30 Things to Accomplish Before 30

This will be a fun list for me.

So, thirty is eyeing me hard.

As it approaches, I mostly think…age doesn’t matter as much as it did when I was 16, but the magnitude of adulthood grows heavier by the day. Friends I grew up with are now a part of raising our future. College buddies are becoming local leaders. Every day,  I sense that now, more than ever, my involvement is needed in something bigger than myself.

That being said…
adulting is hard.

The pressures of leadership, the threads of consequential outcomes, and navigating the endless politics of people, and while just maintaining the basics of life could have oneself feeling stretched.  Our entrenched responsibilities pulling our energy and focus away from our long-term vision of success. Making it so easy to lose focus on our most honest desires.

When I start to lose focus…I make a list.

This list will be a mix of fun things and things I should have mastered by the time I reach 30.

Think something’s missing? Let me know in the comments.

So for me, these are the 30 things I want to accomplish or master before I turn 30.

1. Accomplish: Taking a girl’s trip
2. Visiting a friend in a foreign city
3. Go to Trinidad
4. Read fiction books again (3 before 30)
5. Finish 2nd draft of the novel I started
6. Have a good parenting routine
7. Have a consistent quality beauty regimen
8. Improve my morning and evening routine
9. Memorize an at-home exercise routine
10. Memorize a yoga set
11. Drink mainly water
12. Pay off 1/2 my personal debt
13. Follow a house maintenance and development plan
14. Boost Emergency Fund
15. Have a quality capsule wardrobe
16. Work with self-critic and turn it into positive
17. Visualize my big goals every day
18. Meet more people
19. Maintain a quality circle of friends
20. Look into the family tree
21. Visit family I haven’t seen in years
22. Buy another investment property
23. Be a better baker
24. Be a better-informed voter
25. Write the first draft of my story
26. Face my fear of a video camera
27. Take a parent to dinner (or both)
28. Do something random
29. Take a self-care weekend
30. Complete this list 🙂

Ask April: Get Comfortable With Your Ask

When you embark on your passion project path you find yourself having to pick up many new skills and experiences. One constant is that you find yourself asking a lot of questions. Asking questions is the brilliance of our humanity. It gives the world in front of us pathways to possibility within a seemingly random world.

The act of questioning is a skill, and like skills can be lost without use. Good news is you can also build mastery in this skill. What you find is a well-crafted question will yield more meaningful results.

For Ask April, get comfortable with our ask. Here’s a method to do it:

  1. Ask away: Give yourself time and space to ask without limits. Set a timer for five to ten minutes and ask your self for and about anything. Grow on your requests or ideas to make them wow you. Bring in details and paint a picture or a story around your asks. If you ask another question allow yourself to move with the questions and then build on that.This practice is a bit of an asking brainstorm that encourages you and stimulate creativity in your questions.
  2. Focus your ask: Now that your question creativity is flowing it’s time to put your skill to good use. Consider a specific question you are facing in your life.

    What is the challenge you want to overcome or bring to fruition?

    For instance, you could be passionate about educational programs in your community. You want to build a local environment where everyone feels empowered to prosper.  You work with a nonprofit that organizes itself around that mission. Now you find yourself having to ask many questions. Now it’s time for your annual fundraising event and you’ve been charged with getting the community you serve to care.
    ZingaHart

    When making the ask to have people commit to the organization’s success you should focus your question in three ways:

    1. Know the who: There may be many people involved with your question or there may only be a few. Take note of who they might be and why they might care.
    2. Know the why: What is your connection to this? What makes you feel good about the efforts in place and what do you hope is the ultimate accomplishment?
    3. Know how: When you are engaged in conversation with your person, know how they can take the next step. Give them the action that brings them closer to the move you hope they’ll take: making a commitment in this case.
  3. Cut in clarity: If you’ve been taking notes throughout this process, you should have 3-5 minutes of free writing and around half a page of planning. Of course, you could and should extend your research, but the last move before taking action would be to bring clarity to your ask.

    Write your question in one concise, yet encompassing question. You may not always use this question exactly, but you will bring clarity to what your communicating should the opportunity ever arise.

*Bonus* To grow even more comfortable with the ASK think of little stories that elaborate what you’re saying.

What do you think about the importance of asking questions? Let me know below! 

 

 

One More Move: Lay Out Your Desires

I’m back!

Currently, I am writing this blog, with Little Einsteins going on in the background for my daughter, and a part of me feels…weird.  Well, I feel something. It’s been a while since my last blog post, and honestly, I missed writing, but I also appreciated the break. My life has changed dramatically, since the time I slowed down on writing. I started a new job and bought a house, which came with a move to a new city. While I appreciated all of these changes, I knew that I couldn’t stop what I believe my purpose to be, and that is drawing out the success of others around me, one small move at a time.

So without further notice, we begin the small moves that bring you that much closer to where you want to be. This one is a good move if you’re just starting out on your journey. It was actually the theme of the last workshop I did for my local meetup group Cultivated Sisters. This move is to lay out your deepest desires.

Really, Zinga, I know  my deepest desires!

I get that, they may swell within you and you may think about them fairly regularly, but until you write down your deepest desire and write in a way that shows you are committed to achieving them, then they will always come and go as figments of your imagination. Make it concrete! Write your desires somewhere, declare it out loud, and put a date on achieving it.

Write your desires somewhere, declare it out loud, and put a date on achieving it.

This is a move that goes back to one of the OGs of self-help success, Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich. He writes, “whatever the mind can conceive, and believe, it can achieve” and that first step to believing that conception is realizing it on paper.

Teachers Appreciation Week (2)

So for one more move this week, find a space and a place to write your deepest desires, write as if you’re writing on a magic paper that will fulfill whatever you wish. Then leave it alone for an hour or so and review it. Question what you wrote, make it more specific, add more details, bring it to life.

To help refine what you wrote here are some questions to stimulate your thoughts:

  • What am I missing from my life?
  • What is in overabundance in my life?
  • What do I want more of?
  • How is my life working?
  • How could I change how my life is working?
  • What would that change bring ideally?

Try not to underestimate this small move, it could be the difference between mediocre and magnificent.

What did you write on your “magic” paper? 

Reset

Writing is a calling, not a choice.

-Isabelle Allende

I’ve written less since spring season.

New job, new challenges, and a big focus on the day-to-day of my passions pulled me into my introverted nature to sit back and take in my new surroundings.

So I made a decision, to give myself space from writing, while I adjusted to these rapid, yet pivotal, life changes.

After a while, though, the yearning returned. My true passion, writing to draw out your success. To make you, us, the world feel the inspiration and magnitude of pleasure from doing our greatest good.

These words do not come out, they escape, as if they were always there, a kyuubi, waiting for me to tap into its infinite power.  No matter how far I push it away from my deepest desire to write it pummels back to me.

What is a calling that you can not ignore?

Finding your calling may not always be easy, but following your calling is twice as hard, but you HAVE to do it for it to be realized in your life. So what do you do as an alternative to putting-it-off forever?

Take a break.

Find time to walk away in a calm, controlled, and consenting manner.

You may think …now Zinga…how could you suggest putting-it-off as a remedy to putting-it-off?

At first the idea does seem like a contradictory, but taking a break, involves some key factors to keep it from falling on the dark side of the procrastination line.

Here are some quick factors to taking a break:

Have a reset time. The main difference between taking a break and procrastinating forever is that you get back to doing what you were doing. Maybe you use an exact date and time, maybe you use an event in your life, or maybe you have a season in mind. Just know, visualize, and even write down when you will return to your original activity. Please note, the length of your timeline should be set realistically to how important it is that you get back to what you’re doing. For instance, if it’s your goal to get an A on a test in two weeks, but you need to take a break, then a two week break wouldn’t make sense.

Choose honor over guilt. Find the admirable reasons for making your choice instead of reasons that make you feel guilty. If you are in a state of rest then respect your wish to let your body restore itself. If you need to reshift your priorities for pressing matters, then appreciate your ability to adapt to new situations and see things through. Whatever narrative you build,  it should be one that is from a positive perspective.

Use what you learned. During your break, try to find one-to-two learning nuggets you can implement once you reset. Maybe it’s a shift in your schedule or reaching out to form new partnerships. This sets up two bonuses to your break:

1) You can be assured your break fits into your larger master plan

2) Your break serves an immediate purpose of helping to improve your your path to success.

So…this is how am I making an honest reset with writing for this page. I allowed myself to adjust to the pace my new situation before getting back to get back to writing. I committed to a goal to write again before the year was over. During my break, I learned that given the new responsibilities to be consistent, I will give myself time to ease into it, starting with twice a week! 

Are you ready to hit the reset button on something in your life, what is it?

Til the next time,

Zinga

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