photography by PHUONG NGUYEN
We know, we know: What early risers accomplish before most of us have had a cup of coffee is nothing short of inspirational. The pre-business hours of no email, a quiet house, and a full night’s sleep under your belt without any stresses or draining meetings of the day to wear you down are ideal for strategizing, organizing and accomplishing. So we tapped the following successful ladies (and man) whose professional prowess spans a range of industries. Here, their routines and tips, all completed by the ripe hour of 7 a.m.
Christine Chang, Co-founder/co-CEO, Glow Recipe
Chang indulges in a walk in Central Park after a cup of warm water with lemon in the morning. If she can’t fit in as much workout time as she would like during the week, she’ll allow herself the luxury to be able to enjoy a leisurely stroll through the park without being strapped for time on the weekends.
Kristin Breen, Vice President, Media Relations At Alison Brod Marketing + Communications
“I've found that finding your favorite workout instructors and what classes they teach in the mornings makes it a billion times easier to get up early and never ignore the alarm,” Breen says. She also uses the pre-dawn hours to go through emails from the night before, read The Post headlines and Page Six and mentally get prepared for the day without the interruptions that happen during business hours. “Making my bed is a must,” she explains. “It somehow changes my mentality all day and gives me a sense of having it together.”
Corey Damen Jenkins, Principal Interior Designer of Corey Damen Jenkins & Associates
Jenkens’ first task in the morning is blending up a protein shake of oatmeal, water, and chocolate whey protein, and then he hits the gym. “Weight-lifting early in the day is refreshing and leaves me in a good emotional place for the balance of the day,” he says.
Felicia Sullivan, Marketer and Follow Me Into The Dark
Author Sullivan has found that waking early helps her set an intention for her day, especially since she has to balance a full-time job with novel writing. She devotes the first two hours she’s awake to anything that will move a project forward. “This time doesn't necessarily need to be about the physical act of writing,” she explains. On the days when she’s blocked, she researches, organizes, brainstorms, reads, or edits: “All essential tasks that are needed to complete a project,” she says. “At the end of the two hours, I feel productive regardless if I've written a single word.”
Sarah Lee, Co-Founder/Co-CEO, Glow Recipe
Lee’s first order of business in the early morning is to drink a bottle of water (for good skin, of course) and hit the gym with her husband. “We're both into Peloton these days, and the studio is located in Chelsea, which is a nice jog in the morning from our midtown apartment,” she says. Starting the day with a positive and vibrant energy helps, and they love the fun, competitive classes.
Kaitie Coghlan, Director, Customer Success At Liveramp
Coghlan sets her alarm about 90 minutes before she has to wake up in the morning, helping her strategize her day. A patron of the arts, her tip is to indulge in a little “Murder She Wrote” TV binge before work, as opposed to at night, when most people tend to unwind with a show. During this 90 minutes, she typically takes a little snooze for about half an hour. The last 30 minutes before she has to leave, she enjoys a cup of pre-programmed Nespresso coffee and goes through her calendar for the day.
Lara Metz, Lara Metz Nutrition
Metz is up by 6:15/6:30, and is also a fan of setting up her coffee the night before. She drinks hers with Malk Milk, homemade cashew milk, or organic whole milk, depending on her mood. “Everyone in my house knows not to talk to me until I have my first sip of coffee,” she says. Then ,she’s ready to face the day. Her hack for getting her children—ages 6 and 8—to eat breakfast is offering two menu items from which they can choose. For example, one morning’s menu is a fried egg ( she uses coconut oil) on a gluten-free Le Pain De Fleur Quinoa cracker with mashed avocado or a thin slice of muenster cheese and fruit or an oatmeal bar made from oats, berries, banana, chia seeds, and honey. They can assemble it themselves. After that, she feeds herself, and then works out either with her trainer, on the tennis court, spinning, or walking the reservoir with a friend. After showering, she’s off to work and always begins the day with a large jasmine or lemongrass green tea.
Stephanie Danler, “Sweetbitter” Author
Danler spends the first couple of hours of the day reading poetry and writing in a notebook. “During the week, it's mostly a 30-minute affair—it’s not realistic for me to dwell in that creative space when emails start coming in about projects and deadlines and meetings,” she explains. She likes to spend weekend mornings doing the same with a never-ending pot of coffee and multiple pieces of toast.