Some view being creative as having a talent such as creating music, art, or literature. Others believe that creativity means you can come up with fresh, innovative ideas. And some think that being creative implies that you think of unique ways of doing things, like solving problems. Which one is correct? All of them, of course.
With the start of another new year, think about becoming more creative in any or all of these ways. Then, take a look at these resolutions that can help you get there; you may just be surprised. Are you ready to say “I will…”?
1. I Will Learn Something New
Continued learning broadens our minds, and it does not stop when we complete college. Maybe you have always had an interest in film-making, photography, or history. Why not take your interest further by learning more about it?
Learning something new does not mean that you have to return to school full-time. But taking a class at the local college, using an app to participate in an online course, or even finding books to read up on topics yourself are all options. Becoming educated in a subject that motivates you to learn might just spark some wonderful new ideas.
2. I Will Explore My Hidden Talents
Many people have creative talents that they keep tucked away. They don’t use them in their careers and instead turn them into hobbies. But there are others who simply keep them hidden. Do you have a talent that you would like to explore?
Perhaps you are a budding artist but never have time to create artwork. Maybe you can sing like Mariah Carey but never thought you were good enough. Whatever the skill or talent is that you have been ignoring, exploring it can help boost your creativity. Set aside a little time each day or week and encourage your gift.
3. I Will Exercise (More)
Most people would agree that some form of exercise is necessary for good health. However, there are studies that show exercise can actually increase those creative areas of your mind.
One such study comes from Leiden University in the Netherlands:
People who exercise regularly are better at creative thinking. This is the outcome of research by Leiden cognitive psychologist Lorenza Colzato. She published an article on this subject in the scientific magazine Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
This does not mean that you should begin a hardcore workout routine each day. And, the study below from Stanford University revolves around simple walking to improve creativity. Remember, experts suggest that you consult a physician when beginning or adjusting an exercise routine.
The study found that walking indoors or outdoors similarly boosted creative inspiration. The act of walking itself, and not the environment, was the main factor. Across the board, creativity levels were consistently and significantly higher for those walking compared to those sitting.
So if you have been waiting for the new year to begin your exercise journey, know that you may just receive the creative inspiration you need by doing it.
4. I Will Be More Open-Minded
Being open-minded does not mean that you have to accept every idea that you hear. But being receptive to different ways of doing things can open your mind to new possibilities. If you normally believe that your way is the right way, then you may never realize that there is a better option.
Once you become more accepting of new ideas, you will find yourself exploring other ways to solve problems. The phrase “think outside the box” may just become a part of your life. You might try to come up with different methods rather than what you are used to doing.
Open-mindedness adds to your creativity and allows you to discover something out of your ordinary.
5. I Will Have More Silly Fun
There is a reason that adult coloring book apps and video games are so popular: they are fun. If you enjoyed coloring as a child, that activity can now help relieve stress after a long day. Similarly, playing a game, whether it be a puzzle or platformer, can take your mind off of things. Importantly, both of these activities can also increase your creativity.
Coloring in a physical book or using a coloring app on your mobile device definitely brings out your creativity. Mixing colors, creating a picture, and seeing the finished product can all stimulate your imagination.
If you enjoy puzzles or logic games that challenge you to solve a problem, then go for it. For many people, there is no better way to get the brain pumping than a game that makes you think. From Words With Friends to Angry Birds, these problem-solving games are great for your mind.
6. I Will Eat Healthier
Just like with the topic of exercise, most of us know that eating better makes us healthier. Along with this, researchers have found a correlation between food consumption and creativity.
Harvard Business Review summarizes a productivity study from results published in the British Journal of Health Psychology:
Within the study, participants reported their food consumption, mood, and behaviors over a period of 13 days … Here was their conclusion: the more fruits and vegetables people consumed (up to 7 portions), the happier, more engaged, and more creative they tended to be.
Some foods that are said to improve creativity include berries, avocados, walnuts, and kale, but there are several more. If you have made the decision to start off the new year by eating healthier, then you might just be giving your brain the boost it needs. You can also utilize meal planning apps to help you eat healthier.
7. I Will Make Time for Self-Care and Relaxation
Modern life is very busy, and it’s easy to allow your everyday routines to take over your brain. But all that noise and bustle doesn’t leave much space for creativity.
If you regularly make time for activities that calm your racing mind, you’ll be in a more relaxed state, and this will allow your creative thoughts to flow more freely.
So, why not try taking a free yoga class or try a meditation app to help you pause for a moment each day to tune into your creative side and allow the inspiration to flow?
8. I Will Get Out Into Nature More Often
Studies have repeatedly shown the mental health benefits from spending time outdoors in nature. It also lets your brain relax and helps the creative process.
A 2012 study in the journal PLOS ONE found that spending time in nature has a way of sparking creativity:
Four days of immersion in nature, and the corresponding disconnection from multi-media and technology, increases performance on a creativity, problem-solving task by a full 50% in a group of naive hikers. Our results demonstrate that there is a cognitive advantage to be realized if we spend time immersed in a natural setting.
You don’t have to venture into the wilderness to access these benefits: just going outside in your local open space is enough, wherever you are. Look at the skies, breathe in the air, listen to the birds, feel the sun or the rain on your face, and notice the ever-changing colors of nature all around you.
It’s no coincidence that nature has provided rich inspiration for countless artists and writers throughout time.
Have You Made Your New Year’s Resolutions Yet?
Maybe we have inspired you to make a New Year’s resolution, or perhaps you already have. Whatever you’re planning to change or improve on in the new year, make sure it’s something that will give your creativity a nudge.