The Chinese New Year is rapidly approaching, but before we officially enter the Year of Rooster (and leave the Year of the Monkey behind) on January 28, we wanted to find out what this sign of the Chinese Zodiac can tell us about the year to come. So we spoke with Chinese astrologer Laura Lau to get the low-down on the Rooster and how it may influence 2017. For starters, the Rooster's energy is almost guaranteed to ruffle a few feathers (pun intended). As much as this sign is associated with optimism, confidence, and practicality, Lau says that Roosters also tend to be pretty opinionated and demanding. But according to Lau, "The good thing is that you always know what side the Rooster is on, because they're rarely ever neutral." Looking at the year to come, Lau says that "Rooster years are rarely ever boring, so it'll be a year with a lot of action." In a year that will see its share of both drama and productivity, her advice is to stay organised, think through all of your actions, and above all else, don't slack off: "The Rooster favors those who put in the hard work and stick to a plan." Oh, and one other thing: Roosters are a notoriously punctual sign, so now's the time to start wearing a watch. Although we're transitioning from the Year of the Monkey to the Year of the Rooster in 2017, this year will share its representative element with 2016: fire. That's right, this will be yet another super-charged year, infused with intensity. But as we explained last year, the same element can affect each sign differently. The Fire Rooster, specifically, is an already-intense sign with an extra side of focus and drive. To say that this year will move at top speed is an understatement. So, if you were expecting to get a break this year, you're out of luck. But that doesn't mean 2017 will be totally thankless, either. Take it as a challenge to meet — and even exceed — the precedent of tirelessness, hope, and pluck that the Rooster sets. That's how you'll find your reward this year, according to Lau. "The Rooster respects those with strong opinions and a good work ethic," she says. "Be thoughtful about what’s in your heart and go with it."