Nicole Monteforte is a performance coach, leader, health & wellbeing expert and author with an enduring passion for making an impact on the success of others – in business and in life.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
My career has been so varied, however, for the most significant part, I have been in senior leadership and advisory roles in the health, wellness and fitness tech space.
My passion for people’s mental and physical health has always kept me drawn to this space, however, my absolute passion has always been about leading high performance teams and businesses to exceed expectations as I have an innate ability to know how to get the best out of people.
My current role is a management consulting role in the capacity as CEO/Director of Marketing for the Michelle Bridges consortium of companies such as 12WBT. I am also advising to a UK tech start-up who have just won an award for innovation in their space.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
A day in the life for me is very structured and output focused. I wake at 5:30am and write in my gratitude journal, read for 30 minutes and then always exercise in some way for a minimum of 30 minutes.
I set my daily action plan the night before in 30-60 minute intervals which ensures that I am covering what needs to be achieved for the day. I schedule 2 x 20 minute meditations every work day as well.
I kick into my UK work in the evenings and am usually on calls from 6pm-7:30pm after which I switch off and watch a favourite episode of something or read. Bed for me is no later than 9:30pm because I generally cannot stay awake.
Oh and I have a son doing his HSC so am often making sure he is fed, watered and getting sunshine and exercise too. It is hard work maintaining a routine, but for me it is more painful when I don’t do it as I don’t feel like I achieve all that is possible.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect and have days where I just cannot pull it together but it’s OK to miss a day – just not 2!
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
My current role has flexibility and with COVID, clearly that has had to be the case. However, we are moving back to some office time, which I believe is crucial for teams as the connectivity and collective thinking is really important when driving teams and results.
Work and life for me always go hand in hand. I believe that if you manage your time well, you can work it all in. I also work to the 80/20 rule which means that as long as 80% of the time I am productive and efficient, then I am doing great.
We all know that it’s not going to be perfect all the time and it’s unrealistic to think that it is.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Work-life balance for me is never a problem when I am working in my area of passion and excellence. When I am on the wrong path, then I can easily feel it as everything becomes a struggle and feels hard.
I work hard to achieve it by being disciplined with my time; I don’t spend much time on social media as, for me, a 10 minute meditation or 10 minute walk is more important as it makes me feel good and can reset my energy after a big meeting.
I think that if anyone wants to achieve anything, we also must accept that sometimes we have to make sacrifices on work-life balance, so I always ensure that if I have to compromise on this, I always ask myself the question, ‘Will it be worth it?’.
If I can say yes, then it’s easy. If I can’t say yes, then I stop and ask myself whether it’s worth doing at all.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
Funnily enough, yes I have. I have been through quite a lot of personal turmoil which pushed me to make some new changes to help me process and heal. I have stopped reading emails first thing when I wake up.
I now wait 60 minutes and follow my morning routine before I connect with the busy world. I have always been an exerciser as movement is my therapy, but I have gone back to running as opposed to the gym.
So I run (well actually I plod) most days for anywhere from 15 min to 45 minutes, which has had a significant impact on my stress levels and mindset. I am not built to run as I am short and stocky in stature, so it’s hard for me, but so very worth it.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is my go-to at the moment, plus I’m very much obsessed with Dr Joe Dispenza and any of his work on the mind and brain. His book Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself is one of my favourites.
I regularly frequent Gaia TV to watch programs on quantum mechanics and consciousness, my favourite podcast at the moment is Impact Theory with Tom Bilyeu.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
I can’t live without the Gaia App, Insight Timer for meditation and the Magic Mountain app for social fitness competition with my friends and colleagues.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Definitely Jacinda Ardern, the NZ Prime Minister. I would love to hear her story on this.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
The reality is that anyone who wants to make a difference in the world, no matter what they do, is going to have to accept that it takes discipline and sacrifice at times.
However, when you truly love what you do and are passionate about it, work life balance is never an issue because you are on purpose and it gives your soul life and fire. Be prepared to make the sacrifices but make sure they lead you to what it is you are wanting to do with your life, otherwise it’s a waste of time and energy.
Be disciplined in your day, be ruthless with where you spend your time, and always live by the 80/20 rule so that you know you can always achieve it. Oh, and can cut yourself some slack, it’s all a lesson as long as you learn them.
One more, laugh. Laugh as much as you can, life can be really hard at times, so find that person who makes you laugh and remember that most of the things you stress about daily wont matter in 5 years.
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