With the start of each New Year comes resolutions for many of us for improved physical and mental health, better financial management, spending more time with loved ones and perhaps finally getting that job or promotion you’ve been seeking.

In fact, according to a YouGov survey of American adults conducted in December of 2023, one-third (34 percent) plan to make New Year’s resolutions or set a goal for 2024. Adults under age 30 (52 percent) are the most likely to do so, followed by 30- to 44-year-olds (44 percent). Fewer 45- to 64-year-olds (27 percent) and people aged 65 and older (18 percent) will set New Year’s resolutions. Among Americans who are making New Year’s resolutions, 36 percent think it’s very likely they’ll keep their resolution through 2024.

Along with making resolutions, the turn of the calendar also dictates that many “experts” share their own personal lists of must-read books for the New Year or the most highly-anticipated movies to hit the screen over the next 12 months. Self-help media of all forms, both business and personal, is also high on many lists.

A recent Pew Research Center survey reveals that podcasts have become a big part of many Americans’ normal routine.

With that in mind, we asked some optical industry leaders to share their recommended podcasts and blogs, be it industry, business-related or personal heading into the New Year. Here’s what they told VMAIL Weekend.

Dr. Frank Barnes, Jr.
Optometric Physician 
President of the NOA 

“My podcast of choice is ‘Fortt Knox with Jon Fortt.’ Since 2016, Jon has presented themes that are innovative, entrepreneurial and cultural. Jon interviews innovators and visionaries to engage a community that benefits from shared knowledge. I once listened for six hours straight, on my drive to New Jersey from Virginia. Each episode was inspiring.”

Robert D. Houghteling, OD, FAAO
American Association of Corporate Optometrists

“I try to catch the ‘Bob & Sheri' podcast as often as I can...it's their observations and witty banter about current events, everyday people and pop culture. I can't help but smile/laugh when I listen. Professionally, I read any and all AOA updates for national news and our state GOA newsletter for state information.”

Dr. Jennifer Stewart
OD Perspectives
Chief Vision Officer of Look New Canaan

“My favorite podcasts and blogs (I tend to download episodes when I am traveling) are all optometry/business related. My list includes:
‘20/20 Money’ (Adam Cmejla): This is an amazing podcast for optometrists about financial and business planning.
‘To The Point’: A podcast for ODs looking to learn more about dry eye and how to grow this specialty in their practices.
‘Eye Own a Business’ (Steve Vargo): I’m a practice management/ business junkie, so this is one of my top picks.
‘20/20 Podcast’ (Harbir Sian): Business, personal development, entrepreneurship, personal development; all of my favorite things in one place.
'The Dr. April Jasper Show': Wonderful conversations with real people.”

Jason Lake, OD
VP/General Manager
PERC and Opti-Port

“I do enjoy podcasts and blogs quite a bit. I happen to be a bit of a college football junky and listen to a few pods and read several pieces around my alma mater (Kansas State). There is no good reason to waste as much time as I do in regards to this topic other than I simply enjoy it. In fact, I used to host my own radio show as the Big 12 and SEC football analyst for the local radio station. Again, a junkie. 

“As far as business, I take all the recommendations, but my favorite is ‘How I Built This’ with Guy Raz. He offers great insights from the best entrepreneurs in the world about how they built their company. I also enjoy my friend Mark Henderson Leary's podcast on ‘Practice Freedom: Leading and Scaling Your Private Healthcare Practice,’ which has lots of great leadership insights on getting the most out of your people. As far as business blogs I read a lot of Seth Godin and John Maxwell, among others, but those two tend to resonate with me.”

Adam Clarin, OD
Clarin Eye Care
Coral Gables Eye Care
Miami Vision Therapy

“When subscribing to a podcast I'm always making sure there's fresh and relevant content to keep me interested and coming back. One of my favorites is ‘20/20 Money’ from Adam Cmejla. This podcast is updated weekly and ties in both personal and professional aspects of finance, bringing together critical concepts we didn't learn much about in optometry school but are extremely important to long-term life planning and eventual retirement. Early episodes of the ‘20/20 Money’ podcast changed how I ran my practice and made me look at the business side of optometry as the conduit to serving my life, rather than looking at how my life could serve the practice.”

Rick Guinotte
Acquios Advisors and Alliance

“There are two podcasts I truly enjoy and highly recommend to all. I was introduced to this podcast by my son Patrick. It is hosted and presented by Dave Stachowiak, titled, ‘Coaching for Leaders.’ It is an excellent source to listen to people of all professions and learn from their experiences. The tone within each episode is easy to listen to and enjoy. Typically, episodes are about 35 to 40 minutes in duration. If you have a commute to and from your office, consider it as a resource to set your concerns aside and learn from the experiences of others and how they achieved success.

“The other podcast I enjoy is ‘Thrive with Confidence.’ It is specific to the optometric industry. This is a weekly podcast produced and presented by Scott Cline and Kendall Guinotte. They bring industry experts to the event and allow them time to discuss their experiences and opinions through interactive conversation. Many times, they share topics and concerns by optometric professionals being heard and discussed on a regular basis. 

“During these episodes, they discuss challenges being experienced in offices and offer suggestions and ideas to help you, the business leaders, to improve your business and practices. I am especially fond of this as it is our Acquios Advisors team delivering these episodes with industry guests. They share information to the masses to assist optometric offices to improve and grow their independent practices.”

Alex Wilkes
President, Americas

“My recommended podcast is ‘The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week.’ From former editors of Popular Science, they share the strangest facts across history, science and technology that they have come across during their editorial research. It strikes the right balance between entertainment and education and is always good for amusing fodder. Would you not like to know why American hippopotamus ranching almost took off 100 years ago, or the science behind why many adults are scared of clowns?”