It’s always a great idea to engage the mind and learn something new. Forming a new habit keeps your brain sharp, healthy, and active.
Whether you’re a college student, parent, or have recently entered retirement, you can benefit from checking out the list of activities below. Here are 10 highly desirable skills so you can learn something new starting today.
10 Ways to Learn Something New This Year
Just like the body needs a workout to stay in shape, so does your mind! The awesome thing about meditation is that you can do it anytime and anywhere, making it accessible to anyone. People that regularly meditate often report feeling calmer and more emotionally stable throughout their day.
2. Public Speaking
Believe it or not, even the most seasoned public speakers get a little jittery when speaking in front of a large crowd! If you want to feel more confident and comfortable in your own skin when speaking in front of others, seek opportunities to practice your public speaking skills. For starters, look for a Toastmasters club near you.
3. Foreign Languages
Studies have shown that the brains of people who are fluent in more than one language function differently than others. Not only does learning a second language improve overall cognitive function, but it also makes navigating a foreign country much easier if you enjoy traveling. Not sure what language you’d like to learn? Try out several languages for free at TakeLessons Live.
4. Time Management
If you want to learn something new, time management is an excellent skill to have. Waiting until the last minute to complete a task causes unnecessary stress, and recent studies have shown that constant procrastination can lead to cardiovascular disease. Purchase a daily planner and get into the habit of writing down your deadlines and goals. Use a productivity journal and reward yourself for tasks completed in a timely manner.
Creating an organized and detailed outline of your financial situation makes paying the bills feel easier and helps you take control of your finances. If you have a financial goal you’d like to hit this year, use a helpful budgeting tool such as an app, or make a DIY spreadsheet using Excel to keep track of where you’re spending.
In many lines of work, networking skills are the key to success. As the saying goes, “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” If you want to improve your networking skills you have to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone to attend social and business events. Practice your communication skills, be authentic, and you’ll find yourself naturally making more connections.
7. Musical Instruments
Playing music has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, improve overall cognitive function, and boost concentration skills. It also opens the door to a variety of possibilities from entertaining to performing. Whether you prefer the sound of the ukulele, piano, or guitar, it’s never been easier to start taking online or in-person music lessons.
Do you get bored easily with routine hobbies? Try dancing if you want to learn something new and fun. With ballet, hip hop, swing, tap, salsa, and even more genres available, the possibilities are endless! Dancing is not only fun, but it has loads of health benefits. Trying to lose weight? Dancing can burn hundreds of calories in just a half hour. Dance lessons are also a great confidence-booster.
9. Singing Lessons
It’s never too late to start improving your singing voice. Whether you’re a seasoned soprano or you strictly reserve singing for the car, your voice is the most accessible musical instrument and arguably, the easiest to practice! Learning how to sing is great for reducing stress and raising self confidence. Try taking free online singing classes to get started.
Yoga is one of the most popular (and relaxing) methods of exercise. Don’t be discouraged from joining a class if you struggle to touch your toes! Most gyms offer classes that are beginner-friendly. Yoga is a great way to unwind before or after a long day while getting a quick, low-impact workout.
Now that you have this helpful list of new hobbies and activities to incorporate into your routine, it’s time to get started! Keep in mind that it takes about 21 days for a new habit to stick – so it’s important to hold yourself accountable for at least the first three weeks.
How do you plan to learn something new this year? Let us know in the comments section below!
Guest Post Author: Emily Schario is a blogger for StudentUniverse – the world’s leading travel booking service for students and youth. StudentUniverse offers special rates on flights, hotels, and tours, allowing students to travel more and spend less.