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Healthy Living

Every Morning Is A Fresh Start For Kristy Wallace

How the CEO of Ellevate makes it happen in the a.m.

Do you spring out of bed, ready to start your day or hit snooze over and over again? That Morning Person is HuffPost’s attempt to make sense of mornings by peering into the routines of others.

As CEO of Ellevate Network, Kristy Wallace is on a mission to close the gender pay gap and help women succeed in business.

It’s no secret that America, which ranks 45 out of 144 countries for gender parity in the workplace, could make some serious improvements.

One reason? Fewer women are working, and the number of women in senior leadership is dwindling. That’s where Wallace and Ellevate ― a global professional women’s network that boasts tens of thousands of community members ― come in: They work to get more women to join boards, take on senior leadership roles, get involved in politics, start businesses, raise funds for
companies and receive equal pay.

Wallace’s resume is impressive, for sure. But one of her most noteworthy feats is raising three kids, ages 8, 4 and 2, in Brooklyn, New York’s Greenpoint neighborhood.

“I grew up in a tiny New Jersey town and the thought of moving to the city was very intimidating,” says Wallace. “Now that I’m here, I’m never leaving.”

Having a family also enabled Wallace to become more invested in her local community. “Even in a big city, there’s always a village supporting
you,” she says.

One way she manages her hectic schedule is to completely embrace the early hours of the day.

“If I’m able to accomplish a lot early in the day, I have so much freedom
later to work on projects that I’m excited about,” says Wallace. “I’m sure I drive my kids nuts in the morning because I’m always singing to them or being silly, but I rarely wake up in a bad mood.”

Why so happy?

“Mornings are fresh starts, new beginnings,” she says. “There is a whole day stretched before me with which to do amazing things.” Talk about morning motivation.

Take a peek into Wallace’s Brooklyn start …

What time do you get up in the morning?

I typically get up at 6:30 a.m., but this varies based whether one of my kids was up during the night (I may sleep later) or if they wake up earlier than 6:30. I’m not a great sleeper and if I’m up in the middle of the night, my mind is immediately flooded with ideas. I’ve been practicing mediation to help clear my mind during these times and it has been helping!

Snooze button: Hit it or quit it?

I’m a total morning person and can wake up as soon as my alarm goes off. Nighttime is another story. After 9 p.m., I’m useless.

What do you wear to sleep?

I would love to say that I wake up in something sophisticated, but it is typically a T-shirt and shorts.

What’s the very first thing you do when you get up?

I always look at my phone. I know, bad habit, but I do. I’ll check my emails, catch up on social media and sometimes meditate or read a book. While I have no problem waking up, I always need 10 minutes of “me time” before starting the day.

Exercise in the morning: Yay or nay?

I walk to the train every day (about a mile), which is a great way to get in some exercise and catch up on my favorite podcasts.

What’s your go-to breakfast?

Eggs and avocado or broccoli rabe.

Coffee or tea?

Coffee! And lots of it. I love cold brew. I typically have a box of Wandering Bear in my fridge that I can tap before heading to work, or I’ll stop by Champion (my local Brooklyn coffee shop) as I walk to the train. Ellevate’s offices have cold brew on tap as well, so I’m never far from caffeine. I drink my coffee black and typically have two cups a day. I try to abstain from coffee after 12 p.m., so that it doesn’t impact my sleep.

The biggest difference between your mornings before and after having kids?

Before kids, I could wake up and be out of the house in 30 minutes. Now it takes 90 minutes. I love every minute though, because I really enjoy being with my kids and the mornings are always full of silly comments and fun conversations.

Fill in the blank: My ideal morning consists of ______


Mornings As A Parent