Dr. Tim Clinton: Well, greetings everyone, and welcome to Family Talk, a division of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. I'm Dr. Tim Clinton, and thank you for making us a part of your day. If there is one thing Dr. Dobson's been known for throughout his career, it's encouraging and defending the American family. Well, today, we have a very enlightening and beneficial interview for all moms out there, and dads too. If you love kids and want to strengthen your family, then lean in. My special guest is Hannah Keeley, a highly regarded and sought after Mom coach in America.
Her work is founded on God's Word and has been featured on The 700 Club, Rachael Ray, and PBS. Hannah has a degree in psychology from Furman University and has worked as a behavioral therapist. She's a parenting expert and a board certified life coach, who combines her faith and psychology to help moms create radical transformation in their lives. Hannah is married to Blair, and together they have seven children. Here now, is part two.
Hannah, coming out of the holidays, the mom fog stuff is real. So is dad fog, but we all thought we could recharge over the holidays, but here we are. What if there's a big fog, Hannah? Especially when you least expect it, that post-holiday funk type stuff. How do you recapture your energy, your focus, your purpose, when everyone seems to be vying for your time and attention? Your kids, your husband's parents. You get it, Hannah.
Hannah Keeley: Yeah. Yeah. Tim, it's funny that you mentioned we get back to it and we think we're going to come back recharged. When in the history of history has that ever happened? It's kind of like needing the vacation after the vacation. You come back really overwhelmed because what we're coming back to, for moms especially, is a whole bunch of stuff that was not done when we decided to take time off. And not that we can't take time off, we should take some time off and just rejuvenate. But we have to understand how to get back to it in a way that doesn't leave us feeling overwhelmed.
Because you see this huge mountain of tasks. Wow, I wanted to declutter and I didn't do it. I wanted to get my meal planning, I didn't do it. Okay. Let it all go. Let's just start right now with what's in front of us. And you've heard divide and conquer. That's a mom's best friend. Let's just divide it up and let's conquer one thing today. If there was one thing that you could do and say, well, I accomplished something. Even if it's just make up your bed, that will send you enough positive energy so you feel good about yourself, because you can't do anything feeling overwhelmed. You just sink into a black hole.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Hannah, practical tips here as we go. A number of them in the book, that I love. And let's start with turning your excuse into your reason. I heard John Gordon say this all the time. "You've got to move in your mind from, I have to, to I get to." Does that fit in this lane right here?
Hannah Keeley: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I remember for the longest time ... and I'll just dish some dirt on myself, Tim. I remember saying, well, I can't get the house clean, I have seven kids. It's just too much to do. Or I can't eat healthy because I had to feed my whole family. What if I took that exact same thing that I was using as an excuse, and I turned it around and gave it a positive energy. What if I said, you know what? I must keep my house in order because I have seven children who are looking to me and learning how to create structure for their own life. I must feed my body in a healthy way because I have a whole family to feed and I want us to thrive and be full of energy.
What if we could use the same thing that we use as a crutch, throw it away, and use it as something to propel us forward. It's really not that hard. Whatever you're using as your fallback, see how we can actually be that thing to push you forward.
Dr. Tim Clinton: That's a mental health concept of reframing. You've got to readjust your mindset. If you don't get that piece done, you're going to be swimming upstream, as they say. Hannah, I love this one. You recommend that moms, quote, "Change the body." Now listen, everybody can do this. Hannah, explain it to us.
Hannah Keeley: Okay. I'm going to challenge moms right now. Whoever's listening, I'm going to challenge you right now to do something absolutely crazy. Here's what I do a lot of times in my coaching, is a mom is so familiar with her surroundings, she gets stuck in her energy level. Usually it sinks because we have energy gravity as much as we have earthly gravity. So energy can just naturally sink, we don't even realize it. So I want you to do something today to completely shake things up.
I have had moms go outside and yodel at the top of their lungs. I've had them turn on music and jump on the furniture. I've had them get on their kitchen counter and do the Twist. I've had them do these things to shake up the energy level. Because if you change your body, you will change your state. If you change your state, you will change your mind. And we know as a man thinketh, it's so is he. As a mom thinketh, So is she. When you change up your state, you're going to start changing up your life. It never fails. Challenge ... I'm going to challenge you. Try it. You don't believe me, try it and see what happens.
Dr. Tim Clinton: A lot of people listening probably are thinking, if I was able to accomplish one or two of the things that I hear every day that I need to fix, man, I guess the world would be different. You know what? If you would just get one or two things going, Hannah, right?
Hannah Keeley: Right.
Dr. Tim Clinton: It starts having a domino effect. For example, when you get out of the bed, make the bed.
Hannah Keeley: Yeah. Not hard.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Hey, I learned that in the military, by the way. You better get that bed made. And by the way, a nickel better bounce on it. But Hannah, there's something about that. And I wanted to pause right here for a second, as we've continuing through this, these little practical tips that you've written about, but that does matter.
Hannah Keeley: It really does. Tim, it matters so much, but here's the deal. I need everyone to understand that most effective strategies are going to be the ones that are the most counterintuitive. You will not feel like making up your bed. You will not feel like eating healthy. You will not feel like talking softly to your children when you're getting mad. But if you already knew how to do it, you would have it done. So understand the most counterintuitive measures are usually the ones that are going to be the most successful in our life.
And since when do we have to go by feelings? I mean, feelings are not facts. Feelings, change. They come and go. So let's not serve our feelings or let our feelings master us. Let's master our feelings, tell them what to do. We can change our feelings if we could just realize, I don't want to do it, but I'm going to do it.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Get rid of the busy bee syndrome. I like that one, Hannah. How do we get this messed up? Because it ... I remember Anne Graham Lotz saying this to me. "Tim, if he doesn't make me bat, he'll make me busy."
Hannah Keeley: Wow. Wow. So powerful. I don't know where we learned to be busy, but I believe it's just from looking around us and thinking that what we see is reality. When people are getting all this stuff done. Maybe they are, maybe they're not. But if we subscribe to someone else's idea of their life, we've just stepped into busy. And when you step into busy, that is the use of your energy. And where are you putting it?
Sometimes I feel like when moms, especially, I see them just choosing busy over just being present. And when you're busy, you're trying to somehow operate in pride. So you're saying, look at me, look at everything I'm doing. I'm important. I'm getting stuff done. But are you getting the most important things done? Are you building your family? Are you building your life? Are you being present? Are you operating in intentionality and appreciation? Because busy doesn't do much except just motion.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Yeah. You write that moms also should ... this is wild. Develop a mundane action plan. And then you say, put together a daydream plan, and then marry them together. Tell us the significance of that, Hannah.
Hannah Keeley: Oh, totally. I call it the MAP, M-A-P. It stands for Mundane Action Plan. Here's the thing. Sometimes we don't want to do things because they're not exciting, or they're not thrilling. It's not fun. It's not new. Okay, right. We make up our bed every single day, hopefully. So what if we just operated in the mundane and just executed it so that we know we are establishing a foundation, a productivity? Not to be busy, but to get those mundane routines down.
Now, here's the deal. We think they're mundane. I remember this one woman writing in and she said, you call it a Mundane Action Plan. But ever since doing my MAP, I call it the Magic Action Plan because I am getting so much more done than I was getting done before. Only because, she said, these are my routines. I'm just going to do them, and then see what happens. And what happens is, all of a sudden, she was able to contract time and open up more space for her family and the things she truly wanted to do instead of the distractions.
Dr. Tim Clinton: You know what I remember about my mom, Hannah? People would call these mundane things, but they were significant to me. Of all the things that she had going on and how busy she was ... and by the way, I have seven other siblings. Five sisters and two brothers, as we talked about before. But Hannah, she always made our beds, you know that? It was interesting. And she always folded the towels in a threefold and stacked them. But it's interesting. That is wedged in my mind. Which, by the way, said something to me about her commitment to all of us, and it made me want to serve her back. Does that make sense?
Hannah Keeley: That's so beautiful. Well, think about something. You can't get much more mundane than laundry. And I remember every day when I would fold the laundry, I would take my two youngest girls and put them on the bed where I would fold the laundry. And I would tell them stories. I would just make up stories about them being princesses and living in a magic land, as I folded the laundry.
I got the laundry folded, but what happened in their lives, to this day ... they're young adults. And they remember these magical stories and being transported to an entirely different kingdom. I was just folding the laundry, Tim. But I was creating something in my children's lives that they'll have for the rest of their lives.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Yeah. By the way, it's a job that comes with not a lot of accolades or affirmation. But boy, oh boy, it goes deep into the hearts and lives of her children and her children's children.
Hannah, this piece here ... I want to wrap up. You spend a lot of time talking about God and relationships. At the end of the day, that's all there really is. Dr. Dobson's known very well for saying, "In life, it'll trash your trophies. Focus on who you love and who loves you." That's what it's all about. Vertically between you and God, and horizontally between you and those closest to you. That's what really matters.
Hannah Keeley: That's so true, Tim. And when you think about it, if you could just sit and think about the things you're most grateful for. Go back to those moments when you felt so much love, so much appreciation, so much gratitude. I guarantee you, those were the moments that were shared with other people. And we forget about it. We get distracted.
And I think that's what the enemy wants us to do. He wants us to get distracted, so that we don't fulfill our purpose here and build the relationships and be that vessel of love that God wants us to be. But I guarantee all the significant moments in your life, you can always trace it back to relationships.
Dr. Tim Clinton: You told a story about getting out of the car, I think at school. Your dad wouldn't let you get out of the car until you recited back to him something that he had learned that really changed his wiring, that got wired into you. Can you tell us about that? Because I thought it was really, really good.
Hannah Keeley: I could tell you that in my sleep. It was every single day going to school. Sometimes I'd be mad. I'd sit there, cross my arms. He would not let me get out of the car until I said, "Anything I can vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe and enthusiastically act upon, must inevitably come to pass." I would sometimes say it through my gritted teeth. But that got programmed into me. So here I am as a mom, overwhelmed, but something rose up.
Anything I can vividly imagine. Anything I can ardently desire. Anything, if I sincerely believe it. And if I just operated that enthusiasm, because enthusiasm means that we are in line with the spirit. If we are enthusiastic in our action, that massive action is going to come to pass. So even if we don't see it immediately, we know we're on the right track. And I'm telling you, the most toxic word in a mom's vocabulary ... you said it. Is tomorrow.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Tomorrow.
Hannah Keeley: I'll do it tomorrow. No you won't. It's just a way to negotiate with life. But we create whatever life we tolerate. Whether our toleration level is here or here, we will get whatever life we tolerate. So now if we raise up our toleration level, say no, no. I'm not going to tolerate anything less than this out of me, because I know God in me, I'm unlimited. So now what is the next step I must take with enthusiasm that I can put into play right now?
Dr. Tim Clinton: Hannah, you tell moms to develop a vision board. I thought it was really fascinating, because you're right. Write the vision plain so that everybody sees it, and they can get after this. And you say post it everywhere you can. Make it a part of your wiring.
Hannah Keeley: Yes. Here's the problem with vision boards, Tim, is most moms, they'll go to a vision board party, or they'll make a vision board. And it's like a craft, it's like arts and crafts hour. And then they're like, "I know I put that vision board someplace. I think it's behind my sofa." But here's the deal. That's pointless. Save the sequins, save the glitter, save all the things. All you need to do is put it into play. Make it an instrument, make it a tool. Have that vision board, and I would ... I do what I call is a vision touch.
So, every morning as part of my routine, I just say, thank you, God. Thank you, God. Thank you, God. I see it. I put gratitude towards it. I'm grateful that God has given me the vision. Because He gives us that vision, and when we embody that, we allow it to come to fruition in our life. God says, "Open wide your mouth and I will fill it." Problem is, a lot of moms are going through life really tight lipped because we're not expecting anything greater than what we have now.
So, get the vision, make it big, put it in front of you. So even when you're running around, like a lot of moms do, we can't overlook it. Every morning, touch it and praise God and thank Him for bringing it to pass in your life. And all of a sudden, you see opportunities you never saw before. You have new strategies you never knew you had. Because you've opened up the gates that only vision will do in your life.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Hannah, you're very clear on this journey of quote, "remapping everything." So your mission becomes important. Your mindset ... we hear a lot of people talk about pay attention. What you're paying attention to. Put a MAP out there, get your momentum going in a certain direction. Hilarious stories throughout this book. I love the one about you going to the hot yoga class and it was insane in there. But learning to meditate, then clearly focusing your mind on things that are above. And not just clearing your mind, but focusing on those things that are above and getting yourself into a place where ... the manifestation of it all comes to a place where you're in community and you have friends around you and so much more.
Hannah, what's the end result for a mom who takes a first step and she says, I've been waiting to do this. I've tried so many times. I want it to be different. I'll do anything. Hannah, bring us home. Tell us exactly what she can expect when she encounters Mom Fog and this whole mom fatigue syndrome and this whole journey to a new way of living, a new life.
Hannah Keeley: Yeah. Yeah, Tim, it's so amazing. And here's the answer. Wherever she's willing to put out that expectation. It is amazing because every time I get to a new level, God's like, oh, this ain't it, baby girl. Let's keep going. And so I think for a lot of moms, we're like, you know what? If I can just pay off all my debt's, awesome. If I could just get my house organized, awesome. Maybe that's this level. But as soon as you get there, you've been living here so long, you're naturally going to move up to that.
And it's funny because when we start putting that vision before us ... I've worked with a lot of moms and they're like, "Hannah, this is crazy. I'm taking things off my vision board so fast." I've been working with one mom and she had on her vision board, six properties. They wanted to have six properties, and here's the deal. They were over $3 million in debt. So they had a seven year plan, right? Seven years, they were going to pay off that $3 million and they were going to get six properties. So she put that vision before her and she started praising God for it. She started working through these strategies that are in Mom Fog.
And she ... on a call she said, "That seven year plan turned into seven months. We had the properties, we had paid off the debt, and now we're accumulating more wealth." Seven months, Tim. So here's the deal. When we start, we don't have to put a timeline on it. We just have to put all the passion toward the vision and the faith and knowing that God knows how to get us there. We don't have to know. But often we go into Google syndrome. We go to Google before we go to God and we think, well, let me just find out how to do this. Let me Google it.
But I always think, I don't have to know how, because I know who. God has a million ways to give me the house I desire, to give me the career, the ministry I want to grow, the relationship with my children. He has got all of it. I just need to operate in faith and do the next thing. And He, in his love and compassion, is not going to make it difficult. Think about it. You're a great parent. Would you ever make it difficult for your children to obey you? We make it easy, right?
We're like, no ... okay. I remember the first time I started teaching my seven kids. Taught them all how to make up a bed. I went and put this amazing dust ruffle and all these fancy pillows. And make sure you put your fitted sheet on it, then the flat sheet. And then make sure you pull this cover up to here. No, it's like, dude, get a fitted sheet and a comforter. You did it. Yes, celebrate. That's what a good parent does. They make it easy to be obedient so they can feel the rewards of their effort.
And our loving Heavenly Father does the same thing. He doesn't complicate it. He doesn't make it hard. Jesus said, you know what? Take my yoke upon you. Not this hard pressing yoke where you have to figure out how and you have to know all the strategies. You have to sweat it out. Put my yoke upon you. It's easy. It'll give you rest and recreation for your soul. And our soul is our mind, our will, our emotions. And when we start doing things the way God wants us to do things, it's going to happen. 100%, it's going to happen.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Hannah, in your bio, it talks about you being America's Mom coach. A lot of our listeners are going to say, how do I find out more about Hannah, and what kind of services does she offer?
Hannah Keeley: Oh, my goodness. Well, we are coaching moms every single week inside Mom Mastery University. You can just go to mommastery.com. It's an entire university. We have, actually, over 500 coaching sessions. So whether it's overwhelm, anxiety, or you're just trying to get your kid potty trained, we've got the coaching for every aspect of motherhood. I love working with moms, we have coaches in there working with moms, constantly.
It's really just a great place, also, to get support. Because you're not supposed to be a lone ranger mom. You're not supposed to do this by yourself. We're made for a community. And we need that support from other women who are, kind of like the women you want in your corner. The women who, if you're in a dark alley, you want them with you. If they have to snatch off the earrings and take off their heels to support you, they're going to do it for you, 100%.
Dr. Tim Clinton: I love that, Hannah. Our special guest today has been Hannah Keeley. Her new book, Mom Fog: Eight Steps to Overcoming Mom Fatigue Syndrome. Hannah, I'd like to end this way. I'm envisioning a mom listening right now. She's turned the dial up. She has a few tears in her eyes. She's been trying really, really hard. She's not sure anybody gets it or understands, but she heard someone today who knows the journey. She just wants to be free.
What's your closing word to her? What's the one ... Hey, you're the coach. You've had this conversation, how many times over? What's the one thing you got to get right?
Hannah Keeley: Baby girl, everything has led you to this point. That's why you're hearing this right now, because God has been with you through every step. He's seen your heartache. He's seen your struggle. He's seen your need. Even when everyone around you doesn't understand, God did, and that's why you're hearing this. And right now he's saying, build your hope up, build the dream up. This is the starting point. It's not over. This is the beginning.
Everything that has happened in your life, if there's been trauma, if there's been heartache, if there's been pain, it has led you to this point so that all of that can be seed that is put in the ground. That way it's going to give you a harvest that is going to leave you in awe at the goodness of your Father. Trust Him. If He led you here, honey, He's going to lead you there. Don't doubt it for a minute. Do the next thing. Believe in yourself, build your dream up. Take the next step. You got this, because He's got you.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Hannah, it's like game day. It's go time. Let's do it. Mom Fog: Eight Steps to Overcoming Mom Fatigue Syndrome. What a gift to us all. Hannah, thank you for joining us here. On behalf of Dr. Dobson and his wife, Shirley, the team at Family Talk, we salute you and thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us here on Family Talk.
Roger Marsh: And this concludes part two of Dr. Tim Clinton's conversation with one of America's most popular Mom Coaches, Hannah Keeley. We hope you found this to be an encouraging and useful conversation. You can learn more about Hannah Keeley or access the entire two part interview when you go to drjamesdobson.org/broadcast.
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