Illustration by Carly Jean Andrews

Unsolicited New Year’s Resolutions for Others

Resolutions are underrated. Here are 8 for people who really need them

As another year begins, it’s time for yet another celebration of the time-honored American ritual of The Great Setup for Failure known as making New Year’s Resolutions. You have likely already been treated to a slew of content naysaying these resolutions, written under the guise of self-forgiveness, wisdom and practicality. You know who writes those stories? Jackals who are afraid of you living your best life, that’s who. Don’t listen to them. New Year’s is the one time of year when people get to spend a week imagining a reality where their terrible habits and worse fates aren’t set in stone. They can and will change with sheer will and their new Bullet Journal!

In honor of this annual testament to unjustified optimism, I’ve compiled a list of suggested resolutions for some of this year’s movers and shakers. Here are some changes I’d really like to see in 2017.

Melania Trump

Resolution: Girl, start your memoir.

Look, we know that you’re going to have to write most of it on napkins that a benevolent Trump Tower sanitation employee will have to risk life and limb to smuggle out of your gilded cage to bring to the publisher. It’s very inconvenient that you can’t write your memoir on a laptop, but as your husband has told us, “The security aspect of cyber is very, very tough!” But facts are facts, and 2017 is the year that you need to show us that you’re not just some plagiarist who can’t get Tom Ford to return your calls; you’re relevant, you’re with it! We want to know every grim detail about our Manila-Envelope-in-Chief, his turncoat snake of a daughter, his sons with the shit-eating grins and the coke bloat, and whether or not we all need to be building fallout shelters like, yesterday, because it’s actually far worse than we have imagined, if such a thing were possible.

That Friend Who You Tell Your Problems to and They’re Like, “If it makes you feel any better, [unrelated bad thing that happened to them that absolutely does not make you feel better].”

Resolution: Enroll in a formal logic course.

Your willingness to share anecdotes from your life with people to show them different perspectives demonstrates that you’re committed to the idea of lifelong learning—but why not give that gift to yourself, you fucking master of passive-aggressive derailing disguised as empathy! In formal logic, you will learn that Scenario A and Scenario B can both be bad, but that Scenario B being worse than Scenario A doesn’t make Scenario A any fucking better!

So no, it doesn’t make your friend who just got cheated on feel any better to know that you once got cheated on by someone not even as cute as you! It doesn’t make your friend who is being evicted feel any better to be reminded about what is happening in Aleppo! Thinking about Aleppo, outside of pouring cash into humanitarian efforts there, doesn’t ever make things better. Ever. Etc. So on! So forth! You will actually learn a whole lot more than that in a formal logic course, but if you just show up to the first class where they teach you the easiest ones, you will become a better person and friend in 2017!

Lena Dunham

Resolution: Take up meditation.

There are lots of types of meditations, and your tremendous skill at borrowing from other cultures would come in handy if this resolution were intended to give you a buffet of transcendent options from across the globe to butcher but really, the best resolution for you is just a basic meditation practice that focuses on silence. “OMG, LOOK AT THIS WOMAN TRYING TO SILENCE ANOTHER WOMAN! WHAT BAD FEMINISM!” the remaining Dunham stans may shout. (But since that’s now just Taylor and Amy, it won’t be that loud.) When you recuse yourself from speaking publicly, you have more time and energy to thoughtfully craft statements that won’t get you in internet trouble or find you in a weird and ill-advised pantsuit rap video! Wins all around!

Bernie Sanders

Resolution: Give back to the community by mentoring.

Bernard, my dude! My man! My friend of the little birds of Portland, OR! Many of us are still bummed that even after our nation turned its lonely eyes to you, you didn’t even clinch the Democratic nomination, much less the presidency! Maybe… maybe, that was because the electorate is all neoliberal vampires. Maybe… maybe, that was because you were a lee-tle bit out of touch with a bunch of that electorate that might have come to your side if you hadn’t relied on a 50-year-old picture of you marching with King (metaphorically, not like, next to him) for your civil rights cred. STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS!

Maybe… maybe, instead of giving the world yet another nonprofit in the form of Our Revolution (which sounds like a failed attempt at a street-style brand by JCPenney, by the way), you could mentor young progressives who are more in tune with people you couldn’t rally behind you if they have potential for elected office! They’ll need to know how to navigate Congress without compromising too many values and also, you have a sort of abysmal record when it comes to grooming young Congressional hopefuls, which makes you look like you care more about being the heroic lone progressive voice than about achieving actual progress. If you won’t do it for those reasons, do it because it will make you look better than Hillary Clinton, who has taken up woodland sorcery instead of actively resisting the Trump regime in any visible way.

That Guy Who Follows a Bunch of Women on Social Media but Only Interacts with Them to Correct Them

Resolution: Join a local Toastmasters chapter.

People like to joke on the Toastmasters, the nearly century-old nonprofit aimed at helping people develop public speaking skills and gain insights about effective leadership in a welcoming and safe environment. It’s basically the opposite of the internet, where most of the skills honed are about delivering sick burns and having knee-jerk reactions about people’s appearances and age when their opinions differ from yours. Sirs, there’s a better way to talk to women! Go to one Toastmasters and tell them about how you typically communicate and you will get one of the best makeover montages in history, except instead of getting new outfits you get basic decency and maybe even some modicum of attractiveness because you can charm people instead of calling them cum-guzzling hags who ruined America with their imaginary abortions. Press your slacks for your first meeting—first impressions are important.

Justin Bieber

Resolution: Get into Kon Mari organizing, but for people instead of stuff.

The Kon Mari method of organizing demands that you eliminate all of the things in your life that don’t “spark joy” when you look at them. Biebs, you wouldn’t recognize a spark of joy if it sent 1,000 volts through your veins and up to your platinum tresses because you’ve been miserable for some time, baby boy. There are people rooting for you. But it isn’t your friends who keep leaking those videos of you being kind of a shitbag. It isn’t your dad, who talked about your dick. It isn’t that mom who got you into this fame mess by tossing your adolescent ass up on YouTube like a lil dancing soprano monkey. And I don’t know who you’re dating but it isn’t me so she’s probably bad news, too. Spark joy. Spark joy. Spark joy.

Barack Obama

Resolution: Take up smoking again.

You deserve it. Just for like, a few months, suck in that sweet unpresidential poison because you don’t have to govern our wily asses anymore. Then you can get back on Nicorette or fulfill your destiny as the most dad of dads and get into vaping.

People Who Vape

Resolution: Quit vaping.

Come on.