When’s the last time you tried something new? I don’t mean try a new restaurants or a new fashion style, I mean really developing a skill. It can be easy to get into a routine for months (even years) at a time, but I truly believe there’s a huge importance to continually learning, even in small ways. Not only can it be fun to learn a new skill or pick up a hobby, it can also be empowering! Plus, it’s just good for your brain health. Whether you’d like to become a better baker, gardener, businessperson, painter, or anything! Read on for some tips to accomplish those goals!
Some people are natural learners. If you’ve ever done a strength finder test, maybe you’ve discovered that you are one (I am!). This just means that you naturally seek out ways to do things differently or develop a new skill. If you’re not a natural learner, don’t worry, you can practice! You also don’t need to invest tons of money (depending on what you want to learn) to pick up a new skill either. There are plenty of apps, YouTube videos, and books that can be used as resources. I’ll share a few of my favorites later on, but first, here are five characteristics of a natural learner.
Picking something you are already interested in – seems obvious, but for example I don’t recommend learning to ski when you absolutely hate being outside in the winter.
Being flexible – if you’ve got a busy schedule, give yourself reasonable goals to learn little by little. If you’d like to be better at cooking, try a new recipe once a week. Then move on to two nights, etc.
Keeping yourself accountable – even if it means asking a friend to check if you’ve worked on your goal each week, this minimizes the chance of falling back into a routine after a month.
Taking risks – probably the most important! You can’t really be afraid of messing up here because that’s the biggest part of learning. I tell my students all the time that if they aren’t messing up, they’re not learning anything new. Embrace mistakes, evaluate them, see what you can change, and keep at it.
Having fun! – It’s just easier to learn something when you’re excited about it.
Some of my favorite tools:
- Duolingo – a free app that teaches language using images, listening, speaking, and writing. My favorite part? You can set how much you want to practice every day. I’m currently learning French and practicing between 5-10 minutes a day.
- Rosetta Stone – not free, but more comprehensive for intense language learning. You’ll be practicing anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour each time you do a session.
- Serious Eats – affiliated with The Food Lab, which I talked about in my blog post of favorite books for the kitchen. Learn the science behind cooking in order to become a better cook. Super fun and delicious!
- Pinterest – always good for inspiration and links to the full DIYs – just make sure you aren’t just looking all the time – try something!
Now that you have all of that useful information, it’s time to pick something! What will it be? Let me know! Happy learning!
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