24 January 2023
You have decided to take up a new hobby. It could be a new year’s resolution, or something you have always wanted to do, or just a whim. Here are some steps to look at.
Think about your budget and how much you can afford to allocate to this new venture. Make a list of everything you might consider and then search the Web for some locals and what the price might be. This might include instruction fees or the cost of materials.
If it doesn’t seem feasible, look at other sources of funding. If it is a community effort, see if the sponsoring party offers scholarships or discounts. If you want to learn to ride a horse but the thought of buying and housing the animal is far beyond your reach, look to local stables. See if they offer an hourly charge to learn and then ride. Also, ask if they trade off volunteer services for lessons. If you would like to pursue a writing career but seminars are too expensive, check local libraries or schools to see if there is a group you can join. The same with a book club. You don’t have to purchase each volume you will read. In fact, some libraries that sponsor book clubs will give their group first dibs even on popular reads. Some universities have a community or social arm that offer a wide variety of short-term classes at reasonable amounts. That means you can learn Thai cooking without going to a culinary school. Community centers and high schools can offer fitness classes without the a contract or expense of a gym.
There are benefits and disadvantages to every pursuit. Weigh the good and the bad. If you have the resources and it sounds like it will be fun, maybe give you a release of frustration, or will be advantageous in jump starting a new career or part-time enterprise, see where you can fit in.
Where to Start
If you are having difficulty coming up with ideas, regress to your childhood. What did you do as a kid that gave you hours of entertainment? It is likely that you still have that same interest that can be converted into an adult activity.
Look around your home to see if you have any abandoned hobbies that you left unfinished. It could be that job or other responsibilities took precedence. Now is the time to try again.
Think about your guilty pleasures. See if it can be turned into something you could create or participate in yourself. If you love podcasts, try making one yourself.
Consider something way out of your comfort zone.
Actually, try a few things and see what sticks. Physically seeing someone make jewelry may make you interested in the craft. Walking through a store that sells sports equipment may give you an idea or two of something you want to try.
It should be an activity that helps you relax and feel comfortable…a way to forget about the stresses of the day. Trying to balance on one leg at a yoga class is guaranteed to help you focus on that single process and you won’t be able to think about the laundry not done or the report not written.
Know the Rules
If you join a group, organization, or class, understand the requirements. As an example, if you are taking pickleball lessons but miss a class, will you be able to take a make-up session, or are you just out of luck? Or, if you become a docent at a local historic site, what happens if you can’t make your shift? Are you responsible for finding your own substitute? Are there continuing ed requirements? Are there a minimum number of hours you need to maintain status? Just be sure you understand all the moving parts.