6 Ways to Inject Creativity into Your New Year’s Healthy Resolutions

By Sondra Forsyth

New Year's resolutions

New Year’s resolutions often have to do with lifestyle changes meant to improve health such as losing weight, exercising more regularly, and quitting smoking. These goals are important but they can seem onerous and overwhelming, which is why so many people abandon their resolutions even before January is over.

As an alternative this year, we suggest finding ways to get in touch with your creativity in order to help yourself stick with your health-enhancing objectives. Why not think of creativity as a bridge to achieving the results you want? The beauty of putting this kind of positive spin on the tradition of making resolutions is that you won’t feel punished and deprived. Instead, the process of keeping the promises you make to yourself will be enjoyable and rewarding.

Here, to get you started, are some ideas for finding your creative core:

  1. Dance, Dance, Dance! Even if you’ve always thought you have the proverbial two left feet, find a way to dance in 2015. You could put a playlist on your phone and then make up your own moves while you bounce around the living room all alone to your favorite tunes. Or you could sign up for lessons – maybe the Latin exercise craze called Zumba, or adult beginner ballet, or Tango classes where you’ll be paired with a partner if you show up by yourself.  Tapping into the universal human urge to move to a beat lets you break a sweat and burn calories while also having a grand time. Not only that, but you’ll be boosting your brain power. A now-classic study done at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City and published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that for 76% of the participants, dancing protected against cognitive decline.
  2. Sling Pots with Children. If you have little ones in your life or if you can borrow some from friends and neighbors, why not take your young charges to a pottery place? Then you can coil and sling to your heart’s content! Yes, that’s a cliché but in this case it’s true. You really will be doing your heart a favor. You could also paint your creations after they’re fired in the kiln. Don’t worry about whether what you do is “good enough”.  Take your cue from the kids and just let let yourself go. You might amaze yourself with the beauty of what you produce!
  3. Write Stories, Poems, or Non-Fiction Blogs. Once again, simply give in to your imaginative impulses rather than self-censoring your attempts. Also, consider writing by hand rather than using your computer. Studies done at the University of Washington and Indiana University showed that the act of putting your thoughts down in longhand engages the brain in a beneficial way that trumps typing on a keyboard.
  4. Experiment When You Cook. You could begin with basic recipes for your favorite dishes and then add spices, herbs, and trendy foods such as kale and quinoa. Another option is to start from scratch and see what happens. If a dish is a flop, so what? Yes, you wasted a little money on the ingredients but you had fun trying! And if you do come up with brand new fare that’s both delicious and healthy, you have a win-win situation for sure.
  5. Knit, Crochet, or Sew. People who are dedicated needlecrafters and sewers swear by the calming effect of these pastimes. Also, you’ll have your handiwork to show for your efforts. You could give items away as gifts or enjoy them yourself.
  6. Grow a Gorgeous Garden. Whether you have pots on a windowsill or a plot in the backyard during fine weather, be inventive about the colors and heights of your plants as you decide which ones should go where. Think of your garden as a work of art while you tend your flowers or vegetables. Plus if you’re an outdoor gardener, you’re getting part of your weekly quota of exercise without going to the gym!

May the new year bring you the bounty of well-being that comes from letting the creative juices flow. Here’s to a year when you flourish in mind, body, and spirit!