Creating goals are pretty simple. You sit down, think of what you would like to accomplish and voila! A goal is made.

Not so fast.

Creating goals for yourself shouldn’t be something that you can think of right away from the top of your head. It is crucial that you take the time and actually think what you would like to accomplish in your life both short and long term.

When I set goals for myself, I get a piece of paper and jot down notes on where I see myself next year, 5 years from now and finally 10 years and beyond. When creating goals, I like to go over what I call: The 5 Steps to Achieving Your Goals.

  1. Write down your interests and passions in life. When generating this list try to ask yourself questions such as, would I feel good about myself doing this? or Would this be something I would do for free? Questions like these will help you sort your list from good ideas to not so good ideas.
  2. Once you finish brainstorming, write down your formal list on a piece of paper or type it up to give it a clean finished look. Anything is ok. Post this anywhere you like. On your bedroom wall, on the fridge for example. Someplace where you can view and reflect. Try to make short and long term goals.
  3. Create an action plan on how you are going to achieve your goals. Is there a financial barrier stopping you? Create a savings plan to erase this barrier.
  4. Pursue your goals with a relentless fury! You are your own master! Anything can be accomplished if you are passionate enough and want it enough.
  5. The best step! Achieving your goals! Congratulate yourself, and pat yourself on the back. You achieved something most people strive for there entire lives.

Make sure to make your goals specific. You also must be passionate about what you are trying to accomplish for much greater odds of success. Goals can be changed every now and then, so if you feel hesitant in making a change to your list, don’t be! Achieving your goals is a great feeling and should be felt by all. You will soon realize that goal setting is fun and will want to quickly add more to your own special list.

Posted in Life. 2 Comments »

The Truth Behind Time Management

During the last 3-4 weeks, I have been working harder and longer than usual at my 2 jobs. I have little room for sleep and most of my free time has been hectic.

Most of my interests and hobbies have been put on hold while I was consumed on eliminating the remaining debt I have. This has had a big impact on my fiancee, who misses the free time we had together on some week nights and most weekends. She has also not been shy about letting me know that I am wasting my life at work and not enjoying life with her and with whatever else I could use my time for.

I brushed this off, I thought that I just wasn’t properly managing my free time and I could find ways to better the situation. Over time, I realized that this isn’t possible because of one simple fact.

You cannot manage time.

Time is not something that can be managed. We cannot control when it is night time or any other time of day and we can’t experience a time in the past that we enjoyed again in the exact same way. Time does not listen to us, it was here long before us and will exist long after we pass from this Earth.

What we can manage is ourselves. We should all view time as a lesson. Think back a day, a month or a year from now and you will find lots of time wasted in pursuit of materialistic goals and days wasted working and doing things that we really did not want to do.

Sure, paying off debt is a great thing and everyone should be debt free in most circumstances. Is working 2 jobs worth it? I am really questioning my time spent and might return to a single job lifestyle sooner then I have planned.

Money can be gained or lost, but lost time is gone forever.

Work – Lifes Biggest Obstacle

Ask anyone what their typical day consists of and I guarantee you that work will be mentioned somewhere in their answer. The answer you receive might also come with a look of bitterness when their mind gets forced to think about the daily grind of the 9-5 job.

As for the majority of humanity, they respond to work in two ways:

With bitterness: I know a great deal of people who hate their jobs and allow it to creep into their personal lives. They work day in and day out with the anticipation of treading along for another 40+ years doing this job or something similar.

Without much thought: Other people I know, work aimlessly at a job that offers them no personal growth or experience any self productivity. They work to please their boss and try to enjoy the very few hours away from work they do have.

If you haven’t guessed it already, both ways of thinking are wrong. The way I see it, if you are working in a company or field that you are really passionate about, then congratulations! You are the lucky few that get to experience this luxury!

Work can greatly discourage people from living the life they expected to live as a child and worse, prevent them from learning meaningful things in the present and future! How many times can you count during the last few months where you said to yourself that you would like to try something you never tried before? How about learning something new, maybe even spend more quality time with family and friends? However, when that time comes, you are too tired or stressed from work to even think about doing anything else? I need more than 2 hands to count from my experiences!

In modern times the 40 hour work week has become an acceptable amount of time spent at work. Our era has the highest totals of hours spent on the job compared to any time in known history! No wonder people are having a hard time in pursuing what they truly care about!

I am currently working 2 jobs and most of the time hate every minute of it! However, there are a few ways in dealing with this feeling of hopelessness that having an unfulfilled  job presents:

  1. Create a goal on what you would like to do with your life. This isn’t something tat you will think of right away but make sure you take your time as this is an important step.
  2. Map out a plan on what you would need mentally, financially and physically to make this happen.
  3. Create a time-line or action plan from the first two points to improve your situation.

You will find that planning an escape and following this plan will greatly increase how you feel about work. There is nothing more relieving then knowing you will be in a better situation in the future!

Remember that it is never to late to stray from the general public and start your own business or make a career change. Don’t even feel bad if you think a year of absence from the workforce will revive your will to experience life. Life is too short to waste working at an unproductive place when you can do something that can provide true happiness elsewhere.

My Current Life Situation

Hello again, for my second post, I have decided to get in a little more detail about what I am currently up to and what I am aiming to accomplish in 2009.

 As I mentioned in my first post, I currently work full time generating modest income.  I also have a second job which I work 2-3 shifts a week during the night in the retail industry and gives me an average of $400 of extra income after taxes on a monthly basis.This second job is extremely temporary as I am trying to pay off all of my remaining debt I have accumulated over the early years of adulthood.

Speaking of debt, here is a breakdown of what I currently owe and how I plan to pay it off.

Line of Credit: $2200: The income generated from my second job gets plunked into here as well as any money left over from my budget. I am expecting this debt to be wiped out by the end of August. (Which means the end of my second job Woo-hoo!)

Car Loan $3500: I am roughly paying 300 a month in automatic withdrawals from my bank account and once I pay off the line of credit, all extra money left over in my monthly budget will go in here. I am expecting this paid off entirely in November 2009

Now on to other points in my life, I am currently engaged to a beautiful lady who also shares the same passions as me and believes in the same values such as the importance of living debt free at an early age. We are now aggressively saving for a down payment of our house with an anticipated purchase date of June 2010. We each put aside $350 bi-weekly into a joint savings account and are always increasing the amounts we deposit. We are hoping to eventually put 500 each, bi-weekly to further increase our dream of home ownership.

What I plan to Do

Personal finance and frugality are only part of living a fulfilling life full of meaning.  I have noticed that during the last 12 months or so, I have been focusing TO MUCH on money and not taking notice of much else.

 Money isn’t everything and I am looking to incorporate the following in my lifestyle in 2009:

Donate to Charities: This is one area a really need to get cracking on. For 2009, I am planning on donating $300 to a few charities of my choice. This is not a great deal of money but it is a start. I really love all forms of wildlife and this is most likely where my first donation will be going to. I will post which charity I choose and a brief description why it has be chosen once this happens.

Volunteer:This will be a more hands on approach from my first goal of fulfillment for 2009. A charity or organization I strongly believe in is what I will be looking for here. One day a week, bi-weekly will be ideal for me.

Working on this blog:I believe that having key aspects of my life posted to the general public will help motivate me to live up to my goals. I also hope to inspire other people to live more fulfilling lives.

Spend more productive time away from work: It sure is great to be productive in the work force but most people spend there time away from work just recuperating in hopes of being productive for another work day. I am planning on finding other ways of being productive besides volunteering. Feel free to post any suggestions on what I can do to achieve this goal.

I believe this is enough for my second post. I am looking forward to posting my progress throughout the next few months and I will be adding more goals as they come by.

Welcome To My Road to Meaning!

Thank you for visiting my blog, The Road to Meaning.

About Me

Now a little bit about me. My name is Giuliano and I am a 25 year old male currently living in Canada.  Since my early years, I always had a fascination about life and what it has to offer. As I grew older, I started to realize the harsh realities of adult life. 

Up until now, I have been living an average lifestyle, working full-time at a good job, hanging out with friends and most other things people in my age group do. However, I couldn’t help but notice that there is still emptiness inside me that I can’t escape from.  So, instead of escaping this feeling, I have decided to pursue it.

This my friends, is what this blog will be about.  I am hoping to set goals that will help me gain some financial independence through some smart saving and investing, fulfill my  free time doing more rewarding work such as helping the environment and its wildlife and along the road, finding fulfillment and meaning in my life.

As I progress, I plan to post as much educational and inspirational articles as possible to help you find a deeper meaning in life.If you feel living an ordinary life suits well with you, by all means take the road to the left and don’t look back. If you would like to experience a road less travelled…please join me on this quest that anticipates to be anything but ordinary.