Facebook Twitter Linkedin Contact Us

Inspirational Winners


« Return to all posts

A New Hobby

My home is like a shrine to hobbies, games and toys, both past and present – once nicknamed, The Child Catcher (horror of horrors!) a good while back, this was, thankfully soon after, changed to The Pied Piper (much nicer!) – and my study is an Aladdin’s Cave, much to the delight of my nephews and nieces. They love the fact that I am Ali Baba’s best friend, regularly reciting the magic words, “Open Sesame” so they can enter the weird and wonderful world of “win with yas”. Who doesn’t love a good hobby?

The only way is up, as the song goes, so as well as going UP, UP & AWAY in preparation for my next skydive (yes, indeed!), I wonder what else we could consider in terms of discovering a new hobby.

Challenging, fun and engaging, hobbies have the power to make us happier and healthier. If you’re not into anything as extreme as jumping out of a plane, then consider board games, playing pool, cards, ten-pin bowling, frisbee-throwing, tag, treasure-hunting and hide & seek ….they are all reminders of our youth and childhood ….and similar such pursuits, even as grown-ups, can help us develop in creative, physical and intellectual ways, even helping to boost our self-esteem – this stuff is not just good for the kids!

Research shows that hobbies foster a greater connection with others, leading to better physical health, more sleep, less stress, greater life satisfaction, a larger social network and improved work performance. For my money, hobbies live in both the pleasure world, as well as the mastery world. I mean, what’s the point, if you’re not having FUN!?! A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, remember?

So, where do you start? Here are some strategies for discovering hobbies that you don’t know you love……yet!


  1. Ask yourself how you want to feel. Hobbies are an escape: they help us get out of our heads and calm down. Asking yourself how you want an activity to make you feel, be it mentally engaged, distracted, relaxed, invigorated, or socially connected …..this can really help you identify what it is you may want to get busy doing. It can also be helpful to consider what your life is missing, like creativity or physical activity and to allow this to guide your choices. Recognise that you will have different needs at different moments and that this is ok. There is no such thing as the perfect hobby.


  1. Start small. Don’t invest a ton of time and money in a new hobby too soon. Ease into it to figure out if it’s the right thing for you. If you’re considering paintball, join an outing or two with a local meet-up group. Or sign up for a one-time pottery class, rather than a set of eight. It’s also smart to resist the pressure to over-commit. Learning to fence is one thing, but facing the prospect of impersonating D’Artagnan in a Three Musketeer-type competition may be taking it a wee bit too far! You spend enough of your life pushing yourself – hobbies are supposed to be fun, so keep them that way.


  1. Take an assessment. Many colleges offer careers support for students to help identify their strengths and so determine how to navigate their professional lives. You can also use such instruments, the scientific, psychometric ones, or the more intuitive ones, to glean insight into potential hobbies. Contact your local FE college, where you may be able to access an assessment free of charge or take the plunge and pay a life coach for a fully comprehensive package of self-discovery tools.


  1. Keep a list. Stick a Post-it note on the fridge door whenever something strikes you as interesting. Log any potential interest as it comes to you, and you’ll soon have no shortage of options to explore when you feel ready to have a go.


  1. Remove guilt from the equation. Research indicates that when people feel guilty about spending time on leisure activities, they experience more symptoms of depression and anxiety. Give yourself permission to have fun and do something you like. As the great John Lennon once said, “Time that is wasted, is never wasted at all” – and this, is from the guy who told us all to “IMAGINE”. So, go ahead folks, and make like another hero of mine, Clint Eastwood: “Go ahead, make your day” …and ENJOY!

« Return to all posts

Next Page »