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The Best Resolution (Is to Make Resolutions for Your Friends)

Amazing runs do not happen on treadmills. Even if you hit your personal best, the treadmill run will never compare to the one outside, along the lake, where the air smells fresh and full of life.

This is why I don’t like resolutions. They put you on a treadmill. You set a goal (left foot forward), you achieve it (right foot forward). Now what? You set another goal (left foot), you achieve it (right foot). Goal set (left), and achieved (right). At one point do you enjoy anything? When do you feel content? With goals, the answer is never.

That’s why I’m not setting any resolutions for myself. What I want is to enjoy life as it comes and be open to new opportunities I could never plan for. The name for this isn’t complacency, it’s flexibility. Still, my mom worries I’ll become a bum.

To ease her mind, and goal-lovers everywhere, I’ve decided I am going to set some resolutions after all. Only they won’t be for me. I’m setting goals for other people. (Way more fun!)

Scott: my goal for you is to create more. Could be a new dish, or a song, or a photo, or anything. Find a little inspiration and run with it. Keep closer track of when Doris Kearns Goodwin is coming to town. Talk on the phone less while driving.

Birdie: my goal for you is find the best gelato in Italy. This won’t be easy. You’re going to need to eat a lot of gelato. But I believe in you and know you can do it. Also, I hope you buy something while you’re there, maybe real Italian booties.

My canine roommate, Webbie: my goal for you is to learn the difference between my pants and your pants. You don’t own any pants, so this should be easy. They’re my pants, they’re on my legs, stop eating them.

Emily: my goal for you is to visit Philadelphia and run up the Rocky steps with me. I would also like you to continue writing, posting playlists and not using Butch for evil.

Eric: my goal for you is to join Emily on this hypothetical (but eventual!) Philly trip. I’d also like you to consider wearing a real coat when it’s cold outside. Stop pretending it’s not Chicago out there.

Nate: my goal for you is to get either a puppy or miniature piglet. If that doesn’t pan out, I hope you keep writing, playing music and making excellent eyewear decisions, unlike that one time with me. Also, you should eat at Oberweis more.

Kim: my goal for you is to not stress too much during your wedding. You can stress a little, but not too much. There’s no couple in the world I’m more excited to celebrate than you and Adam, and I think you should enjoy the party, too. Also, I don’t think you should give up completely on your little garden. Even if nothing ever grows there, dirt is good for you.

Adam: my goal for you is to not faint during the entire month of June.

Josh: my goal for you is to make more stuff. People like the things you create and  although you dread every step of the process, you like it too. Dread less, make more.

Other people reading this: my goal for you is to read more books. Seriously, you spend so much time reading things on the Internet (including this, thank you), but have you considered books? They’re great. Go get lost in a bookstore or library. I’d also like you to wait in one ridiculously long line. I know that sounds like a pain, but sometimes it’s worth it and how will you ever know if you don’t try? You can bring a book with you!

There they are, my 2014 resolutions for other people. I know it’ll be a great year if you guys just stick to it. Go get ’em, my little tigers.

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