January is one of my favorite months because it’s my annual break. I take the entire month off of work. With inevitable two hour delays and snow days spent entertaining my kids, it’s often a challenge getting into a new groove during the month. Starting a healthier diet and workout schedule typically gets derailed because of lack of motivation or being busy.
And just because it’s a new year, it doesn’t mean that creative juices begin to flow magically. So, after a few years of dealing with these issues—I have decided the best course of action is to take a break the entire month and simply enjoy life. I’ve come up with 6 Tips that have helped me get creative throughout the years and I’d like to share them with you here:
1. Surround yourself with new creative people.
Reach out to several key people in your industry or in other creative industries that you’ve always wanted to get to know. Schedule a lunch, coffee date or dinner with them. Plan to do a “power hour” with each of these people over the course of a month or over the course of the year.
2. Work in a new space.
Go to a different neighborhood and walk into a new coffee shop or co-working space for a day. Sometimes being in an entirely new environment can kick start fresh, new brainstorming sessions.
3. Talk to strangers.
That’s right, I said it. Talk to strangers. I’m from the midwest where strangers talk to each other in the line at grocery stores, while they’re pumping gas, when they’re picking out a new pair of shoes. Organically, strike up a conversation with a stranger and see where that conversation takes you. You wouldn’t believe how many friends I have that have been in my life simply because I initiated a random conversation with them in a random setting like the post office.
4. Take a break from social media.
If you’re posting daily to appease a certain audience and you’re in a creative rut, understand that it’s okay to take a break. Your audience will miss you, but they’ll be happier to see you when you return from a brief hiatus. Sometimes it’s nice to take a step back and assess what makes you happy and what you enjoy posting and also what you enjoy seeing on your feed.
5. Do a social media cleanse.
Sometimes people that you’ve followed in the past no longer are your cup of tea. Do a big purge and only follow accounts that inspire you and make you happy. There’s a climate of “follow for follow” on a lot of social media platforms, especially Instagram. But, be strong and take that risk of unfollowing someone whose feed you no longer enjoy. And follow new people who spark joy and happiness.
6. Follow random hashtags.
Speaking of social media, I’ll hear a random hashtag or thought and I’ll search it just to see what the buzz is about. More often than not, I’m taken on a very cool journey exploring fun and creative thoughts. As a result, something ignites a spark and a huge surge in my creativity energy occurs.