Kick off a new year with goals and activities inspired by January’s special emphasis on pastimes.
Resolve to Learn More
January is National Hobby Month, and many people are busy making New Year’s resolutions. What better time to learn a new hobby or master a skill you already love?
According to National Today, a “hobby horse” or “tourney horse” was a toy with a long stick and a small horse’s head at one end that children would “ride” as they played. The expression “to ride one’s hobby horse” eventually came to mean “to follow one’s favorite pastime.” Over several centuries, the word “hobby” became associated with recreation and leisure. Hobbies took on greater respectability by the 18th century, and, today, a hobby is described as an activity that may become a regular practice for some.
Why Have a Hobby?
How we spend our leisure time is important. DevelopGoodHabits.com explores the benefits of engaging in an activity or pastime, noting that it can: help alleviate stress; teach new skills; create relationships with other people with similar interests; prevent boredom; and build confidence and self-esteem. Hobbies also promote brain health by keeping our minds active as we regularly participate in things that interest us.
How Do I Choose a Hobby?
From activities like solving puzzles and playing a musical instrument to making jewelry, woodworking, painting or knitting, many of us have a go-to pastime based on our creative interests. Start by pursuing these things you already love or reclaim a childhood interest. If you like it, great! Keep at it. If not, cross it off the list and move on to a new activity inspired by other interests. However, be sure to spend ample time trying out a new hobby before you rule it out — research cited by HuffPost showed that it took an average of 66 days for study participants to develop a new behavior into a habit.
How Can I Get Started?
Make use of resources available at your library to learn a new skill. Universal Class offers access to more than 70 craft and hobby online classes for topics including cake decorating, candle making, baking, creative writing and more. Our talented library staff members also offer how-to programming, so be sure to keep an eye on our calendar. All these classes are free with your FCPL library card!