The Simplest Way to Build a Discipline Map

Zinga Hart Success Quote (2)

Let’s say you’re starting from scratch.

Sure you’ve gotten things done in the past, but your reliability is 50/50 on your good days. You know you need to get more done to get somewhere, but life — ever-distracting life — draws you away from your personal bigger picture. It happens to the best of us, as we make room for new family responsibilities, changes in professions, a call to civic duty, or the gamut of things we have to deal with as we paint our life vision into reality.

What keeps you going? 

For me, my biggest skill to develop has been the habit of discipline, which I see as doing something even though the thought of doing it brings one discomfort. Putting off that 50-page thesis or skipping a morning run all stem from the ideas that come into our heads when we think about doing them…

ugh so many pages to write…

but I’ll get all sweaty…

Whatever the situation or thoughts may be…it is the sensation of discomfort the forces us to choose whether to stay with the discomfort and do what is important anyway or find a way to escape the sensation by another binge session of Shameless on Netflix.

Discipline is the act of going forward anyway.

How does one use discipline?

While we can be sporadic about the ways we are disciplined (you should see me buy the whole town on Sims…), if you are interested in creating your authentic vision of success you exercise discipline in meaningful ways otherwise, you run the risk of life molding your discipline muscles for you. Creating a routine for yourself allows you to apply your discipline to your personal mission.

 So here goes, here’s the simple way to create that routine:

  1. Figure out what you want to do with your life (i.e. write your vision)
  2. Write out what you want to achieve in the next 10, 5,  and 3 years
  3. Develop goals to get done within 1 year
  4. Figure out what you need within 1 month
  5. Write down what you need by the end of the week
  6. Jot 3 things to get done by the end of your day
  7. Check 1-2 (once a year), 3 (once a month), 4-5 (once a week) and update 6 every day.

And we’re done. Sure there are tons of tools you can use, and please remember, you have to actually do the things on these lists for them to be real, but if all you had were a pencil and paper, this list is all you would need.

Build your routines around finding time to achieve what is on these lists and let life fill in the blanks.

Here’s a great article from ZenHabits on mastering discipline.

PS Posting are switching from Tuesday Mornings to Thursday mornings.

One More Move: Budget Your Time

If there’s one thing that pains me more than wasting money…it’s wasting time.

You can bounce back your money eventually, but time slips away until you no longer are who you are now.

As a note, leisure is not a waste of time. We need space for rest and restoration in our lives, and this piece is not to advocate non-stop work.

No, wasting time is an unproductive or unmeaningful use of our human capacity to create and contribute to our current reality. My guess at the definition, if you have a better one let me know.

What does wasting time mean to you?

One way to accurately asses what is a productive and meaningful use of our time, we must go beyond a Google search and set aside some space for a talk with our inner vision. Here are some great time budget activities to go through, so you can make sure you are setting aside space for what you want to create.

Write out the vision of your legacy

You lived a long and healthy life…when people recount you: what do you want your greatest accomplishments to be? Include as many as you can, then select the 1-3 priorities you want to achieve no matter what.

Then shorten the time-line…

You have 24 hours to live…what do you want to accomplish?

Both exercises together help you to tap into your long-term dreams and desires while reflecting on your short-term values and core needs. Look for themes between the two and use what you discover to budget your time other ways.

Try the 10-, 5-, 3- year accomplishment bucket list

Write out what you’d like to realistically achieve according to the legacy reflections.

Then choose some priorities and plan out your month, week, and day. Once your priorities are mapped, follow up with making sure your values are incorporated on a consistent basis. You may always want to do this vice-versa, planning space for your values and then fitting in your priorities in the gaps. Looking at your life from a global-to-detailed perspective gives you the true boundaries that allow you to grow within comfortably.

Save the list and return to it from time-to-time to cross off what you’ve achieved.

Simple move, but the investment is worth it.

 

professional picture zinga hart return on investment akron cleveland

Return on Investment: Get a Professional Picture

Most of my “One More Moves” are free. Honestly, most of our beginning desires for success in life can be achieved for free. Mapping a business plan, building a network, sharing your ideas, staying productive and motivated….there are free ways to do all of these things, the investment comes when you are ready to grow.

Like all good things that come to grow, you need to invest:

  • energy,
  • time,
  • and/or money

into getting to the next phase of your mission. While you could live in the very romantic world of hopes, dreams, and ideas, you will miss out on the fulfilling experience of creating your desires into a reality.

How tomakea workshop (4)

So what’s one small investment you can make?

Adding a professional picture to your digital profiles.

I tell you! It’s an investment I made near the end of 2016 and the changes have been real and meaningful. Here are some immediate returns on my investment in a professional photo:

  • Improved level of connections on LinkedIn: Within days of updating my profile pic, I was invited to connect by a US Senator.
  • Impress colleagues: For my new role, I did an interview, having my own professional photo instead of the standard issue one given by the university, allowed me to bring my warmth and character into my first stamp.
  • Increase confidence: When building my website and creating flyers, I feel great sharing my face and brand because I am not doing an “in-the-car selfie”. I show that I could invest in the experience needed to do the job.
  • Better lighting: Improved lighting allows for you to use your photos in a variety of situations, you can cut and paste can add it to book covers, marketing posts, and plenty of other places.

A typical professional business headshot will typically be an investment of $100-$250.

Unless….

How tomakea workshop (3)

You’re a Northeast Ohio (Akron Event) woman and a member of Empower NOW, the social enterprise group that empowers women to empower women through business development, creative connections, and resource sharing!  Get a professional headshot on March 25th for only $10 thanks to the generous donation of one of our members and the sponsorship of the Akron Microbusiness Center!

 

 

Have any tips on getting a professional headshot? Comment below!

one more move reset on zingahart.com

One More Move: Reset

Hi everyone!

It’s been a while as I like to step back and observe during major life transitions.

What’s the big change?

Well, I managed to land a new role in higher education! Working with the College of Communication and Information to help serve our graduate student community. A dream opportunity, I am thrilled, excited, and pumped to embrace the new waves of change.

Working with the College of Communication and Information to help serve our graduate student community. A dream opportunity, I am thrilled, excited, and pumped to embrace the new waves of change.

A dream opportunity, I am thrilled, excited, and pumped to embrace the new waves of change.

Yet, at the same time, being an INTP (and a Taurus) I find sudden instances of change to take a lot of energy from my spirit. As an act of self-care, I go into Reflection & Rest mode.

I find ways to delegate projects, streamline tasks, and lighten up on meetings and events. I use the time to connect fully with family and take in the situations as they come.

we can't be afraid of change. you may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean a sea joy bell c quote found on zingahart.com

How do you approach big changes?

 

Before this Rest & Relax phase, I do one critical task:

Set a deadline for when your “rest” phase ends. Eventually, you should get back up to your full speed.

Rest is a beautiful gift, but it is best balanced with the energy of creation. Creating your future, your business, your brand or whatever drives you forward towards your goals.

So…here we are…

Building back up to full speed for me means taking the time to build on my mission to draw out your authentic success. To remind you of the hunger your ambitions ignite and give you the tools that satisfy your desires.

So I share one more move that gets you a step closer to where you want to be.

So my one more move is a review of how to reset after an extended period of rest. Disclaimer:  This is the method I’ve observed over time and I fully encourage your customize a process that works for you.  With that here are some actions to take.

How to Reset

Brain Dump

Set aside 5-10 minutes to free write or map all of the things important to you and what you want to achieve.

Organize and Prioritize 

Group what you wrote in the first part into major domains and then order the importance of what you should achieve first.

Review Your Vision

Does your latest brain dump align with your ten-year vision? Use your long-term look to further refine your current priorities or re-strategize the long-term goals as needed.

Get to it.

Things won’t get done unless you do them. If after the first three steps, you’re still frozen in the act, let’s chat about it.

one more move reset on zingahart.com

 

OMM: Teach Others

We learn best when we teach others. Not only do we benefit from preparing for the lesson, but also presenting and providing value to those we care about. One more move, that is critical to your authentic success is to identify what you know so well, that you could teach it easily.

If you hone in on that then you are left with the possibility of creating a workshop to back you up. A workshop could be offered for free or even up to $1,500 or $2,000 or even more depending on its delivery and distribution, and in return, you get to speak on and learn more about a subject you already love.

Not sure you could pull off a workshop? It’s incredibly beneficial to know what style you have or would have and get comfortable building workshops that fit you.

Curious to know what you workshop facilitation style is? Try this quiz.

So recently, I put on a workshop for a local women’s empowerment group. In this group, women grow women by putting on workshops and events meant to empower and educate each other. It’s grassroots and it is fun to watch it blossom over time.

The workshop was called How to Make a Workshop, and we focused on some of the basic steps of planning a workshop from scratch.

The steps included:

  • Setting Goals
  • Visualizing Your Audience and Their Needs
  • Creating Outcomes
  • Developing an Outline

By the end of it ever woman walked away with a workshop plan in place.

Interested in the workshop? Check it out below and let me know what you think in the comments below or always feel free to send me a message!

Three Free Tools To Master Time Control

Time.

Ugh.

It’s not even real.

//giphy.com/embed/LRMRtUr1zeYnu
via Giphy

Time is our imagined human tool for measuring the “when” of things. Meanwhile, the rest of the universe continues to exist in its endless unfathomable fashion.

Yet, here we are. Keeping count of what was and what is coming, meanwhile, what’s real is our present. The here and the now. That’s where you are and where you always will be.

Thanks for sticking with my after that philosophical rant. On to one more move you should take to draw out your authentic success, and that is to find a way to control time. Not Time as in all of it, but your time and the relationship you have with it in the present moment.

Do you lament what could have been, but just seems to keep slipping further away?

Do you fret over the future that’s not quite there?

While both are human emotions, both these feelings deceive us into thinking we’re doing something about it, by just thinking about it. Meanwhile, our bodies are frozen from our thoughts and we are not living, dancing, creating, acting or doing any of the wonderful things we could be doing.

Live, create, dance and do all the wonderful things you are meant to do!

So, a challenge to take is finding your special system for helping you feel in control of your time. To start, here are five free tools to try this year. Check them out and comment below on what your five favorite tools are!

Workflowy

I may have posted about this app before. Why? Because it’s so useful. It’s a site I started using to help me organized as I homeschooled myself through high school. Keeping track of classes, college admissions, and a part-time job seemed like a lot to me back then. Now, damn near a decade later, and it’s simple design still helps me keep track of a scheduled that has tripled in activity and accountability to others.

How to Use It

Write down the major domains or roles in your life (professional, entrepreneur, community leader, baker, etc.) then under these domains write your goals and visions that you hope to achieve. Then as time goes on, update and take notes as needed. Let your big ideas and visions lie here, instead of dwelling in your imagination and taking up mind space.

Google Calendar

Once you’ve gotten the larger chunks of your life sorted out, it is time to hone in on your average day. As shared in the last article, assessing your time honestly will help bring you clarity. Once you have some and identified space in your schedule, you need to update your calendar and then make absolutely sure the big things you care about (as jotted down in your Workflowy) actually have space in your week or day.

It is incredibly easy to say you’ll get around to doing something and then letting it slip away. There is a stronger commitment to be made when you put it on your calendar.

Remember

Use some of the white space on your calendar for your self-care and free time. By tending to yourself, you will prolong your journey and avoid potential burnout on your path to success.

Kitchen Timer

This is an app I have on my android, but actual kitchen timers work too. If you ever need to get a jump on something, but instead find yourself procrastinating, set a timer for 10-15 minutes and agree that it’s okay to stop there.  You will be amazed at what can be accomplished in 15 minutes, and many times that work you wanted to do becomes less of a hassle once you have started it.

Try this Quick Tip

If you’re online or the work is to be done online, type in “15-minute timer” into the Google Search bar for a quick timer option.

These three truly make up the foundation of a filled life. Of course, you’re more than encouraged to fill your toolbox with what works for you. The trick is to find the tools you return to and commit to sticking with them for 6-12 months.

Comment below: What tools do you recommend for mastering your time?

Until next week – Zinga

Free Up Your Time on Your Path to Success

There was probably a point in your life when you had more time than you do now.

Time and freedom to buy the entire Simsⓣ town or spend all day with friends at the mall, but then something shifted. You emerged hungry for the fulfillment of your true purpose…whatever it may be. And as you claimed it, soon the encounters and opportunities for you to will blossom before you…and soon…you may find yourself busier than usual. Then while you grow in experience your life pivots too, you may find yourself married, with greater family/community responsibilities, or just committed to what some may think is a full plate.

You know better, you’ve got this, but you also get the fact that there are so many hours in a day. If you had more time, you could do more and still build healthy relationships with yourself and others. While time is only a figment of the human imagination, it is still a valuable tool for measuring our movement through the day. If you find yourself searching for more time to focus on your higher-order priorities then you’ve found the right post.

You can find more time in your day, some ways are easier than others, but we’ll go over some that have worked for me in the past decade or so. Check out below for ways, by challenge level, to free up more time so you can continue seeking your authentic success.

Know Where Your Time is Going

The simplest of all is to first analyze and assess your typical week. Try your hardest not to change anything you would normally do and just keep track of your activities by the hour or half/hour. This honest assessment will help you understand the flow of your day and potentially identify some time sinks.

Do you come home after work and hop on Facebook for 3 hours? Is the first thing you do in the morning is play a couple of rounds of Call-of-Duty? Find gaps in your time, and places where you spend time doing low-priority activities. Next, make the decision to shorten or replace these slots with your top priorities.

Commit to Smaller Increments

Switching from the broad view to the specific. What is your main goal for freeing up time? Just how much time do you need to achieve this goal and by how soon? Set realistic numbers for the goal you want to accomplish. For instance, if you’re studying to become a real estate agent, but can’t find the space to study for 2 hours in the day, switch to 30 or 40 minutes to start. Set a timer and then congratulate yourself for sticking to it. Have your bare minimum amount of time to spend on an activity and commit. As you grow comfortable focusing on your passion regularly you will find your time will expand.

zinga hart a quote the river swells from the little streams

Set your priority boundaries

A lot of time can feel pulled away when you begin to commit to something you are not truly interested in doing. While some things may have to be done, you need to consider what brings you joy and pleasure, and what you really are not committed to doing. If someone is requesting something of you that goes outside of your priorities then consider letting it go. This can be more challenging because if you’re used to saying yes to everyone, they may be taken aback by a no, but be honest with yourself and others and you will save even more time in the long run.

Freeing up time in your schedule may or may not be an easy feat, but if it is to find more time for your greater search for success then it is a worthy challenge. While there are many other ways to free up time, these are some of the small adjustments you can make. What challenges do you have freeing up time in your schedule?

If you’re interested ask me about the time discovery worksheet I created to help analyze where your time is going.

Looking to the future and other writings.

Last week, I wrote about small moves you can take to plan for 2017. I hope you get to read it. This week, I’m just put some free-thought in response to what I wrote.

Why?

Well, I took this week to publish on the Pulse. I do that sometimes for my small business owners and community leaders. [Find my other writings from 2016 there 🙂 ]

So here we go:

Building off of 2016

2016 was a tough year.

Firstly, America’s existential crisis, was definitely a point of concern. I do hope we can find unity again.

Personally, this year I stepped up my presentation as a leader. As an INTP, I am super comfortable hiding behind my work. Look at the good work I do and let’s move forward to do more. As an employee or an assistant that makes me ideal, but as a leader of a budding non-profit, it is completely ineffective.

A leader listens to their community and responds in-kind. While I was always strong at the listening part, this year I really boosted the response part. They asked for more presence I created a monthly newsletter; more engagement – we added meeting activities and in-between events; more communication – we revamped our meetings, developed workshops, and gave even more details reports! All of this I would have never found the energy to do, if it wasn’t for their need.

A leader listens to their community and responds in-kind.

Yet, learning the balance between being present as a leader and finding energy as an introvert, was no simple feat. I learned to say no to wasteful-time sinks, yet so no to work during my agreed-upon free time. I listened to my body and gave it rest when required, and I never over-loaded my day, making sure to be aware of my meeting availability over the course of a month.

In 2017, I hope to be more present in the world of higher education. While, I love writing to help us all find our personal success, and running local and online economic empowerment initiatives, my true passion is higher education. Shifting how we draw out the success of adults from a systemic level will truly help achieve my vision of showing the world the trillion-dollar value of education. I hope to find time to meet with people during my professional career at the university, and eventually present myself on a person that likes to build communities that form a culture around the love of  self-development.

That long conversation…

When I meditated on my self and my higher purpose, I found that I finally feel as if I shifted into the groove of being passionate about what I produce. Now it’s a matter of producing consistently and intelligently.

So, I want to be even more efficient with my time in 2017 and to find ways more meaningful ways to connect with the people I care about more often.

Strive for More…

My greatest dream for 2017 is to grow Limitless Ambition’s (the non-profit) and Empower NOW’s (the network) community and to find better ways to serve their success.

On the blog, I hope to hone in and help you take meaningful moves to build your authentic success.

My fantasy is to head to an international beach for a week, something blue and sandy.

mpfiyu__1ba-joe-cooke

A week will do.

Honing in…

To review, serving others is going to be a key focus for 2017. I will shift from putting the work first to putting the heart first and instilling it into my intents and actions. Should be an interesting shift for a get-it-done girl like me.

Action Steps 

  • Call at least one friend and one family member per week.
  • Provide high-quality help to least two small businesses a quarter.
  • Give away highly valuable resources that I know others would find help on a weekly or monthly basis.
  • Offer one highly-useful workshop, webinar, or tool per month to help people grow the authentic [small business/nonprofit] success.
  • Set a budget for a beach trip and save 🙂
  • Have lunch with one new or familiar colleague at least twice a month.

So there’s the quick personal plan for 2017. What are some action steps you want to take during the next year? Comment below!