hit tracker Change your life in the first hour of your day with these six simple steps – Newsmix.pics

Change your life in the first hour of your day with these six simple steps

IF you’ve ever moaned that there aren’t enough hours in the day, you’re not alone.

Nearly two-thirds of Brits have unfinished tasks on their to-do list, from decluttering to cancelling subscriptions.

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Making more of the first hour of your day might just be the health hack you need
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And a third say outstanding tasks are causing stress.* 

While you may have come to the realisation that maybe we can’t have it all, some suggest that by utilising the first hour of the day, we can achieve more than we think – and perhaps even change our lives. 

“Starting each day with an intentional routine is a wonderful way to build consistency and self-discipline,” says Adrienne Herbert, author of Power Hour: How To Focus On Your Goals And Create A Life You Love.

“This doesn’t necessarily mean working more.

“You could spend the first hour walking your dog, listening to a podcast or simply having coffee in bed.” 

Author and podcaster Hal Elrod turned his life around by harnessing the first hour of his morning, before writing the international bestseller The Miracle Morning.

“The economic crash of 2008 had a devastating effect on my life, cutting my income by half,” he says.

“By dedicating time each morning to personal development, I was able to foster a mindset of resilience, creativity and confidence, which led to new ideas and strategies that enabled me to double my income in just two months.” 

SHIFT YOUR FOCUS 

If the idea of finding another hour in your day sounds ludicrous, we get it.

“Many people tell us they’re constantly swimming against the tide.

“They’re often going to sleep with a mental list of what they didn’t get done that day,” says Dr Jenna Vyas-Lee, clinical psychologist and co-founder of mental healthcare clinic Kove.

“We’re living in a time where we are striving to have it all – a fulfilling career, families who are thriving, and to look and feel healthy.

“All of this takes effort, plus a huge amount of time and headspace.” 

Adrienne believes reframing how we view time is the key to making the most of it. “Time management is about priorities,” she says.

“The problem is that often we don’t know what to prioritise – we get so caught up in the day-to-day grind that we neglect things that truly matter to us.” 

The “most urgent” tasks usually take priority, but Adrienne urges you to consider what’s most important to you, too.

“By committing to that one hour, you’re creating a habit that reinforces a commitment to yourself,” she says.

“Over time, the hours rack up and this habit becomes ingrained, so you’ll find it easier to stay on track.”

WHY THE MORNING?

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Your morning sets the tone for your entire day and creates a foundation for wellbeing, says Hal Elrod
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There’s a reason why the morning is the best time for self-development.

“The first hour is usually free from interruptions and distractions,” says Adrienne.

“Hopefully, nobody is sending you emails before 6am and your family is probably still asleep – this solitude is rare to find.”

And it’s this peace that allows you to focus on goals. 

“I believe that taking control of your morning is fundamentally different from other health hacks, because it sets the tone for your entire day and creates a foundation for wellbeing,” says Hal.

“You start your day with intention and clarity, which has a ripple effect.

“Achievements, even small ones, mean you’re more likely to continue making healthy choices.”

HELP, I’M A NIGHT OWL!

Some people may struggle with the idea of getting up even earlier.

Hal, who was once a chronic insomniac, claims 75% of those in his Miracle Morning community used to identify as night owls.

The first 10 days of forming the habit are “unbearable”, he admits.

But it becomes easier, and when the benefits are realised, it’s hard to look back.

Getting up earlier may mean going to bed earlier.

Again, this may seem impossible, but it is doable over time.

Follow good sleep hygiene habits, such as eating dinner three to four hours before bedtime, avoiding screens an hour prior to bed and turning the lights down low. 

I DON’T HAVE A SPARE HOUR

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Making the most of even smaller amounts of time in the mornings could still have an important impact
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If you already wake up early, an extra hour can seem unachievable.

But in theory, you don’t need a full hour.

Start small – even six minutes instead of 60 is better than nothing, says Hal.

“Many of us tend to have an all-or-nothing mentality when it comes to how much time we believe we should take to do something,” he says.

“Investing more time in your morning routine is better, but if you can’t add an hour to your day, you still have the opportunity to start it right.

“On the other hand, 60 minutes may not seem like enough time.

“An hour doesn’t seem like much for big, long-term goals, but small habits repeated can have a massive impact,” Adrienne explains. 

START HERE…

The key to staying on track is to plan.

“Don’t wait until your alarm goes off to decide on what you’re going to do,” says Adrienne.

“Having a clear plan will give you direction and actionable steps to follow. Next, eliminate distractions – do not pick up your phone.

“Lastly, stay accountable – tell your partner or flatmate that you’re going to be up early. Even just saying it aloud can make you more committed and accountable – and they might even join you.

“On those days when it doesn’t go to plan, be kind to yourself and try again the next day.”

Alarm clocks at the ready! 

SIX WAYS TO USE YOUR HOUR

The acronym SAVERS details the six practices Hal Elrod finds most effective in maximising the effect of your hour. Try 10 minutes each, or whatever works for you.

Silence: Meditation, breathwork or simply sitting with your thoughts over a cup of coffee.

Affirmations: Phrases that encompass goals that you can recite daily to keep your focus.

Rather than simply: “I will lose 10lb”, affirmations should be as detailed as possible.

For example: “I will exercise four times a week because I want to be healthy for my children. I will make sure I do this by doing…”

Recite affirmations daily and amend them as you go, Hal says. 

Visualisations: This involves mentally rehearsing the steps you will take to achieve your goals and how it feels when you get there.

“We often avoid following through with our most important actions because they are either outside of our comfort zone, cause fear within us, or are simply easier not to do,” says Hal.

“Visualisation shifts your perspective from dreaming to doing.”

Exercise: Whether it’s a yoga sequence, stretches or taking the dog out, exercise “boosts energy levels, enhances health, and improves mood,” Hal says.

Reading: How long have you been putting off opening that self-help book?

“Incorporating reading into your morning routine exposes you to new ideas and perspectives,” says Hal.

“It’s a tool for continuous learning and personal growth.”

Scribing: Journal ideas, lessons learned, breakthroughs or simply get worries out of your head and down on paper.

“This practice enhances self-awareness and intentionality,” says Hal.

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