Before 9

How to Show Up for Yourself First Thing in the Morning

4 min read

Essential Takeaways

Our series Before 9 explores the early morning routines of inspiring women, in their own words. Follow along for the hacks, habits, and tidbits that set them up for success during the rest of the day.

  • As the founder of My Fab Finance, Tonya Rapley empowers millennial women to demystify and take charge of their finances. She also recently became a new mom, and has used her platform on social media to educate on motherhood and maternal health through the lens of her own experience.
  • In our series Before 9, Rapley offers a look inside her morning routine—and reminds us that if nothing else, the early hours offer an opportunity to embrace our most authentic self.

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What does it really take to lay the groundwork for success? You might say that Tonya Rapley has built a career around answering this very question. As the founder of My Fab Finance, Rapley has made it her mission to empower millennials to take charge of their bank accounts, bridging the gap between finances and self-care. And after giving birth to her son last year, she decided to broaden her influence to cover topics like maternal health and all the ups and downs of motherhood.

So much of what Rapley teaches—whether it's the basics of investing or the financial realities of having a baby—can be boiled down to one basic truth: that no matter our goals, it's up to us to ensure that our daily decisions are serving the future we envision for ourselves. That starts from the moment we wake up—so it only felt right to ask Rapley how she spends her morning hours.

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We're kind of our truest selves when we first wake up.

"I think that we show up as who we naturally are first thing in the morning, before we have interaction with anyone. You have to ask yourself: Is this [the person] you're showing up as throughout the day? How is it working for you?

"For me, the morning is also my opportunity to center myself for the day. I cleanse my thoughts from the day before, check in with my body to see how I'm showing up and just take in life. I watch my son sleep peacefully; I look at my husband. I sit in silence and allow myself to observe and just be. That said, I don't necessarily believe the morning sets the tone because I believe that we have the power to switch the tone if needed."

I'm not about routines, but I am about getting sh*t done.

"I personally am terrible when it comes to setting routines, but I am excellent at tackling tasks and getting things done and that's what it boils down to. It's about knowing what you're good at and what you're not, and seeking support or tools to help you get better or do better with what doesn't come naturally to you. When it comes to habits and/or actions related to my finances or not I always ask: Is this helping me achieve my goals and serving my greater good and the greater good of humanity?"

"You have to ask yourself: Is this [the person] you're showing up as throughout the day?"

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That said, I do have a few morning rituals.

  1. "Opening my eyes and sitting in gratitude. Giving thanks for everything around me and allowing my mind to be still. I've found that stillness is the most important thing for me as a person with a busy mind.
  2. "Drink water. I used to be terrible at drinking water and then I got pregnant and drank it regularly. I'm more intentional now about this and flushing my body and nourishing it.
  3. "Breastfeeding my baby. This is honestly one of my favorite parts of the day. It is our special time and me doing something with him that only I can do. I value and honor my breastfeeding journey and ability.
  4. "Checking in with my team via Slack. This is when I look for any messages I missed the day before or just make sure there aren't any fires I need to put out before easing into my day."

As a new mom, breakfast doesn't always happen.

"I'm usually plant-based, so breakfast is some combination of plant-based foods whether that's oatmeal, potato cakes or sautéed greens. But if I'm honest, breakfast doesn't always happen every day—it depends on what kind of mood my baby is in. Sometimes I take a shower instead of eating because yeah...mommy can't stink."

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