My dad is one of the most inspiring people I know. He took a hobby of his and turned it into a successful business that turns 20 years old next year. He built Oklahoma Gold Gymnastics by transporting gymnastics equipment on my mom’s little Acura to rented out YMCAs, tennis courts and aerobics rooms to put on gymnastics classes until he could get a loan to build his own building. He is so creative and I admire his drive to succeed so much. He is always encouraging me to chase my dreams because he knows the satisfaction of when the grind pays off. I think both of my parents have molded me into the person I am and I am so thankful that I got a front-row seat to my parents’ work paying off because it has taught me way more about self-motivation and growth than any class ever could.
I am always looking for ways to stay inspired creatively, academically, religiously and even mentally. I think it is so healthy and beneficial to constantly be reminded of the big picture so that you don’t get caught up in the little trials of life. As I step closer to graduation I want to put to rest any fears or inhibitions I have about my next chapter. Personally, I think the best way to do this is to have multiple channels that inspire and encourage me every day. So today, I want to talk about eight ways I stay inspired in life and maybe inspire you to implement some of these techniques in your own life.
- Use inspiration/vision boards to keep motivated–I am totally a visual person, so I am obsessed with inspiration boards. The one in my room right now is full of pictures and images that remind me of my aspirations, happy memories and favorite things. It’s actually pictured above! Another alternative to an inspiration board is a victory board. My roommate actually introduced me to this. Every day she writes down a victory from that day and hangs it on her board. Both of these methods are good reminders of the big picture when life gets overwhelming…and they are guaranteed to make you smile when you look at them.
- Make music playlists that change your mood–I am a music junkie, so that means I have a playlist for every mood. Two that I frequent the most are my Favorites playlist and my Girl Boss (lol) playlist. There’s just something about listening to all your favorite songs that can change your day, but I also love having a playlist of empowering music when I need a confidence boost. I love my Girl Boss playlist (only female artists and no songs about boys!!!) before a career fair, presentation or night with friends as a reminder that I can do whatever I put my mind to.
- Cover your space in sticky notes of inspiration–Every morning when I get up I sit down at my desk and read the sticky notes stuck to my mirror in prayer. I have had a relationship with the Lord for years, but sometimes you can lose sight of His promise in the craziness of life. I have found that putting my favorite Bible verses or worship lyrics in visible places significantly grows my relationship with Him. I switch them out depending on where I am in life. Nothing is more satisfying that getting to remove a sticky note because the Lord has worked through that struggle in my life. This doesn’t have to be religious, but I have found that God’s truth is way more inspiring than any quote will ever be.
- Write it all down: the opposite of out of sight, out of mind–I have always been better at expressing things on paper (the Internet??) than by actually speaking it. I find the best way for me to share my feelings are to write it down and share it at the feet of the Lord. I have lists of things I want to work on personally, things I look for in a man, things that make me happy and confessions of my heart. At least once a week I flip through this notebook in prayer. I want to always be moving forward in my life and confronting my shortcomings or fears head on is a great way to actively better myself. God can do amazing things, but this relationship is not one-sided. I have to put forth effort if I want to grow with Him.
- Go outside–Sometimes you just need to put in the headphones and go. Go for a walk, a run, a hike…anything to get your mind cleared. I don’t think there is anything more naturally calming than the outdoors and fresh air. Shut yourself off from social media for an hour of your day (other than when you’re in class) and just be with yourself doing something good for your body and mind.
- Sleep!–We all take sleeping for granted when in reality it is such an important aspect of our day. Being well-rested is the first step to accomplishing your goals, acing that test or coming up with creative ideas at work. The feeling of waking up with a great night of sleep under your belt immediately starts off your day positively.
- Spend time with an inspiring friend–I am so thankful to have a friend that I can talk to and share my innermost thoughts with. She is such a sound mind and a Godly mentor in my life. I love hanging out with her just because we’re best friends, but also because I know that I can call her when I really need a listening ear and she will be there. She gives me perspective, advice that I trust and encouragement to go for my dreams. I always walk away from our interactions refreshed and thankful that she is in my life.
- Follow people on social media who inspire you, talk about your hobbies and are in your desired career field–Just because I’m in school doesn’t mean it is teaching me everything I ever needed to know about my chosen career. I am a social media addict, so I have made sure that I am learning things from my feed. The easiest way to build this network is to Google “top people to follow on Twitter in PR” or whatever your field is. Who knows, you may even make a new connection. There is so much beneficial information out there being shared and there is power in knowledge. So go getchu some!
Ketchum PR posted a blog about sparking creativity just yesterday, so check it out here for more tips!
Holly Hoehner is a public relations senior at the University of Oklahoma. She considers herself more of a Russell Westbrook than a Kevin Durant and enjoys learning about and participating in the digital age, blogging about anything that comes to her mind and creating witty Instagram captions. Holly was raised a die-hard Sooner fan in Edmond, OK.