20 Creative Living Ideas for 2012

Starting a new year is a great way to re-focus on yourself and your own creativity. We’ve asked many working creatives about some of the things that they do every day to stay creative, and here is what they came up with. Like the list? Download this free desktop wallpaper as a way to constantly remember these tips (and knock off #5 while you’re at it).

1. Take a photo of yourself, or of something you love, every day. We recommend using apps like Path, DailyBooth, or even good old Photo Booth.

2. Buy a journal (or start a Google Doc) and catalog your daily ideas as well as your best and worst moment of each day.

3. Take a photo of everything you eat each day. We recommend using apps like The Eatery or MealSnap to document and also get feedback on how healthy your meals are.

4. Do one thing a day that scares you. Cliché, yes, but only because it’s such a great piece of advice. This is the best way to challenge yourself to grow and explore new things in life.

5. Write an inspirational quote or message on your bathroom mirror or desktop wallpaper that you read to yourself at the beginning or end of each day.

6. Wear the same thing every day. The same necklace, belt, or even…little black dress. (Just not the same underwear, please.)

7. Document what you wear every day. This is far less interesting if you are wearing the exact same thing every day.

8. Clean your desktop (either physical, digital, or both) of clutter before you get started working each day. Your brain will thank you.

9. Make something every day. A meal, a craft, a written thought, or even a short video you shot on your iPhone… it doesn’t matter, so long as you have at least 30 seconds of full on right-brain use.

10. Read one chapter of a fiction book before bed each night. Taking your brain to a far-off world before sleeping will cause for much more interesting dreams and perhaps even a few novel ideas before you start to snooze.

11. Drink a cup of coffee each morning. The caffeine will jump start your body and brain.

12. Have at least one conversation with a friend or family member about new ideas you have. Their feedback will be important and will enable you to more fully explore your thoughts.

13. Play with one new gadget or app each day. Learning to use new products will keep you up-to-date on current technology and will enable you to think more creatively about future product ideas and opportunities.

14. Drive a different route. It’s been scientifically proven that time feels like it is going by slower when your brain is taking in many new sensory experiences. You may see all kinds of new things that slow down life long enough to truly inspire you.

15. Read a blog you would never choose to read out of free will. If you’re a Democrat, read a Republican blog. If you have no idea how to cook, read a cooking blog. The opinions and positions will inspire you to keep an open mind and learn new things.

16. Sweat once a day. It doesn’t matter how you make it happen, so long as you make it happen.

17. Introduce yourself to a random person at a coffee shop and ask them about their story. Here are a few conversation starters you can use.

18. Keep a smart phone or notepad (we prefer Field Notes) by your bed to collect those creative thoughts you come up with in between dreams.

19. Give someone a hug each day. The endorphins released from physical touch are enough to inspire a smile or creative thought.

20. Sit or lay silently for 10 minutes with all electronics off and simply let your mind wander. (Be sure to stay awake.)