I first discovered the power of a morning ritual when I was a freshman in college, living on campus surrounded by other mostly 18-year-olds also navigating the transition into adulthood. It was the first time I’d ever lived on my own, and, looking back, I can see how my newfound freedom inspired me to search for ways to bring a sense of "home" into my experience. While many of my friends were staying out all night and sleeping through the day, I quickly discovered that the key to successfully navigating college life was sticking to a few good habits—like actually attending class. 

It was during this time that I unlocked the power of a morning ritual. Instead of getting up, throwing on my clothes and grabbing my coffee to-go, I would set my alarm just 15 minutes earlier so I could enjoy a few minutes to savor my coffee, get centered, and spend a moment in blissful solitude before the rest of our dorm was awake. I was hooked—and though it’s evolved through the changing seasons of my life, my morning ritual is every bit as important to me now as it was then. 

We all have daily routines that are baked into our lives. We eat meals, take showers, brush our teeth, and get ready for work. So what’s the difference between these routines that so often feel mundane or even burdensome, and a daily ritual that brings joy and meaning to our days? I believe it’s through the intention that we bring, the lens through which we’re viewing these small everyday moments that ultimately, make up our lives.

meditation book, reading morning rituals of successful people 

To inspire our own daily rituals, I tapped some of the most inspiring and successful women I know to find out how they start their day with intention. As one of our subjects, Catt Sadler, says, 

“Sticking with healthy practices day after day, week after week, really does work if you’re wanting to stretch into your most powerful self.”

As these women prove, there are many ways to have a morning ritual—what may be soul-nourishing for someone else may not work for you, so part of the journey is trying on different practices to see what makes you excited to jump out of bed in the morning. Need some inspo to get you going? Read on for TK ideas to building your own joy-inducing morning ritual.

Rituals for mindfulness

  • The first thing I do when I wake up: Take a deep breath and recognize that it’s a gift to wake up. - Jenna Kutcher, podcast host and NYT bestselling author
  • When I get to the office, I fill up my water bottle and write a prioritization list for what I want to accomplish. Ideally, I do this before opening my inbox as that usually distracts me from my core goals. - Babba Rivera, founder and CEO 
  • I write in my journals with chill instrumental music accompanying me. One is a gratitude journal, in the other I…ask for guidance, how to be used or directed on the right path. I once heard that in order for the universe to really listen to your desires, you must not only think about them, but write them down. - Catt Sadler, TV and podcast host
  • The second I feel stress or anxiety creeping in I do deep breathing exercises to re-center myself. I also use a meditation app called Simple Habit... it's “meditation for busy people” and their focus is quick, guided audio meditation routines. Meditation definitely helps me to be more mindful. - Nicole Gibbons, founder and CEO of Clare Paint
  • In the mornings we love listening to Stan Getz—there’s just something so calming about his music. - Samantha Wennerstrom, content creator and founder
  • Upon rising, I drink a full glass of water, tongue scrape with copper, then take my vitamins. Following this, I like to sit in my favorite rocking chair and take a few focused deep breaths or start a brief guided meditation. -Shanika Hillocks, brand strategist
  • I’m really rooted in my routines and rituals. I open the curtains and drink lemon water, celery juice, and one cup of coffee. Showering is the best part and where I do my best thinking. - Sheena Yaitanes, founder of Kosas

Food and drink rituals

  • I’m a believer in intuitive eating – I wake up and ask myself if I’m hungry or not. If I am, I’ll have an apple with almond butter, Ezekiel toast with avocado and scrambled eggs, or a fruit smoothie. - Megan Roup, fitness entrepreneur
  • I start our Fellow to make hot water for tea and begin planning breakfast while playing my favorite YouTube channels in the background. - Sanetra Longno, photographer and producer
  • I eat home-cooked oatmeal made by my husband every morning, topped off with blueberries, granola, and oat milk. The secret to his recipe is to boil the oats in oat milk instead of water, and then add a mashed banana along with cardamom and cinnamon for maximum taste without any additional sweetness needed. - Babba Rivera, founder and CEO 
  • Making coffee is a sweet ritual for me. I grind the beans, boil the water for the press, and even steam my own oat milk. Divine! - Catt Sadler, TV and podcast host
  • When I wake up, I drink hot water with lemon and then my Glowing Green Smoothie at room temperature. - Kimberly Snyder, author
  • I always start my day with my morning ritual. Light some Bodha incense, meditate, and then put the kettle on the stove and make a pour over, either in our Chemex or V60. It’s important for me to have time to enjoy a cup of coffee, meditate, and sometimes go for a walk around Elysian Park or get in a yoga class before starting work. - Ally Walsh, model and founder of Canyon Coffee

Rituals for good vibes

  • The first thing I do when I wake up is kiss my husband. - Miranda Kerr, model and founder/CEO
  • I prepare my living room with incense and open the curtains for Yoga With Adriene. - Sanetra Longno, photographer and producer
  • I get a dose of daylight, whether it’s going on a smoothie run or just peeking out on the terrace for some fresh air. Daylight brings me a lot of joy. - Babba Rivera, founder and CEO
  • I’ll quickly make my bed. It’s proven to make you happier and gives a sense of accomplishment. More importantly though, it makes getting between the sheets at night feel so much better. - Ariel Kaye, founder and CEO of Parachute Home
  • I clean my kitchen every morning. It’s become a daily ritual that helps me to start my day with some productivity momentum. - Nicole Gibbons, founder and CEO of Clare Paint
  • The first thing I do is pet and cuddle up with my rescue, Nipsey. He’s my small dog who sleeps with me. Luckily, Scarlett my German Shephard prefers her bed on the floor next to us. - Catt Sadler, TV and podcast host
  • I make my bed while listening to The Daily, one of my favorite podcasts. - Shanika Hillocks, brand strategist
  • We fill the drive (to my kids' school) with music, audiobooks and podcasts. I love having this time, we drive through rolling hills and wine country. I dream on these drives, so when I get into the office I am rearing to go! - Nicole Trunfio, model and founder/CEO
skincare, morning rituals of inspiring people

Self-care rituals

  • I jump in the shower and cleanse my body with Saltair, then think about my day and get mentally prepared. After showering, I put on lotion with the matching Saltair fragrance so my bathroom really smells spa-like. As I moisturize my body, I give myself some empowering affirmations that help set the tone for how I feel about myself as I start the day. - Iskra, model and founder/CEO
  • I've started doing Gua Sha, which is an ancient Chinese therapy using a sculpted jade tool to soothe skin. It’s basically a face massage but you get this subtle skin-chiseling effect (especially if you wake up puffy). - Megan O’Neill, beauty editor at Goop
  • I luxuriate in Supernal Cosmic Glow Oil, my favorite face oil, and do maxillofacial massage with my hands to circulate blood flow. The oil is a bit of a splurge, but my skin loves it and the aroma is divine. -Shanika Hillocks, brand strategist
  • One thing I do that always makes me feel amazing in the morning is a steamy shower with Eucalyptus oil sprinkled on the floor. - Samantha Wennerstrom, content creator and founder
  • On my nightstand, I always have my SLIP eye mask, lavender room and linen spray, a large glass of lemon water in my YETI (stays cold longer), and my phone on a charger. - Catt Sadler, TV and podcast host

I weave self-care through every part of my life. For my body through exercise, for my mind through books, for my heart through quality time with my family, and for my spirit through friendship. - Sheena Yaitanes, founder of Kosas

running in ocean, morning rituals of successful people

Movement rituals 

  • I love starting my day with the Tracy Anderson workout. When I’m done, if I have time, I dry-body brush and get into the shower. After that, I do my morning skincare routine. Then I drink my 32 ounces of celery juice. - Miranda Kerr, model and founder/CEO
  • I go for an hourlong walk in the mountains where I live, during my baby’s nap. It’s a time where I clear my head and find stillness. I’m in nature, which is a really important part of my day. - Kimberly Snyder, author and founder/CEO
  • I wake up at 6am a couple times a week to do yoga or Pilates for an hour. My baby wakes up at 7 am, so I breastfeed him in bed—it’s the best!… Somehow I manage to make my daily raw vegetable juice (kale, celery, green apple, lemon, and beets if I have any), shower, smooth on all my potions, get dressed, and race out the door. - Megan O’Neill, Goop editor
  • I wake up, listen to a subliminal, walk my dog, drink lots of hot water, eat some breakfast, and get some kind of movement in. - Aishwarya Iyer, founder/CEO of Brightland