How 5 Successful Women Start Their Days

Photo: Courtesy of Danielle Snyder.
Refinery29 is participating in First Lady Michelle Obama's #GimmeFive challenge. To learn more, click here.

How you start your morning can set the tone for your entire day. It can mean the difference between a super-productive work day, and a painfully sluggish one. For some, a few rounds of snoozing and a strong cup of coffee is the only way to go; for others, it's all about rising at dawn and hitting the gym before work.

We asked five women we admire to let us peer into their lives — and they agreed! From a CNN reporter to the founder of ClassPass, read on to learn how these amazing female entrepreneurs get ready to take on the day.

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Photo: Courtesy of Payal Kadakia.
Payal Kadakia, CEO & Founder, ClassPass

"As an entrepreneur, the first thing I do is check my email and quickly answer any urgent messages. The next most important thing is my workout — I love going for a 30-minute run in the a.m., which helps me wake up as well as plan out my day. If I'm strapped on time, I do a 10-minute core workout in my room, instead. (I always have my yoga mat and weights laid out.) I then take a shower with some of my Bollywood music playing while thinking about any big meetings or decisions I have to make. After, I get ready while intermittently checking my emails as well as packing my workout or dancer gear. Before I leave my apartment, I always take my vitamins and grab some fruit. I also can't start my day without a venti citrus green tea from Starbucks — it's been a part of my routine for over 10 years!"
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Photo: Courtesy of Carly Cushnie.
Carly Cushnie, Cofounder & Designer, Cushnie et Ochs

"My alarm goes off at 6.45 a.m. and I either head to Equinox or an SLT class. SLT is my favorite workout at the moment; it's a full-body workout that's super-challenging but gives you long, lean muscles. I then head back home and make some variation of a spinach-kale-avocado smoothie in my NutriBullet, watch a little CNN, and read my daily horoscope. Then [I get] in the shower and throw on jeans, something black, and sneaker wedges, then jump on the subway to work."
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Photo: Courtesy of Sabrina de Sousa.
Sabrina de Sousa, Co-Owner, Dimes Restaurant

"I'm up bright and early, usually around 6:30 or 7 — my internal clock never lets me down. I always start the day with a [greeting from] Mars, my dog. I'll play some mellow music, strain my kefir, and start a new batch. Mars gets fed while I make some tea and take a shot of apple cider vinegar, with manuka honey to smooth it down. I'll have a quick shower, and head over to Dimes with Mars. There, I'll have a coffee with a juice and a shot of Quinton Hypertonic."
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Photo: Courtesy of Rachel Crane.
Rachel Crane, Digital Correspondent, CNN

"When I’m not on a story, I wake up at 6 a.m. and beeline to my Nespresso machine. It’s my lifeline. I then pop back in bed, caffeine in hand, and read emails, the news, and Twitter. Those 15 minutes are my very favorite of the day, when my blood starts pumping and my mind starts buzzing about what I’m to tackle. By 6:40, I have my gym clothes on and I’m en route to some kind of high-energy exercise class. My brain craves the clarity the endorphin rush facilitates. I then race back home, with a pit stop at the juice bar, take a scalding hot shower, throw on my uniform of black jeans, boots, and a sweater, and head to the A train. That walk to the train is always powered by a cheesy song; I give myself one a day. On the train, the headphones come off, the news feeds open again, and I’m all business. But, on that walk, there is a party happening in my head."
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Photo: Courtesy of Danielle Snyder.
Danielle Snyder, Co-Founder & Creative Director, DANNIJO Jewelry

"I set my alarm for 6 or 7 depending on the day. I make myself a cup of coffee with steamed vanilla almond milk, throw on my boxing gear, and walk to boxing at Tribeca Sports Center, or Pilates at Real Pilates (depending on the day). My sister (slash business partner) lives one floor above me, so I come home and have breakfast with her at her place (she just had a baby!) and kiss baby Margaux. We usually have [an egg- or] egg-whites scramble with avocado toast and an almond milk berry smoothie. We go over big picture strategy and any pending meetings. Then, I go back downstairs, throw on clothes, and make my way to the office around 9:45 or 10 a.m., unless I have a morning meeting."
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Like this post? There's more. Check out all of our responses to First Lady Michelle Obama's #GimmeFive Challenge, from recipes to workout roundups. And, here is our challenge to you: Head to Twitter and Instagram to tell us your healthy moves with #GimmeFive and be sure to tag @Refinery29.
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