5 Of The Best Ads To Inspire Your New Year’s Resolutions

What’s your 2018 resolution?

As 2017 winds down, people everywhere are taking stock of their lives and mapping out how to improve themselves in 2018. It’s no shock that a 2015 Nielsen survey found the top two New Year’s resolutions are “staying fit and healthy” and to “lose weight.”

While most people wake up on January 1 with the best intentions, the drive to improve oneself often wanes after about six weeks. A study by U.S. News found that 80% of people break their New Year’s resolutions by Valentine’s Day.

To give GOOD Sports’ readers a little extra inspiration to get healthy in 2018, we’ve compiled a list of some great, inspiring TV commercials. Even though commercials are created for the purpose of either selling products or building the public’s emotional ties to a brand, that doesn’t mean they aren’t great at inspiring people. In fact, commercials often have to be incredibly inspiring to convince people to plunk down $150 on a pair sneakers.

“Boxing Makes You Bigger” — Everlast

Many ads on this list are focused on inspiring people to put in the work to become more healthy, but this ad is inspiring in another way. The child boxer in the ad is clearly a great athlete with tremendous drive, but this spot focuses on the power of a boxer’s heart. A true fighter knows how to be humble in his abilities and when not to use violence

“Find Your Greatness: The Jogger” — Nike

“Greatness — it’s just something we made up,” the announcer whispers as a 200-pound middle-schooler comes jogging up the desolate road. “Somehow we’ve come to believe that greatness is a gift reserved for a chosen few.”

Nike’s “The Jogger” ad aired during the 2012 Olympics and features an exhausted 12-year-old boy using every last bit of energy he has to keep running. Although some criticized the ad for fat-shaming the boy, others saw his agonizing fight to overcome obesity as inspiring. According to Nike, the ad’s purpose was “to inspire and energize everyday athletes everywhere to celebrate their achievements, participate and enjoy the thrill of an athletic lifestyle.”

“Dare” — Saga

Although this ad is for an apparel line, it has an inspiring message about overcoming fear. In the ad, a woman shies away from various activities throughout her life: performing in front of a panel, going out in the sea, posing nude, and giving a presentation in a meeting. But when faced with the ultimate challenge, she overcomes her fear and confronts everything she was avoiding.

What fears stand between you and your resolution?

“Instant Karma!” — Nike

In 1987, Nike released an ad featuring The Beatles’ song “Revolution,” and it became an instant classic. In 1992, Nike went back to the Lennon well for another ad; this time using his 1970 solo hit “Instant Karma!” Lennon’s music often called for humanity to reach for its potential, whether through visualization (“Imagine”) or action (“Give Peace A Chance”). In this ad, Lennon passionately screams “We all shine on” as everyday people strive to be their best, and it merged perfectly with Nike’s “Just Do It” ethos.

Side note: The ad was directed by David Fincher, who would go on to direct “Se7en,” “Fight Club,” and “The Social Network.”

“Impossible Is Nothing: Ali vs. Ali” — Adidas

“Impossible isn’t a fact, it’s an opinion,” the commercial’s narrator and co-star, Laila Ali, says while archival footage shows her father, Mohammed Ali, entering the boxing ring. Then, through the magic of CGI, Mohammed Ali’s opponent removes their robe and we see it’s Laila. “What do you think I’m gonna do when they say women can’t box?” she asks before landing a punch on her father, dropping him back a few steps.

Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

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