Shine Interview #6: Nicole Constante on the Magic of a Morning Routine

Photo by Lily Morello.

Hello and welcome back to another edition of the Shine interview series! Notice how I didn’t say “the last edition”. Maybe if I don’t say that it won’t feel like the end *cries*. I’ve interviewed some amazing people over these past 3 weeks and I couldn’t be more happy to finish it all off with personal development blogger Nicole Constante.

Before I let you read her super motivational interview, I just want to mention that you can read all 6 of the interviews in this series by scrolling to the bottom of this post. All 6 interviewees have shared actionable tips, insights, and wisdom, and I’m so excited to be able to share this archive of their knowledge and inspiration with you!


Photo by Lily Morello.

Nicole is quite possibly my long-lost twin and a fellow Enneagram type 3… I had followed her for a while before I checked out her blog and my jaw dropped when I saw how much we had in common. 

A year ago, Nicole jumped on her first airplane to move to Edmonton, Canada from the Philippines and is now a personal development blogger who shares her passion on manifesting your vision, living an intentional life, and building a business by design via her blog and her Monday newsletter, The Get It Girl Insider.

She also hosts The Get It Girl Radio podcast where she sits down with different women in business all over Canada to talk about their start-up stories and the lessons they have learned in building a business.

I’m absolutely obsessed with the answers to all of her interview questions. She’s an incredibly positive and motivating person and I hope you gain just as much inspiration from her as I did!

How do you manage your calendar?

I use Google Calendar for everything. When setting up podcast interviews, I send people a link to my Calendly scheduler so we don’t go back and forth with our schedules. For other meetings, I ask people to send me some dates and times that would work for them and we would go from there. Google Calendar for the wiiin!

What is your system for task management?

The Notion App.

I went through a phase of bullet journaling. I have different types of daily planners on my desk. Post its. iPhone Apps. I guess it's safe to say that I have had my fair share of different systems that other people swear by.

But recently, I found an app that has completely revolutionized the way I do life and business. Seriously! I found out about Notion in a YouTube comments section and the next thing I know, my whole life is "uploaded" on it! I have a system for everything. For my daily tasks, monthly and long term goals, my client management, my projects, the blog, the podcast, even my grocery list and an upcoming trip to Vancouver— it is ALLLL there.

Like, what was I even doing before it? WHO was I even? Haha! It will be a while before I shut up about it.

What is one habit that makes you successful?

Journaling. I can’t stress this enough. 

Every successful person, the geniuses of the past, all kept a journal. There's a question I heard from Jim Kwik that stayed stuck in my head, "did they journal because they were geniuses, or were they geniuses because they journaled?"

If I don't journal for more than 2 days, everything just feels like it’s falling apart because inside — I am. And our environment is just a reflection of the inside.

I journal for self-awareness, writing what I want to manifest, my goals, my prayers, my frustrations, handling my emotions, processing my thoughts, mind-mapping new ideas.. It's all written down and I delight in thinking that I still have my 14 year old self sitting on my bookshelf.

I made a video a year ago on this topic.

Walk us through your morning routine.

A principle I have built my life and business on is this: “my mornings are mine.”

I like waking up slow and starting my day on a peaceful note. I do not set an alarm but I usually wake up a few minutes before 7AM. I'll get up, either reach for my bible and read or go into my journal to write. I either write about my dreams (like, literal sleep dreams haha!), what I am grateful for, what I want to happen in the future, a recount of what happened yesterday if I didn't journal about it the night before or simply — just how I feel and what's going on in my mind.

I drink a tall glass of water to rehydrate, brush my teeth and change into yoga pants and my running shoes. Time for a walk while listening to an audiobook (currently listening to The 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson). If I decide to do that later in the day, I'd either do some passive chores like the dishes, folding clothes or even editing photos while listening. Then time for my shower! Every morning, whether I feel like it or not, I take a cold shower while listening to positive affirmations and declarations. It energizes me.

I love my mornings so much. I feel like it makes me look forward more to what the day has for me and I'm able to pour into my work and other people more generously because my cup has been filled first.

Are there certain times of day you find you are most productive?

If I am just staying home -- Morning to noon. Before I have my first meal at 1PM :)

Do you set goals? How do you keep your goals in sight?

I love that you used "in sight" because literally, I keep my vision board on my desk. It's what I wake up to, it's what I see when I'm working on my desk, it welcomes me home.

Having a vision board reminds me every day of what I am working towards and inspires me to be persistent and positive. But more importantly, it helps keep me accountable.

There's a quote that says "if you don't sacrifice for your goals, your goals become the sacrifice." So in a world of instant gratification and shiny objects, my mind is set on the long term because I see what I want most.

And hey, these people have done it. These people possess it. It's possible for me too!

If you're creating your first vision board, here's a guide you can use!

What is one piece of advice you would share for someone trying to find balance and organization?

Find what really matters, define your highest values and determine what your vision for the future is and hold on to it. Anything that doesn't align with those, it doesn't belong in your calendar.

For example, my highest values are God, personal & spiritual growth, my health, contribution/purpose, my relationships.. everything that I fill my days with should lead me to the vision I have of each area in one way or another. If not, it can go.

When I stopped giving attention and time to small things and instead poured my energy into my vision, all of a sudden I had an abundance of time, space and mental capacity to create what I want because I was not busy trying to organize what didn't matter.


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Wow, I am going to write down that quote and keep it near me - “If you don't sacrifice for your goals, your goals become the sacrifice.” And as much as I love my current planning system, I might have to give the Notion app a try! Anything that Nicole uses must be worth a look :)

You can find Nicole at her blog and Instagram as well as on the Get it Girl podcast, available on iTunes and Spotify.

Hope you enjoyed this interview and all of the rest! If you’re new to this series and want to check out the rest of the interviews that have been posted, you can find links to all of them below!

Love,
Beatrice

Shine Interview Series #5: Lily Morello on Staying Balanced While Pursuing Your Career Goals

Photo by Lily Morello.

Photo by Lily Morello.

Welcome back to the very last week of the Shine interview series! As I write this, I am waiting for my train to pull out of the St. Pancras international station in London and get started on its way to Brussels, Belgium. I never thought I’d be writing a blog post en route to another country but #travelblogger goals achieved, huh?

It’s not hard to get yourself to do work on vacation when the work consists of learning from some incredibly cool people and sharing their wisdom with the world. This week I am super excited to introduce you to Lily Morello, a San Francisco-based food photographer, and Nicole Constante, a personal development blogger in Canada.

To make sure that you get every part of each of their interviews, you should...

  1. Bookmark www.theblissbean.com or follow on Bloglovin’ so that you don’t miss a single blog post.

  2. Join 600+ subscribers of the Bliss Bean newsletter and get weekly updates and recommendations in addition to the Shine interview series delivered straight to your inbox!

  3. Follow @theblissbean to find the rapid fire questions in my Instagram Stories.

Let’s jump right into it!


Photo by Lily Morello.

Photo by Lily Morello.

I’m usually not a fan of Instagram’s algorithm but one day it did introduce me to Lily’s food photography. One of her colorful flatlays popped up on my Instagram explore page and when I saw that she had “bubble tea” in her handle, I obviously had to follow her.

As much as I may love bubble tea and food in general, Lily is someone who is truly passionate about food and it shows through clearly in all of her work. She loves cooking at home and seeking out inspiration for new edible creations in her city and around the world, and she believes that food is the most accessible way for us to begin understanding each other’s cultures.

Every photo of Lily’s is a colorful work of art, and you’d be missing out if you didn’t read her captions as well - she’s a gifted writer and I feel like I’m practically tasting the food she is describing.

I’m honored to be interviewing her today!

How do you manage your calendar?

Poorly! My calendar app on my phone is synced to my Google Calendar, which keeps me on track for all of my appointments; my life is absolutely dependent on this. However, I don’t have any sort of content calendar set up for my Instagram content.

What is your system for task management?

Post-it notes! I know it’s not very high tech, but after a decade of being buried in task management tickets as part of my full-time professional career, as a freelancer there is now something much more satisfying about drawing little checkboxes for my to-do lists and checking things off. 

What is one habit that makes you successful?

Checking and rechecking my work to make sure it’s perfect, or to make sure I’m truly happy with the quality.

Walk us through your morning routine.

Step 1: Hug my dogs.

Step 2: Spend too much time looking at Instagram before getting out of bed.

Step 3: Apply or touch up my eyeliner (because a lot of times I don’t wash it off the night before, sometimes I can just fill in the gaps the next day and I am good to go!)

After that, everything is a toss-up. I don’t really think of myself as having a routine.

Are there certain times of day you find you are most productive?

No, it’s much more about being in the right head-space and often the right physical space. I manage to be very productive at cute cafes.

Do you set goals? How do you keep your goals in sight?

I accomplished all of my career goals before I turned 30 and it’s been tricky to answer this type of question since. Right now my goal is to prioritize my happiness and mental health, so it’s not hard to lose sight of it.


Lily1.JPG

I love that Lily answered that there is no specific time of day she is most productive (in her Instagram interview she said that she is neither a morning person nor a night person!). Even if there are times of day you find you work more easily, I think it’s important to remember this mindset - sometimes it has to do more with how you’re feeling and what your environment is like and so you shouldn’t get down on yourself if you find that you are having trouble focusing in the morning when mornings are normally your key creative time. Take some time to look into what may be causing you to feel unfocused instead of trying to push through it.

If you’ve been reading the other interviews in this series, you may have noticed that I left off one question - “What is one piece of advice you would share for someone trying to find balance and organization?”. I thought Lily’s answer was super insightful and really fit the theme of the newsletter questions, so you can find it there!

You can find Lily on Instagram at @lilybubbletea as well as on her blog. Thank you Lily for being a fantastic guest on this interview series!

Don’t forget to check out the other two parts of her interview on the newsletter and on Instagram, and I’ll see you back here on Wednesday for the very last interview!

Talk to you soon (from Paris!)

Beatrice