We’re lucky to work in a field where creativity is a cornerstone of success. But the day-to-day grind can sometimes derail us from our creative intent. Keep these keys in mind to stay on track:
- Believe you are creative — if you tell yourself you’re not, you won’t be.
- Look for many possible answers; don’t assume the first solution is best — it usually isn’t, especially if you haven’t shared it and gotten input from other creative people.
- Be prepared to look outside “standard practice.” It took years for exercise physiologists to realize fitness tests are demotivating for many… don’t get locked into the way things have always been done.
- Don’t always rely on experts — sometimes their thinking is limited by their expertise.
- Play around with the issue and have some fun — if inspiring people to improve health habits can’t be fun, why do it?
- Accept ambiguity, at least for a time. People are different, and motivation to change behavior isn’t textbook for all of them; be flexible and adapt.
- Don’t be afraid to say something wrong — it can improve your chance of finding what’s right.
- Challenge your built-in rules or assumptions — it can be hard to accept the USDA might be wrong (Food Guide Pyramid), but be open to the possibility of several right ways to approach behavior change.
- Don’t always be logical — sometimes silly thoughts carry you to new ideas.
- Remember it’s OK to make a mistake — creative people know that makes the lesson more rewarding.