How to Keep on Track with New Year’s Resolutions: Learn a New Skill or Hobby

Closing out our series on how to stay on track with New Year’s resolutions, this post will deal with learning a new skill or hobby, and the benefits of doing so. Having a hobby is more than just a way to pass the time. Hobbies can also improve the quality of your life. A hobby is something that you do for fun, relaxation, or pleasure during your free time. Hobbies are much more than just a way to have fun, however. Learning a new skill or taking up a hobby offers you many benefits, including:


  1. A sense of accomplishment.
  2. A new creative outlet.
  3. A way to keep your brain engaged.
  4. A way to engage your passion.
  5. A means to develop a new circle of friends.
  6. An possible stream of income.
  7. A new way to give to others.


Now that you know some of the benefits of learning a new skill or picking up a new hobby, what are some popular hobbies people enjoy? Here is a short list of a few hobbies that offer both fun and several other benefits:

1) Grow Something. Gardening has some amazing benefits, including:

  • Reduced cortisol levels
  • Reinforces your ability to cause positive change in the world.
  • Offers zero impact exercise.
  • Reduces incidence of dementia by 36%.
  • Gets you out in nature.
  • Increases Vitamin D through exposure to sunshine.
  • Elevates mood.
  • Provides fruits, vegetables, fresh herbs, or flowers for your home.

2) Take an art or photography class. Release your inner artist in a variety of ways. There are any number of media available with which to express your artistic side. Check out your local community college, community center, church, library, or senior center for available art classes. You can learn to draw, paint with oils or watercolors, sculpt with a variety of materials, or create photographic masterpieces. The possibilities are endless. If you enjoy photography and become adept at it, you could market your photos to nature or travel magazines, or try selling them at a local craft fair or trade show.

3) Learn an instrument. No matter your age, it’s never too late to learn to play a musical instrument. It isn’t necessary to take formal lessons anymore; today you can become very proficient just by using internet tutorials. YouTube has thousands of videos that can teach you how to play your instrument of choice. Buying an instrument of your own doesn’t have to be expensive. Search online, at thrift stores, local pawn shops, and in newspaper classifieds and you should be able to find your instrument for a good price. The actual physical job of learning to play a musical instrument improves coordination and teaches perseverance. Learning music theory can improve both your reading and math skills.

4) Take a cooking class. One of the many benefits derived from learning to cook is the financial savings you’ll realize from cooking at home more and eating out less. You will often have enough food leftover to use for lunch the following day, and you’ll never have to guess at the ingredients! If you have an interest in a specialized type of cooking, such as learning how to follow a Paleo eating plan, you can usually find classes in your area where you can experiment until you perfect your skills.

5) Move your feet. Learning to dance is a hobby that has grown in popularity recently. Dancing is suitable for people of all ages and abilities and is an easy hobby to get into. It doesn’t require any special equipment to get started, and lessons are usually not expensive. This is a great place to get out of your comfort zone, meet new people, have fun, and get exercise all at the same time.

These are just a few suggestions of hobbies and skills you can learn that will improve your life, give you something to look forward to, and offer you opportunities to get out and make new friends in the new year. Knowing the benefits derived from learning your skill of choice will keep you motivated to stick to your resolution throughout the coming months as you expand your horizons and add to your list of talents.