The New Year is upon us, and if you’re like me, you have all kinds of ideas about what you want to conquer in 2019. Now that you’ve had some time to mull over the goals you’ve set for yourself, it’s time to consider how you’re going to accomplish them in the best way possible. I have a few tips for creativity to help you start the year off well.
5 Tips for Creativity to Help You Reach Your Goals
It’s easy to get caught up in the stress and excitement of a fresh start and endless possibilities, so consider this your friendly reminder to approach these goals and your writing in a healthy way. Here are five tips to best feed your creativity.
1. Declutter your workspace
The New York Times recently published an article called “The Unbearable Heaviness of Clutter.” From that title, it should come as no surprise that a cluttered workspace is harmful to your mental state by increasing cortisol levels, the stress hormone.
That leads me to my first tip for creativity: Clear your desk of unnecessary papers and junk and organize your area as much as you can. You’ll find that a clean environment is a calming one and will allow you to settle into your writing in a much more relaxed way.
2. Write your goals down
Some people love bullet journals, others prefer checklists, and others still are fine with a simple sticky note and some scribbled pencil. You can do whatever you like, but make sure you have a physical list of your goals written somewhere to hold you accountable.
It’s important that your list is visible, too! Not only are you less likely to reach October having forgotten what you promised yourself you’d do in January, but it will be that much more satisfying to see how much you’ve accomplished throughout the year.
3. Write as regularly as you can
It’s easy to give up on new goals if you get a rocky start. Progress takes time, often more time than you expect it to take, but most goals are within reach if you continue to work at it.
Establish a regular writing habit so even if things aren’t going as planned, you’re still working toward completion. Progress is progress, no matter how small. If you try your best to write a little bit every day (or every day that you possibly can), you’ll work at a consistent pace rather than in fits and starts.
4. Replenish your creative juices
Like a car is incapable of running without gas, an artist is incapable of creating without consuming art. If you feel yourself slowing down in your work, take that as a sign to rest and let other writers take the reins for a while.
Read a book in your genre. Reread a favorite book. Watch some TV (but avoid getting sucked into an endless binge fest!). Listen to music. Consume some type of media you don’t normally look to. Variety can be especially helpful if you’re feeling stuck.
5. Take care of yourself
Not only is it important to take care of yourself mentally and creatively, as I’ve mentioned before, but you shouldn’t forget to take care of your physical health, too. Your brain will cooperate with you much more if you exercise, sleep, and eat a balanced diet.
Don’t stay trapped behind your computer, either! When you’re working tirelessly on creative goals, you might forget how beneficial it can be to get outside your house. Make an effort to keep in touch with friends, old and new. Take a walk in the park. Go see a movie or theatrical production. You’ll feel much more refreshed afterward.
Most importantly . . .
Be kind to yourself. Inevitably, obstacles you didn’t foresee will come your way, and whether you’re able to overcome them or not, it’s important not to be too hard on yourself. The New Year isn’t the only time you’re allowed to make changes in your life. If things aren’t going as you planned, it’s okay to take a step back and reexamine your priorities.
After all, the whole point of working toward these goals is so you’re able to accomplish something you can be proud of. Work hard, but don’t run yourself into the ground. Create at your own pace!
What strategies do you use when working toward a new goal? Do you have any tips for creativity? Let us know in the comments.
Take a few minutes to completely declutter your workspace. Even if you don’t have the time or space to move objects to a new home, get them off your desk and out of sight.
Once you’ve done that, free write for fifteen minutes. How do you feel? Are you able to think more clearly and creatively without all of that mess in your way?
When you’ve finished, feel free to post your work in the comments, if you’d like. Don’t forget to give your fellow writers some love, too. Have fun!