The beginning of a new year is often the best time to make new goals for yourself both personally and professionally. As the founders of The Bloom Workshop, we teach workshops for creative entrepreneurs, giving them the tools to grow and sustain their thriving business. We know just how important exercising the creative parts of our brains are, so we're here to give you some fun ideas that are sure to boost your creativity in 2018! Read a book by a creative industry leader to learn and be inspired. Maybe this is as simple as picking up a copy of the latest Magnolia Journal (Joanna Gaines can do no wrong in our book!), or perhaps you’re ready to dive deep into something more hearty, like Rachel Cruze’s financial book, Love Your Life Not Theirs. If you want something on the inspirational side, we suggest Cultivate What Matters by Lara Casey. Play with flowers. Grab a bunch of blooms from the grocery store or local farmer's market and look up tutorials to help you arrange them in an aesthetically pleasing way. Not only is flower arranging relaxing, it’ll also help you hone your design eye by playing with texture, balance and colors. Grow a garden. There is truly something to be said for disconnecting from the daily grind and connecting with nature. Alleviating stress and taking a pause to nurture and grow something is so refreshing. If you're new to gardening you can start with a small potted plant on your porch, hellebores and zinnias are both hardy flowers that don't require a lot of attention. If you want to try some vegetables, choose a tomato plant or some herbs to get started. Attend a workshop. Invest in yourself in a way that really makes a difference in your business or personal life! Choose a workshop that touches on subjects and components you may be struggling with or needing a refresher on. We just so happen to be the founders of The Bloom Workshop, where we teach creative business owners (or business owner hopefuls!) sessions on blogging, social media, photography, design and branding. We couple our essential teaching sessions for the business side with hands-on sessions like floral arranging, calligraphy, styling and networking, so that we deliver on our promise to establish community, give our attendees practical tools and encourage our guests to create beauty. We’d love to meet you in 2018! We're releasing our 2018 workshop schedule on January 22nd. Psst: If you'd like to attend just use the code STYLEMEPRETTY for 15% off your ticket!Pick up a new hobby. We always tell our workshop guests to try their hand at something else, in order to stretch their creativity. Sometimes we need to walk away from our work in order to develop our best ideas! Having hobbies outside of what you do for a living is a great way to refresh your spirit and help avoid burn out. Perhaps you want to take up painting, try a few cooking classes, learn calligraphy or photography, go hiking, pick up a new instrument or novel, or start a dinner club with your best girlfriends. Get off of Pinterest (for a little while!) Nothing hinders creativity more than endlessly scrolling through a black hole of other people’s ideas. We often do this for inspiration, but what ends up happening is you begin comparing yourself to all the other creatives out there who have had shoots featured or brought an idea to life already. We always suggest brainstorming and coming up with initial big picture ideas BEFORE searching Pinterest. Then, with your ideas in mind, you can search Pinterest and see how you can put your own unique spin on things that may have been done before. Refresh a space in your home to give it new life. It’s amazing what a little rearranging can do for your mood! Whether you restyle a bookcase or completely reimagine the layout of your living room, try to spice things up. We bet it will inspire you in new ways! Designer Tip: a lot of people think furniture has to be pushed up against the walls, but this is a big fallacy! Often doing that can make a room look smaller and create an awkward pit right in the middle of a room, which also becomes the place everyone has to walk through the room. When you pull furniture off the wall and really think about a functional layout, your room feels like it can breathe, you create a more interesting layout, AND you can create intentional pathways for people to walk. Cook or bake a new recipe. Pick up a new cookbook (we love One Pan, Two Plates, The Newlywed Cookbook and Martha’s Slow Cooker book). It’s amazing what new smells and tastes can do for our brain power! And who knows? Maybe this will be your newfound hobby ;) Look to other industries for inspiration. Sometimes we get stuck in creative ruts, and that’s totally normal. Have you ever found yourself at a total loss for your next project, because you think everything has been done before? Might we suggest taking a peek at what other industries are doing for inspiration? What’s happening in the graphic design world that you can take inspiration from as an interior designer? What’s coming down the runways that you can find inspiration from as a photographer? Collaborate with others! You’ve got to get out there and make things happen! This is one of the best ways to stay creative. Sometimes we stay pent up in our own worlds when what we need to do is get together with other creative people to make magic happen. If you’re a photographer, put together a styled shoot with some talented vendors. If you’re planning your wedding and you’re in a creative rut, ask your girlfriends over for a wine & craft night. There’s nothing like getting together with friends or other Creatives who are passionate about the same things as you. Hopefully these 10 ideas will serve as some inspiration for you when expanding your creativity this year! Let us know if you try any below!