New Year's resolutions not working? Taking stock and hanging in there

by Natalie G. Owens

Well, we're already over two full months into the new year and as always the days are going superfast! At least, that's how I've felt since I turned 30 - and that was 12 years ago! At the end of last year, I accomplished something--I finished writing a novel. I always feel great when I get something this huge done because it doesn't happen every day. To a writer, finishing a story is bittersweet. You really want to have it all on paper (or Word file :)), but at the same time, you do miss the characters at the end. That said, nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment you get when you write "The End". 

This made me think of all those times I felt inspired to drive myself to the limit, to reach an important goal. One of the biggest sources of inspiration to me are movies. Here is a list of twenty inspirational movies that have made a mark on me:

1) Finding Forrester
2) Under the Tuscan Sun
3) Gifted Hands
4) Little Man Tate
5) My Name is Khan
6) Peaceful Warrior
7) Mr. Smith goes to Washington
8) Forrest Gump
9) The Pursuit of Happyness
10) Babe (yes, even an intrepid little piglet gets its props :))
11) Dead Poet's Society
12) Life is Beautiful
13) Pay It Forward
14) Freedom Writers
15) Amistad
16) Chocolat
17) Schindler's List
18) Oliver Twist
19) The Piano
20) A Beautiful Mind

These movies all featured characters who have had to go outside their comfort zone and reach out for the stars, or in some cases, for a path to healing. They depict people who may have veered off course but work hard to carve out a place for themselves in the world. Isn't that what we all try to do? 

Sometimes things don't end well, but what matters is the journey. We don't always believe this, especially when challenges are great. Recently, I met a lady who's suffering from Stage 2 B-cell chronic lymphoma, and the obstacles in her path seem immense. A single mother with children and an eviction notice hanging like a Damocles sword above her head. "Don't quit" is something she tells herself every day, but there are moments when hope fades. When I see people going through such things, I tend to buck up and chide myself for EVER complaining about anything. I regroup, and tell myself I can achieve anything if I work hard enough, and want it badly enough. Yes, there are moments when obstacles seem insurmountable but we must draw inspiration from all the things around us and move on with a renewed spirit.

Good messages are indeed all around us, all we need to do is take notice. Even a little old song or movie can do the trick for me. But let's focus on movies today...:)

So... what are the movies that have inspired you most in life, or in your career?

NOTE: This week, for Read an E-Book Week (March 3-9), I'm offering my novel, An Eternity of Roses at a discounted rate of 99c on Amazon and a percentage of royalties will be given to Vicki Rose Stewart, to benefit her in her journey toward overcoming lymphoma. It's a win-win - you get a full novel with an excellent review rating for under a dollar, and Vicki gets to pay a few of the piling medical and everyday bills. Thank you in advance for your support!

An Eternity of Roses is also on sale on Smashwords to promote digital reading. Downloadable in all formats for any e-reader. Enter coupon code REW75 at checkout for a 75% discount. :)

Live well and love harder!


  1. Natalie:
    The most recent movie I've seen, Quartet, is inspiring on several levels:
    It's a positive view of people of a certain age.
    It shows that life doesn't stop when you're older
    And it shows that love doesn't stop when you're older.
    It inspired me to dust off my novel, Daffodil Season, about first loves who find each other after fifty+ years. As someone who found the love of her life at the ripe old age of 65, it happens and it's GOOD.
    Great blog.

  2. Awww, Mitzi, how heartwarming and HOPEFUL! Your story is worth telling and you should tell it one day in a book. I look forward to reading "Daffodil Season".

  3. I love several of those movies you mentioned, Natalie. Rudy is probably one of the most powerful inspirational and "You can do anything" type of movies - maybe because it's based on a true story.

    1. I haven't seen Rudy, Rhonda. Going to have to check it out!

  4. Fab post, Natalie! Luv your choices. Finding Forrester is one of my favorite movies.

  5. Hey Natalie - today is one of those days when inspiration would be a good thing to come my way. From your list I've seen:

    Little Man Tate
    Forrest Gump
    Schindler's List
    Oliver Twist
    The Piano
    A Beautiful Mind

    For me, Star Wars was the big life changer. Pushed me from audience member to storyteller.

    1. Wow Julia! Star Wars was really pivotal in your life. The 70s were ever so much more beautiful with Star Wars in them, right?


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