I used to listen to podcasts every day but when I stopped blogging, this stopped too. I’d forgotten how great they really are! I loved the conversation and all the weird and wonderful things you could learn.

Thankfully my husband, Mike, made me listen to this James Altucher podcast last month. Since then I’ve been avidly listening to the rest of his shows and finding them really motivating. Each one seems to inspire me to write.

find your conversation

I tend to listen to podcasts whilst out walking the dog (hence the massive coat and headphones) or when I’m driving

Two weeks ago it was Sara Blakely (owner of Spanx) who rocked my tiny mind with her ‘I’m an awesome dork’ attitude. It got me to open up and write 8 things that have happened. I’m still cringing from that post but “embarrass yourself and fail often” were key features that stuck out from the Sara interview.

Yesterday, the thing that got me thinking was “what is my conversation?” from this interview with Annie Duke: The Fastest Way to Become an Expert at Anything.

After making a grand (humour me) re-entrance into the world of blogging and declaring I’m back! I’m left wondering but what am I back to do? What is my conversation going to be? In fact, to prove my point I posted this on instagram…

The kids are back to school (see my excitement brought to life in my stories) so everything is back to normal…sort of! Still no heating but we do have water (last night I had to make a cup of tea using melted snow ⛄️ ☕️) and thank god for electricity!! *touches wood* But now what?! I’ve got used to loads of distractions and endless monopoly. I’d like to write but I don’t know what about. I found this brain dump from back in November when I first thought I’d like to blog again but I just don’t know. I guess I’m just scared – I had a great reaction to my first few posts, and I feel like I’ve got nothing else to say. What I really need to do is start! Even when I do have a plan my posts always end up as something else anyway 😂 If there’s anything on this brain dump you’d like to read/hear about, please let me know in the comments below 👇 a little bit of direction would be very helpful right about now!

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Ironically, Annie says the fastest way to learn anything is to admit you don’t know.

So, there you go.

I DON’T KNOW!

I don’t know what I’m back here for, and I don’t know where my real passions lie or what I have to offer to the world. But, thanks to Annie and Sara I do know what success looks like now…learning what my conversation is!

Previously success was stats, ‘likes’, comments, money… and lots of external validation. I have discovered the hard way that external validation is a shortcut to Les Misérables land.

Find your conversation

So, I’ve created a mini life plan for how I intend to find my conversation:

  1. Trying new things – whether they succeed or fail is by the by, it’s all about learning what rings my bell and strikes a cord with others (in that order!)
  2. Embarrassing myself – hand in hand with trying new things. It’s undoubtedly going to be embarrassing but who cares, right?!
  3. Increasing my learning opportunities – the more things you suck at, the more likely you are to learn from them. And, if you find something that you don’t suck at, learn from that too – what could have made it even better?!

For me, this is in the context of this blog/my online presence but it could be related to anything new that you are trying to work on.

Sifting through the crap

With the kids being off school last week (Snow-mageddon)  I was really excited for Monday to come around – some time to myself to get on with stuff. Of course, by about 11am I was panicking about what ‘stuff’ I should tackle first!

When I used to work for the University, my job wasn’t stressful and I loved when I got to travel. I found train travel especially relaxing. I was already doing something – going from A to B – so therefore, I could look out the window, listen to music, think, etc. I loved it.

I realised this morning that having my family around me is much like train travel. When they are here I am already doing something. I’m entertaining, keeping alive, feeding, cuddling, disciplining, loving, playing, dragging out for fresh air, etc.

I generally feel content and relaxed when they are around…because I’m free to be in the moment and metaphorically stare out the window if I want because I’m already doing something.

When they go back to work and school, I panic!

Poo, I should be doing stuff.

Boring stuff like cleaning the kitchen, working out, sorting through the accumulated piles, putting a wash on…and so on.

The options are limitless and overwhelming so I often finish the day feeling like I’ve accomplished absolutely nothing and feeling bored.

My 2018 Hopes

Whilst having my 11am what should I be doing? panic, I found my Hopes For 2018, which I wrote during a quiet moment on holiday before Christmas (I removed myself from the hotel room to sit on my own looking over the pool *signs*).

It was 4 things that at that moment were the most important things in my life.

Here are my 4 hopes for 2018…

1. Freedom… from fear, boredom, shame and all the other things that drove me to drink too much. Over the last 5 months I’m learning why I drank and what I need to be happier. Taking risks, being creative, spending time being a dork is all very important to my mental well being. Without it, I hurt and want to binge drink!

2. A beautiful home… This is a scary one for me. One of the main reasons I stopped blogging was because I didn’t know how to communicate with my online friends that we now live in a bloody massive house. I feel like I don’t deserve it and worry that it will alienate me from my friends.

So, naturally I alienated myself in advance by stopping blogging and I’ve been sabotaging our attempts at having a lovely home since. There is a whole post about this waiting to be written, I’m sure… but for now in coming out to you, I’m hoping to give myself permission to enjoy our home and enjoy sharing the process of doing it up and making it beautiful.

my conversation - Georgian House

3. A baby… I hope we can add an extra Parker to the family and now my coil has been removed, we’re at least a step closer. This is another scary one and I worry if I can cope with all the demands a baby will put on me but… I made through the last one (it was only a 5 year recovery time. Lol!), so I’m ready to do this…

4. Hot Bod… Inside and out. It kind of annoys me that I’m always banging on about my body but I’m not happy with it! I think it’s related to both my self esteem and my happiness levels, so if I can improve those things I can vastly improve my body. My theory is:

hot mind = hot bod

I’m happiest when I’m trying new things, learning, thinking and getting creative. When you’re busy being awesome (even if it’s just a party in your own mind!), it’s a lot easier to get motivated to look after yourself. Everything is linked.

my conversation - hot body cycle

Hmmm… I think I may have inadvertently written my conversation right there in my hopes for 2018.

Re-reading those hopes suddenly brought clarity to the overwhelm – if you want to know what to do with yourself, focus on what is most important TO YOU.

It’s the old 80/20 rule. Spend 80% of your time on the things that will bring joy, happiness, fulfilment and what makes you happy. You can wash the dishes in the other 20% of your time!

Since I’ve started blogging again (and all the social media trappings that come with it), I’m feeling like my days are more productive, which in turn has a lovely impact on my mental health.

I enjoy the process of writing a blog post and learning how to string my ideas together. Then I stick a wash on.

I enjoy listening to a great podcast and learning new concepts that will help with my blogging thought processes. All while walking the dog.

I even enjoy learning how to use instagram stories (a great example of how long I’ve been out of the game and of embarrassing yourself!) and seeing what others are doing with it. It might even motivate me to clean the kitchen. Don’t want my followers realising thinking I’m a messy bugger!

>> If there is anything from My Hopes that you are particularly interested in hearing more about, please comment below!

Focus

Finding peace and our own conversation is about narrowing down the millions of options and FOCUSSING on what is really important.

{If you want a great book to read on this very subject, I’d highly recommend The ONE Thing by Gary Keller}

You know I love bullets so this is how I hope to make it work for me…

  1. Focus on my 4 Hopes – I’m so happy I found my 2018 hopes! It’s reminded me what I most what to work on (80% on this, 20% on everything else).
  2. Happy Routines – I want to spend time creating happy routines that will allow me to focus on my 4 hopes. I find it much easier to feel productive if I have something akin to a checklist. The more you do something, the more it becomes a habit! 
  3. Learning – when I move towards learning and away from external validation, that’s where the real success lies. What can I learn today? should be my moto for life and happiness.

And, I’ll say it again…

Hot mind = hot bod!

Do you find that when you are happy, you are more motivated to exercise and the more you exercise the happier you feel? Or is it just me?!

I’d love to hear about your hopes for 2018!

And, what habits and routines do you have in your day that make you happier?

Please comment below 👇 or come and have a chat on the Mums’ Days facebook page.