Many people use the beginning of the new year as an opportunity to start over. One of the most common ways people do this is by creating a New Year’s resolutions list. The list usually contains different goals that help with personal growth. Unfortunately, some people lose the desire to continue pursuing their resolutions throughout the year. Here are ten movies and television series that will help you keep your motivation to follow through with your New Year’s resolutions.

1. The Good Place — Be A Better Person

After Eleanor Shellstrop’s death, she wakes up to her afterlife in “the good place.” Unfortunately, Eleanor quickly discovers that she was mistaken for someone else with the same name. This comes as no surprise to Eleanor since she lived a selfish and dishonest life. She then devises a plan to rightfully earn her spot in the good place. Her plan includes taking classes from Chidi Anagonye, who was an ethics professor. With Chidi’s help, Eleanor gradually makes progress towards understanding the fundamentals of being a better person.

Eleanor draws motivation from Chidi while they stand in front of a black board that has ethics lesson written on it.
The Good Place (2016) created by Michael Schur

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to try to be kinder to others, The Good Place (2016) created by Michael Schur is a binge-worthy TV show to watch to help keep your motivation. The show’s episodes constantly force the main characters into moral dilemmas. If you need a list of what not to do, here is a list of 10 Things That Will Put You On The Naughty List In The Good Place.

2. One Punch Man — Exercise More

In a world overrun with monsters and villains, there exists a superhero organization that fights these threats. Each superhero in the organization ranks from class C to class S based on skill and achievements. Saitama, also known as One Punch Man, decided one day to become a superhero just for fun. As part of his training, his routine included 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats, and a 10KM run every single day. By sticking to this regiment, Saitama became so strong that he could defeat any enemy with a single punch.

Saitama after having defeated a monster in one punch.
One Punch Man (2015) created by One

Saitama was an average man, yet he unintentionally became stronger than any known superhero. Another common resolution is to exercise more. While staying committed to our resolutions is no easy task, Saitama’s undeniable strength from sticking to his workout routine is good motivation. Just don’t overdo it, because you may go bald like Saitama.

3. Frozen — Spend More Time With Family

When Princess Elsa and Princess Anna were young, they shared a strong sisterly bond. Unlike her sister, Anna, Elsa possesses magical ice powers. One day while the two sisters were playing, Elsa accidentally injured Anna. Their parents, the King and Queen of Arendelle, sought the help of trolls to heal Anna. To further protect Anna, they altered her memories so that she would forget about Elsa’s magic. Consequently, Elsa had to hide her magic and became isolated for years. This caused a rift in Elsa and Anna’s relationship. After the tragic death of their parents, Elsa’s obligations to take the crown forced her out of her isolation. On Elsa’s journey to accept her responsibilities as Queen, she reclaims her relationship with her sister.

Princesses Elsa and Anna holding each others hands in the snow.
Frozen (2013) is written by Jennifer Lee and co-directed by Chris Buck

Spending more time with family is usually at the top of everyone’s resolutions list. Seeing Elsa and Anna forced apart as young kids is heartbreaking. Elsa and Anna’s relationship is a powerful motivation to cherish loved ones. Luckily there is nothing stronger than the bond to family. Despite having gone years without seeing each other, they value the sisterly love that they will always have for one another.

4. Food Wars! — Start A New Hobby

Young Soma Yukihira shows a deep passion for cooking and is always thinking of ways to refine his skills. He works with his dad at his restaurant where he plans to take over and surpass his dad’s skills. However, Soma’s plans are interrupted when his dad says that he’s closing up the shop to work with an old colleague. Soma’s dad sends him off to attend one of the best culinary schools in the country. As the show progresses, Soma’s dishes continue to impress those who taste them, even Erina Nakiri who is top of her class with a god-like palate. After each dish Soma makes, he explains his process which in turn excites viewers about cooking.

Soma holding up one of his delicious food dishes.
Food Wars! (2015) written by Yūto Tsukuda and illustrated by Shun Saeki

Although we may not all have a dad who is secretly a master chef, seeing Soma’s passion for cooking is reason enough to pick up cooking. Even if cooking is not your preferred interest, the show sparks motivation to commit to any resolutions to finally start a new hobby. Reviews and other articles regarding Food Wars! (2015) can be found here.

5. Dr. Stone — Continue Pursuing Education

Average student Taiju Oki tells his science-loving friend, Senku Ishigami, that he will confess his feelings to a mutual friend. Senku claims that he has concocted a love potion, but Taiju rejects the offer. At the exact moment that Taiju is about to express his feelings to the girl he likes, a bright green flash blankets the world. The light mysteriously turns everyone into stone. After thousands of years, Taiju breaks free from his stone state and finds Senku while he’s collecting raw materials. With the power of science, Senku plans to restore humanity.

Senku in class holding up a labratory flask.
Dr. Stone (2019) was written by Riichiro Inagaki and illustrated by Boichi,

While science may not be everyone’s favorite school subject, the way the series showcases the scientific process through Senku is intriguing. All of Senku’s actions are based on his knowledge of real-world science. Viewers can be entertained by following the show’s narrative and also be educated in the process. Watching 16-year-old Senku solve problems with science serves as motivation to continue pursuing education. If continuing education is not already one of your resolutions, this show might change your mind.

6. Penelope — Practice Self Love

As the story goes, a member of the Wilhern family had an affair with one of the servants, but the relationship was not approved by the family. Completely heartbroken, the servant ends her life. As an act of revenge, the servant’s witch mother curses the Wilherns so that each daughter born into the family will have the face of a pig. As luck would have it, the Wilherns only had sons until Penelope was born. In order to break the curse, Penelope must have “one of her own kind” learn to love her.

Penelope with her head resting on top of her crossed arms.

Penelope (2006) is directed by Mark Palansky and written by Leslie Caveny

Penelope must have a man of noble birth love and accept her regardless of her face, as is needed to end the curse. More self-love is one of the most coveted New Year’s resolutions. What this film brings to light is the importance of how we treat ourselves. Penelope’s mother desperately felt that what Penelope needed was a suitor to break the curse. Regardless of the circumstances behind Penelope’s curse, what she most needed was to be able to love herself despite her pig nose.

7. My Hero Academia — Chase Your Dreams

Izuku Midoriya lives in a world where it is normal for people to be born with superpowers or, as they call it, “quirks.” Sadly for poor Izuku, he was born without one. Despite knowing this, all Izuku dreams of is becoming a superhero. One day a terrible villain grabs hold of one of Izuku’s childhood friends, and, without hesitation, Izuku jumps in to save him. Shortly after, the greatest Hero, All Might, flies in to save both of them. Inspired by Izuku’s bravery, All Might bestows upon Izuku his own quirk, “One For All.”

Izuku stares off into the distance. All Might, Izuku's motivation for becoming a hero, stands behind Izuku.
My Hero Academia (2016) was written and illustrated by Kōhei Horikoshi

Even though Izuku had an impossible dream, he never gave up hope on one day becoming a superhero. It was because of Izuku’s bravery that All Might recognized his potential and decided to take him on as his disciple. Izuku’s perseverance in overcoming his hardships can be motivation to follow through with your New Year’s resolutions and to keep chasing your dreams.

8. Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy — Travel More

One morning, Arthur wakes up to discover that his house is being demolished in order to build a bypass. He protests the bulldozers by laying down in front of them. Shortly after he lies down, he is unexpectedly visited by his friend, Ford Prefect. Ford convinces Arthur to go to the pub with him. At the pub, Ford explains to Arthur that he is an alien. He warns Arthur that Earth is going to be demolished later that day to create a hyperspace bypass. Just moments before the destruction of Earth, Ford saved Arthur, and the two of them went on a journey across the galaxy.

Arthur, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Trillian and Ford Prefect staring out from the spaceship. All sharing the common motivation to save the Earth.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (2005) screenplay by Douglas Adams and Karey Kirkpatrick and directed by Garth Jennings

Arthur is a simple man who enjoys a good cup of tea and is content living an ordinary life. Throughout his journey across the galaxy he meets other alien species and visits new worlds. Experiencing these events lead to him being more receptive to exploring the unknown and giving him a newfound motivation. Watching this film will reignite the desire to go on that trip, and fulfill the resolution to travel more.

9. Parks And Recreation — Be More Organized

Leslie Knope is the Deputy Director of the Parks and Recreation Department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. During a town meeting, local resident Ann Perkins demanded that the construction pit near her home be filled after her boyfriend fell in and broke his legs. In response, Leslie promises to fill the pit and turn it into a park. However, there is resistance to the project idea from Parks Director, Ron Swanson.

Leslie sitting at her desk with a news article in the background for daily self motivation.
Parks and Recreation (2009) created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur

Using her wit, Leslie is able to secretly convince Ron to approve the project. She and her staff work diligently together to encourage community interest. Leslie Knope’s character is admirable in many ways. One of Leslie’s most proud traits is her organizational skills. Whether it’s for a speech, a work project, or even at home, Leslie probably has it organized in a color-coded binder. So if you need the motivation to get more organized, there is no character more inspiring than Leslie Knope. You can get an overview of the show’s characters here.

10. Princess Mononoke — Be More Eco-Friendly

In Japan, an uncontrollable demon attacks a quiet village. Fortunately, Prince Ashitaka is able to kill it before it reaches the village, but as a result, Ashitaka’s arm becomes cursed. The villagers discover that the demon was the boar god, Nago, who had been corrupted by an iron ball.

A woman from the village informs the prince that there may be a cure in the lands where the boar god came from. Once Ashitaka arrives in those lands, he witnesses a group of Irontown men repelling an attack from the wolf goddess, Moro, and a human girl, San, riding on another wolf’s back. After Ashitaka returns to town, he learns of the atrocities that the city has committed against the forests and its spirits.

Princess Mononoke with blood on her face and Moro, the goddess of wolves behind her. Both with the same motivation, to protect the forest.
Princess Mononoke (1997) written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki

The cost of construction of Irontown came at the expense of the surrounding forest’s destruction. With the ongoing production of iron and the development of firearms, the forest continued to suffer. Some people’s need to make money or live conveniently will come at the expense of nature. Seeing the unintended side effects of humankind’s development becomes the motivation for viewers to stick to their resolution to be more environmentally conscious.

Motivation And Relaxation — Practice Self Care

Our lives can be busy, but it is important to take the time to relax and unwind at the end of the day. A simple yet entertaining method of relaxation is watching movies and TV shows. You can opt for going to the theater or staying in and streaming something.

Fortunately, motivation can also be a part of your relaxation. It takes almost no effort, and you can walk away feeling inspired depending on what you choose to watch. So take care of yourself, set some time aside, and maybe watch a movie or binge a show to recharge. You can renew your ambitions for your resolutions by simply turning on your TV.