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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at VCU chapter.

The Project 50 Challenge has been on my TikTok FYP for such a long time now so I’ve decided that I’m going to finally do it.

While it’s been seen as a trend on social media, it’s essentially a lifestyle change to get you ahead in terms of personal growth and achieving goals. Project 50 makes you follow seven simple daily rules for 50 days. If you do these seven things every day long enough to form a habit, your life is bound to change for the better.

Not only that, a challenge like this also has other benefits such as:

  • increased self-discipline
  • a sense of accomplishment
  • a sense of routine and ritual

Ready to commit? Let’s get into the rules.

Wake Up before 8 a.m.

I would say a good chunk of the college population is lacking when it comes to their sleep schedule. Waking up early can be a difficult thing, especially if you’re a night owl that tends to stay up. But, in my opinion, the handful of accidental times I’ve woken up super early led to amazing days. They were just so LONG, I could get so much done and still take breaks just by getting up a few hours earlier.

Naturally, this means you need at least six to eight hours of sleep. So, going to bed earlier is key.

Outside of setting a consistent sleep schedule, I recommend:

  • Limit distractions before going to bed
  • Drink lots of water right when you wake up  
  • Get some sunlight in the first 10 minutes of waking up — literally just go to the window and stand in the sunlight.
One-hour morning routine without distractions

Decide what you want to do in the morning. Do you want to stretch? Meditate? Read? Do face masks? Sit outside in silence? The choice is up to you. I think a non-negotiable here is to make sure fueling your body is in your morning routine as well.

The most important thing here is no distractions: Do. Not. Touch. Your. Phone.

I don’t look at my phone when I first wake up (except to see if my mom needs me) so I can prevent anybody else from entering my mind that early in the day. Your brain is pretty impressionable when you first wake up.

Why allow all that noise when you haven’t even had the time to focus on yourself first?

Exercise for one hour a day

I personally exercise five times a week for two to three hours a day, so I’m pretty good here and I’ve changed this rule to allow me to have rest days. However, I think if you’re just getting started working out — you should find a type of physical activity you like and do it every single day for an hour.

It could be a hot girl walk. It could be pilates. It could be a jog on the treadmill or a full-on weightlifting session. I won’t sit here and tell you how beneficial it is to make your heart, body and mind happy with physical exercise. You already know that.

So “just do it.” (— Nike)

If you need some gym motivation, @kayylahyoung posts a lot of different workout ideas and great motivational videos for all the gym girlies. #ShamelessSelfPromo

read 10 pages a day

Reading makes you smart. Reading opens your mind. Reading elongates your attention span. Reading is good.

Now, I may be biased as I do have a tattoo dedicated to books but reading is good. At the end of 50 days, you’ll have read 500 or more pages. That’s amazing.

Here are some hot girl books I recommend:

  • For the femme fatal: “Why Men Love B*tches”
  • For the romantic: anything by Sarah J. Maas or Colleen Hoover
  • For the intellectual: “The Secret History” or “The Alchemist” 

If you add this to Rule #2, you can knock two birds out with one stone.

dedicate one hour a day to a new skill

As a VCU student, you have free access to LinkedIn Learning where you can take courses and gain certifications in all types of things.

There are also so many classes and online courses out there that are cheap like Skillshare and Udemy that offer knowledge.

I would make this rule about something fun that you truly want to learn or something that you may need for your career one day.


  • Coding
  • New language
  • Cooking
follow a healthy diet

This is another area the majority of the population is lacking in. As a college student, it can be hard and costly to follow a proper diet.

Still, you need to pay attention to what you’re putting in your body. You don’t have to be restrictive. For example, instead of drinking seltzers on Tuesday afternoon — try to only drink on social occasions.

Instead of eating out every week, only eat out if you’re out with a friend at a restaurant.

Buy a little more fruit. Try to eat at least three balanced meals a day. Drink lots of water.

Food is fuel.

track your project 50 progress

Get a journal and write down how you’re feeling about this project. Make a to-do list every day of the seven rules and make sure you try to get each box checked. Acknowledge areas where you may be having a hard time in and how you’re going to try to fix them.

50 days are only a month and a half, give or take. So little time in comparison to a lifetime but it could affect the rest of your life for the better if you take it seriously.

If you need more motivation, you can follow @project50days to see all the people around the globe who are participating in this challenge.

Kaylah Young is a senior at VCU. She is majoring in Mass Communications with a concentration in journalism, and a minor in political science. Kaylah has a passion for writing, reading books, and working out at the gym.