January is coming to an end, and many of us are settling into our busy routines. If you’re like me, you’re probably already working away on your resolutions and goals for the New Year. Many of my goals have often centered on getting better at or doing more of something I’m already working on. Yet regardless of what time of year it is, or what I’m already doing, it’s always a good time to start something new.
Learning and doing new things are physically and emotionally healthy.
Whether you’re 30, 50, or 70, it’s never too early or too late to try something new. It could be something small or something big. It could be learning a new skill, taking a class, getting a new job, or whatever. Often, however, we talk ourselves out of trying new things. We probably all use the same excuses: I’m too old, I’m too young, I don’t have time, I don’t have the money, I’m too busy, etc.
If you’re having trouble starting something new, these three guidelines will help jumpstart the process:
- You can change your mind: It’s okay to try something new and then discover that you don’t like it after all. Some of us hate to be thought of as a quitter, so we’re reluctant to start something new for fear we may not want, or be able, to continue. The reality is that not everything suits everyone, but you never know until you try. You try something and if that doesn’t work, you try something else. Maybe you finally join a gym and take a Zumba class but then figure out that you hate Zumba. You can always switch to a different class, a different gym, or take up jogging. The point is: You’re on a path – your path.
**It is, however, usually a good idea to try something a few times before deciding that thing is not for you. Sometimes it takes time to let our resistance down and give things a chance.
- Get comfortable with the unknown: We may not know exactly where the path we’re embarking on will lead. Often the unknown causes discomfort. Also, we often want a guaranteed outcome. That’s human nature and there’s nothing wrong with those feelings—as long as we don’t let them keep us from living our lives to the fullest. We can do things just because we want to and because we think that activity will be enjoyable or challenging. We can do things for the love of them. We can do things because we feel called to. We can trust the process and in our ability to know, and do, the next right thing.
- Trust yourself: Your own voice is the most important– trust it above others. It’s hard enough when we give ourselves excuses to avoid a new activity, let alone when someone else in our lives is also giving us excuses or discouraging us. Most of the time those people probably have no ill intentions. They, just like us, may tend to avoid new challenges. Put other people’s voices and ideas aside, get quiet, and ask yourself what is most important to you. Trust your instincts.
Doing new things is fun, challenging, and also builds confidence. Confidence gives you the courage to try even more new things. It’s a circle of good.
Here are some ideas for new activities you may enjoy:
- Take art or craft classes (This is something my girls and I love doing every chance we get!):
- Pottery (took at our local fine arts center)
- Stained glass making (took at a local art gallery)
- Sewing (took at Jo-Ann Fabrics)
- Jewelry making (took at a local bead store)
- Soap making (took at a local shop)
- Painting (Painting with a Twist/Paint N’ Sip)
- Take tours at your local historical sites or museums. * The ones you always say you’re going to visit but never do.
- Take a self-defense class.
- Take a cooking or baking class.
- Take the trip.