17 Movie Scenes With Lessons That Will Inspire Your 2017 Resolutions

Alaisha Key | Dec 26, 2016 Movies


2016 is pretty much over. If you can believe it, another 365 days are about to come to a close. And just like last year around this time, most of us are wondering: What's next? That's right ... it's time to think about your 2017 resolutions -- yes, everything you would like to accomplish -- and how to make those ambitious wants a reality.

Whether you accomplished all that you set out to do in 2016 or fell a little short of those goals, here are a few poignant scenes from some of your favorite movies that will give you a major boost of inspiration for the year ahead. 

  • Sex & the City


    Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Mr. Big (Chris Nothfinally got their acts together and tied the knot in Sex & the City. Seriously, there's nothing like a six-season romance getting the closure it deserves on the big screen. But what's even more inspiring are the lessons learned in the final scenes of the movie. Carrie reminds us to define your own rules for life instead of feeding into labels and others' preconceived notions of what things should be. The ladies of the film (and iconic show) inspire us to do just that.

  • The Pursuit of Happyness


    The Pursuit of Happyness follows the many trials of father Chris Gardner (Will Smith) as he works to create a better life for himself and his son Christopher (Jayden Smith).

    At this point in the film, the two are playing basketball and Christopher says that he wants to go pro. While the odds may not be favorable, Chris tells his son to protect his dream and to never let anyone, including himself, say that he can't do something: "You want something, go get it. Period." Preach. If you truly believe in something, then you can never give up -- some advice you probably need in order to achieve any of your goals for the year ahead.

  • Finding Nemo


    Just as Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks) and Nemo (voiced by Alexander Gould) are reunited in Finding Nemo, tragedy strikes -- a school of fish and Dori (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) are caught in a net by fisherman. Luckily, Nemo quickly thinks of a plan to free them.

    That's just like real life. There will always be obstacles (some minor, others major) to face, even when you think you're in the clear. And, as Dori points out throughout the movie, all you can really do is just keep swimming. So do like Dori, and find a way to keep pressing on.

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  • It's a Wonderful Life


    In this classic holiday film, businessman George Bailey (James Stewart) is at his lowest -- pondering what he believes he's missed out on and about to face financial ruin. He's ready to give up, but a guardian angel shows him what life would be like if he never existed. Not liking the alternative, George ultimately realizes the impact that he's had on the his family and friends and the town -- and wants his life back. 

    In this ending scene, the community comes together to help George face his money woes. George even gets a message from his angel Clarence (Henry Travers) that reads, "Remember no man is a failure who has friends." A Wonderful Life reminds us that everyone makes an impact and it matters. Learn to have a little faith in people and yourself as we welcome 2017. Chances are you're doing something right.

  • Coach Carter


    In this powerful scene in Coach Carter, the head coach and the school board face off on the issue of Coach Carter's (Samuel L. Jackson) putting a lock on the gym doors until the players get their grades up. The board votes to let them play, but the team chooses to stand with him.

    In this scene, one rebellious player, Timo Cruz (Rick Gonzalez), takes the time to thank the coach and to recite a thoughtful quote about fear -- reminding us that most of the time the things that we most fear are ourselves. Don't shy away from your potential because you're afraid, and thank those who gave who hope.

  • The Devil Wears Prada


    We all have dreams, or rather, dream jobs, but sometimes those dreams come with a price. And no matter how big or small the compromise, you have to decide what you can and cannot live with -- as was the case with aspiring journalist Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) in The Devil Wears Prada.

    When she chose to walk away from fashion mogul and apparent tyrant Miranda Priestly (and chuck that blasted cell phone into a fountain), it was the ultimate "you go, girl" moment! She chose to define success on her own terms, which is probably a goal for many of us.

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  • Remember the Titans


    Remember the Titans is about a group of young athletes who have to overcome their differences in order to play the game that they love: football. Of course, actually putting their issues aside isn't so easy, but this moment is the turning point for these young men.

    Coach Boone (Denzel Washington) wakes them up so that they can jog to Gettysburg. There, he urges his team to look beyond color, learn to respect each other, and come together as men. Like the Titans, we must all find a way to overcome adversity.

  • When Harry Met Sally


    This pivotal moment in When Harry Met Sally where Harry (Billy Crystal) steps up and admits that he wants to be with Sally (Meg Ryan) is classic. Harry's words about their relationship speaks to us on so many levels.

    Despite the fact that he could get shut down, he puts himself out there and recites that perfect line: "When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." Harry proves that sometimes it's worth taking a risk.

  • Last Holiday


    In Last Holiday, Georgia Byrd (Queen Latifah) discovers that she only has a few weeks to live after a freak work accident. With her limited days, she decides to ditch her cautious nature and finally do something for herself -- travel to Europe's Grandhotel Pupp, check into the presidential suite, meet her chef idol, and speak her mind. 

    As the new year rings in, Georgia reflects on the incredible things she's done before meeting others for dinner, where she has a few key words for some elite guests that leave them -- and us -- pondering. Georgia reminds us that it is so easy to miss out on life because you're simply afraid to act or you're waiting for what you think is the right time. Quietly going through the motions doesn't get you anywhere. Do the things that scare you before it's too late. 

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  • Independence Day


    No one gets through July 4 weekend without seeing reruns of Independence Day playing on TV. While this action movie may be about the human race's battle against an alien threat, that doesn't mean that this speech is any less inspiring IRL.

    Now, you're probably not going to be dealing with any extraterrestrial problems in the near future, but there are many human causes that need advocates. From women's rights to basic civil liberties, stand up for the issues you believe in. It's the only way to make the world a better place.

  • New Year's Eve


    At the height of New Year's Eve, it's still unclear as to whether or not the ball will drop at midnight in NYC. Claire Morgan (Hilary Swank) takes to the airwaves to speak and, in turn, touches on the true meaning of the day. She urges the audience to stop and reflect. Morgan explains that with each new year, we all have the opportunity to start again and be better and do better than we did in years past. And that's what it's all about. 

  • Rocky Balboa


    Sylvester Stalone embodies the character of Rocky, and in the 2006 installment of the series, Rocky Balboa, Rocky has a serious father-son moment that anyone can learn from. Rocky Jr. (Milo Ventimiglia) is complaining to his father about how hard his life is because of his name and the boxing legacy.

    But Rocky has some choice words for him -- the gist being that life is your toughest opponent. It can and will knock you down, but how you choose to roll with the punches (pun intended) and move forward are what truly define you. Don't make up excuses for why you can't do something. Go do it.

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  • Legally Blonde


    Never judge a book by its cover -- especially when dealing with a woman on a mission like Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon). While Legally Blonde may be known as the epic chick flick that brought us the iconic "bend and snap," this graduation scene shows the growth of a woman who got accepted into Harvard hellbent on getting back with her ex -- but actually finds herself in the process.

    Elle reminds us that if you have passion and faith in yourself, you can achieve your goals -- whether they be getting into law school or conquering something else. So find what motivates you and succeed.

  • Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit


    In Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, Deloris aka Sister Mary Clarence (Whoopi Goldberg) has a conversation with Rita Watson (Lauryn Hill). The hardheaded teen wants to quit the choir, but the sister can tell she wants to (and obviously really can) sing.

    She mentions the book Letters to a Young Poet and references a part of the novel in which the author questions the protagonist about his passion for writing. Mary Clarence asks Rita a similar question: "If you wake up in the morning, and you can't think of anything but singing, then you should be a singer, girl." Think about what you love because finding the thing you're most passionate about can actually be that simple.

  • Dead Poets Society


    The late Robin Williams inspires as the madcap poetry teacher, John Keating, in Dead Poets Society. In this class, he asks his students to look deeper and see the world in a different way, further emphasising this by asking these young men to see the classroom by standing on his desk.

    Not only do they get a new point of view, but Keating tells his students that they have to find their voices because the longer they wait, the harder it will be. That should light a fire under all of us.

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  • Rudy


    Rudy dreams of playing football for Notre Dame despite the fact that he's shorter and skinnier than your average player. After two years of hard work, he wasn't chosen to suit up for the big game.

    In this classic scene, Rudy tells Fortune (Charles S. Dutton) that he's quitting the team, and Fortune shares his own previous struggles playing on the field and his regrets. Fulfilling a dream doesn't happen over night. You have to keep trying despite your struggles. 

  • Mona Lisa Smile


    In Mona Lisa Smile, Julia Roberts plays Katherine Watson, an art professor who sets out to teach a group of young women to look past the gender norms that society has set for them.

    Here, she lectures the ladies using contemporary art in response to a school newspaper article. Fed up that she's being blasted for encouraging the idea that women should be more than wives and mothers, she gives a powerful speech using ads of the time to ask them what they will be remembered for. Like these ladies, we all need a reminder to leave our mark on history. 

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