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8 Simple Ways to Get Inspired This Year

Even the most creative minds hit a wall and experience some type of creative block every now and again. While you can’t force inspiration or chase new ideas, there are simple ways to get your creative juices flowing. Next time you’re stuck in a rut, try one of these 8 things to get inspired.

1. Avoid Complacency

Getting too comfortable in one place is the enemy of success, and if you want to achieve your objectives this year, you should avoid any temptation to grow complacent. Business owners who are daring enough to get out of their comfort zone can explore new possibilities, which includes discovering new markets for their products or identifying existing needs that could become their next business venture.

The fear of trying something new is the other factor that makes most business owners complacent, and that puts them at the risk of losing their position in the market over time.

2. Change Your Environment

Being comfortable in your environment feels safe, but it can cause your creativity to stagnate. Stepping out into unfamiliar territory can not only refresh your mind, but will also encourage you to think outside the box.

You could simply rearrange your office furniture to shake up your daily routine and view. Try working from coffee shop or community space for a few hours each week. Or even just take time to go for a walk during lunch to clear the cobwebs and get some fresh air.

3. Leverage Opportunities to Learn

Whether it’s a new skill that applies to your current work focus, or a topic entirely unrelated to your job, learning something new can jumpstart the creative process. Learning can also help you improve working memory, creates better verbal intelligence, and increases language skills.

There are near innumerable ways to learn online and locally in your area for little to no cost. Try some of these resources:

  • Coursersa - online learning courses from universities and companies

  • Lynda - online classes for software, creative and business skills

  • Harvard Open Learning Initiative - free and low-cost courses from Harvard faculty

  • Meetup - loads of local events about nearly any topic

  • Duolingo - learn a new language in a fun and engaging way

4. See the World

Traveling to new countries and experiencing new cultures broadens your understanding of others. Travel can create inspiration by seeing new ways of doing things, discovering needs you didn’t know existed, and meeting new creative people. The unfamiliar sights, sounds, tastes and smells can trigger ideas and emotions that may have been lying dormant inside you the whole time, just waiting to come out!

5. Unplug and Disconnect

In our always-on, ever-connected world, it can be difficult to truly log off. This can, however, be detrimental and even dangerous to creativity. Take time for personal exploration, meditation, relaxation or even peaceful journaling. You’ll often find that after a break, a real break with no email, social media or devices, you’ll have a renewed vigor and drive when you return to your work and projects.

6. Find A Work-Life Balance

Everyone needs balance between work and their personal lives if they want to avoid the risk of burnout and find what we’re really all searching for--happiness. This is key to a fulfilling life, and also a successful workplace. That’s because happy workers are more productive workers, 20% more productive in fact.

Make time for yourself, pursue hobbies and other interests, spend quality time with your family and friends. When you find balance between work and life, and get yourself in a place that’s right for you, creativity will come more naturally.

7. Get Physical

Distracting your mind by keeping your body active can be a great way to clear out mental blockages and keep you in the present moment. Go for a hike, do some yoga, hit the gym. Get your creative energy flowing through physical activity, and keep that alertness and focus going by staying in shape.

8. Simplify Your Life

You may find the inspiration you need when you're less focused on other things. For instance, keeping a tidy household can keep your mind clear of distractions while you work toward your goals. This isn’t just for full-on hoarders--everyone could use some clearing out and organization. Check out the KonMari Method by Marie Kondo for simple tips on tidying up.

A creative block doesn’t have to last forever. Try some of these simple ways to get motivated and inspired for increased creativity and productivity this year!