Psychologist talks about S.M.A.R.T. resolutions for 2020

Published: Jan. 1, 2020 at 5:50 AM CST
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The start of a new year means many people will also be starting to work on their New Year's resolutions. A Psychologist with Cox Health talked about how people should set their goals and resolutions so they are successful.

Doctor Curtis Mattson said it's all about making S.M.A.R.T. goals. S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based goals.

Doctor Mattson said once someone's goals check all those boxes, people next need to figure out a contingency plan. What will you do when you want to give into temptation? Mattson said the best contingency plan is taking a step back to re-focus. He used the common goal of weight loss as an example. "Just walk away, 'cause you'd be surprised how much just putting that menu down and kind of breaking that visual cue can help you re-center yourself and say, 'Wait, I need to stick to my goal,'" said Mattson.

Mattson said people also need to be honest with themselves when making goals and resolutions for a new year. He said people often make plans for future versions of themselves, ignoring their current habits and weaknesses. "The biggest issue is people don't typically think about how they think about a goal," began Mattson. "People often are really quick to jump into something that they want to do without taking their own bias, their own procrastination, whatever you want to call it, they often don't take those things into account."

He also encouraged people to make many short-term goals, opposed to an overwhelming long-term goal.