A Single Brick [Re]Starts a Path

When I was young, my grandparents had a pool way back in their back yard. When I was a toddler, there was a brick path connecting the porch to the pool. Over time, this path disappeared until one day I saw a single brick. I vaguely remembered a path but couldn’t be sure. So, I ran to my grandmother and asked her if there used to be a path in the yard. She said yes. I asked her what happened to it. She told me that overtime people used the pool less and less and eventually the brick path was forgotten. As it was forgotten, leaves, dirt, and grass piled up over it and one day it was lost.

MadLady and Grandmother
Grandma with MadLady – 2015

I took a shovel out there and got to work. It only lasted a week and I only got about a foot of it uncovered, but for sure, there was a path through that yard. Years later, the pool is gone and the path is covered, this time without a single brick showing, but I take something new from that memory.

Now, I look at that memory as a lesson. My family loves to swim, everyone goes to the pool every chance they get. So why then did the pool get taken down? Some would say life got in the way. Others would say that there wasn’t enough time anymore. I have learned to look at it differently. That change of mind lead me to create this. The Brick on a Path method of controlling your life.

This method will ensure that you get where you want. You can be reaching for minimalism, financial independence (what we use it for), traveling, or even to have a baby or plan a wedding. It’s as simple as making a goal, breaking it down, doing research, and getting it done. Note: This is a method to create the steps you need to reach your goal. This is not financial or medical advice. If you have a goal, check with a professional for sound advice on how to get it done.  (Then come back here for tips to implement that advice)

Creating A Path

canva-photo-editor (23)
This used to be a rail line during the civil war. The tracks may have been removed, but the path is still there.

I don’t think life is happenstance or chance, pre-determined or out of our hands. While some are start on a better foot than others each and every person can change where they are headed. No one has to let their path be forgotten. To do this, you just need to set goals. These goals are not just about checking off a list of to-do’s. Each goal is a step, each step gets you closer to the life you want.

Each Path is Unique

Depending on where you are in life, will change what you path looks like and what you steps are. If you are still young, your path is very long and flexible, while an older person’s path may be shorter and more ridged. Your path could curve all over the place, or it could get right to the point. What determines these attributes are your overarching goals along side your age and progress.

Setting the First Brick

MadDogge Hunting
He was a late start at a year and a half but now he’s trained. 

Grab a fresh black journal. Write the Month, Year, and Bricks on a Path on the cover. Turn to the first page.

  • Write down you and your partner’s (of you have one) age
  • Write down 5 SMART goals that you want to achieve together.
  • Write 5 SMART goals for each of you. These goals should represent personal desires for life. (10 total)

SMART Goals:

Smart goals should be used any time you make a goal. Making a goal smart is a sure way to increase the chance of it happening no matter what field or reason.

S: Specific – Don’t just say save money, say save $10,000.
M: Measurable – Make sure that it is something you can track. If you want to retire early, make sure you can track the money you have saved over time.
A: Achievable – Be realistic. If your 30 and you want to retire at 32 but have no money saved, it might not be possible.
R: Results Focused – Goals should focus on the positive results. If you goal is to get in better shape try looking at at as Loose 10 lbs in 8 weeks.
T: Time Bound – Always have a time frame. A goal without a time frame is just an idea. Adding a time makes it permanent.

Before you write your goals make sure they are positive. Make sure these are the things that you most want to accomplish in the next 10 to 20 years. These goals will for the path you will be trying to take for a long time. If they aren’t right, you either won’t be happy, or won’t follow it.

One Mad Life’s Goals

As mentioned before, we have a set of goal both together and separate. We have a journal that we keep this in. Here’s a look at our goals both together and individually.

this is us

MadLady & MadMan
Age: 23 & 21

Pay off student loans and car by 2020

Own an organic event farm that is paying for itself by 2027

Achieve Financial Independence 2029 by having at least 700k saved up

Travel the world twice a year starting in 2029

Eat organic food and hunted meat only, go chemical free, and live zero waist by 2019

i work out

Age: 23

Graduate from college in December of 2018 with a GPA of 3.5

Become a personal trainer with 10 clients by December of 2017

Launch and run a successful business by 2019

Launch and run a successful non-profit by 2020

Only drink water and up to one cup of unsweetened tea a day for One Year


Age: 21

Graduate from College in December of 2018

Obtain a job in a company with an office in Portland by January of 2019

Do not eat out at all for Three Months

Start own company by 2025

Workout 5 days a week for one month

I have my goals… What now?

In the next step, I will talk about how to take one specific goal and move it to something that you can accomplish by adding in steps and progression points. After you have completed your 5 goals, feel free to read about that here.

Whats one goal you set for yourself?
Do you already have a list of goals in your life?
How similar are the goals of you and your partner?

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