ABOUT: Power Hour by Adrienne Herbert is a lifestyle book about focusing on your goals and transforming your life. It advocates waking up earlier and using the first hour of your day to concentrate on pursuing your dreams – whether it’s writing a book, starting a business, or training for a marathon. Filled with information about the habits of highly successful people and different techniques to help identify your passions and purpose, it rests on the simple premise that everyone has the power to achieve whatever they want.

RATING: As an aspiring novelist, I often complain about my day job and not having enough time to write my book. Therefore, when I was contacted about getting a #gifted copy of Power Hour, I decided to lean into the concept and take it seriously. Although the book didn’t teach me anything radically new, it did encourage me to think about my goals and how I could work towards them in a more consistent and focused manner. So, I’m writing this review after a week of waking up early and trying to make the most of my power hour, and so far, it’s working. I haven’t given this book a star rating because it’s non-fiction but, seeing as I’m currently practicing what it preaches, you can’t get a better review than that.

GOOD BITS: This book isn’t a magic bullet that will fix your life. You need to read it, absorb it, and mostly importantly, put it into action. However, I will say that I found it very engaging and easy to read, which helped me believe in the concept. In particular, the prologue is very personal and allows you to understand the author’s background, which made me believe in the process. Overall, it was quick, clear and gave me some actionable tips to help me complete my novel and submit to agents by a self-imposed deadline.

To illustrate this, I’ll share my current morning schedule as learned from the book.

7.30am: Wake Up: Absolutely no snoozing the alarm, brush teeth, drink water etc.

7.35am: Journaling and positive affirmations: Adrienne advocates six questions to ask yourself before six in the morning, but I’m doing three questions before eight…

7.45am: Stretches, youtube video or walk round the block: I was a gym-bunny pre-pandemic so getting back into a small workout routine helps my mood, particularly if I go for a short run outdoors.

8.15am: Write: Pretty simple, I need to write and edit the damn novel.

9am: Eat breakfast, shower, start work etc.

NOT SO GOOD BITS: Firstly, I wish there were more practical tips, such as examples of positive affirmations. Secondly – and this is a really tricky one to explain – I think there are a few potentially damaging points about mindset and willpower. This is in no way intended by the author, but I can imagine if I read this book when I was younger, I would’ve latched onto some of the points to justify destructive behaviours (e.g. rules about only walking up stairs and escalators, rather than standing still, can easily become obsessive / putting barriers in the way of reaching for unhealthy snacks). This isn’t a criticism per se, but I guess I want to warn anyone who is reading this review and could latch onto this book as a way to reinforce negative behaviours. This is a book for people who want to get the most out of their lives and achieve a specific goal, but it does not mean you should beat yourself up for not doing these things. This book is not a reason to set yourself made-up rules to test your willpower. I think anyone picking this up needs to be relatively secure and come to it from a place of loving themselves, rather than feeling negative about themselves and as if they need to change because they’re not good enough.

OVERALL: Throughout the pandemic, I’ve slowly slipped into waking up at 8.45am, pulling a jumper over my pyjamas and switching on my work laptop. This means I haven’t been exercising or even leaving the house some days. I know this has had a negative affect on my creativity and it’s easy to just put off my life goals for a magic “later” that will never come. So, if you identify with me and need to be spurred into action, then I’d recommend you read this book. The Power Hour has helped me get into a routine, which is giving me more energy and more space for my personal achievements. It’s making me healthier and happier, so maybe it will do the same for you?

This book was gifted to me by Hutchinson Books, an imprint of Penguin RandomHouse in exchange for an honest review.

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