Hope Wissel, Unclutter Your Life

Get Happy!


Happy Monday morning!  I know many of you are dreading this day.  I mean who wants to go back to the J-O-B, right?  You got an extra hour of sleep with the time change this weekend so you should be relaxed and happy. I know it is a far stretch for a Monday morning but work with me….

Are you letting your emotions rule this morning?  Are the ruling emotions, the ones making you feel yukky or less productive?  I mean how productive can we really be when we feel yukky!

So,why not kick start this Monday with some things to change you mood, so you can “get happy.” Pretty much instantly.  Yes, even on a Monday morning headed to work.

Studies show we are more productive, create better relationships and have more success when we are happy. If you are struggling to be productive or to get the results you want, try getting happy first!

Try these life hacks to ‘get happy’!

  • Start your day happy.
  • Do something first thing in the morning which makes you happy.
  • Dance to your favorite music
  • Talk a walk
  • Spend time with God
  • Exercise
  • Smile

What starts your day ‘right’? images

Take a time out.3802280a

Finding yourself frustrated, angry or down? Stop and do something to ‘snap you out of it’.
You will be far more productive if you stop and ‘get happy’ than if you try to slug on through.

Check your environment.

Does clutter stress you out? Clear out one room and go there!
Did you know citrus, orange, lemon, and grapefruit, bring out positive chemical reactions in your brain? Try using essential oils in these scents. Put them on your pressure points or diffuse into the air. Go to the real thing, eat an orange and leave the rind on your desk.
If it makes you happy to be outside, move your phone and computer to the deck and work outside!  Whatever is making you uncomfortable, change it up!

Be around happy people.

Who makes you feel good whenever you are around them?
Be intentional about who you spend time with, and know who you can call to lift you up. Commiserating may seem like a good way to support others, but it won’t help them be happier.  Take a few minutes to create a happy list. These are the things you can do to “get happy.” When you are feeling unproductive, pick one and do it! Happiness is good for your soul.

So go ahead, get happy!

Have a ThirtyOne-deful day!



Unclutter Your Life

Let’s Conquer Mornings


WOOHOO! It is Wednesday.  Is today your HUMP day?  How is your week going – are you trying to do everything perfectly or have you adopted the themed611bf721ab94878a442585c3833400dAre you a morning person? Or does the thought have you running in fear?  I am sure I heard a few of you say ‘Ugh!’

I used to be a morning person.  One of those cheerful people who hopped out of bed at o’dark hundred ready to conquer the day.  Yes, I was much younger and drank massive amounts of coffee.  Then I got a little older, okay, a lot older, developed a few health issues and now, mornings are a struggle.

Despite sleeping in till about 6AM, I strive for a peaceful, purposeful morning.  I am no longer the one who flips on the TV to catch the news or has the radio blaring while I dance around the kitchen.  I am more into the peaceful, no noise, get up before anyone else kind of person.

These things have helped me on those mornings when I feel sleep deprived and the morning is just a necessary evil in my life:


#1 – Have a purpose.  First, on days you know, you will have trouble getting out of bed, go to bed on time so you get enough sleep.  I know it is tough with a thousand things you need to do but believe me you will find mornings a little bit more tolerable.  Then find something to look forward to every morning which will get you out from under the covers earlier.

Maybe it is drinking a cup of coffee while reading, journaling while listening to music, or listening to a podcast while taking a walk. For me, it is quiet time with my coffee and my devotions to set a positive tone for the day.

If you wake up just 20 to 30 minutes earlier then everyone else, you can squeeze in a few minutes of your favorite activity before the craziness of the day.  Help your kids start off the day on a positive note too with a fun morning ritual like reading part of a funny book or doing a few simple exercises together while listening to crazy music.  Maybe it will make mornings a little easier for them too.

#2 Plan Ahead

Remember your mom saying “make sure you lay out your clothes for the next day”? Wasn’t it a less stressful way to start your day?  When you prepare as much as possible the night before, mornings are little less crazy.  Lay out the kids’ (and your) clothes; write your top 3 to-do’s for the next day; make lunches; gather your purse, keys and everyone’s backpacks in a central location, etc. Think about what causes you stress or takes up a lot of time and take care of those tasks before going to bed.  Believe it or not, a few minutes spent each evening can completely save your sanity in the morning.

#3 Leave the Electronics Off

I hear the groans!  I know, this one is tough for me.  Give yourself time to wake up and focus on YOUR priorities before you allow the drama and problems of the world to invade your brain. Leave your computer and/or your phone OFF!  Don’t let your messages and emails control your day or your mood.  Start your day on a positive note and then you are ready to conquer anything that comes your way.


  • Wake up at least 2 hours before hubby (takes a little longer for brain fog to clear)
  • Drink lemon water
  • Have my coffee
  • Do my devotions
  • Check my plan for the day
  • Write my blog
  • Eat a protein-packed breakfast

I will admit, it isn’t always easy BUT I know when I stick to my morning habits, my day is so much better.  Thank you to The Peaceful Mom for these tips.

What are your best tips for conquering the morning?  Share them with us,  your best tip could help someone else.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Travel Tips

Let’s Have Picnic



Happy Friday…… I have to admit this is one of my favorite times of the year.  The summer crowds have left the Jersey Shore – well, most of the them, the humidity is gone and the weather is perfect.

Whether you’re looking to have some inexpensive fun with the family, or getting ready to tailgate while watching your favorite football team or looking for some quiet time with some one special…. a picnic is a great option!

Picnics come in all shapes and sizes and, honestly, there is no right or wrong way to do it. The best picnics seem to be the ones handled with a carefree attitude and positive energy. Hanging out with friends (or family)…on a blanket…eating your fave foods is supposed to be fun. Don’t worry about having a cute picnic basket (but a Thirty One thermal always helps).  Not sure what to bring? Don’t fret — food is food and it doesn’t need to be packaged in cutesy DIY wrapping. Picnics are — and should be — the most mellow, fun and relaxing way to hang with friends or family or solo, so your stresses drift away.

Here are 5 super simple things to keep in mind for your next picnic adventure.


Location.  I remember picnics in the mountains, next to highways, on large boulders, in the backs of trucks, and in tiny backyards. Translation: it doesn’t need to take place in a park or at some epic location. What I would suggest is the space accommodate the amount of people coming. Large parks and beaches are perfect for big groups, whereas just a few people can fit pretty much anywhere.

Food. You can be as elaborate as you want to be when it comes to food. I’m basic making sure I have something everyone likes.  There is always some cheese, seasonal fruits and nuts, a bottle of wine, chips and salsa.  However, summer salads, and deli sandwiches are great too!  For large groups, potluck is fun where each person brings their favorite dish.

Blanket. This is a must!  Of course, these days I usually am making sure there are fold-up chairs or a picnic table close by too.



Gear.  Maybe the “gear” with all the “right” picnicking stuff is not necessary BUT when you travel with a “bag lady”, you are sure to have lots of options.  You can get a “proper picnic basket” with matching essentials (plate, cups, silverware) or you can create your own.  Depending on what you pack for food, be sure to bring the appropriate tableware. But don’t forget cloth napkins, a cutting board, bottle opener, water, trash bags.

Games. What the heck is a picnic without games? Pack your favorite board games, cards, frisbee and book. Also, consider toting a camera and mobile speaker if you want music.

What else would you add to this list? Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!


Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Slow Down, You Move To Fast


Do you know what today is?  That’s right, it is HUMP DAY!  For me it means that I get to spend some time with hubby (who took the day off) AND to visit with some awesome women at Lydia Circle tonight.  I am also doing the last minute crunch as our cut-off for guaranteed Christmas delivery is tomorrow!  YIKES!  Gotta get those last orders in.

For many, it means that you are already counting down the days till the weekend, right?  So much to do and so little time.


“Can you believe it’s almost Christmas?” “Where has this year gone?”  With each passing year and as I get older, I feel like time speeds up. When I was younger, the days seemed to last forever? Back when I was a kid, my days were full — school, piano lessons, games with friends, playing outside, homework… maybe even an occasional nap. Now, I’m lucky if I get to even think about the idea of a nap.

So how, how do we get back to the days of fun without feeling the pressure of time rushing by? How can we feel fulfilled each day without feeling burnt out? How can we slow down?


Be self-aware.

There are moments when you find yourself all-consumed by a digital rabbit hole. You know – social media.  Or, maybe it is episode after episode of a Netflix series.  Then before you know it hours of the day are lost.  It’s sometimes healthy to zone out.  The difference is that we need to have the ability to choose to do something different with our time. Self-awareness allows us to savor our time, minute by minute.

Hustle, don’t hurry.

How often to you hurry from one place to another.  Maybe you are hurrying through your career, your relationships, past your accomplishments or even where you are at this moment. When we hurry, we tend to run past things because we’re so fixated on leaving our current situation. Hurrying is moving for the sole purpose of moving. Hurrying means running away. Hustle, however, means you’re running toward something. Hustle is applying yourself. Hustle has a lasting goal. There’s a fine line between the two, so it’s important to remain honestly self-aware.


Unplugging is important – it gives you a chance to detox from the static of everyday life.  Most of us don’t do this enough.  Work, bills, a packed social calendar, technology…it’s all day, every day, and it can take its toll. Take just ten minutes during the day to unplug from the static. Use that time to explore your heart, ponder your feelings, ask yourself honest questions, set your intentions…meditate. It will give you a clearer sense of self and slow your pace.

Take time to slow down not only during this busy holiday season but all year long.  The results will be AMAZING!

How are you trying to slow down?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!



Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel, Unclutter Your Life

Monkeys Gone Wild

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Does Spring and warmer weather bring thoughts of cleaning out?  You know “de-cluttering” all of that stuff that had been gathering over the winter.  Our garage is my “clutter spot”.  I can’t wait to get in there and clean out the mess.

Many would say that a cluttered space = a cluttered mind.  I would have to agree because when my office is a HOT mess – I can’t work or even think about what needs to be done.

I love this visual:

monkeys gone wild

Buddhists often refer to an overly-busy mind as the Monkey Mind.  Our thoughts become like monkeys gone wild – running amok, swinging wildly from here to there, with the occasional temper tantrum, and pout.  Why or how do we let this craziness happen?  Here are some reasons that we get “monkey mind”:

  • Unconscious procrastination (something we need to do but don’t want to)
  • Feeling uncomfortable, frustrated, or angry about a situation or project
  • Feeling overwhelmed (tons to do and simply doesn’t know where – or even how – to start)
  • Habit (it’s a coping mechanism)
  • The thing is, though, he recognizes that mental clutter leads him down this rabbit hole of stress and torment and away from focus, calm, and productivity.

Do you recognize when the monkeys have taken over and you are feel like you are in a rabbit hole of stress and torment?



So, how do we de-clutter our mind? Here are some tips:

declutter the mind

A great list of ideas but if you are like me the biggest obstacle is to “LET IT GO”.  Yes, I am sitting here humming the song to myself.  The key is that we need to de-clutter our minds more often.  As we approach the weekend with an endless list of chores, errands, incomplete work, or kids activities – take a moment to de-clutter.  Make a list of all that needs to be done.  Prioritize that list.  Novel concept – ASK for help (that is part of letting go).  Then be kind to yourself.  I mean what is the worst that could happen if something on the list doesn’t get done – BE HONEST!

Deep breathing, yoga, long walks, running, swimming, or even meditation are magnificent ways to de-clutter your noggin’.  This is also a great way to be kind to yourself.  You will be surprised at how much focus and energy you have when you take some time to gain perspective an de-clutter.

So, who is ready to de-clutter their mind before the weekend?  Share with us how you de-clutter or de-stress.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!