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Don't Give Up on Your Resolutions!

by -

Women stretching on yoga mat in front of laptop.

Don’t Give Up on Your Resolutions!

New Year’s resolutions have been around for over 4,000 years in various cultures and religions. For many, it’s a time to start new and achieve desired goals. Modern New Year’s resolutions tend to focus on self-improvement. Many people make resolutions but, often, people have trouble sticking to their New Year’s resolutions. Madeline Godar, MD, of UnityPoint Clinic, understands the importance of sticking to your goals to see positive outcomes in your lifestyle and health. As a care provider, she is invested in creating ways for her patients to reach their goals and she has come up with helpful tips to encourage anyone with New Year’s resolutions to reach the finish line and beyond.

Dr. Godar’s Tips for Keeping Your Resolutions

Use the buddy system! Dr. Godar suggests finding a family member or friend with similar resolutions and to help hold each other accountable. If they do not live in the same household as you, you could check in with them over social media to keep updated on each other’s progress and encourage each other to reach your goals.

Be specific. Set smaller and more specific goals to help achieve your larger goals. For example, if your overall goal is to lose weight, you could make a goal to exercise 30 minutes a day, incorporate healthier ingredients into meals or stop drinking pop and instead drink 8 glasses of water. She says these smaller goals are easier to track on a daily basis and will contribute to your overall goal of weight loss with time.

Keep track of your progress. There are many free apps that can help with this. For example, My Fitness Pal is an excellent fitness tracker where you can record your weight, food intake, and exercise to track your weight loss goals. There are many free habit tracker apps where you can record a checkmark for each day you perform a certain activity like drinking 8 glasses of water, getting 8 hours of sleep or exercising.

Don’t Have a Resolution, Yet? – Try These!

Improve health

Eat healthier, get in shape, lose weight and exercise more— many variations of this one are seen, but a lot of Americans focus on their health goals as their #1 resolution for the year.

Lifestyle change

The new year is the perfect time to give up some unhealthy vices and form healthier habits. Dr. Godar says “quit smoking" or “drink less alcohol” are among the popular choices for improving lifestyles.


Whether it’s dreaming of a tropical vacation or hoping to pay off debt sooner than expected, saving money or spending less can help you reach your financial goals.

New hobby

New Year’s resolutions can be a great time to explore different hobbies and experiences and try something new. You might choose to read more books, pick up the camera you bought 5 years ago or learn a new language!

Get organized

Life can get hectic at times but organizing personal and work clutter can help free your mind from added stress, Dr. Godar says.

More quality time

As simple as it may be, taking an extra hour to spend more time with family and friends creates stronger relationships and promotes a healthier wellbeing.

Read a Book About It

If your resolution is to read more in 2021 (or not!), then check out one of Dr. Godar’s favorite books, Atomic Habits by James Clear. He gives very practical advice on how to build small habits into your routine, which can add up to large changes throughout your lifetime.

Would you like help to keep your 2021 New Year’s resolutions? Schedule an appointment to see Dr. Godar at UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine - Ankeny Prairie Trail; she would be happy to help you meet all of your health goals.