Do you see all of these self-care challenges on Pinterest, but none of them seem to be what you need entirely? Then this challenge is for you because you create it! This self-care challenge is a step-by-step guide to creating your self-care challenge that fits your needs most.
This post may contain affiliate links.
I love making challenges, particularly self-care challenges. Still, it occurred to me that the challenges I create use only my ideas and completely neglect the thoughts of those who are completing the challenge! Maybe my ideas work, but the chances are that I am missing something valuable and unique that only you can bring to the table. Without further ado, let’s make you the best self-care challenge you’ve ever taken part in!
Make A Self-Care List
Every good challenge starts with a list, no matter what the topic is. For this challenge, I’d like you to start by making a list of things and activities that you enjoy, that make you happy, or that soothe you. There are NO rules to this list, make it as long or as short as you’d like and include whatever you want! I spoke to a group of my colleagues, and we put together a small but decent list of ideas if you are feeling stuck!
A new fragrance (maybe a new one each week or month?)
Upbeat, love, or empowering music jam (in the car or at home)
Schedule 10 minutes of “me-time” either before bed or in the morning
Now that you have made your list of possible items, you need to pick a time frame. How long will your challenge last? One week? 12 days? A month? Three months? When deciding your length of time, be realistic. If you plan for more than is practical, your challenge will most likely fail! Another thing to keep in mind is that it takes about 21 days to create a habit, so if you wish to build a regular self-care practice, start small and work toward a 30+ day challenge! Another thing to keep in mind is that your self-care does not have to end when the challenge does, keep re-creating challenges, or re-using old challenges to continue further!
Now that you know how long it will last, you can start assigning your list to the days of your challenge. It is not uncommon to assign an activity to a specific day (ex: day 1: take a bath, day 2: light a candle). However, I highly recommend picking the date you will start your challenge and start assigning the activities to the actual date (ex: March 1: take a bath, March 2: light a candle). To make this easier, I created a document to help you plan out your challenge!
When you are assigning these activities, do not shy from using activities multiple times or not using everything on your list! Utilize the activities that you are most able to complete on that day. You could assign the more time-heavy activities to weekends or days you do not work.
Complete Your Self-Care Challenge
Now that you have created and planned out your challenge complete it! This is the most important part of the process! Go through your challenge and learn from it. By the end of the challenge, you’ll have a better idea of how to create future challenges and improve on the one you just made! Don’t be afraid to make changes as you go, sometimes things just don’t work out. Shorten, lengthen, or change up your challenge to make it most productive for you!
Get The Create-Your-Own-Challenge Template When You Sign Up Below!
My Self-Care Challenge
For the purpose of this post, I decided that I needed to create my own self-care challenge too! I am moving, and I plan to start this challenge the first day in my new apartment! I also decided that my challenge would be a 2-week challenge or 14-days. Check out my finished challenge below!
With every new year comes new goals and hopes to achieve these goals. Unfortunately, many of us create goals that never get completed. Why is this? One reason you might not achieve your goals is that the way you wrote it is too vague, not realistic, or has no deadline. This post is all about how to write effective goals that you can achieve. This post may contain affiliate links.
Learn how to write Long-Term Goals HERE or Learn more about SMART Goals HERE.
Define Your Goal
The first thing you need to do when writing effective goals is to define the goal. What do you want to achieve? This is the easy part—getting your idea written down. However, there is more to a goal than just writing it down. Your goals need to be specific, measurable, time-sensitive, achievable, and realistic.
Make Your Goals Specific
An effective goal is a specific goal. If you do not clearly define your goal using measurable terms, you will be less inclined to complete it. Your goal needs to be so specific that it might involve smaller more specific goals to achieve the overarching goal. Read more specifically about these smaller step ladder goals here.
Make it Measurable
An effective goal needs to be measurable. This means that you need to define how you will measure your goal. Are you measuring your goal by smaller tasks or deadlines within your large goal, are you measure with time or an amount? No matter how you choose to measure your goal, measure it.
Set A Realistic Deadline
If your goal does not have a due date, you will feel no pressure to complete it. How can a goal be effective if you are not motivated to complete it by a specific time? Make sure this deadline is realistic and that you have used the specifics and measurements define above to create your deadline. Having a realistic deadline can make a goal that might otherwise not be effective.
Is Your Goal Achievable and Realistic?
How likely is it that you can reach your goal by the dates you have set for yourself? To determine achievability, you must be honest with yourself. It’s common that our expectations are unrealistic, thus, making them unachievable. We get excited and don’t think about how our goal will fit into daily life. It’s often the issue that we set a date that is too soon so that we feel overwhelmed. It’s also common that we set dates that are too far away and we put off achieving our goal, leaving it to the last minute.
Effective goals written in this format are commonly known as SMART goals. They are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-sensitive. Follow this format, and you are sure to have an effective goal!
Now that you know how to write an effective goal, sit down with a pen and paper, and create your goal!
Whether it’s a whole room in your house or apartment, a carefully proportioned square in an office building, or something in between, odds are you’re spending a substantial portion of the day in your office. Because of that, your office space – like you – has a lot of work to do. It has to be a productive space, but also one that inspires, keeps you healthy, and is generally as pleasant to be in as possible.
There’s no reason to spend 8 hours a day in an unpleasant space. So, if you feel like your workspace isn’t all it should be, read on to find out a few areas you can look to for improvements.
Hang It Up
First things first: No matter how big or small your office is, one thing you’re always in absolute control of is what’s on your desk. And if that’s a bunch of clutter, it could actually be hurting your productivity. Learn more about decluttering your desk here.
One way to fix that is adding storage, of course. But if you’ve got limited space, and no room for shelving? Try hanging things up – keys, headphones, and similar items can go straight onto hooks. Get a hangable container for your pens and other writing utensils. Anything that helps you get the random items off your desk immediately improves your workstation.
Write It Down
In some ways, this is a lifestyle change. I won’t spend a lot of time convincing you; I remember a time in my life when I laughed at people for being so organized to carry a planner. Now? My planner never leaves my side. Let me at least say this: Writing things down gives your important tasks a physical space and keeps them from zooming around in your mind all day.
This is another simple upgrade because it’s hard to start writing things down if you don’t have the materials. And those materials come in many forms: a planner, a calendar, sticky notes – it’s all a matter of what works for you.
Feel like you’re wasting paper?Try a whiteboard for your lists. There’s nothing more satisfying than erasing items one at a time until everything’s cleared.
Add Some Life to Your Office Space
This isn’t an organization technique – it’s a way to improve your mental state. You could take this literally, and grab yourself a potted plant. If your office lacks much light, a shady plant is great – alternately, it’s hard to kill a cactus.
Of course, pictures take a lot less effort. You could hang up scenic photos, an image of your favorite painting, or even a movie poster of one of your favorites.
Adding life could mean adding bits of your own life, too. Try dedicating a space in your office to some personal effects. Photos of hobbies, a statuette of a musical instrument you play. For me? It’s a small shelf just above my desk with a handful of my favorite novels that I’ve read dozens of times.
Get creative with your space, and it’ll be a much nicer place to be.
Still don’t like the idea of standing? You can at least make sitting healthier and more comfortable. If your back is hurting while you work at your desk, it could mean you’re not sitting correctly. Sitting properly depends on a number of factors, and it can at least be partially addressed by getting a better chair. So, make yourself comfortable in your office – it’s good for you.
Is your office space hurting your productivity? Pick at least one of these simple upgrades to implement into your own office!
Meet the Author
This post was written by Issac, a Director at 3 White Hats, a New Zealand based online marketing agency.
I have been there…heck, I am still there! College is hard! The constant, never-ending piles of homework and assigned readings. It’s nearly impossible not to get behind! Plus, you’re always feeling sleep deprived and exhausted from pulling those all-nighters. College is hard, but it can be made super easy by following these Tips to Surviving College!
Get Enough Sleep
Believe it or not, all-nighters aren’t all that helpful. When you’re sleep deprived your brain functioning decreases significantly and your metabolism slows! This is especially important during finals, everyone is feeling the need to stay up all night studying. But If you begin studying enough in advance (keep reading to learn more about this), you will be able to get enough sleep to be fully functioning come test-day! Nothing is worse on test day than being sleep-deprived.
“Sleep is essential for optimal learning and memory function.” -Harvard.edu
I know, I know, you’re poor, I was there. I understand you must eat on a teeny-tiny budget. Just make sure you’re eating! Don’t skip any of those key meals. Be sure to get a good breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Prepare a meal that you can eat on the go the night before if you know the next day is going to be busy. You can also save money on meals with meal planning and coupons.
“Healthy eating has been linked to higher grades, better memory, more alertness, faster information processing…” Livestrong.com
Avoiding meals or eating primarily junk foods can significantly hurt your learning and your mood. So make sure you are eating and eating well!
Avoid Binge Drinking
The typical “college experience” includes partying, sure, go for it (YOLO, right?). NO. Drinking not only drains your bank accounts but it leads to poor decisions that can and will affect your schooling! I’m not saying you can’t go out and have some drinks with your friends every now and then. But, if you are doing it all the time your school work will suffer, your health will suffer, and you’re spending a lot of money on alcohol that you could be spending on REAL FOOD.
So, this goes with healthy eating and the financial topics I talk about below. Partying all the time does you no good if you are at school to get a degree (and if you don’t wish to gain a ton of weight, yeah, alcohol can cause weight gain). If you’re partying all the time, sleep deprived, and inevitably stressed from being poor and far behind on your work, obviously, your body isn’t going to be in very good shape. And if your body isn’t doing well, neither are you. Take care of yourself.
Try to avoid binge drinking, it’s not good for your college survival.
Having a social life is important, if you’re isolating then you are bound to burn out faster. Resilience. Resilience refers to a person’s ability to bounce back from traumatic or difficult situations. One way to help build your resilience is to have friends. I’m not saying you must go out and find a ton of friends (you can if you’d like). But really all you need is a couple close friends, people to count on and who count on you. Having a place to belong is super important!
Be careful, if you’re only socializing and you never study, your grades will suffer.
Build your resilience to difficult situations, make a friend. #Friendship
I cannot stress enough the importance of time management! Without time management, you are more likely to forget about assignments and be generally stressed out and behind! Having good time management can help you to not only feel better but to raise your grades as well! Track your time for a week and see where you are spending your time!
“Time=Life; therefore, waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life.” Alan Lakein
Get a Planner
Using a planner is a great way to practice time management! Use a planner to track your assignments, events, set aside study time, track your meals and water intake, track your habits, and be prepared for upcoming tests and projects! You can also track group assignment meetings, club meetings, and anything else you are involved in! I highly suggest creating a Bullet Journal, check out these printable planning pagesandhomework trackers to help you out!
As soon as your textbook lists become available, email your professor to make sure those are the required texts, then get them! Coming to the first few weeks of classes unprepared will set you back! No one likes playing catch up, you’ll never feel like you are ahead of the game.
Once you’ve bought them track them! Keep a spreadsheet detailing the book’s information so that, come to the end of the semester, you will know which ones are rentals and when they are due. Plus, if a book doesn’t show up, you will have all the information you need handy to get a free replacement!
I absolutely love this website and I recommend it to everyone I know who is searching for textbooks. This website automatically compares pricing on textbooks all over the internet to help you save money. This website saved me hundreds! (Not Sponsored)
Once you’ve typed your ISBN number or a keyword or phrase into the search bar, you get to choose how you want the book (Rental, New, Used, etc.). Then it’ll lay out all the sites you can buy the book from and the price! How easy is that??
Do Your Homework
Once you’ve got your time management all settled, you have your books and your assignments all figured out, you have no excuse for not doing your homework. Doing your assignments is literally the easiest way to ensure a passing grade. You can’t fail if you do everything that is asked of you! Chances are, you will do pretty well!
Simple as that!
You don’t have time to read every single reading assignment in detail, I get it. So instead, learn how to skim. This can take practice, but I am sure you’re already a pro.
Always refer to the discussion questions and key learning points presented at either the end or the beginning of the chapter. These will give you an idea of what you are about to read and also give you information to focus your attention on. If your professor gives you a set of discussion questions or an assignment, thoroughly read the instructions and questions before delving into the chapter. Again, this sets you up to read the information with a goal.
Pay close attention to the beginning and ending of every paragraph, as well as anything underlined, bolded, italicized or in a bubble on the page.
And Lastly, TAKE NOTES! Taking notes while you are reading is a sure-fire way to improve your learning. Simply writing down the section titles and subtitles, along with a few key points, definitions, or some of your thoughts will increase your attention to your reading. This, in turn, helps you to memorize the information for the test later!
Do Your Work at the College Library
Sometimes the most distracting place to do homework is at home… Whether you live in the dorms, an apartment, or with your parents, you are more likely to watch Netflix or spend countless hours on your phone when you are at home. Doing your homework in the library lessens the chance you will be distracted and you will get a lot more done in a shorter period of time.
If you don’t have access to a library try designating a spot in your house for work only. In this spot, you cannot watch TV, sleep, or lounge. Having an area that is only for school will help you to sit down with the mindset that you are working, and help to lessen distractions.
Start Studying Early
You don’t need an all-nighter to be prepared for a test if you’ve already been studying! Doing a little bit of reading or note card review every day starting at least a week in advance could be enough to prepare you for the test!
Study while you are waiting in line at the grocery store or while in the waiting room at the doctors. Doing this instead of browsing Facebook will increase your chances of passing!
Being prepared for a test feels way better than cramming the night before, promise!
Get a Study Buddy…. Or Two!
Studying with other people is so great for learning because teaching is a really great way to reinforce memorization. Plus, if you are stuck, maybe your buddy can help!
Not only are study buddies great study resources, but they keep you accountable. Accountability is huge. If you have no way of holding yourself accountable for doing your work, why would you do it? Now maybe your parents or the teachers keep you accountable. Nevertheless, it’s nice to have someone there to work out the difficult problems with. Plus, maybe you’ll make a friend while you’re at it!
Take Advantage of College Writing Centers and Tutors
Your school provides resources such as a writing center and tutoring services for a reason, USE THEM! There is nothing to be ashamed of, everyone needs a little help sometimes.
If you are struggling with one of your classes, get a tutor. A tutor is someone who has been in the class or knows the subject particularly well. Why wouldn’t you want the help of an expert?
Writing centers are also amazing resources. Every student at one point has to write a paper or two, it’s inevitable so you might as well accept your fate now. No matter how skilled you are at writing papers it is always smart to have someone (or multiple someones) read your paper for errors, structure, flow, etc. The people in the writing center happen to be particularly knowledgeable in writing. They can catch those pesky mistakes you keep reading over, and the ones you don’t know your making. Make an appointment and have them read it! What can it hurt?
“Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it means you’re smart enough to recognize when you’re struggling.” Elizabeth Ghekiere
As I mentioned before, writing things down helps you to learn and memorize information. Even if you have access to the notes online, taking your own notes is a form of studying. So, by taking notes you are becoming better prepared for the test.
Taking notes in class is huge because many professors add questions to the test that are based on lectures instead of just the reading, assignments, or their provided notes. Forcing yourself to take notes also forces you to pay attention and you are less likely to wonder, “Did we actually learn this” when it comes to test-day! There were so many times in my undergrad, where I would hear other students complaining that the teacher didn’t teach the information that was on the test. However, I would look at my notes and see clearly that it was a topic of discussion. Paying attention and taking notes helps!
If you are stuck or confused ask questions! Raise your hand in class, approach the professor after class or during office hours, ask the writing center, ask a tutor, ask a classmate. If you don’t know something, ASK, don’t leave yourself hanging.
So often I find myself confused or wondering something but am afraid to raise my hand and be embarrassed. This is normal. However, after forcing myself to ask questions I found that I felt more confident in both myself and my work! Not only did I feel better, but I was able to build really helpful relationships with professors and peers. These connections are incredibly useful in the future when you have more questions, or in the job-world when you need a recommendation!
“Don’t be afraid to ask a question, it might lead to a mutually prosperous relationship.” Elizabeth Ghekiere
Start Paying on Your Loans
I know, I know, you’ve been trying to avoid your loans, not pay on them early! But trust me, you will be saving your own butt if you start NOW! Even if you just try to keep up with the interest, you’ll thank yourself after you graduate! I started paying on my loans my freshman year and was able to pay off two loans completely before I graduated, leaving another two with only a couple hundred left. Crazy right!? I didn’t even make monthly payments. Imagine the damage you could do with monthly payments! Whenever you have extra money, throw it at your loans, you won’t regret it.
Avoid Credit Card Offers
Those pesky credit card offers will be the death of you. They sound intriguing now, and they try to tell you it’s the only way to accrue credit. But they are lying. I haven’t used a single credit card and I have great credit!
Credit cards are tempting because you’re poor in college, but unless you are able to pay them off RIGHT AWAY, you will only build yourself into a deep debt-hole. The deeper the hole, the harder it will be to get out of, and the longer it will take to get financially free.
Take All Those Free Pens
You just never know when you or a friend will need a pen, might as well take one…or three!
I hope these tips and tricks which helped me survive my undergrad are helpful for you! Enjoy what you’re reading? Sign up for a ton of FREE stuff HERE.
We live in a fast-paced society surrounded by incredibly busy people. And when you are an incredibly busy person, it is hard to keep everything straight. A lot of the time this internal chaos is the result of poor time management. This article provides 5 tools for improving time management.This article utilizes Amazon Affiliate Links
The first step in time management improvement is to get enough sleep. When you are running on less than the recommended 7 hours of sleep your brain isn’t functioning at its highest capacity. Because of this, you become more easily overwhelmed, exhausted, and lazy feeling. Learn more about designing your bedroom to get a good nights sleep here.
When you are able to get 7 hours of consecutive sleep you will feel amazing! You will be more capable of handling the crazy chaos each day brings.
#2 Daily To-Do List
There are a million ways to improve your time management and one of the most common methods is a daily to-do list. While I prefer a planner with everything all laid out in one portable spot, a to-do list is super simple and easy for anyone to use.
A to-do list doesn’t have to be anything fancy or costly. All you really need is a pen and some paper.
When it comes to utilizing a to-do list, I recommend referring to it each morning. Before you get anything done, read over your to-do list and revise it if you need to. Now you know what your goals are for the day and you can get started!
My favorite time management tool is my planner! There are, again, a million types of planners. You can use a bullet journal, premade planner, notebook, or an app on your phone or computer.
The bullet journal is one of the most customizable planner options. A notebook is very similar though. If you choose to go the notebook route, then good for you! Each person is different and the important thing is that you find something that works for you and your needs.
The third option is a pre-made planner. There are a million brands and styles out there to choose from. Check out these planners by At-A-Glance, there are some great options!
I like myhomeworkapp.com because it is explicitly for homework and delivers customized notifications to my phone to remind me to get my projects done on time. Myhomework is also amazing because it works on both my phone and my laptop, providing me with access to my homework no matter where I am. Lastly, the myhomework phone app is amazing because it comes with a widget that displays my homework right there.
Google Calendar for Android is nice because it links right up to my google account making it accessible both on my laptop and on my phone. I used this app more before I discovered bullet journaling but still tend to keep it around for the reminders feature.
OneNote, like the other two apps, is mobile and laptop friendly. Here I can make quick notes or to-do lists from my phone when I do not have access to my bullet journal. I can then see these lists on my laptop.
With all your lists, to-do’s, and appointments in one place, you are now better prepared to take on everything the day wants to throw at you.
This next time management tool was already touched on a little bit, but I’ve decided to talk about it separately because of how useful it really is. Calendars provide a nice monthly overview and can include a variety of things and come in a variety of shapes.
Like I mentioned, I use my bullet journal calendar and Google Calendar for Android. However, my most-used calendar is a whiteboard. I’ve had my whiteboard calendar for so long, I don’t have a single clue where I got it. However, I was able to find a similar one, you can check that out here.
My whiteboard calendar is a life saver. I love it because it doesn’t waste paper, mounts right up on the wall with Command Strips, and can be easily accessed by everyone in my household. I usually put appointments, work schedule, and events up on this calendar, so it is less about detail and more an overview.
#5 Have an Organized Space
The final time management tool is having an organized space. If you are living in clutter, then you will feel cluttered. Having a space that is designated for your work and has all the supplies you require within reach is essential. If you would like to learn more about how to declutter your workspace head on over my 6 Ways to Declutter Your Desk Space post.
Meet Elizabeth! Elizabeth is the creator and writer here at Elizabeth Journals. In addition to creating for ElizabethJournals, she is a full-time graduate student studying clinical mental health counseling. She started Jihi Elephant to share her experiences, spread organizational tips, and promote positive living. Elizabeth is an avid bullet journalist, dabbling artist, and houseplant fanatic.
You can also read more about the origins of Jihi Elephant and its creator here.
ElizabethJournals is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
ElizabethJournals is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.