January is a time for new things- new goals, new mind sets, new lifestyles, and more. Let's add new hobbies that list! Remember that hobby that you have always wanted to try? Now is your time!
In 2023, the most popular hobby was cooking/baking, while other hobbies like reading, pets, and video gaming coming in close for second place. Other categories that were surveyed included traveling, arts and crafts, gardening and plants, mediation/wellness, photography, tech/computers, cars, sports and fitness, writing, and music.
Studies show that doing something regularly just for pleasure, whether that's painting, reading, collecting board games, gardening, or fishing can improve your physical and mental health. Participating in activities that you enjoy can help increase your mood and decrease stress. Additionally, being engaged and fulfilled in your life outside of work can make you more focused, enthusiastic, and happy. So, having a hobby that you enjoy can make a big impact on your life!
But what if you don't have any hobbies, or can't find something that you like to do? You are not alone. With all the information overload that we have now, there is a tendency to blow our free time with scrolling through social media. So how can you start a new hobby that you love?
Here are a few tips to help you choose a new favorite pastime:
Understand your lifestyle. What is important to you? What are your values? They can be religious and spiritual, but can also reflect what brings you joy- being a good parent, becoming more educated, feeling relaxed, volunteering, teaching, etc.
Think of activities that respond to your values. If you feel relaxed and fulfilled when you spend time walking through the woods, find time to do that. Discover a passion in which you genuinely have an interest and motivation. Consider your prior knowledge and abilities and experiences as well, as they may be helpful in learning new things.
Many hobbies teach you a skill, like playing a musical instrument, learning a foreign language, or crocheting. Think about a skill that you would like to learn and consider trying it out!
Start small! Take steps to learning your new hobby. For example, don't start out trying to knit a complicated sweater. Start with small simple projects to gain experience and skill. Try out different hobbies for at least 20 minutes a day until you find one that you really enjoy!
Join the community! Joining a group where people share their interests might be a wonderful opportunity to start a new pastime. Consider joining a book club, taking a foreign language class, or joining a sports team. Finding new friends with the same hobby can keep you motivated and energized.
I know that for some, finding time to do anything for yourself seems impossible. Life is busy and there are always tasks that need completed, family to take care of, and other obligations. It IS possible to curate the time to enjoy a hobby. It can start as micro-breaks throughout your day or setting aside a half hour once a week. Whatever way works for you, do something that brings you joy and fulfillment! Let 2024 be the year for new beginnings!