Start the new year right by introducing a ‘power hour’ into your day. It’s a term coined by fitness aficionado Adrienne Herbert and is all about reclaiming time for yourself. Here she talks about how it’s helped her achieve her goals and shares tips on how to have a successful power hour…
What is a power hour?
I created it when I was trying to find more time in the day. My son was five and I was working and training for my first ever marathon, so I thought if I get up an hour before my son gets up I’ll have an hour to train and focus on myself.
The message I want people to understand is it’s not about saying get up earlier or do more. There are so many demands on our time from the minute we wake up until we go to sleep and we are so connected all the time. The power hour is about saying you own your time and you can reclaim some of your time before you go into the day and give your energy to others.
It could be ticking off things and being productive but it doesn’t have to be. It might be movement, running but it could be a slow power hour with journalling or meditation.
Why is it important?
It gives you an opportunity to focus and say ‘what am I working towards?’ without just getting swept along. I love to make lists and look at my calendar and see what’s coming up. It’s not selfish to have an hour for yourself, it’s necessary more now than ever.
The pandemic has definitely brought people’s attention to both their physical and mental health. We’re not supposed to be in isolation from other humans and to be indoors like caged animals. If people can use that time in the morning to do something like going out for a power walk or listening to a podcast or a yoga flow it can set you up for the day ahead. It shifts your state and you feel like you’ve got a start to your day.
What does your power hour look like?
It starts at 5.30am, which people may wince at, but it’s when I can have time free from distractions. Firstly, I go into the bathroom and have a quick routine where I splash my face with cold water and do fast nasal breathing to get oxygen into the body. I then lace up and get my kit on and get out for a morning run, or if I’m not running I’ll do a stretch or a mobility flow. I then have a shower and then my son will be up, so it’s breakfast and the school run.
However, it’s not something that’s static and you create this perfect power and it stays the same every day. Some things can be malleable and change with the seasons or what you’re working on. For example, sometimes I also grab a journal and do a brain dump in the morning just to get thoughts out of my head. The one thing that remains though, is that’s it the first hour of the day and it’s intentional.
How has it helped you?
It’s changed my life more than I could ever imagine. Don’t underestimate the impact of small changes. It’s shifted my mindset to what I believe is possible for myself and my life. I never thought the things I have done would’ve been possible like running a marathon, interviewing one of my childhood idols on the podcast or writing a book.
Tips for a successful power hour?
1. Sleep to win
Sleep is essential and it underpins so much of our health. It’s not about getting up earlier and forgoing sleep.
2. Ease yourself in
If you are an all-or-nothing person you might want to go straight in with one hour every day. But some people might think it’s too much and start with a power hour once a week. Or they might start with 30 minutes every morning to ease them in. You need to set yourself up to win and don’t berate yourself if you slip up.
3. Eliminate distractions in that hour
Don’t pick up your phone straight away and check social media or go through WhatsApp messages.
What can we expect from your new book ‘Power Hour’?
It answers the questions I get asked all the time about how I manage my time and stay motivated. The intention behind the book is that it’s all very well feeling motivated but it’s not enough. You can feel motivated for five minutes, a day, or a week but you have to take action if you want to make a change in your life. It provides tools and a framework and something people can use to achieve their goals. It’s not just about the one hour, that hour is a catalyst for change.
Power Hour by Adrienne Herbert is available 31st December (Hutchinson, £14.99). Purchase here.
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