We gathered a few women in Nashville who seem to have the secret for success. Perhaps it’s their tenacity, smarts and integrity. Or maybe, it’s their morning routines. In case the latter just so happens to be true, we asked them to share how they spend the precious (even if brief) moments before jumping into their day. Just like us, these presidents, CEOs, founders, elected officials and leaders start the day with coffee and a news report — or most of them do, at least.
Although routine, their morning schedules are inspiring. Tidbits about how they start their day can motivate us — and hopefully you — to think about how we start ours. Whether you’re a CEO or are simply aspiring to be, treasure the moments you have to yourself each morning. Read on to see how these women do just that.
President & CEO of Therapy Systems, Inc.
“I literally open the view to outside, check the weather, praying for sun. Then I turn on the local news, stumble into the kitchen and start the Keurig for the first of two cups of coffee. Then back to my computer for a minimum of 2-3 hours, where I accomplish most of the days actual “work product.” It is not unusual to have a repair person walk into the house to see me in my nightgown and no makeup plus extremely bad hair! Then up to the treadmill for 20-30 minutes. Next, the shower, and I am ready in 20 minutes flat. Do I sound boring?”
Owner of The Arts Company
“A dose of ‘Morning Joe’ plus a lot of regular coffee, savoring every word in the New York Times, checking for emails, making lists for the work day and entering a few observations in a journal.”
Sharon K. Roberson
President & CEO of YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee
“I have had a variation of the same routine for most of my professional career. The first thing I do in the morning is check emails or voicemails (depending on the era), my daily schedule and the weather. I do this in bed. When you exercise outdoors, tracking the weather is essential! Then I drink a big glass of water and either go to the gym or run outside. I do this six times a week, even when I’m traveling. I eat yogurt most weekday mornings. I like the kind with some honey or nuts. I also drink more water all morning when getting dressed and listening to news, as relayed from my husband. I use good moisturizers all over — tons of it! My dress depends on what is planned for the day. I wear whatever will take me from morning until evening. St. John suits are my go-to outfits.”
Founder of Ceri Hoover
“After my son is dressed, fed and off to school, I read through my emails and create my list for the day. Then, it’s off to workout for 30-60 minutes. Next, I meditate for 10 minutes! It has made an enormous change in my life. It has given me clarity and allows me to handle the roller coaster a designer tends to ride every day.”
The Honorable Megan Barry
Mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County
“I sleep with two phones next to my bed. The first thing I do is grab the work phone and scroll through the police reports to see what happened overnight, and then I reach for the personal phone and read The Tennessean online, but I read it in the online paper version. I then go downstairs, make coffee and go outside and get the New York Times and the real paper version of The Tennessean and glance at it again.”
Dr. Candice McQueen
Tennessee’s Commissioner of Education
“On ‘normal’ days and weeks, I get up at 5 a.m. I run three weekday mornings a week and on the weekend. On the two weekday mornings I don’t run, I work or read for an hour before getting ready, or I go into the office early and do the same (around 6 a.m.). After getting ready, I eat breakfast with my husband and kids while scanning the news — The Tennessean and The Wall Street Journal usually — before kissing everyone goodbye for work and school. My husband and I are also doing the last-minute schedule ‘check’ and communication to make sure we know who needs to be where and when. While in the car, I occasionally have calls on the way to work but always try to listen to uplifting, positive music by Christian artists to start my day. I do have many days that are not ‘normal’ as I may need to be in another part of the state very early for a meeting, event or school visit. On these days, I can be leaving downtown with other department staff as early as 4 a.m.”
The Reverend Becca Stevens
CNN Hero and founder of Thistle Farms
“I love the quiet of mornings in anticipation of sunrise. I tend to lean towards the east hoping for a clear view of the moment when grey softens into lavender. I drink a cup of green tea, write for an hour and then wake up the rest of my house. I try to light incense to jump start a litany for prayer requests and frequent an 8 a.m. yoga class at Yoga Harmony. I’m much less productive at night.”
Partner at MP&F Public Relations
“Since simply getting out of bed and deciding what to wear can be major challenges, I try to keep the rest of the routine simple. Exercise, one cup of coffee and reading the paper are my only requirements. Breakfast is dry cereal in a cup eaten in the car. Somehow I still manage to be late to work almost every day.”
Founder of Turkish-T
“My favorite morning routine consist of a glass of water, a cup of the bullet coffee, a banana and a handful of nuts on my way out the door for an hour walk with girlfriends. Not sure what bullet coffee is? Just ask Kathleen Keen from Kerrville, Texas. She turned this Nashville girl onto this savory Texas treasure. Back by 8 a.m., where I check emails before taking a shower. Equally as enjoyable is a no-walk day, where I spend 30 minutes sitting, pondering and enjoying the quiet of the morning before the day’s routine begins again.”
Thank you for these wonderful women for sharing their morning routines with us!
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