Contributed by Info Guru Lindsay Shugerman
Every year people make New Year’s resolutions, whether it’s to lose weight, finish a project or be on time more often. But what if you replaced those annual resolutions with just one: to make the coming year a time of learning new things.
Imagine how good you will feel on December 31st of next year when you can look back on a new level of competence, new skills and new successes! If you like the idea, but aren’t sure where to start here are ten things to learn how to do this year.
10. Have a conversation in a new language
I’ve heard lots of people resolve to learn a new language. But that goal can quickly become overwhelming. And what do we do with overwhelming plans? We abandon them.
So what if you keep it simple. Resolve to learn enough of a new language to carry on ONE conversation. Just one. Once you succeed in that modest goal, it’s easier to move on to a greater level of mastery.
9. Change your car’s oil
Yes, of course you can take your car to the dealer or a car repair shop. But knowing how to do it yourself can give you a sense of accomplishment, knowing that if you ever HAD to do it again, you could. You only need a few tools to change the oil, so that makes it an inexpensive thing to learn. And who knows…it might lead to working on your car for other things, too.
8. Identify the major constellations
When you look up at the night sky, what do you see? If you’re like most of, you see the moon and stars. But our ancestors saw pictures and stories in the sky. This year, learn how to see them, too. Get a telescope and a star chart and find the images hidden in the stars. The night will never look that same again.
7. Edit a video
We live in a digital world where anyone can be an author, a photographer or even a film maker. But being able to create what you envision means knowing how to edit your raw content. This year, learn how to take those camera phone videos and camcorder recordings and turn them into the movie you can see in your imagination. Video editing software makes it easier than ever, so make this the year you learn how to use it.
6. Play a song on a new instrument
Just like with learning a new language, trying to master a new instrument in a year can become more frustration than fun. So instead of putting “Learn how to play the _______” on your resolution list, keep it real by challenging yourself to learn just one song. Success on smaller goals makes it more likely that you’ll keep going — so you just might surprise yourself with more music than you expect.
5. Make something useful from wood
There is nothing quite like making something with your own two hands. But so much of what we make, from the cakes we bake to the cards we make is gone all too soon. Why not make 2015 the year you learn how to make something that lasts. Something made of wood. Take a furniture making class, or start small with a few woodworking tools and the plans for a birdhouse or jewelry box.
4. Re-wire a lamp
Fixing something is almost as satisfying as making something, and lamps are a perfect place to start. Find a lamp you love at a thrift store, garage sale or auction, then give it new life with new wiring and a fresh plug. Add a new lampshade and you can say you now know how to turn trash into treasure.
3. Bake bread from scratch
Have you ever smelled freshly baked bread? There is nothing that smells so delicious — and nothing that will tempt you to dig in even when it’s too hot to handle. This year, learn how to bring that fresh, hot bread taste into your home. A simple French bread is a good place to start… more advanced bakers can try their hand at mixed grain breads, shaped breads and sweet dessert breads.
2. Play a new sport
By now, I think you know how I see things. Forget mastery as a goal. Make it about trying, doing, taking baby steps. And the same rules apply to sports. This year, just learn the basics of how to play a new sport. Work on getting the ball over the net in volleyball or returning a few balls in tennis. Getting started is the hardest part…once you try it, you may find a new passion.
1. Paint a picture
Forget what you think about your artistic talent. Forget what some art teacher in school told you years ago. If you have ever wanted to paint a picture, now is the time. Get a basic set of paints, some paper or canvas and give it a go. Or enroll in an art class that caters to adult beginners. Just don’t make excuses. It’s time to create.
Make this year the year of new things. Come up with your own list of things to learn how to do in 2015 and get started. There’s no better time to master new skills than right now.