Doing something regularly just for pleasure, whether that’s collecting retro games, podcasting, making music, or practicing ballet, can improve our mental and physical health. For example, the study showed that gardening and DIY reduce the risk of heart diseases by up to 30 percent. Another research confirmed that people who have purposeful activities are less likely to suffer from low mood, stress, and depression.
On top of that, when you are engaged and fulfilled in your life outside of work, it can make you more focused, enthusiastic, and happy.
So, having a hobby that you enjoy can clearly improve life. But what if you can’t find something you like to do? Don’t worry! You are not alone. In a world of information overload, there is a tendency to just blow free time procrastinating and doomscrolling, which don’t do any good for us.
In this article, we share with you a few strategies you can use to find a hobby you truly love.
Tip #1: Understand your values in life
Your values are the core beliefs in your life. They can be religious, and spiritual, but they can also reflect your personality and what brings you the most joy. For example, being a good parent, acquiring wealth, becoming an educated person, having power, feeling relaxed, being physically fit, loving and being loved, and improving society.
It can be difficult to figure out what is important to you in your life if you have never thought about it before or have always prioritized the needs and desires of others. Devote some time to examine your past experiences and think about what made you feel like your life was going “right.” Recall those moments when you felt like the happiest person. What were you doing then? Who were you with? Why do you think this event or situation made you feel happy? What can you do to bring this feeling to other areas of your life? For example, recognizing that your core value is helping others can help you narrow down your interests. You might want to try volunteering, teaching (for fun), and writing music.
Tip #2: See if you follow your true values
When a person doesn’t live in accordance with their values, then they can feel unhappy, and their motivation disappears. For example, many people believe that good health is their top value. However, in reality, they eat junk food, never work out, and ignore the signs of illness. Now, you can understand how important the first step is. You need to determine your true values and then follow and support them.
Let’s say your core value is making the world a better place. This value will guide everything you do — what you watch, who you befriend, who you work with, what you eat, how you dress, what you write on social media, etc. Sometimes, this can be difficult, so it’s important for you to consciously remind yourself of the greater purpose that you are striving for. Feeling connected to this greater purpose means a lot.
Tip #3: Think of activities that respond to your values
As you can see, the practice with the values can help you prioritize activities worthy of your attention and intention. If you feel happy and fulfilled walking silently in the woods or playing chess, there is no need to burden yourself with intensive workouts or football, which you don’t like.
If you are happy when you feel relaxed, your favorite activities might be writing, reading, yoga, knitting, meditation, scrapbooking, gardening, or baking. And if you prefer to be fit and healthy, you might like cycling, boxing, skateboarding, and running. There are many hobbies that teach you a skill. These are learning foreign languages, playing musical instruments, game development, and photography. By the way, even escaping from routine can be a hobby. You can try puzzling, film watching, or taking walks outside.
Tip #4: Analyze how you spend your free time
How you spend your free time tells a lot about your personality and preferences. Think about where you spend most of your time and what you are focused on. Consider how a new activity could fit into how you currently spend your days. For example, if you are a homebody, it’s better to concentrate on activities that don’t require leaving your apartment and your comfort zone. Let’s say video gaming or stamp collecting.
Tip #5: Start trying the activities you would like in real life
Write down all the activities you like or ever wanted to explore. And don’t limit yourself by thinking that you aren’t good at something. Treat your hobby as a journey and just have fun. You can create your hobby list using our free checklist templates or design yours from scratch.
Once you have your list of activities, go back through it and start circling anything that stands out to you.
Tip #6: Start scheduling your time with things you like
Yes, we know most people are busy, but there is always time for a hobby. Just think how much time you spend scrolling your feed or making your house spark from top to bottom. Most of us have enough free time; we just don’t spend it wisely. So you definitely can find at least one hour a week to enjoy something that you like. Another piece of advice is to try out various activities for at least twenty minutes a day until you find one you really enjoy. Then you may be surprised at how many hours open up.
Tip #7: Keep being dedicated
Indeed, when you understand the emotion behind a favorite activity, it is easier to keep at it. But sometimes, you may want to skip your new hobby due to a waning interest or time constraints. It can happen to anyone. Challenge yourself! Make a commitment to be less harsh on yourself, take baby steps, and try to earmark certain days on your calendar when you do something you love. For example, you can take dance lessons every Tuesday and Thursday or maybe keep aside twenty minutes before bedtime to read. For this purpose, take advantage of checklists and habit trackers.
Clearly, many people don’t have a hobby or don’t know how to start it. But that doesn’t mean they can’t find one. It doesn’t matter how old you are. It’s never too late to hop on board the hobby train.
But don’t be harsh on yourself. If you don’t like some activity, don’t force yourself. Instead, start taking micro-breaks throughout the day to do something that brings you joy. When you feel it’s yours, you’ll stick to it.