I have more than 15 ongoing active interests, 10 previous interests, and five things I’d like to try this year. I love being active and trying new things, but I wasn’t always this way.
I started looking for a hobby after a going through a major transition in my life. I recall being alone in my living room in a new city and actually typing in “how to get a hobby” on the Internet. I yearned for a new way to pass the time — something that would also help me grow as a person. I wanted to find something just for me. This search yielded no helpful results, and left me feeling lost and disappointed. But now, after many years and many hobbies, I am able to shed some light on how to find a new one with six easy steps.
FACE YOUR FEARS
When you think of starting a new hobby, what resistance comes to mind? Do you feel guilty for taking time for yourself? Do you immediately think, “That’s just not me! I can’t go skydiving, painting, gardening, etc!” Are you shy? Or do you not feel confident enough to do something alone? We all have a level of resistance to change, and it comes in all forms. One way to combat this fear is to say it out loud and following it with a statement of change. Then ask yourself, which are you committing to today: resistance or change?
ASK YOURSELF: SOLO OR SOCIAL?
Determining a hobby from this angle can help you decide where to start. Do you often want to close the door and shut the world out, just for a bit, so you can re-energize (shout out to all the introverts out there), or do you feel more energized by sharing special moments with like-minded people and want to cultivate relationships? I am an introverted extrovert. Okay, that may not be a thing, but I love being in front of 500 people conducting a workshop just as much as I like being home alone for three days straight — I need this balance in my life. Figure out which one you are.
DETERMINE YOUR BUDGET
It’s important to determine a basic budget for both money and time — it can help you narrow down your options. For example, I started hiking because it was free but can take up a lot of time. If you can invest a little cash into a new hobby, try signing up for a class that interests you or browsing your local craft store. You never know what you might find!
GET A LITTLE HELP FROM YOUR FRIENDS
Ask around — you may be surprised to learn that your friends have lots going on in their free time. A new activity can be an easy way to get introduced to a new group, say a book club, or it can lead you to discovering something new. It’s good to try new things, but sometimes it can be a little daunting to delve into something headfirst if you’ve never done it before. If you have a friend who seems to be an expert in the area, he or she may be able to offer advice, let you borrow supplies, or even include you in the next adventure.
BE A KID AGAIN
Some of the things that we were most interested in as children or young adults can entertain us as adults as well: drawing, crafting, exploring in the woods, trying new things in the kitchen, the list goes on and on. Look back to your childhood as a place for inspiration, and you may rediscover a long-lost passion.
TRY AND TRY AGAIN
This is the most important step. The first several hobbies I started years ago I don’t do anymore — and that is the beauty of hobbying. You can start and stop at anytime. Keep trying new activities in different settings until you discover something you really love. And if you get sick of it, move on! There’s so much to discover in this world.