How to Walk Away from the To Do List – with Jen Riday


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I start this episode with some ideas about something I call a ‘Why Not List’. Kind of like a To Do List, but infinitely more joyful. Because if you’re like me, that relentless taskmaster is always keeping score of what we get done.

So this is a sweet way around that heavy burden.

I’ll also be interviewing popular happiness podcaster Jen Riday on this hot topic: ‘If mom ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy’ …

Jen reminded me of this old phrase in telling her story. She’s a mother of six (yes … six!) who does not send her children to daycare. And yet she still has a flourishing career as a happiness coach and podcaster. So how the heck does Jen do this?

The key, she says, is getting clear about the things that are important to us. After getting her PhD, she had a clarifying thought: “How would I like my children to remember me? Will it be as a frustrated, grumpy mom with a big to do list … or will it be as a move involved, more present parent?”

So Jen’s self-care efforts shifted accordingly. This included no longer baking six to twelve loves of home baked bread per week, but instead, spending more quality time with her kids. And still keeping her head on straight with hot yoga and all sorts of self-care. Which is exactly what made me want to speak with her!

Here’s what I learned from Jen:

  • Multi-tasking … does it hurt or help happiness?
  • Words that keep teenagers in line …
  • The one moment practice that can help you get back to peace and serenity
  • How connecting to a Higher Power supports letting go
  • Achieving the balance between doing and being
  • How children keep you grounded in reality
  • How our values intersect with our happiness
  • A useful exercise for defining your values
  • What strong boundaries are and how to keep them
  • How do our schedules get so out of control
  • The best 5 minute mood-bosting exercise that exists (even for your kegels!)
  • How she knew she needed greater self-care


Jen Riday is the host of the Vibrant Happy Women Podcast, and speaks and writes about how women can find greater light and meaning – regardless of their circumstances – through meditation, listening to intuition or a Higher Power, letting go of the “shoulds” and filling their cups. She believes every woman on this planet has something special to contribute to the world and will be happiest when she is living true to her purpose.

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