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Your Goal: Think more creatively

Try: A taste of a lifestyle that's different from your own

Why it works: Research has found that immersing yourself in a new culture delivers a jolt of creativity. "Something as simple as seeing how different people view the same object makes you more flexible in your thinking," explains Adam Galinsky, PhD, a professor at Columbia Business School, in New York, who's studied the link between time spent abroad and creativity. (His example: You might learn that in China it's considered polite to leave some food on your plate because it signals that your host has graciously given you enough to eat. In Britain, though, it's a sign of disrespect, because it implies you weren't too keen on the meal.) If this is giving you an itch to hop on a plane to pretty much anywhere, we're right there with you, but for a similar benefit closer to home, Galinsky recommends spending a day exploring a new neighborhood with a distinctive culture—eat in the restaurants, explore the shops and do you best to play local instead of tourist.