The start of the new year is a time when we often feel the need to better ourselves. From eating healthy to moving more to sleep routines, resolutions abound, but we can often lose steam after a week or two and that can leave us feeling down on ourselves.
Consider another approach to building healthy habits and breaking the less healthy ones by starting a new hobby! This can add a new focus and inspiration to our lives. It may also help us stay occupied so are minds are distracted from falling into our routines of sedentary behaviour, unhealthy snacking or excess screen time. And during a pandemic, we all need different things to do at home to minimize boredom.
The key is to choose a hobby for which a S.M.A.R.T goal can be created. S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Based which means setting a specific time target that is realistic to achieve each day or week. See our post on Family Goal-Setting for more detail.
Here are some hobby ideas to choose from:
- Learn a new instrument. Ukuleles and keyboards are more affordable introductory instruments than guitars and pianos and are great for kids! There are now fantastic new apps that turn learning into fun, like Simply Piano®
- Learn a language. We are all missing travel! Think about a place you might like to visit in the future and consider learning the native language in preparation for your trip. Even better if you do it as a family so you can all practice together. There are also great programs available, like Rosetta Stone® or Dua Lingo® to help you along.
- Sewing, knitting or embroidery. A great way to occupy your hands and create something with your efforts!
- Painting, drawing, photography or writing. There are simple tutorials available in print or online that can walk you through introductory painting and drawing. Writing can be as simple as journaling to trying your hand at poetry or a short story.
- Gardening. Late winter is the time to plan your garden. Get seeds started inside in late February so the starts are already to plant in the spring. Growing food like vegetables and herbs is a fantastic way to build food literacy in children—watch them munch their way through the garden.
- Woodworking or scale modeling. For those with a little more space around the house, these traditional hobbies can be very meditative in their need for focus and patience.
- Jewelry making or papercraft. Create beautiful pieces to wear or give to others.
- Juggling and magic. Build coordination and dexterity, not to mention multi-tasking and presentation skills, if you entertain others with a performance.