13 Literary Characters To Inspire Your New Year's Resolution

The idea of making New Year's resolutions can be just as exciting as it is intimidating. Whether your goals this time around in 2016 include getting a gym membership, quitting a bad habit like smoking, starting to date again, moving on from the past, or everything and more, keep yourself motivated! It can be hard to keep up with the demands of yourself after the hype of New Year's Eve settles and life suddenly goes back to the normal routine. I've found that over the years it helps to have inspiring and motivational people to look up while bettering yourself, and who could fit that description better than some of the most beloved literary characters?

My 2015 resolution list was ambitiously specific, including daily goals to read and write a certain number of pages, getting a full-time job weeks after graduation, getting my writing published, etc. This year, I'm much more focused on improving myself, laughing more often, loving more deeply, and trying new things. And to keep myself motivated, I plan to keep in mind some of the most inspirational literary characters that have ever graced the pages of books.

So if you're in need of some resolution inspiration, take into account these amazing characters and their admirable traits. If you've already got a massive list of goals written out, it still wouldn't hurt to follow these role models in becoming stronger, healthier, and happier in 2016.

1. Be As Strong-Willed As Elizabeth Bennet From Pride and Prejudice

The one major reason we all love Pride and Prejudice is because Lizzie is easily one of the most kickass and opinionated characters in classic fiction. She would never settle for anything less than what she wants, and while she certainly doesn't always listen, she trusts in herself, and that's an admirable trait. I also look up to her because when she does fall for Darcy, she doesn't just run away in fear but embraces this new scary thing while also making sure she's all-in for what's to come. If that isn't a great thing to strive for in your own life, I don't know what is.

2. Read As Much As Hermione Granger From The Harry Potter Series

Hermione isn't the only fictional character who has a passionate love for reading, but is certainly someone who loves books in a way that everyone can admire. She knows that knowledge and intelligence will get her far, even if some people make fun of her for always having her head in a book. This year, make sure to keep track of all the books you want to read and tackle each one as Hermione would.

3. Be As Independent As Katniss Everdeen From The Hunger Games Series

OK, I'm not going to suggest starting a revolution or anything, but Katniss has the strong ability to survive on her own, no matter what. She knows how to hunt and cook, which could be something you're thinking about learning sometime this year, but she also knows how to live on her own. Conquering life alone, whether that's in the sense of being single, moving somewhere new, or something else entirely, Katniss is a great person to look up to if you're ever in need of inspiration.

4. Become A Leader Like Kristy Thomas From The Baby-sitters Club

Kristy is awesome at coming up with ideas, and isn't afraid to voice her opinion. Even though she can be a bit abrasive at times, she's a natural leader and gets stuff done. Becoming more of a leader and less of a follower is always an important goal to chase after, especially at the beginning of a new year. Take charge, whether that's at your job, at home, or on the course of your own life. If you ever get stuck, just think, "What would Kristy do?"

5. Be As Fierce As Sophia From The Color Purple

Sophia is as honest as they come. When something is bothering her, when someone is hurting her, when life has become a mess, she says so. She doesn't back down from a fight, but stands up for what is right. She's incredible, and if you need any more reason to be your most fiercest self, let Sophia show you the way.

6. Take On A Challenge Like Annabeth Chase From The Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series

Annabeth is the spunky, lovable, and competitive character we could all use a little dose of. She's great at organizing plans and solving problems, all while keeping life in-check. Most of all, she takes on quests and challenges with excitement. This year, if there's a specific challenge facing you head on like a project at work, or even learning a new language or instrument — take it on with a smile, just like Annabeth would.

7. Be As Friendly As Lucy Pevensie from The Chronicles of Narnia Series

Being friendly, nice, and sincere all the time, especially to the wicked ones in our lives, can be incredibly difficult at times. We all have bad days where all we want to do is blame the world, but if we keep characters like Lucy in mind — ones that know the value of a kind smile and open heart — it's one giant step toward bettering yourself and your life.

8. Quit A Bad Habit Like Elisa in Girl of Fire and Thorns

Quitting a bad habit is certainly never easy, and neither is starting a new, healthy habit. Elisa struggles with stress-eating and worries about her body image, but what was hurting her most was the negative way she looked at herself. As different events unfold in her life, she starts to value her self-worth and is able to stop stress-eating. She didn't just quit cold-turkey, but she did find a reason to love herself again, and that is a great motivation to quit a harmful habit.

9. Forgive As Often As Harry Potter From The Harry Potter Series

Harry Potter, to put it bluntly, went through hell and back. Yet, he is still incredibly forgiving to all the people who have wronged him and the ones he loves most. He's outstandingly empathetic, so it's no wonder why we love him so much. It's never easy to forgive and move on from some difficulty haunting your past, or from someone who broke your heart, but in the end, once you do let go it will make you feel a whole lot better.

10. Laugh As Often As Mia Thermoplis from The Princess Diaries

Mia is the awkward, gangly teen that we all adored reading about and relating to. She's also hilarious, never failing to spin some unfortunate circumstance into a funny joke. One thing we can all benefit from is laughing more often, more honestly, and more loudly. Fill your new year with more LOL moments by remaining positive, even when life gets you down.

11. Step Outside Of Your Comfort Zone Like Cath From Fangirl

If you're heading to college for the first time in 2016, Cath is definitely a character you want to keep close to your heart. Even if you've already graduated, Cath is still a great role model for facing your fears and getting outside of your comfort zone. She's passionate about something to the point that it takes over her life, but not in a way that bothers her until she realizes it's stopping her from gaining new life experiences. So this year, keep Cath in mind by trying something new, and don't be afraid to leave your old comforts behind every once in a while.

12. Be As Curious As Alice From Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

Staying curious can lead to a more fulfilling life, and it can even get rid of anxiety! Alice is one curious character, and even though she's sometimes scared or feels alone, that doesn't stop her from wandering and wondering about the world she's in. The next time you're stuck in traffic or walking down the city streets, look up and down and let your mind be filled with curiosities — it just might turn your life around!

13. Love Without Fear Like Hazel Grace Lancaster And Augustus Waters From The Fault in Our Stars

Hazel and Augustus' love for each other is heartbreakingly inspiring. If you're anything like me and have difficulty putting your heart on the line out of fear of getting hurt, keep John Green's characters in mind. They were both sick, they knew they had limited time, but that didn't stop them from loving each other completely and overwhelmingly to the point that it became one of the best love stories of all time. So get back out there, and don't be afraid to love again.

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