How To Keep Yourself Focused and Happy (Infographic!)

How are you?

The other day, I left my apartment in a good mood. I was heading to Starbucks to start my day with a caramel macchiato (obviously) and then back to my apartment to work on some blog things. After my 100-foot voyage from my apartment to Starbucks and back, I passed the security guard in the lobby of my apartment. She asked me, “How are you?”

Even though I was having a wonderful morning, I responded, “Ugh, stressed as usual. Just trying to get through finals!”

As I rode the elevator back to my floor, I tried to figure out why I had responded the way I had. Why did I say I was stressed? I had no work due, and was looking forward to a couple of days off before studying for finals would begin. Overall, I was in a great mood. I wasn’t too tired and I was looking forward to a day of blogging, which is something I really enjoy.

So why did I think I was stressed?

I realized that it had been awhile since I consciously checked in with myself. The preceding couple of weeks had been full of end-of-semester quizzes, homework assignments, and other obligations. I’d been pretty stressed out over it all, and when it ended, I’d failed to reevaluate. I just went about life assuming I was still stressed and overworked.

How crazy is it that I didn’t even know how I was?

I heard some pretty wise advice recently, and I’ve been wanting to share it with you all (I won’t take credit for it).

Once a month, check in with yourself. Actually sit down, pull out a piece of paper or a journal, and take some time to see how you’re doing and where you’re headed.

questions you should ask yourself

How are you socially? Evaluate how you’re spending your time. Are you spending enough time with family, friends, and your significant other? Are you maintaining healthy relationships with these people? Are these relationships bringing you happiness?

How are you academically/career-wise? What are your goals? Are you actually heading toward them? If not, devise an action plan to start. How has your academic/career performance been? Where can you improve?

How are you mentally? Are you stressed? Anxious? Are you happy? If not, why? What do you need to do to be happy?

I’m looking forward to having some time to myself this summer to sort all of this out. How are you doing in these three areas? How do you “check in” with yourself, or do you ever? Please share!

Xoxo, Taylor


6 thoughts on “How To Keep Yourself Focused and Happy (Infographic!)

    • I think that’s up to you, but personally I think the questions are a good jumping off point for action or maintenance. You can say, “Awesome, looks like what I’m doing now is working for me” or start brainstorming ways to change so that your answers are more satisfactory in the future.

      Thanks for reading!



  1. This was a great post… I particularly liked the hook with “How are you?”

    Although I do journal daily, it almost always focuses on the past and present. One of the hardest things for me is looking forward, particularly with concerns of what I will do after I earn my PhD…


    • Thank you! I think that we all share that fear of looking forward, at least I do. My life is so uncertain after college and as excited as I am, I don’t like to think about the details lest I begin worrying about them.

      Do you have any thoughts about what you’ll do with your PhD?


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