Learn a new skill

How often do we really give ourselves the opportunity to learn something new? When we were younger, we did it every day. Our whole lives seemed to be focused on learning. But as adults, do we every take the chance to learn a new skill?

In my real-life job, I’m a teacher. I see students learning every single day. I see my children learning. But it’s here, in my blog, where I’m the learner. Every single time I do something just out of my comfort zone, I push myself a little bit further. I learn something new.

Task 1: Decide what to learn

This week, I want you to think about what you’d like to learn. Is it a skill you currently have, but you’d like to improve? Or do you want to learn something from scratch?

Talk to your friends. Have a look online to see what’s available. Think about what you’ve enjoyed doing in the past. Go back to the questions you asked yourself in Skills and Strengths and Your Identity.

Task 2: Work out what you will do with your skill

When you’ve got your idea, think about what you will do with it. I’ve found that if we don’t have an idea of what we will do with our learning, we won’t learn it! Back in 2016, I set myself the challenge of learning a new piece to play on the piano. A worthwhile task, I suppose. But I had no reason for learning it, and would have had no purpose for playing it. So I never learned the piece. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I really sat down to play the piano. I have no real reason for it.

This task might actually shape what you want to learn. For example, you might choose to learn about gardening, but then you might refine your idea. So you might learn about a specific type of gardening in order to use it in your own garden.

Task 3: Find out how to learn a new skill

Now you need to do some research. Will you have to take a class or a course? Will you be able to borrow some library books? Are there videos on YouTube to get you started?

It’s amazing how little money you actually need to spend in order to gain some new skills. Take blogging, for example. You can set up a blog for free. It costs relatively little – in terms of hobbies – to get a really professional looking blog.

Task 4: Allocate some time

As we all know, we are absolutely time-starved. But by giving yourself some time to focus on your own learning, you are completely investing in yourself – your mental health, your wellbeing and your future.

So speak to your partner or husband. Look at your schedule. See if you can dedicate one evening a week to it, or a couple of hours at the weekend. You’ll be surprised how much you can learn in just an hour!

Task 5: Give it a go!

Hopefully, by now, you are completely ready and raring to go with your new skill. Don’t take it too seriously and remind yourself that learning is hard – that’s why it’s a challenge! Especially if this is a completely new skill and something you’ve never done before. It takes time. But enjoy the process, and see it as investing in yourself.

Most importantly, have fun.

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