of the Rat, the first sign derived from the 12 animals of Chinese Astrology, happily signals new opportunities for love and prosperity. On January 25, the Lunar calendar brings us a strong and lucky year. What’s needed for ultimate success are a healthy dose of determination, careful planning, and creative energy to forge ahead despite problems or difficulties that may arise. Changes that come with a fresh start may push us out of our comfort zones, so it’s up to us to maintain balance for a peaceful, rewarding life. 

Along with an animal, each year has one of these five elements attached to it (Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, and Earth), and for 2020 we have Metal.

If you were born in 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008 (or will have been born in 2020), your year is the Year of the Rat, so pay extra close attention to the information below.

People born in the Year of the Rat are said usually to be likeable, but can come across as impolite—which may only be because of the way they communicate their opinions. If you fall into this category, maybe try a new approach in conversations that could cause conflict or watch a few videos on how best to communicate in emotional situations. But we could ALL benefit from this awareness, no matter the year in which we were born.

Quick thinkers, Rats are generally believed to be born under a sign of wealth in Chinese culture and aim to live stable, peaceful lives.

Blue, gold, and green are lucky colors for Rats, so maybe this tip will help you choose what color sweater to buy or dress to wear for your next big event. Yellow and brown are the unlucky colors—just something to keep in mind while shopping.

Creative jobs as well as technical jobs are a good fit for Rats because they are said to have great imaginations and also that important skill of looking at the fine details. If you’re a Rat and working in a career that doesn’t allow for too much creativity, this might be a fun time to write some poetry or become interested in some sort of crafts. You’ll want to exercise this important part of your personality.

Rats tend to become sick somewhat easily, so if you were born in one of the years listed above, take extra precautions during this flu season and with the change of weather, as this can affect you. But this is another piece of advice for everyone, with the flu around town. So stay home from work if you’re sick and keep your children home from school if they feel unwell. Avoid going to places with big crowds if you can, and be diligent with hand washing throughout your day. And as always, try to have a good nightly rest.

Rats seem to be able to tolerate most foods, but can forget to eat at the required times and end up eating too much at once. Paying attention to your daily meals and scheduling proper times to eat can be helpful. Again, great advice for all of us.

The above notes should give you a bit of insight into the year ahead, according to the Chinese zodiac. Why not look up your own zodiac animal so you can read about your specific year ahead as well. And, if you want to kick off 2020 with some new strategies or even  an updated nutrition plan, do reach out and let’s you and I talk about a healthy 2020.

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