Mercury Retrograde Can Still Affect Your New Year’s Resolutions, Even Though It’s Already Over

Matt Cardy/Getty Images News/Getty Images

If you've been thanking your lucky stars that you survived Mercury's latest retrograde since it ended on Dec. 22, 2017, you can think again. Unfortunately, retrogrades aren't over when the planet goes direct — there's a two week period as a planet turns direct again that is known as a "shadow period," and it can actually be just as bad as a retrograde. In the case of Mercury retrograde, we've now officially entered that shadow period — called Mercury retroshade, if you will — meaning Mercury retrograde's effects are still alive and well until about Jan. 10. While this is a good time to reflect and practice all the self-care you normally would during a retrograde, it's important to remember that Mercury retroshade may affect your new year's resolutions in a pretty big way — and you'll want to be prepared for it.

As Astrostyle reported, "During the 'shadow period,' Mercury’s influence will inevitably make itself known. Mercury’s shadow officially began on November 17, 2017, and will linger until January 11, 2018." So basically, we're right in the thick of the ~shade~, which could complicate things at a time when we're all resolving to make our lives a little bit better in 2018.

It's not all bad news, though. According to the website PowerfulLight, "As much as Mercury Retrograde may seem like a challenging time in some ways for some people, it is a potentially expansive time for finishing tasks that have been left undone, for reviews, self assessments and creative or intuitive writing. It is especially good for writing, journaling. It is a time that supports new directions and explorations that break away from dry beliefs or stale understandings. Just don't ignore reality checking."

Mercury retrograde may have come and gone, but the 'shade is happening whether we like it or not. Here are just a few of the ways the Mercury retrograde shadow period will affect your new years resolutions.

If Your Resolution Is To Be A Better Communicator...

All bets are off when Mercury is in retrograde, especially when it comes to all things communication. According to Cafe Astrology, "as the planet of communication, Mercury retrograde tends to breed a certain level of confusion. Mercury rules our “lower” mind–how we perceive and interpret information that we receive from our environment, and how we relay that information to others." So whether you're resolved to mend ties or just make things right with friend turned frenemy, co worker, or ex, just be highly aware of the fact that communication barriers will be at an all time high right now and it may be worth it to wait a few extra days until this fishy retrograde business is officially behind us.

If Your Resolution Is To Stay More Organized...

I don't know about you, but I always take the time at the end of each year to refocus my life in every way possible. A big part of that is cleaning house, i.e organizing/donating clothes, and making a plan for how I'm going to stay better organized in the future. So here's the good news first: According to website, "any mercury retrograde cycle is THE time to re-think, re-do, re-define, re-organize, re-assess, re-orient, and/or re-plan." Which is great!

But, there's a catch. While this is the time to start thinking of getting your life organized, you might need to wait a few more days to put that plan into action. According to Moonlinks: "if you're resolved to re-organize this is definitely the time to do it without taking action on the “new plan” until after Mercury Retrograde ends." Take it for what it's worth, maybe this two-step plan will help you stick to your resolution of staying more organized in the long run after-all.

If Traveling Is One Of Your Resolutions....

With the holidays comes a fair share of travel mishaps, flight delays and scheduling issues. It's wintertime, and these travel bugaboos just come with the territory I'm afraid. According to Astrostyle, "the messenger planet will make his three-week backspin through outspoken Sagittarius until December 22, potentially mucking up our merry-making and disrupting any holiday travel plans." So, since Mercury retroshade basically mirrors the effects of Mercury retrograde, this still applies until retroshade ends on Jan. 10. Do yourself a solid though and don't take this as a sign that you shouldn't travel more in 2018. While the forces may be working against you now, it will get better as the year goes on.

If You're Resolved Not To Text Your Ex...

Ugh, retroshade, this one's just downright dirty. According to, you can expect to hear from or even bump into an old flame at, get this, "the most awkward moment possible." Not ideal. So... if you're resolved not to text back, the website suggests using this time to put your dating life on hold — and if you're still tempted to text, maybe try reconnecting with someone else like an old friend, or coworker instead.

Budgeting Bumbles

No one likes the "B" word, but we need to say it, because a lot of the time, our New Year's resolutions are directly linked to it. So, here's what you need to know about how to manage and maintain some sanity when it comes to budgeting issues during retrograde/retroshade. According to the website DailyHoroscope, you'd be wise to hold off on any new investments, financial commitments, or business partnerships. That said, take this time to look at your spending, and rework things to your advantage. This may not be the time to make big financial decisions, but it is a good time to reflect on what you've been doing with your money and how you can improve or make better financial decisions in the new year.

Not Saying What You Mean, When You Mean It

Not saying what you mean kind of goes back to the idea of being a less effective communicator, but it's still deserving of its own mention here. It's one thing not being clear in your message or your delivery of it, but its another thing entirely if you don't stand up for yourself and say exactly what you mean when you mean it. If we've learned anything from how terrible 2017 has been, it's that the words we use are important. Which is why I think everyone would benefit from having this be a resolution to stick to in the new year. Here's the catch, though: According to Cafe Astrology, your body language may be misinterpreted more during Mercury retroshade, and you might give off a lot of mixed signals to others. Use that to your advantage, and get better at standing up for yourself. It could end up being the most valuable resolution you stick to next year.

If Your Resolved To Sticking To Deadlines in 2018...

We've all been guilty of letting a deadline loom too close at one time or another, because let's face it, they can be a drag. So, if one of your resolutions is to be better at setting and sticking to deadlines in 2018, you may face some initial setbacks. According to the website CafeAstrology, "the chances of being misinterpreted, slipshod in our thinking or work, and missing deadlines or appointments run higher than usual" during Mercury retrograde and retroshade periods. So, if one of your resolution includes getting better about adhering to deadlines let this be a warning to you: It might not stick until Mercury retroshade ends on Jan. 10.