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As is the case every year, the month of January brings with it an inevitable desire to take a look at one’s life and objectively see where there might be room for improvement. While many of us take the time to make New Year’s resolutions, some struggle to keep them, and others have trouble even deciding where to begin. Recognizing these struggles, here’s a list of K-dramas to help inspire your New Year’s resolutions. 1. Work out more – “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo” gfycat Probably one of the most common New Year’s resolutions is making the commitment to exercise daily, which is why we’re kicking this list off with the 2016 drama “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo.” Starring Lee Sung Kyung as the lovable college weightlifter Kim Bok Joo, this inspirational drama shows us that with enough hard work and dedication, we too can make our dreams come true not just in the gym, but in every area of our lives. Start watching “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo” here: Watch Now 2. Lose weight – “Oh My Venus” jennywatcheskdramas Going hand-in-hand with the resolution to exercise is the equally popular resolution to lose weight. If trimming down happens to be one of your goals, what better drama to inspire you to do just that than the delightful 2015 rom-com “Oh My Venus”? Shin Min Ah stars as lawyer Kang Joo Eun, who seeks to lose weight with the professional help of Kim Young Ho (So Ji Sub), a personal trainer to the stars. This drama is chock-full of the inspiration you need to stick to that healthy meal plan and workout routine. Of course, finding a personal trainer as visually appealing as So Ji Sub might do more for your resolutions than this drama will, but even so, watching this drama couldn’t hurt any. Could it? Watch the first episode of “Oh My Venus” here: Watch Now 3. Look after mental health – “It’s Okay, That’s Love” dramapearls With physical health on the forefront of nearly everyone’s mind this time of year, it’s equally important to remember to take care of your mental health as well. That’s why the 2014 romance drama “It’s Okay, That’s Love” is included in this list. One of the first and arguably one of the best dramas to address the issues often faced by those living with a mental illness, this drama starring Jo In Sung and Gong Hyo Jin reminds us that taking care of our mental health is equally as important as taking care of our physical health. Start watching “It’s Okay, That’s Love” here: Watch Now 4. Learn a new skill/hobby – “Twenty Again” The Problematic of the Unproblematic Learning a new skill or hobby ranks high on the list of many New Year’s resolutions, and what better drama to inspire you to do just that than the 2015 rom-com “Twenty Again”? In this truly inspiring drama, 38-year-old Ha No Ra, played by Choi Ji Woo, finds herself forced to start life over after her husband leaves her. To make matters worse, a recent trip to the doctor comes back with a grim prognosis. Determined to keep moving forward, No Ra enrolls in college and boldly steps into a brave new world with plenty to learn along the way. 5. Live life to the fullest – “Scent of a Woman” mimundoentrehoras With the entire world two years into a global pandemic, it’s no wonder this next resolution is a popular one. With so much uncertainty surrounding us, unsurprisingly, many have vowed to live life to the fullest. To illustrate the importance of doing just that, there’s no better drama than the 2011 romance “Scent of a Woman.” When Kim Sun Ah‘s character Lee Yeon Jae is diagnosed with cancer, she decides to live her last few months on Earth to the fullest. Saying goodbye to the daily grind, Yeon Jae heads to Japan for her first and only vacation. It’s there that she meets Kang Ji Wook, played by Lee Dong Wook, who, through a series of misadventures, helps to check off all the items on Yeon Jae’s bucket list. Start watching “Scent of a Woman” here: Watch Now 6. Spend more time with family and friends – “Reply 1988” tenor Another resolution that comes to the forefront of many people’s minds is the desire to spend more time with family and friends. While doing so in a world that is still mindfully practicing social distancing can be a bit difficult, the hit family comedy drama “Reply 1988” offers a glimpse of what life was like when friends and family were literally right around the corner. With a star-studded cast and enough humor to make you forget your current woes, this drama filled with family and friends is sure to inspire you to plan that next trip home. Watch the first episode of “Reply 1988” here: Watch Now 7. Save more and spend less – “Stars Falling from the Sky” Another popular resolution is the desire to save more and spend less money. While it’s easy to dream of watching that savings account grow, setting that money aside is no easy feat. Illustrating that point well is the 2010 romantic dramedy “Stars Falling From the Sky.” As a hard-working young lady, Jin Pal Gang (Choi Jung Won) may make a decent paycheck, but she has a horrible habit of spending more than she makes. Soon in debt, her troubles only compound when the untimely death of her parents leaves her as the sole guardian of her five younger siblings. With Kim Ji Hoon‘s prickly Won Kang Ha by her side, Pal Gang learns a number of valuable life lessons including how to curb her unruly spending habits. 8. Quit a bad habit – “Introverted Boss” Pinterest Quitting a bad habit also ranks high on the list of common resolutions, so to illustrate just how important such a thing is, I’ve chosen the 2017 rom-com “Introverted Boss.” At first glance, you may think that Yeon Woo Jin as the painfully shy CEO Eun Hwan Ki works as the object lesson here — but really, it’s Park Hye Soo as Chae Ro Woon who learns a number of valuable lessons. Her long-held desire for revenge drives her to pester poor Hwan Ki to death, and though he does eventually overcome his extreme shyness, and they do miraculously manage to fall in love, it’s the lessons Ro Woon learns in letting go of that bitter hatred that illustrate how important it is to let go of the negative in order to fully embrace all the rewards that come with doing so. 9. Travel more – “Descendants of the Sun” Pinterest Many include the desire to travel more in their list of resolutions, and even if we’re stuck making plans for later rather than booking flights tomorrow, we can still dream of all of the places in the world we someday hope to visit. If you’re looking to fuel those dreams and inspire those plans, check out Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo‘s 2016 hit drama “Descendants of the Sun.” But the inspiration to travel in this drama comes from the stunning locations they used in filming rather than the story itself. After all, getting stuck in a mine post-earthquake doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun. Most of this drama’s breathtaking scenes were filmed in Greece, which absolutely inspires us to book a flight or at least start planning a future trip! Watch the first episode of “Descendants of the Sun” here: Watch Now 10. Read more – “Romance is a Bonus Book” charliekyngdon Wrapping up this list is the resolution to read more books. For some reason, many of us can find the time to watch the next episode of a drama, but picking up a book just seems like a dream too far out of reach. To inspire you to pick up a copy of that best-selling book you’ve been meaning to read, check out the 2019 rom-com “Romance is a Bonus Book.” With Lee Na Young and Lee Jong Suk‘s childhood characters bonding over a shared love of books, there’s no way you can wonder why this drama was chosen to go with this resolution here. The theme of books and writing is prevalent throughout, but it’s the story about holding onto love even after all hope is gone and picking up and moving forward even after life has completely crumbled around you that will really make you love this drama. It’s the perfect drama to inspire you on so many levels! There are many inspirational dramas out there that it’s hard to narrow them down to just a few. Which dramas inspire you the most? Are there any that are influencing your New Year’s resolutions? Let us know in the comments below! Leah is a freelance writer who has spent the past decade lost in the Wonderland that is Asian pop culture and entertainment. Currently watching: “Ghost Doctor,” “Cupid’s Kitchen,” and “Young Lady and Gentleman.”All-time favorite dramas: “Master’s Sun” and “Guardian: The Lonely and Great God.”Looking forward to: Park Seo Joon‘s upcoming drama, the release of ONE OK ROCK’s next full-length album, and the eventual premiere of the star-studded sci-fi action film “Alien.” How does this article make you feel?
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