Windsor Beacon: Brent Hextell Says Key to Success in goal setting is measurements

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Windsor Beacon/Windsor News

Dr. Brent G. Hextell is a sports biomechanist with a degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Iowa, where he concentrated on musculoskeletal biomechanics. He also earned a DC from Palmer College, where he concentrated on the diagnosis and treatment of sports injuries and repetitive trauma disorders. Hextell is director of Rocky Mountain Chiropractic and Sports Injury Centers in Windsor.  Following is a recent newspaper column by him.

Successful goal setting requires measurability. If the goal itself is not measurable, then you need to create measures to determine your progress.

For example, maybe you are a baseball player and one of your goals is to be a better hitter. You will need to measure this. A simple way to do this is to use your stats from last year and shoot for a better batting average, more doubles and more 2-strike, base hits.

Maybe your goal is to get into better shape this year. That's a great goal, but how do you know that you've done it? A simple way to start is to perform a baseline physical fitness test. Measure what you can do now and note how much you currently exercise. Next, set some milestones for the coming year. Commonly, personal trainers are great resources for these types of activities. They can help you along the way or provide some guidance, depending on your needs.

What if your goal is to cut five strokes off your best round of golf? Measuring this is easy, but getting there will be the challenge. You will need to set milestones and action steps. Think about what you need to change in order to make yourself a better golfer. Maybe you need a driving range attendance goal. Typically, a short-game practice goal is necessary, as well. Have you thought about warmup or physical fitness goals? Injuries during a round can certainly slow down your progress and affect your score. Have you thought about working with a sports biomechanist to improve your body's ability to perform the movements necessary to improve your game? Maybe a lesson or two with your golf pro will be in order. Whatever it is that you need to do to get there, those steps are all a part of reaching your goal and should be planned ahead of time.

Remember that change is easy, but thinking about change is hard. Once you have planned your action steps and taken that first big stride, you are on your way and you will find that your new lifestyle will come together just as you envision it. So take care to visualize exactly what you want to achieve. The new year is just around the corner, and I hope you are bringing it in with your own 100-year lifestyle in mind. Happy New Year. Let's make it the best one yet!