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Could the first hour of your day make all the difference?: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Want to change your life? All you need is one hour.
According to wellness expert Adrienne Herbert, introducing a Power Hour every morning allows you to focus on what’s important, set the tone for the day and make good things happen in your life.
It all sounds too good to be true, but Adrienne is the proof.
After trying for years to have a second baby and then suffering a miscarriage, she needed to focus on something else and when she was offered a place with Adidas in the 2017 Virgin London Marathon she jumped at the chance.
‘It was January and the marathon was in April, just 14 weeks away,’ she says. ‘When I said I’d “give it a go,” what I actually meant was, I would give it absolutely everything I’ve got and I’ll either succeed or die trying.’
But like anyone, finding the time to train when juggling motherhood and a busy career as a personal trainer wasn’t an easy task. So, Adrienne decided to set her alarm for 5.30am, to train for an hour before her son woke up.
‘This one hour absolutely changed my life,’ she says. ‘I found that the very first hour of your day is critical. It impacts your energy, mood and decision-making for the rest of the day, and I’ve become very intentional about how I use that time.’
After completing the marathon, Adrienne continued to use her Power Hour to create a better life and is now an international TEDx speaker, a global ambassador for Under Armour, and Director of Innovation and Performance at fitness app Fiit.
Adrienne says that taking on a daily Power Hour changed everything (Picture: Nathan Gallagher)
She launched her podcast, Power Hour, in 2018 — it now commands 10-15,000 listeners per episode and she’s hosted guests including Fearne Cotton, James Clear and Dame Kelly Holmes — and she’s just published a book of the same name, which she wrote during lockdown.
‘During that one hour you are reclaiming the most valuable thing you have in life… time,’ she says. ‘I wouldn’t say I have accomplished all those things solely in that hour, but it has created the framework for me to be able to achieve those goals.
‘There are always circumstances — a new baby, perhaps — where you can’t use the first hour of your day, but the same principles apply at any time.
‘However, it can be hard to cultivate solitude later in the day and the reason I find the first hour works best, is because the world is asleep and you can focus without interruptions and distractions.’
So, what do you do when you wake up? Scroll through social media? Hit snooze? If anything, the pandemic has given us the time to reassess and reflect on our lives and by waking up and dedicating your first hour to something meaningful, whether that a personal or professional goal, Adrienne says you will empower yourself to make a choice and take action.
‘It’s not about getting up at 5am and being crazy productive or running five miles before breakfast. It’s about mindset. Focus on your goals and create a life that you love. The mind is incredibly complex, but there are tools, techniques and daily practices that we can learn to help us on our journey to unlocking our full potential.’
It’s all about mindset, says Adrienne (Picture: Mikolaj Wawrzyniak)
Adrienne’s book is a useful guide to help you make the most of that hour and inside she shares those tools needed to improve your mindset, hone your habits and find focus and purpose.
‘One of the most empowering things I have ever learned is that I am responsible for my own life. The choices I make each day have an enormous effect on my health, relationship, career and also my wins and failures. A powerful habit will affect your next decision and many of our habits will create an onward spiral effect, for better or for worse. There is never going to be more time to start creating a life you love.
‘You have to make the time! Start today and dedicate one hour to making your personal goals a reality.’
Adrienne’s top five tips for creating a power hour
Assess your current daily habits
‘Figure out whether they are useful or not. Think of this as a Marie Kondo-ing your habit wardrobe. Recreate or replace them with new more powerful habits. Reframe any negative feelings about early mornings and remember that getting up an hour early is a choice, not a punishment.’
Focus on one project
‘It can be anything, a fitness goal, a career ambition or a passion project. You can do anything, but you can’t do everything in that hour.’
‘Start with your end goal and then reverse the steps that you’ll need to take to get there. Maybe you need to change your job, start working out or meet new people. Set the intention, and then use your Power Hour as a non-negotiable time to work towards those goals.
Sleep to win
‘Prepare for your Power Hour. Quality sleep is essential. If you are getting up earlier to Power Hour, you need to get to bed earlier, too. Don’t scroll on your phone, roll over and get some rest.’
Movement is key
‘Not just exercise. Movement is essential for both our minds and bodies and having regular physical movement — anything from running to yoga or dancing — will boost everything from self-confidence to stress management.’
Adrienne’s book, Power Hour, is out now, penguin.co.uk
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