A Better Way to Practice Morning Routines

Tre GammageBlog, Reflect Better, Self Care Better


  • Taking time for yourself, journaling, and establishing routines with goals and priorities are great ways to take care of yourself.
  • Put together a plan for successful routines.

Tre recently joined Rae and Brad on the Sunday Weekly Warm-up to discuss adult SEL.

Click here to watch!

Have you heard of the meditations of Marcus Aurelius? A series of personal writings from the Roman Emperor nearly 2000 years ago! 

His private notes and views on philosophy were later published and brought a super cool perspective on documenting history. 

Aurelius wasn’t writing for anyone but himself, with no intention of publication; yet the truth, depth, and contemplation of the World Leader provide tremendous takeaways.  

Time with yourself is a must!

As Tony Robbins puts it, 15 minutes of fulfillment, 30 minutes to thrive, or an hour of power every single day. Preferably early in the morning, but it could be late at night or on your commute to work. Whenever you can find the time. 

Writing in a journal is documenting your legacy and family history.

We have a responsibility not to the world right now but to our family for generations. We have access to many tools that can help us document our life so that our grandkids or family members in 100 years can listen to our podcast, take one of our courses, or read one of our journals. The time you take to document your journey is creating a legacy and blueprint for those who come behind you. 

Morning and evening routines keep you grounded.

This means less stress. And the more honest you are with yourself, the more honest you can be about the world. 

So, let’s talk about morning routines. Personally, I’ve been an athlete all my life so 5:30 and 6:00 AM workouts were a regular for a decade. When you wake up that early, you’ve got to be prepared the night before, or it’s going to be a rough morning.

What’s valuable about the morning is that ideally the rest of the world is still asleep, and you can spend some time with your own thoughts. And if we are being honest that can be rare. With AirPods, streaming, and a lot of remote work, there’s always some type of stimulation holding our attention.

The time you take to document your journey is creating a legacy and blueprint for those who come behind you. Click To Tweet

Here are some questions to consider when creating your morning routine:

  1. What time do you need to wake up to have at least 15 minutes for yourself? 
  2. What time do you need to go to bed to wake up on time without hitting snooze too many times?
  3. Is there anything you can do before bed to prepare for the morning? (e.g., lay out your workout clothes, check your calendar, and map out the day)
  4. When planning your days focus on the top 3 priorities that will make your day a success by the time you go to bed. 

Now let’s actually talk about the routine.

Just the word routine might offend you because you can’t be put in a box, or you’ll get tired of doing the same thing every day. Maybe only certain types of people practice routines, or you know what you need to do so writing it down isn’t necessary.

The truth is morning routines can be flexible. My goal is to complete my morning routine 4/7 days a week. I know that after Thursday, I need a break. And since I’ve tried 5 or 6 days a week, I recognize that doesn’t work for me. So I create routines that do. 

Routines aren’t stagnant. They can change with the season. I’ve found that there are times of the year (football season) when I tend to stay up later, so I wake up later. And there are other times of the year (not football season) when I go to sleep early and wake up early. 

Activities You Can Do for Morning Routines

There’s a rotating list of activities that are available in my routines. What activities should be a part of your routine?

Here are some activities for your morning routine.

Pray and/or mediate.

Morning prayer is a great option, as well as sitting in a massage chair in the dark and letting your thoughts flow. I do both! 

Stretch and/or exercise.

Tis not the season for morning exercise, but in the summertime, I’m all about it! Stretching can be an excellent way to wake the body up. 

Take a shower, hot or cold.

Your choice, but another great way to wake up, fast. 

Plan your day.

Create a list of your top 3 priorities, and make sure your schedule is documented for the day. 

Spend time with family.

After my power hour, I enjoy getting my son ready for daycare, and blocking out an hour when I can to spend time with him! 

Drink your coffee, eat your breakfast.

I’m more of a late breakfast guy, but I like morning tea. And this is just another good way to take time for yourself

Find a place to be alone, and put your phone somewhere you can’t touch it.

How long can you go in the morning without the stimulation of your phone? A true test of discipline. Try your best not to scroll until you finish your routine. 

Write in your journal or planner.

I use both—a planner for my months, weeks, and days, and a journal to document my thoughts like Aurelius (over 44 journals and counting!). 

Take care of your top priority.

What’s the most important thing you can get done before anyone wakes up?  This will take so much pressure off of your day, even if it’s just preparing to do the thing. 

There are so many options, so I’d give it about 90 days to figure out what works, and then continue to evaluate your routine every 30-90 days. The last piece I’ll add is to track your most important habits. 

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I like to keep track of:

  • How many days a week I do my morning routine (Goal: 4 days each week)
  • How much time I spend working out (Goal: minimum 150 minutes or 4 45-minute workouts)
  • When I go to bed on time, and when I miss a meeting (Goal: bed by 11:00 PM and awake by 5:00 AM)
  • Checking my calendar nightly & making it to all of my meetings

Create a morning routine to match the 90-day goals you set in discover your potential: an educator’s guide to 90-day goals. This will lead to a big difference in productivity, confidence, and fulfillment.

It takes work but like Jim Rohn said, “Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better!” Lastly, here’s a link to the 90-day goal-setting download: Discover your potential. 

About Tre Gammage

Dean of Students & SEL Consultant, Tre’ Gammage has always had a passion for helping others. With a vast background in speaking, podcasting, and consulting, Tre’ was once told “when you see someone living their dream, it makes you want to be a part of that dream” and he’s been living by that motto ever since.

In 2017, Tre’ started The Gammage Consulting Group, An Adult SEL Focused education consulting firm helping K-12 school communities support teachers’ social-emotional competence to impact students’ social-emotional and academic outcomes.

Tre’ believes in making it easier to do what you love, your job as an educator is to prepare the next generation for success. Having strong Social & Emotional Intelligence is foundational to impacting student outcomes.

To learn more information visit seleducators.com or listen to The Dash Podcast on Youtube, Itunes, Spotify.