Advertising
Advertising

Spark Your Creativity With These 5 Scientifically Proven Methods

Spark Your Creativity With These 5 Scientifically Proven Methods

We all have a creative force looming somewhere inside us, but sometimes bringing it out can be difficult. Certainly, when you’re stuck in a creative rut it can be tough to know where to turn. Not to fear, I’m here today with some stellar methods for sparking creativity backed by science. The next time you find yourself creatively stuck, take heart in these five scientifically proven methods to spark your creativity. They might sound simple, but they are powerful and when used can have big impacts on your ability to think creatively.

1. Run Free Like a Child

Children are incredibly creative thinkers. Full of imagination and without the self imposed limitations we place on ourselves as adults, kids are innately creative. They are free to play, dream, imagine and create without restriction. The next time you’re feeling like you need a burst of creativity try playing like a child. Backed by science, a recent study found that when participants were asked to imagine themselves as seven year olds they performed significantly better on divergent thinking tests. Let your imagination free and play like a child to spark your creativity.

Advertising

2. Don’t Box Yourself In

As adults we often box ourselves in simply by the language we use to describe the problems we are trying to solve. It might sound simple but an incredibly effective way to increase your problem solving ability is to simply change the verbs you use to describe the problem. Change it from a specific verb, e.g. ‘driving’, to a more generic verb, e.g. ‘moving’, to open your mind to the possibilities and see a dramatic increase in the number of problems you’re able to solve.

Advertising

3. Pay Attention to Colour

Colour can have a huge impact on your mood and your ability to be creative. Studies have consistently shown colour to influence mood and behaviour with a 2009 study showing that subjects solved twice as many insight puzzles when in the presence of the colour blue. Blue is known to lead to more relaxed and associative thinking, giving rise to creativity. Next time you’re looking for a quick burst of creativity embrace the power of blue. Whether it means creating in a blue room or simply walking outside and staring up at the sky with a notebook in hand, this quick change to your environment can make a big difference.

Advertising

4. Explore the World Around You

The world around you is full of creative potential. In fact, a recent study lead by researcher Adam Galinsky showed that students who had lived overseas were significantly more likely to solve a classic insight puzzle. Their experience of living within a completely different culture to their native one awarded them with prized open-mindedness. The same effect has also been noted with professionals. Fashion-house directors who have lived in a variety of different countries produce clothing that is consistently rated as more creative by industry peers. Get outside your own backyard to explore the world around you and you’ll see your creativity soar.

5. Make Time to Daydream

In our busy lives making the time to daydream can feel like a bit of a luxury, but research has shown it is absolutely essential to sparking creativity. A recent research study led by Jonathan Schooler at the University of California, Santa Barbara USA, found that people who daydream more often are more creative thinkers. Participants within the study who reported higher levels of daydreaming consistently scored higher on a variety of scientific tests of creativity. Make time in your busy life to let your mind free to daydream and spark your creativity today.

Featured photo credit: Paul Inkles via Flickr CC via flickr.com

Advertising

More by this author

What Should I Do Today? 30 New Things To Do Today Pursuing dreams 5 Points of Resistance in Pursuing Your Dreams 10 Brilliant Business Books You Can Read To Find Your Shortcut To Success Habits of creative people 12 Things Incredibly Creative Minds Do Differently 15 Easy Ways To Stay Productive Used By 15 Designers

Trending in Productivity

1 How Does Setting Goals Lead to Success? 2 9 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2020 3 Your Night Routine Guide to Sleeping Better & Waking Up Productive 4 6 Things To Do Every Day To Ensure You Stick To Your Goals 5 Less Thinking, More Doing: Develop the Action Habit Today

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on June 29, 2020

How Does Setting Goals Lead to Success?

How Does Setting Goals Lead to Success?

As well as being the founder of Lifehack, I also help people on a one-to-one basis through life coaching.

I’ve been doing this for more than 10 years now and have helped hundreds of clients reevaluate their lives and turn inertia into progress and failure into success.

A common theme I’ve noticed with many of my clients is that they don’t have any definite goals to aim towards.

This has always surprised me, as goal setting is frequently recommended by self-improvement gurus, performance coaches, and business leaders. It’s also something that I learned at university and have implemented successfully in my life ever since.

If you’re similar to the majority of my life coaching clients and you don’t have any definite goals to aim for, then you’re missing out on what is probably the most powerful personal success technique on the planet.

The good news is—you’ve come to the right place for help with this.

In this article, I’ll explain exactly what goal-setting is and how you can put it into action in your life. As you’ll discover, it’s a key that can open many doors for you.

An Introduction to Goal Setting

Goals can be big, small, short-term, long-term, essential, or desirable. But they all share one thing: They will give you something to aim for.

This is important. As just like a ship without a destination, if you have no goals, you’ll end drifting aimlessly.

Advertising

Goals give you purpose. They also give you drive and enthusiasm. In other words—they make you feel alive!

If you’ve never spent time setting goals before, then here’s what I recommend you to do:

  1. Take some time to evaluate all areas of your life (health, career, family, etc.).
  2. Determine which of these areas need a boost.
  3. Think of ways in which to achieve this (for example, if you want to boost your health, you could eat less and exercise more).
  4. Set some definite goals that you would like to achieve.
  5. Write down these goals, including the date you want to accomplish them by.

Now, before you get started on the above, I want to make one thing clear: Goals are not wishful thinking!

By this, I mean that while your goals should be ambitious, they shouldn’t be unrealistic or verging into fantasy land.

For example, wanting to be promoted at work would be a realistic goal while wanting to be President of the United States might not be. (Of course, feel free to prove me wrong!)

If you’re new to the world of goal setting, then I’d recommend you start with easy-to-achieve goals. These could be things such as eating a healthy breakfast, walking more, taking regular breaks from your screen, and sleeping early.

These simple goals might take you a month or so to achieve, including making the daily practices a habit.

Once you’ve successfully accomplished these goals, you’ll find your self-confidence grows, and you’ll be ready to set yourself some bigger goals.

Here are a few examples that you might want to choose or adapt to your personal circumstances:

Advertising

  • Run a marathon
  • Buy a new car
  • Learn a new language
  • Travel around the world
  • Change career
  • Retire early
  • Write a book

I’m sure you can think of many more things that you would like to achieve. As the famous Shakespeare line neatly states: “The world is your oyster!”

Now, the trick with big goals (as I’ll show in an example shortly) is to break them down into small, bite-sized chunks. This means you’ll have a big end goal, with smaller goals (sometimes referred to as objectives) helping you to gradually achieve your main aim.

When you do this, you’ll make big goals more achievable. Plus, you’ll have an easy way to track how far along the road to your goal you are at any given point in time.

Let’s see this in action…

Going from an Idea to a Global Success

Everything starts with an idea.

And there appears to be no shortage of good ideas in the world. But there is a shortage of people willing to put these ideas into action!

This is the essential step that will move you from being a dreamer to an achiever.

Back in 2005, when I first had the idea for Lifehack, I really only considered it to be a platform to record some of my productivity and self-improvement techniques. I’d developed these during my time at university and as a Software Engineer at Redhat.

However, based on the number of views and positive feedback I received on the first few articles, I quickly realized that Lifehack had the potential to be a popular and successful website—a site that could help transform the lives of people from all across the world.

Advertising

It was at that point that I decided to set some goals in place for Lifehack.

The way I did this was to set specific targets for different areas of the business:

  1. Number of articles published
  2. Amount of time spent writing and promoting the articles
  3. Number of new readers
  4. Number of new email subscribers
  5. Revenue generated from ads

For each of the above, I set weekly, monthly, and yearly targets. These targets were realistic but were also ambitious. In addition, I wrote down the necessary steps to take to achieve each target within the specified time frame.

This goal setting had a powerful impact on my motivation and energy levels. Because I could clearly see what needed to be done to achieve each goal, I found a purpose to my tasks that made them exciting to complete. Each small target achieved took me closer to accomplishing the bigger goals.

For example, my initial goals for writing articles were for just five a week, which equated to 20 per month and just over 100 per year. However, as I dedicated more and more time to Lifehack, I found I was able to exceed my initial goals.

This led me to increase the numbers. Of course, there’s a limit to how many articles one person can write. So when the readership began to exponentially increase, I started to hire other writers to help me out with the site’s content.

From my initial goal of just over 100 articles per year, I’ve used goal setting to help Lifehack publish more than 35,000 articles to date. This is now the largest collection of original self-development articles in the world.

And in terms of readership—this has skyrocketed from a few dozen in 2005 to several million in 2020.

And of course, I have many new goals for Lifehack, including expanding our range of online courses.

Advertising

My original goal has always remained the same though: To change people’s lives for the better.

Goal Setting Can Transform Your Life

If you haven’t yet experienced the incredible power of goal setting, then now’s the time to get started.

Build a definite picture of what you want to accomplish, break it down into small, achievable steps, and then start taking action!

You’ll be able to change all areas of your life using this method, including boosting your health, improving your relationships, and transforming your career. You may also want to use goal setting to start a new hobby or plot a path to a prosperous and peaceful retirement.

So please don’t wait for success to drop in your lap (which it is highly unlikely to do). Instead, decide on exactly what you want, then make a plan to get it. This is the secret to lifelong success.

Legendary motivational speaker and author Paul J. Meyer said it well:

“Goal setting is the most important aspect of all improvement and personal development plans. It is the key to all fulfillment and achievement.”

Final Thoughts

Now, let me leave you with five questions that will help you think about your future:

  1. What would you like to be doing in 3, 5, and 7 years?
  2. What things make you happiest?
  3. How can you share your knowledge and experience?
  4. Who can help you achieve your goals?
  5. What would you like to be your legacy?

Take plenty of time to think about these questions. When the answers come, you’ll be able to start building a picture of how you’d like your life to be—and what goals you need to set to make this picture a reality.

More Tips on Setting Goals

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

Read Next