Instead of deliberating for hours over to-do’s and target objectives for the next 12 months, enjoy a nature inspired fresh start to the new year.
Get Creative with your Goals
Creative people find inspiration in nature, where insight and innovation from ever changing landscapes invite the mind to wander and create.
The paper “Creativity in the Wild: Improving Creative Reasoning Through Nature Immersion” (PLoS ONE 7(12): e51474. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0051474) explores the therapeutic benefits of nature on our mind, especially our ability to generate ideas and think outside the box. The study explored Attention Restoration Theory (ART) and suggests that exposure to nature can restore prefrontal cortex-mediated executive processes such as selective attention, problem solving, inhibition, and multi-tasking. These attributes are conducive to productivity, which is why creative people tend to be more prolific, and accomplish more of their goals.
Combine a natural setting with a stroll, to optimise creativity. Merlin Coverley posits that walking and writing are one activity in his book: “The Art of Wandering”. So, if you are feeling intimidated or uninspired by your new years resolutions seek inspiration and enlightenment with a walk in nature.
Author of “The Artists Way”, Julia Cameron is another advocate of walking for writing sake. In her book: “The Sound of Paper” Cameron recommends cultivating creative habits including walking in nature and writing three pages of longhand first thing in the morning, to raise awareness, presence of mind and coax creative thoughts to the surface.
For the athletically inclined, perhaps a session of parkour performed in a natural setting would appeal. The discipline involves free running, functional and adaptive movements in and around objects. By navigating obstacles individuals are challenged to think creatively, and stay alert, improving sensory perception, cognitive reflex and response. Parkour Generations is a professional organisation that offers coaching and camps on Parkour. They have also helped introduce the sport to schools, teaching children the art of play and creative problem solving, effectively boosting confidence, attention and innovation in students.
Make your Goals Meaningful
Don’t let unfinished or urgent business dictate the tone and content of your goals.
A new year signals opportunity for change and growth, but many who set resolutions fail to reach their goals—why? If you take a look at the statistics a common theme emerges, people set abstract or impersonal objectives, or are motivated by external pressures and material things, lack the inspiration, conviction and connection that empowers change and drives action. Suggesting that goals are more sustainable when the motivation has personal meaning, and deep value to the individual. In other words, choose goals that inspire you, and engage your unique abilities, interests and values. A great place to start is by asking value-centred questions, and using the past to inform the future—reflecting on last years achievements and missed opportunities, you open your mind to consider ways to improve and take advantage of the possibilities that lay ahead.
For example lets take the goal to lose weight, what’s your motivation? To look good or to improve your health? When you own the reasons behind your goals they will mean more to you! For a lifestyle approach to health checkout Mark Sisson’s website MarksDailyApple.com. It is a treasure trove of resources based on ancestral knowledge, with a flexible, contextual and evolving tone to reflect the latest insights—offering information that relates to every person, whatever their goals. Mark has written a great post to help get you started: “11 Questions to Ask Yourself at the Start of a New Year!”
I hope this encourages you to discover the creative inspiration of nature, to fully explore your dreams, and to set goals that have the greatest meaning to you!
Seek Adventure. Save Wildlife.
Chief Editor Bare Essentials ~ Inga Yandell