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.


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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!

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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

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.

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