Year of the Pig 2019: What to expect in the year ahead

By Beth Cooper Howell

Of all the Chinese zodiac signs, Pig loves being the life and soul of the party – but balance is key to avoid burning out this year

By Beth Cooper Howell |

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The Lunar New Year begins this Tuesday, ushering in the Year of the Pig. It’s set to be a roller-coaster ride of fun, friendships and focus – so get buckled in!

We’re going to be heavily influenced by the festive, generous nature of Ms Piggy over the next 12 months, so go ahead and embrace the merriment. A positive attitude will get you far this year, but sulking or being selfish is likely to get you in trouble.

On a personal level, you’re likely to be itching for change, even if that’s not possible now. Don’t fret; something always budges when you least expect it, particularly when a pig’s in charge.

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Put your best foot forward this year by getting organised; if you’re not on top of responsibilities and your work schedule, there’s a real risk of falling behind. This is because pigs aren’t particularly attracted to the humdrum of routine, given their party-friendly natures. So, what’s a teen to do, when they’d rather be lounging than learning? Thankfully, pigs do reward enthusiasm and commitment, which is a win for anyone looking to improve their grades or relationships, and generally be their best self. Simply showing up and doing your best will score you points this year.

While both you and Ms Piggy may be yearning for excitement, you’ll find it's best to be totally boring in the first quarter of the year. The Three Little Pigs fairy tale comes to mind: only the third pig, who worked up a sweat and built his house with bricks, rather than flimsy straw, was able to withstand the wolf’s assault. Substitute “wolf” with “life”, “essay deadlines”, “sports goals,” or “friendship fixers”, and you’ll see why knuckling down is key.

It’s simple, really, when you break it down: learn how to manage your time, and you’ll find you have plenty of hours left over for me-time. Google time-management tips, if that helps, or spy furtively on someone who’s getting it right. You’ll be astounded by how easy it is to make your day (and month, and year) easier.

One life hack that works wonders during a pig year is colour-coding every item on your to-do list. Pigs love all things bright and beautiful, so keep them focused and attentive by making your daily tasks more engaging.

Compared to last year, the world may feel a lot more upbeat. This is because Pigs value self-care; in fact, they rate it as highly as financial success. So there will plenty more opportunities to focus inward, take care of you, and recoup lost energy in 2019.

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The trick is to use those opportunities wisely – because you may have forgotten what self-care actually is, let alone how to fit it into a jam-packed, fast-paced schedule. One great way to boost your well-being is by getting back in touch with nature. Escape to the country or to a park if you can, or start a windowsill garden. It’s not so much about being able to grow prize-winning vegetables as it is about connecting with something greater than yourself.

Switching off from technology is another obvious solution – even if you can only drag yourself away for 10 minutes a day. Studies show that being “bored”, without any stimulation (social media, background music, flickering lights, talking heads, etc), is the first step towards calmness and creativity – both of which you’ll need in spades this year.

The ability to see the interconnectedness of things is also important in the Year of the Pig. Pigs are natural team players, with a preference for group effort over individual achievement. That’s not to say that you can’t go for gold – in fact, Piglet loves heaping praise on those who deserve it.

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But, in times of both trouble and triumph, be aware of how helpful the world can be if you let it in. During challenges, it’s useful to remember that the solution will appear eventually; and calmly waiting it out is the best route to take.

More than any other animal, pigs symbolise idealism and self-worth. Your curly-tailed friend truly wants what’s best for you – but expects a little effort in return.

Ultimately, by the close of this Lunar year, you should aim to be in a place where you can look back with a sigh and a smile, chuffed with – and a little smug about – everything you’ve achieved. Good luck!

Edited by Charlotte Ames-Ettridge