How Video Producer & Refinery29 Lifestyle Host Lucie Fink Stays Motivated

Sometimes it’s good to mix things up. Lucie Fink, a video producer and lifestyle host at Refinery29, constantly tries new things for her video series “Try Living With Lucie”—where she takes on social experiments 5 days at a time—and “Lucie For Hire, ” in which she tries out other people’s jobs for a day. But she doesn’t just focus on self-improvement when the camera is rolling – she also implements it into her daily life, from listening to inspiring podcasts and meditating, to bullet journaling and creating content for her social profiles.

We caught up with Lucie to find out how she stays motivated, how journaling keeps her on track, and why her best career advice is to “just start.”

Do you have any daily or weekly routines that have increased your productivity level?

I try to make breakfast for myself every morning. Sometimes I don’t have time to eat, so I’ll just run out and grab something on the go. But when I actually have time to make food at home, usually I’ll make like a loaded avocado toast with tons of seeds and salt and pepper and Sriracha, and even just proving to myself that I have time to make breakfast in the morning calms down the whole flow of the day. And something else I’ve been doing sort of habitually at night is soaking almonds so that I can make my own almond milk in the morning, and that’s just been pretty fun.

The biggest thing that I’ve started really implementing came out of a 5 days of meditation video. I did back in 2015. I started adding a 10-minute meditation as part of my morning routine, and I’m trying to get into that as part of my nightly routine too. I noticed that it calms my breath down and changes the whole flow of the day for me.

Is there anything that you do if you’re feeling uninspired or unproductive?

One of my absolute favorite things to do is to listen to podcasts by other powerful entrepreneurs, specifically women and specifically in the wellness, health, and mindfulness space. That’s really a space that I have gotten into from “Try Living With Lucie” and from exploring different topics in this world. The whole holistic nutrition and mindfulness wellness space was not really something that I grew up exposed to.

It was only when I started doing these videos that I realized, wow, I have a real interest in this stuff because I’m spending my free time on the weekends reading about it and listening to podcasts. Not only when I feel uninspired, but just pretty much anytime that I’m not doing anything, I’ll pop in my AirPods and listen to a podcast that’s inspiring me. And it’s not always inspiring me to do something for a video – usually, it’s just inspiring me in my life to make a change or try something new and sooner or later that usually relates to a video. But first and foremost, I try to do things that are actually going to inspire me or spark a change in me. And then once I actually get it down, I’ll share it with the world in the video.

You love bullet journaling. Do you have any other advice for staying motivated and achieving your goals and tracking them?

Yeah, I love bullet journaling, and I’ve actually realized over time that I have changed the way I use my bullet journal based on what works best for me. And I think that’s really the point of the bullet journal. A lot of people get overwhelmed with remembering to use it. That’s not the point of it. You don’t want to build something for yourself that’s going to add stress. The whole point is that it’s a creative outlet and a place that lets you unwind and stay organized. So I learned quickly on that having a bullet journal as an everyday planner, like writing down the to-do list and checking off as I go, and planning my whole schedule doesn’t really work for me.

I need my schedule to be on my phone all in one place attached to my Google Calendar where people are sending the invites. I need that calendar because it pops up 10 minutes before when I have a call or when I have a meeting or if I have to be somewhere and my bullet journal wouldn’t be able to do that for me. So I actually use my phone for all of that.

The bullet journal has really come in handy for things like creating overarching monthly spreads so I can see what’s going on in that month like if I am I traveling and shooting or in the office, if I have any major family events, and stuff like that. And then I also use the bullet journal for tracking things – like I want to meditate morning and night, so creating a meditation tracker. Or if I’m trying to cut out coffee, which I did for a few months, I made a tracker and checked off a box every single day that I didn’t have coffee and it was a really great way to stay on top of that.

I think if you have a specific goal and you want to track something that you’re trying to be productive about, creating a tracker that’s handwritten can be really useful. My tip for someone who makes a bullet journal but never uses it is to either carry it around in the bag that you take with you every day or leave it out on your kitchen table, right next to your bed, or somewhere that you’re going to see it every day. Because my problem is I sometimes just tuck it in my drawer, and then I don’t remember it unless I open the drawer.

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My holiday bullet journal video is HERE!!! I teamed up with @pilotpenusa and used their new Ensō Collection of artful writing instruments (as well as some of my classic Pilot favorites) to create 8 beautiful pages in my 2018 bullet journal! Featuring: a December monthly spread , a "days until Christmas" tracker, a holiday ADVENT-URE calendar, gift ideas, a page filled with holiday doodle inspiration, and more! It was the first time I drew in my bullet journal without first sketching everything in pencil — Pilot's erasable pens and markers are AMAZING (see my IG story for a quick preview ). Check out the video now (link in bio) and then comment your favorite page below! #ad // Oh, and also…I need your stocking stuffer ideas!!!

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What is your best advice for other young creative professionals?

I think it’s really important for young people, and especially young people coming right out of school and going into a job, to not put so much pressure on themselves to be exactly where they want to be the day they graduate or the year after they graduate. I definitely was one of those people putting that pressure on myself. Thankfully, things shaped up for me rather quickly in the scope of things, but I truly attribute that to the fact that after a year of just doing my job, I started to realize what it was I really wanted to do. I fell in love with this art form and stop-motion videos and I just started making content really fast, which I think sort of fast-tracked me into a creative career. But I think a lot of people, rather than just doing something and making something and picking up a pen or a paintbrush or whatever and getting dirty, wind up just sitting trying to plan and thinking of how they can get to where it is they need to be.

The truth is, at most companies when you’re the lowest on the totem pole, you really do need to put in years and years of work before you’re going to be the CEO or before you’re going to be the boss. And of course there are exceptions, there are people that just run off and start their own business and then they never worked for someone else a day in their life or there are people that get a really great opportunity really early on and then they thrive. But just for the average person, instead of putting pressure on yourself, just do the job that you’re in currently. And on the side of work, allow yourself to explore what it is you might really love and see if that becomes something bigger than what it is. But don’t just spend your whole day worrying.

What is your best advice for other video producers or other independent professionals in the field?

Just start creating content. We all have a phone these days that could create something that’s almost just as good quality as these crazy cameras we use at work. And sometimes the camera operators are not available, and I shoot content on my phone or on a little point and shoot camera and no one in the audience can tell. What I’ve realized about the millennial audience and digital content is that people aren’t really in it for the quality. They are really in it for the content, so if you have a bad audio clip or if the lighting is not good, nobody cares. They just want to hear your story that you’re telling and watch you and listen, and they’re really not picky. And I think people need to pick up equipment and start creating content and post it on Vimeo and YouTube and Instagram.

I’m a big fan of creating a brand for yourself through social media because I think it’s such a powerful tool to connect you to people, sometimes for jobs but sometimes just for real life. And in the case of jobs, even if your job has nothing to do with social media, that’s an incredible way for people to find you and see who you are. Social media can definitely be a powerful tool. If you use it right and you’re not just using it to share photos of your salad, or you and your friends, then it could become something that you are really proud of.

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One thing I’ve realized about social media is that, over time, as you change & evolve, the people that are following you should change & evolve as well. Yes, new people follow me every single day, but people also unfollow me every day…and that’s exactly as it should be. My audience today shouldn’t be the same audience I had 1 year ago, or even 1 week ago; as my vibe changes, only those vibrating at the same frequency will want to come on my journey. Sometimes I forget this and think that everyone in my audience already knows my story…but I need to continue reintroducing myself to the newcomers: 1. I’m 26. 2. Before going into a creative field I was studying neuroscience at Johns Hopkins and was on the pre-med track. I still love science, medicine and surgery and I continue to read books and create video content on these topics. 3. Family is everything to me. My mom is my creative guru & my dad is my spirit animal. I have a twin sister (@afink9) & an older brother (@robjfink) and they’re my 2 best friends. 4. I got engaged in April, and my fiancé, @mike_morris2, and I have now been together for 9 years – we met in high school and were long distance throughout college. 5. I’ve been a Video Producer and Lifestyle Host at @refinery29 for 3 years and I host/produce various YouTube series for them. 6. I love writing, painting, singing & bullet journaling. 7. I’m very spiritual and have majorly expanded my consciousness in the past year through yoga, meditation, and my recent study of Ayurveda — “5 Days of Ayurveda” is coming to #TryLivingwithLucie soon! 8. I am obsessed with self-improvement and am constantly experimenting & learning. 9. I love to teach and recently created a coaching & consulting program where I’m taking on clients to share my knowledge about everything from video production and content creation, to mindfulness and positivity. I’ve also been working with a coach of my own, @yogawithbow. 10. My life goal is to encourage others to step outside of their comfort zones and try new things. I gave a @tedx_official talk last year about “making TRYING the new DOING," and I do what I do to inspire others to live happier, more fulfilled lives. Welcome!

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This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity. Have more questions for Lucie? Ask her in the comments below! 

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