Starting a new hobby is never a bad idea because pursuing a new interest is an excellent way to foster better mental health. You get to learn something new and hone a skill while also having a lot of fun. At times, starting a new hobby even provides you with an opportunity to socialize with others who share similar hobbies, and make new friends. After all, like-minded individuals typically bond with each other, because they share common ground. More importantly, psychologists say that having hobbies helps people cope with stress.
Sadly, many people drag their feet when it comes to starting a new hobby, using excuses such as being “too busy”. However, you have to be realistic about whether you’re legitimately too busy, or just procrastinating. Perhaps it’s time to assess your schedule and find room in it for a new hobby. You likely do have the time, especially if you’re unknowingly squandering a lot of time on social media or Netflix. When you lump all the unaccounted for time spent on these platforms, you may be surprised just how much of your valuable time is being spent mindlessly.
When you consider the possibility that you may not be as busy as you think, you will be more inspired to try a new hobby. You can stop habitually wasting time on things like Netflix by trying out something new, instead. Choose a hobby or two that stimulate your mind by sparking creativity. Starting a new hobby can help you break up the monotony of your typical schedule, get you out of the house, get you moving, stimulate your brain, and get you away from the television. Below are 9 helpful tips on how to motivate yourself to start a new hobby:
Start With Baby Steps
It’s often difficult to get yourself motivated to start something new. Stepping outside of your comfort zone can feel daunting because your body’s natural fight-or-flight response wants to take you out of an uncomfortable situation. However, if you want to learn a new hobby or interest, you have to fight feelings of uncertainty and self-doubt. Instead, focus on taking baby steps to get started.
For example, imagine that you’re trying to learn the art of knitting as your new hobby. You don’t have to make a sweater right away. Instead, learn the basic knits and start with small items like a scarf. From there, you can progress to making a more complex item like a toque. Finally, when you get the hang of it, you can make sweaters with various designs.
Starting a new hobby will be the most difficult at the beginning because beginning a task often requires the most motivation. It’s easier to keep going once you’ve started and built momentum. Besides, achieving small wins will give you a dopamine boost. In turn, you will feel motivated to engage in your new hobby more often.
Evaluate Your Progress and Consider Monetization
Whether you’re into golfing, crocheting, scrapbooking, soapmaking, sculpting, woodworking, etc., always make time to evaluate your progress. If you started at a beginner level, doing your activities consistently means you’ve also honed your craft and polished your skills. In addition, taking time to evaluate your progress will make you feel accomplished.
Taking pride in your achievements and levelling up on your skills will give you a sense of accomplishment. Engaging in your hobby and reviewing your performance can inspire better productivity. Who knows, you may feel motivated to transform your hobby into a money-making venture.
The fact that many hobbies require you to learn skills that can be monetized is a great motivator to start a new hobby.
For instance, you can start selling your arts and crafts on Etsy. Many people have found a way to monetize their hobbies. The founder of Jiro Soap, for example, is a young woman who started making handmade artisanal soap to pass the time during the pandemic, and now her soaps are selling fast on Etsy, as Jiro Soap has turned into a business. She found the motivation to start this new hobby by learning about the benefits of handmade soap and how much better it is for you.
Even gamers like Pewdiepie have transformed their hobbies into multi-million money-making ventures on Youtube. So never say no to trying something new because you’ll never know where it can take you. When you know your capabilities, you feel more confident taking on things that may appear daunting before.
Sign Up for a Paid Workshop
One effective way to start a new hobby and stick with it is to sign up for paid workshops and classes. There are many enrichment classes such as woodworking classes, painting, ballroom dancing, swimming, learning taekwondo, or playing a musical instrument. Firstly, you wouldn’t want to waste your hard-earned money. Paying for a class somehow encourages you to keep going with it, because you want to get your money’s worth.
Furthermore, having a teacher or being in a group class with other people makes you accountable. You motivate yourself to attend class because you don’t want to disappoint anyone. Often, they will end up looking for you and sending messages if you keep on being absent.
Finally, taking a class with other people shall inspire you to keep going. It’s more fun to learn something new with other people. Studies also show that individuals tend to learn more in a group setting, especially when engaging in active learning activities.
Plan Out Your Time
When you don’t have structure for your activities, it can feel overwhelming. Time management is key to ensuring you get things done. Designating specific hours of the day to specific tasks will make you more efficient. It would help to use a scheduling app or a planner to see where you allocate most of your time. After knowing these details, you can confidently commit to your hobby.
When you have a guide for your day, everything feels more manageable. You won’t make excuses why you cannot find time for your new hobby, whether it’s gardening, tapestry, coin collecting, or baking. Hobbies structure your time effectively. For instance, if you know you have a book club meeting or choir practice, you push yourself to get all your other tasks done quickly. Hobbies help you create time by promoting efficiency.
Set Reminders and Alerts in Your Phone
If you truly want to carve out time for your interests, set up alerts on your phone. Typically, people remain passive during their downtimes. When left to your own devices, you could be mindlessly surfing the net, watching Youtube videos, or scrolling social media. You can even end up eating when you’re not hungry, due to boredom. Though individuals need downtime, you can’t possibly veg out all the time.
Remember, you will feel more invigorated when you partake in productive leisure activities like doing a group sport or making crafts. Usually, engaging in a fun hobby makes you feel fully immersed in the activity, allowing time to just flow seamlessly. You don’t feel as if you’re wasting time when doing hobbies that foster skills. In fact, they make you feel good because you know you’re engaged in something worthwhile.
Make Lists and Stick to Them
If you’re dragging your feet during the day and making excuses why you cannot make it to art class or cake decorating class, the act of writing down what you need to do can spark motivation. Seeing your tasks written in a post-it note inspires you to feel more inspired to finish them all. After all, it feels very satisfying to cross-stuff off your to-do list.
Sometimes, when you feel overwhelmed about your schedule, just writing down the thoughts swirling in your head can help you de-stress. Creating a list encourages productivity and helps you focus. Even when your mind doesn’t feel like it, just imaging the list helps you minimize distractions.
Think of the Social Benefits of Starting a New Hobby
Hobbies are a great way to foster social connections. Though some hobbies are solitary endeavours like philately (stamp collecting), most hobbies get you out in your community. As a result, you can meet new people you otherwise would not have had the chance to cross paths with.
For example, taking a Zumba class means you will meet others who share your passion for dance. You will form new bonds with these friends who love dancing as their workout. Besides, many studies show that social connection is a vital ingredient of living a happy, meaningful life. Hobbies can do that for you because it paves the way for making friends and forging new ties.
Visualize Inspiring Others With Your New Passion
Hobbies add dimension to your persona and make you interesting. So just imagine, new hobbies like gardening or racing will give you something to talk about during parties or even while hanging out at the water cooler at work.
Engaging in hobbies will make your identity richer, leading to a better sense of self and higher self-esteem. People will naturally gravitate towards you because individuals like hanging around those with dynamic personalities. With your hobbies, you can passionately discuss things and share stories. You feel more inspired when you live a rich, productive life, and you will also inspire others around you in the process.
Be Honest With Your Self-Assessments
When you engage in new activities, it is vital to perform a self-assessment to see if these activities lead you to your goals. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you feel unhappy with certain endeavours. Instead, tell yourself that it’s okay to stop. The beauty of hobbies is unlike work; there’s no pressure. If something doesn’t work out as you imagined, you can shift to a new hobby or interest that suits you better and makes you happier.
Don’t be afraid to assess how you feel, because this will keep you from wasting time on endeavours that don’t truly spark joy within you. Instead, find new activities that make you feel good. Sometimes, you need to experiment with different hobbies to discover what you truly love and what works for your unique needs. You therefore should not get discouraged if a hobby you try doesn’t work out. You can keep on trying a new activity each week until you stumble on what you feel passionate about.
A DNA test such as CircleDNA helps you discover some of the hobbies that suit you best, based on your DNA.