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There is a wonderful couple over in Centerville, Iowa, by the name of Ray and Jane Cassatt. I got to know them through a mutual friend and, in a recent phone conversation, learned about an organization that I would like to tell you about. The name of this organization is the Gold Wing Road Riders Association and they have more than 82,000 members in all 50 states and 52 foreign countries. In fact, the Gold Wing Association is known as the "world's largest family."
The reasons I wanted to tell you about these motorcycle riders are threefold. First, they are the complete opposite of the stereotype most of us have about people who ride motorcycles. Next, they do a lot of good work to help other people in need. Lastly, something Jane sent me in the mail titled "Setting Goals the S.M.A.R.T. Way" could be a valuable tool to help you achieve greater success in your own life.
Even at the risk of being misunderstood, these good people defy the image of most motorcycle riders who wear a black leather jacket, a blue or red bandana wrapped around their head, scraggly hair and beard and look like they have not had a bath in six months or more. Rather, these are just good family people who love to own and ride motorcycles, and they have something in common with thousands of others who love to do the same.
00020000085900000572?853,They have strict rules. They must take a CPR course each year and a First Aid and a Riding Safety Course every three years. They pay yearly dues and are set up by chapters that meet each month. They also raise money and support worthwhile causes, such as the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund. As I said earlier, Jane sent me some literature about the Gold Wing Road Riders Association. I learned that they have training sessions at their state conventions each year and part of this training is goal setting.
None of us, young or old, can succeed without goals, so I thought this information may be of interest to you. There are a number of good points here, so I hope you will study and apply them to your own life. As you will note, each letter in the word SMART is given an acrostic with appropriate goal setting information that applies to each one. Read it several times and let it soak in.
*S Ñ Specific: What are you going to do? Why is this important to you at this time? How are you going to do it? (Express your goals positively.)
*M Ñ Measurable: Include dates, times and amounts so that you can measure your achievement. If you do this, you will know exactly when you have achieved the goals and can take complete satisfaction from having achieved it.
*A Ñ Attainable: It is important to set goals that you can achieve. You should set goals that are slightly out of your immediate grasp, but not so far that there is no hope of achieving them.
*R Ñ Realistic: Break large goals into "smaller step" goals. If a goal is too large, then it can seem that you are not making progress toward it. Keeping goals small and incremental gives more opportunities for reward.
*T Ñ Timely: Putting an end point on your goal gives you a clear target to work toward. Without a time limit, there's no urgency to get started. Always remember that getting started is the most important step in attaining any goal.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, Ark. 72034. To support literacy, buy his book, "Learning, Earning & Giving Back.")