8 Ways to Start a Hobby and Stick With It
Let me start by revealing how much I despise the word ‘hobby.’ The word itself is not what irks me, it’s the social connotation. I mean, think about it; there's such a broad range of hobbies that all get mashed up together. Here’s the definition of a Hobby from Dictionary.com:
Hobby [ hob-ee ]
noun, plural hob·bies.
an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation:
Her hobbies include stamp-collecting and woodcarving.
What I relish about the above definition is the middle bit, “...pursued for pleasure or relaxation…,” but the beginning and the end don’t live up to how I view ‘away-from-work’ passions. And clearly, the definition doesn't take into account the mastery of a passion like woodworking, in comparison to something like stamp collecting. That’s not to say stamp collecting is not a legit and satisfying pastime, and if that’s your passion Live. It. Up. It’s just to say that not all ‘hobbies’ are the same and maybe, just maybe, we should be talking about them differently.
Okay. Getting back to the point of this post. My hope for you--lovely and inspired person reading this 😍--is that you walk away with a few useful tools and motivation to start giving love and attention to your passion (outside of work), whatever it might be. Here are eight ways to take your 'hobby' and turn it into a lifelong passion.
Reset Your Mindset
Your words have power, and if you--like me--feel that describing your passion as a ‘hobby’ minimizes it in your own mind and the minds of others, the first hurdle you need to leap over is this mindset. You will always choose grocery shopping or a glass of wine with friends over getting out and playing around with the awesome camera, that’s been collecting dust in your closet if you think of the time you spend on your passion-project as 'expendable time.'
Put Time on Your Calendar
As silly as it may sound, you'll gain more gratification from digging into your favorite pastime or hobby once you start prioritizing it by putting dedicated and regular time on your calendar to give your passion attention. You’re not going to learn guitar or become a master sculptor if you don’t make learning and testing, and playing a priority for yourself. Harvard Business Review noted in a recent blog post that “a study found that spending 45 minutes making art helps boost someone’s confidence and ability to complete tasks.” The same can probably be said for any hobby, so schedule that time in!
Don’t Cancel on Yourself
Canceling on yourself is easy. Keeping the commitment you have made to personal growth is effing hard, but you won’t ever gain value from your passion-pastime (yes, I’m coining the phrase 😉), if you don’t prioritize it more than grabbing a drink with friends, running errands, etc. If you set a date with yourself to take a class or schedule time with an instructor...whatever you do, don’t cancel. It’s your time, spend it with your hobby!
Set Deadlines for Growth
This bit may not work for everyone. For some of us, keeping the time you dedicate to your hobby free from deadlines and goals is what makes it gratifying. But if you are like me and need a little fire under your ass to stay focused and actually see progress, setting deadlines is essential to achievement.
Find a Tribe
One of my obsessions is exercise and specifically, workout classes. I used to dabble in working out. A day here or there, but it wasn’t until I started making friends in my workout classes, and setting up a time to exercise together that I became consistent with the habit. Find people that are passionate about the same hobby you are, and hang out with them. Enough said.
Invest in the Right Gear
Have you ever tried riding a bike with only one of its two wheels? I bet not. No surprise, a bike with only one wheel won’t take you anywhere. Same can be said about a passion-pastime. If you don’t invest in the right gear or tools, you won’t get very far. It’s an expense, yes. Especially if you’re into something like photography or sculpting, but starting out with the right stuff is part of what will make it fun and satisfying. So pony up, and get the gear you need to be a guru at your hobby!
Keep With it
The cliche goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” and as annoying as it is to hear (no eye-rolls, please! 🙄), it’s the god’s honest truth. Ask anyone that's good at anything from braiding hair to building boats if they were able to become an expert or visionary easily and quickly. I bet you’ve already figured out the answer you’re likely to get. Here’s a great post on how successful people spend their time outside of work, read it, and you’ll discover that it takes a lot of dedication and purposeful action to invest in a hobby and stick with it.
If It Doesn’t Bring You Joy Move On
If you give any hobby or pastime 1,000% effort, and after three months don’t feel excited, passionate, or most importantly, happy when you are giving time and energy to it, Stop. Reevaluate. Move on! I know, I know, being a photographer or artist is super hipster right now, but your hobby isn’t for your Instagram followers to fawn over, it’s for your own self-growth. The whole point of a hobby is to dedicate time to something you LOVE doing. If you don’t love it, don’t do it. Find something you do love!
At the end of the day, you won’t know what you are passionate about until you start. So whether it’s signing up for a class, buying some supplies or finding a group of co-hobbyist to hang with, find a place to call ‘your starting point,’ and get out there. I can’t wait to see what you create! Let me know what hobby you’re starting in the comments.
Entreprenista Mama 💜
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