I started this year with a one-word goal: grow. And so far, I have. I’ve changed careers, taken the leap into being self-employed, I had a host of trips booked, including my first solo backpacking trip (although, life kind of got in the way of that one) and I’ve done a whole lot of soul work. But these were all quite ‘productive’ things. And one area of my life I’ve always battled with is being unproductive. In other words, just having fun (for the sake of having fun). I work, I workout and I do a lot of social things. But besides that, I don’t do too much with my spare time. So, I decided: I need a new hobby.
Of course, I do have a few hobbies already. I read a lot, I do yoga, I journal, I cook, I play the odd game and watch a bit of YouTube. But unless I’m out with people, I often find myself wondering where my evenings and weekends disappear to. Working from home for yourself also brings another problem: you never quite stop working. So, with these observations made, I knew: I need a new hobby (or two! Or ten, because apparently I don’t know how to do things by halves).
“To be happy in life, develop at least four hobbies: one to bring you money, one to keep you healthy, one to bring you joy, and one to bring you peace” – Stan Jacobs
Finding a new hobby
When you think ‘I need a new hobby’ your second thought is probably something along the lines of ‘well, I have no idea what my hobbies are’. If you don’t already have a hobby in mind, take a second to step back and ask yourself what you most enjoy and what sparks your interest.
I’ve written a full guide on how to find a new hobby. But the short version is: it doesn’t matter what it is, how random it seems or even if it looks like a conventional hobby or not. Some of the things on my list were nutrition and ancient history. They’re not a hobby, per say, but they’re topics I find really interesting that I can still put my time into.
If you’re completely lost on this one, I have a big list of ideas for new hobbies to try.
Think of possible ways you could do your hobby
Take every idea, like I did with ancient history, for example, and list as many physical things you could do to interact with your interest. For ancient history, I wrote: research, read, watch documentaries, find and watch YouTube channels, plan places to visit, eg. museums and archaeological sites.
And do the same for more conventional hobbies. If you want to get into basketball you could go to basketball games, play with friends, join a team, watch professional games online, watch videos talking about the sport, read the autobiographies of players. One interest can branch out into so much more.
Ask yourself ‘why?’
This is a general rule I set whenever I set new goals, hobbies or intentions. I ask, why do I want this? Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in things we don’t really want and then we kick ourselves when we don’t have the motivation or want to see them through. In order to stick to a goal or a hobby, you need to have a strong reason to keep you motivated throughout the process. You need to be willing to take on the challenges that hobby has.
For the longest time I kept trying to learn Spanish. And I always failed and fell off after a couple of weeks. When I really asked myself why I was doing it, my only reason was because I thought speaking a language would be cool. And that reason simply wasn’t big enough to keep me going through the difficulties that come with learning a language. So I dropped it. And that’s perfectly fine. I’m glad I dropped it. Endlessly cycling through trying and failing without any real want to be there was using energy and time I could have been putting into something I was more interested in. If I ever get a better reason, I’ll be sure to pick it back up again.
Do your research
This will depend completely on what your hobby is, but you may need to do some research into equipment, techniques or things to watch and do. If you wanted to get into cooking, for example, look up recipes, cooks, types of cuisine, new techniques and appliances. This will get you excited to start and give you some ideas for when you do!
Decide on the what, the where and the when
It’s easy to set an intention. That’s step one. The next step is attention – you actually have to set aside time to do your new hobby. How you do this is up to you and depends on your hobby, but setting a particular place or time to do it can help you get into the habit of practicing. Otherwise the weeks go by and you realise you haven’t given it time in weeks (and at that point, your motivation is likely to fizz out).
When I first got back into reading, I chose to do it on my commute. I’d take my book on every bus trip (I still do, in fact) and would read the whole way there and back. It got me in the habit, and after a while, I found myself sitting down to read whenever I had spare time, because the habit was already ingrained..
Get a hobby buddy
I’m quite a solitary person when it comes to hobbies, but there are certain ones that I feel more motivated for around other people. It’s entirely up to you. Hobbies like going to the gym or running may be easier to find the motivation for when you have a workout buddy. Or you might find the escapism and time alone more appealing. It’s your shout. I’d recommend having a few hobbies to do alone and a few social ones too.
Above all, enjoy it. If you can enjoy your hobby (and let’s face it, that is the point), you’ll do it all the time. Hobbies are there to relax you, to help you grow, to teach you and most importantly, for you to have fun. So always make that your number one priority.
Let me know what your hobbies are in the comments! It’s so important to make time for doing the things you love. I’m making these hobby blogs a series, so make sure to check out the others and stay tuned for the next one!
Have fun! Love, Ella-Rose xx