What will you create this year? This is a question I ask myself annually.

I place great importance on challenging myself to come up with new ideas, and to remain creative and innovative. Not easy – but by making a plan and commitment, I have a roadmap to innovation I can follow.

Here is my approach to tackling the challenge of being innovative. I hope these tips will be useful for you, as well:

CHANGE YOUR SCENERY.

Take a trip overseas at least annually (who doesn’t need an excuse to plan that business/holiday?). Travelling opens your eyes and mind to new and different ways of seeing the world and doing things. Everything is fresh and invigorating – the culture, language, food, stores, marketing ideas. You are also taken out of your usual busy day-to-day life, and have time to stop and smell the roses — and your mind then has room for new ideas and possibilities. Think about products or services that you see overseas; then, think about how you might be able to adapt them in your home market.

MINGLE WITH OTHER PROFESSIONS.

Attend a non-dietitian conference. Again, this will open your world to new possibilities. This could be attending a specialist medical conference, or a non-medical conference, such as a business, blogging, marketing or podcast conference. You will learn new skills to complement your dietetic competencies.

READ A BOOK.

I try to read one business, leadership or marketing book per week. There are lots of excellent books available that will save you time by teaching you how to be more efficient and successful. Learn from the experts! If you have limited time, try listening to an audio book. Some of my recent favourites include:

o Start with Why – Simon Sinek
o Hug your Haters – Jay Baer
o Daring Greatly – Brené Brown
o 15 Secrets Successful People Know – Kevin Kruse
o Chapter One – Daniel Flynn

You might also enjoy “Marketing for Success”, an ebook by Melanie McGrice and myself.

LISTEN TO A PODCAST.

I love listening to a podcast while I am walking or in the car. The episodes I enjoy the most are the ones where I am not expecting the episode to be great, but I end up having a light-bulb moment; sometimes 30 minutes can be life-changing. My go-to podcasts are:

o The Arete podcast
o ProBlogger podcast
o The Smart Passive Income podcast
o And of course the Dietitian Connection podcast

SCHEDULE IN TIME.

Most importantly, you need to build some “white noise” in to your daily routine. Time where you are not distracted, and you can just “be”, which allows your mind to wander and create new ideas and possibilities. (Ever wondered why your best ideas happen while you are in the shower?)

So, I ask again – what will you create this year?

Maree Ferguson, Director Dietitian Connection
Edited by Laura Byrne