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05th May 2017

Why starting your day an hour earlier will revolutionise your life

Our frenzied lifestyles can make it difficult to find focus and prioritise tasks.

We live in the busiest of worlds where demands on our time and energy are through the roof. The most common trap for us all is becoming a ‘spectator’—watching and participating in the lives of everyone and everything around us but feeling like we aren’t moving any closer toward what we truly want.

Thankfully Irish fitness coach, Pat Divilly, is sharing with us his expert advice on how to reach our goals and spend our time wisely.

And he says that most of us can benefit from making a move from spectator to ‘creator’ – aka deciding what’s important and moving meaningfully in that direction. It sounds simple and it is. But like many things that are simple… it isn’t always easy!

Here are Pat’s words of wisdom…

Taking control of a morning routine can be one of the fastest ways of revolutionising your day, but before we even start there it’s worth thinking about how you plan your week.

Thirty minutes on a Sunday spent planning the week can take away immense overwhelm and really put you in the driver’s seat. Decide what it is you want to accomplish for the week in the different areas and then schedule them in as workout sessions you want to complete, friends and family you’d like to see, work projects that need to be done, or hobbies you’re committed to.

Outlining what your priorities are is how you learn to really create what you want in life. Many people have a list of what they would say are their priorities but their days are spent doing anything but. It’s easy for it to happen, another week passes by and the week gets the better of us, leaving us no further toward our goals.

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I’ll spend the first four sharpening the axe,” Abraham Lincoln

Now this Sunday planning session might seem a bit OTT or unnecessary but it’s helped me double the amount I get done in a week and halve my feelings of being overwhelmed. Rather than falling into ‘busy fool’ mode I know what I’ve got to get done day to day.

With the Sunday planning session in the bag it’s worth looking at your morning routine. Getting up an hour earlier will change your life! That’s a big statement, but consider that this will give you an extra 30 hours in the month, almost a 40 hour work week!

So what ‘should’ be done as part of this hour? It ultimately comes down to what you are trying to work toward personally.

Here are the key elements I’d encourage:


When you get up and move you wake up. Seems simple but how often do we roll over and press the snooze button only to wake up feeling more tired? As you get used to the earlier morning hop out of bed remember to move! A 20 minute walk can be an incredible start to the day too.

Leave the phone off:

This is magical! Many of us have checked the phone before we event get out of the bed—we’re checking in with other people’s lives and haven’t even checked in with our own. Leaving the phone off for the first hour of the day will change your life.

Note your priorities:

Not 300, just three! That squares to 90 steps toward your goals each month. Write down 30 things on your list and you’ll find yourself avoiding the real tasks that move you forward and leave you feeling guilty as your list grows longer each day. Three steps a day forms a compound effect and leads to increased confidence.

Practice gratitude:

Start your day thinking of at least three things you are grateful for. Spectator mode that I talked about is a case of looking at bodies or lifestyles on Instagram and wishing we had that ‘perfect’ life too. The contrast to this – creation mode – is appreciating what you do have and knowing you can bring about more when you remove expectations and add appreciation.

We’re constantly being sold formulas, potions, pills and ideas that promise a better life. Ask yourself: where am I trying to go in life, and how can I move one step closer today? I promise investing in yourself for 1 extra hour per day will change everything.
Keep moving forward!

Pat Divilly.

Pat Divilly will be among the panel of speakers at the Bord Gáis Energy Business Conference in The Clayton Hotel, Galway on Thursday May 11. For further information please see