I’ve been a high-achieving woman for the majority of my professional life.
Yet, as a woman who has crafted a successful career—and is reveling in it—I often find myself having to explain my daily routines and habits.
Questions arise during morning coffee chats with colleagues, wanting to know how I start my day productively.
They come from my family members who are curious about how I manage to balance personal life with demanding professional commitments.
They come from friends who are striving for success and wonder whether they should be mirroring my morning routine.
Amidst all these inquiries, I can’t help but question why I’m the one who needs to explain my early morning habits.
I believe there’s an underlying societal expectation for successful individuals to have a specific type of morning routine.
The consequence of this expectation is that many people end up adopting practices that may not necessarily align with their personal rhythms or lifestyles.
In this article, I’m going to attempt to dispel the myths around the “perfect” morning routine.
I’ll do this by sharing 7 things highly successful women do at the start of every day.
1) They wake up early
This one might be a bit obvious.
“Early to bed, early to rise” is not just a saying, it’s a practice that many successful women swear by.
But the real revelation here is not the act of waking up early, it’s comprehending why they do it.
Let me elaborate.
Consider the quiet solitude of the early morning.
hustle and bustle, no urgent emails or calls.
It’s just you with your thoughts and plans for the day.
This time is invaluable to successful women.
If you’re going to be a high-achiever, it’s critical to understand that you need uninterrupted time for yourself.
You’re not waking up early because someone told you to, but because it gives you a head start.
It’s vital to let go of the notion that waking up early is a form of punishment or sacrifice.
It’s an opportunity to set the tone for your day, to plan, and ultimately, to succeed.
Your actions in the morning set the rhythm for your entire day.
They are most effective when they are intentional, not rushed. When you rise early, you start your day on your terms.
2) They don’t check their phones first thing
This may seem surprising in our hyper-connected world.
Most of us are accustomed to reaching for our phones the moment we wake up.
Emails, social media, news – it’s all at our fingertips.
But the reality is that this habit can set a reactive tone for your day.
Let’s delve deeper.
Imagine starting your day with a barrage of information, demands and distractions.
It can be overwhelming and exhausting.
It’s like you’re jumping into a fast-flowing current without even taking a moment to breathe.
It’s essential to break free from the idea that checking your phone first thing in the morning is productive.
It’s an invitation for stress and chaos before you’ve even had your first cup of coffee.
Your actions in the morning should be yours alone, not dictated by the demands of your inbox or social media notifications.
3) They prioritize physical activity
This may not sound like a revelation, but the depth of its impact is often underestimated.
You might tell yourself that you don’t have time to exercise in the morning, but before long, you might find yourself feeling envious of the energy and vitality of those who do.
You might even find yourself on the receiving end of that vitality.
Few commitments are strong enough to compete with the positive impact of physical activity.
Lethargy often rears its ugly head in our daily lives, but if you willingly choose to bypass physical activity, you’re setting yourself up for trouble.
Also, it’s important to ask yourself about the role of exercise in your life.
Perhaps you and your body are feeling lethargic because you genuinely need more movement.
Often, we berate ourselves for not exercising, as though it’s something we’re failing at.
Physical activity in the morning isn’t just about maintaining a fit body.
It’s about kick-starting your day with energy and positivity.
When you prioritize exercise, you’re setting the foundation for a productive day.
4) They start with gratitude
I started this piece by focusing on action and routines.
The thing is, actions and routines also shape our mindset and emotions.
In the case of successful women, they often have jam-packed schedules.
They are driven to achieve their objectives and goals.
Their intentions are admirable.
Their work has the potential to effect positive change in their respective fields.
But when they get so absorbed in their work, they can slip into the habit of thinking that their tasks are more important than their personal well-being.
They may lose touch with their inner selves, become irritable, and possibly not such a pleasant person to be around.
If they judged themselves for their intentions, they wouldn’t question their behavior.
Instead, because they don’t just focus on actions, but also on mindset, they are more able to reflect and adjust how they approach the day.
They are learning to pause and appreciate the blessings in their lives.
Starting the day with gratitude isn’t just about being thankful.
It’s about embracing a positive outlook that sets the tone for the rest of the day.
How you begin your morning matters, not just in terms of tasks completed but also in terms of attitude cultivated.
5) They make time for a healthy breakfast
This one hits close to home.
In the early stages of my career, I was always on the go.
I believed that skipping breakfast would save me time and help me get a head start on my work.
The truth is, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
One day, after another morning of skipping breakfast, I found myself feeling fatigued and unable to focus on my tasks.
My productivity was at an all-time low, and I realized something needed to change.
From that day forward, I made it a point to start my day with a healthy breakfast.
It was a game-changer.
I noticed an immediate improvement in my energy levels and mental clarity.
Now, I ensure that no matter how busy my schedule is, I always make time for a nutritious meal in the morning.
Successful women understand that breakfast is not just a meal—it’s the fuel your body needs to function optimally.
So, if you’re aiming for success, don’t overlook the power of a healthy start to your day.
Your body and brain will thank you for it.
6) They set specific goals for the day
Successful women understand the importance of setting clear, achievable goals.
They know that haphazardly tackling tasks leads to inefficiency and a lack of focus.
Here’s the key point:
This practice encourages us to prioritize our tasks, to understand what needs our attention most, and to set a clear trajectory for the day.
For those feeling overwhelmed, setting specific daily goals can provide a sense of direction.
It’s a reminder that we are part of a larger mission, a journey that requires planning and strategic steps.
Setting goals for the day encourages us to see our journey as part of a larger narrative and can provide a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
It’s not just about ticking off tasks on a list—it’s about moving closer to your bigger objectives one day at a time.
7) They embrace stillness
In a world that glorifies hustle and constant productivity, successful women understand the power of pausing.
They recognize that amidst the noise and rush of daily tasks, it’s crucial to have moments of quiet and introspection.
This practice isn’t about wasting time or being idle—it’s about creating a space for mindfulness and reflection.
It’s an opportunity to check in with oneself, to realign with one’s values, and to reset if necessary.
For those who feel constantly on the edge, embracing stillness in the morning can be a source of balance.
It’s a gentle reminder that we’re not just doers but also beings, that our worth is not solely defined by our output.
Incorporating moments of stillness into the morning routine encourages us to approach the day with a sense of calm and clarity.
It’s about understanding that success involves not just constant movement, but also moments of mindful pause.