Like most people, we take time in January to reflect on our previous year and also consider how to live well in the one to come. Taking up a new activity or sport can top the lists of things to accomplish in a new year and the challenge can be incredibly rewarding. At the same time, starting something new can also be intimidating and short-lived.
Valerie and I made it a point to take up some new hobbies last year and wanted to share some tips with you on how to successfully start a hobby- and stick with it!
1. Make a list
Go crazy! Write down all the activities you’ve ever wanted to explore on a piece of paper. Don’t limit yourself or think about whether or not they’re actually possible- we’ll get to that later. Just have fun and welcome the possibilities! Once you have your list, go back through and begin circling anything that stands out to you. Notice any patterns that may develop.
2. Visualize the end result
To narrow down your list ask yourself “what do you want to accomplish with this new hobby?” Do you want to be more active and get more exercise? Are you wanting to get more creative this year? Wishing to read more? Looking to meet new people? Target what is most important to you.
3. Be Realistic
It’s daunting if you decide to wake up at 6:00 am every day as your first goal- it takes baby steps! Setting an unrealistic expectation will just lead to discouragement and ultimately quitting your new hobby. Determine what is realistic for your circumstances. Perhaps that means scheduling a time every week to take a tennis lesson, setting aside an hour on Wednesdays to take an online lettering class, or commit to scrapbooking on Saturday afternoons. Be intentional with your time and schedule them in your planner.
4. Look for New Year’s specials
January is the perfect time to start a new hobby because of all the amazing deals and coupons! Research the specials in your area, and on discount websites like Groupon. Not only will you get a great deal, most discounts come with a deadline- which will motivate you to get started!
5. Find a Friend
Ask around to see if any of your friends are interested in the same activity. Trying new things with a pal can make it a lot less intimidating. You’ll also have someone holding you accountable and making sure you show up on time! We even love seeing the online community surrounding those who try their hand at The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering – posting your drawing progress is a fun, no-pressure way to find friends in a new circle.
6. Remove the pressure of perfect
Don’t get discouraged- it’s all about trying something you’ve never done before, so chances are you won’t be the best right away. Let go of your expectations and just enjoy this new opportunity. You’ll be so proud of yourself in the end and the feeling of simply trying something new will be worth it. Make it your resolution to try one new activity this year! Getting out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself can bring you so much joy and confidence, we’re sure you won’t regret it!
What hobbies would you like to try this year? Tell us in the comments below! We’d love to cheer you on!
Photo 3 courtesy of Jenny Poe