A new year is the perfect time to challenge yourself by picking up some new and engaging skills. Learning something fresh keeps your brain active and introduces fun hobbies to fill your free time. Here are 35 easy skills you could take on in 2023 that will surprise you with how enjoyable they are!

35 Fun Skills

  1. Cook a New Cuisine – Expand your culinary horizons by learning how to make dishes from a cultural cooking style you’ve never tried before, like Italian, Thai, Mexican or Indian food. Cooking is rewarding and you get to eat your creations! You’ll feel proud learning recipes from around the world.
  2. Play an Instrument – Learning an instrument like the guitar, piano, ukulele or recorder is a fulfilling skill. Music soothes the soul and playing songs is entertaining. Start with free online lessons or a beginner method book.
  3. Learn a Language – Being bilingual or multilingual is an impressive talent. Practice basic conversations of a new language on your commute or during TV commercials using free language learning apps. Even just learning “please”, “thank you” and numbers in another language expands your mind.
  4. Try Calligraphy – A beautiful handwritten note or greeting card means so much more than a typed one. Calligraphy helps you slow down and appreciate fine penmanship. Start with a beginner calligraphy pen set and printable worksheets.
  5. Take Up Knitting or Crochet – These fiber crafts are stress-relieving activities. Knit a scarf or practice crocheting granny squares. Yarn stores offer beginner knitting and crochet classes for all skill levels at low prices.
  6. Bake Bread or Pastries – Nothing smells better than fresh bread baking in the oven. Learn to make artisanal loaves, rolls, biscuits, scones or pastries from cookbooks or online tutorials. Your homemade bread will wow friends and family!
  7. Learn Origami – Folding colorful paper into intricate shapes and forms like cranes, boxes and flowers is a calming creative hobby. Origami sets come with step-by-step instructions for all skill levels.
  8. Practice Drawing or Painting – Unleash your inner artist! Basic drawing lessons teach techniques like shading, perspective and proportions. acrylic painting sets give beginners experience using brushes and mixing colors. Consider a community art class.
  9. Try Stand-Up Paddleboarding – This full-body water sport is a fun workout for all fitness levels. Lessons teach balance, paddling skills and safety on calm lakes and rivers. Rent boards and gear to try before investing in your own.
  10. Get Into Photography – Smartphone cameras take great photos. Learn about aperture, shutter speed, composition and editing tools to take more artistic pictures. Photography groups welcome new members of any experience level.
  11. Learn Woodworking – Sanding, sawing and assembling projects teaches precision skills while making useful household items. Start with a small kit like a birdhouse or plant stand. Local makerspaces host introductory woodshop classes.
  12. Take Up Pottery or Ceramics – Forming clay objects on a potter’s wheel or by hand building is a relaxing way to tap into one’s creativity. Community art centers allow beginners free studio time to experiment.
  13. Start Gardening – Nurturing plants is rewarding! Try growing vegetables, herbs or flowers from seed starters on your windowsill or balcony. Gardening centers provide expert planting advice for gorgeous, low-maintenance starter plants.
  14. Practice Yoga or Meditation – Flexibility, balance and stress relief await those who begin yoga. Apps offer free short routines for all levels to de-stress anytime. Meditation trains your mind with calming breathing techniques.
  15. Train for a 5K – Runners set small weekly mileage goals to work up to a 5-kilometer race distance over several months. Many towns organize colorful, low-key 5Ks that welcome walkers too. Training with a friend makes it more fun!
  16. Learn Basic Car Maintenance – Check fluids, change a flat tire, replace air filters – knowing simple car repairs saves money and comes in handy. Ask an automobile expert these foundational skills.
  17. Memorize a Poem – Reciting verse strengthens your memory. Choose a favorite short poem to commit to heart through daily recitation. Public speaking strengthens with each rehearsal.
  18. Learn Safe Home Repairs – Basic fixing around the house like repairing drywall, patching plaster or replacing door/toilet handles saves calling professionals each time. Hardware stores gladly demonstrate.
  19. Pick Up Rock Climbing – Gyms offer roped climbs in a safe facility. Beginners learn belaying lifesaving knots and work up to easy wall routes with spotters. Climbing improves strength, stamina and fearlessness.
  20. Practice Juggling – Most anyone can learn to keep three balls aloft with consistent practice. Start with two then add the third as your hand-eye coordination builds over time. This classic skill persists through life.
  21. Learn Origami – The Japanese art of folding intricate shapes from a single sheet of paper trains focus and patience. Free online tutorials teach basic origami animals and objects step-by-step.
  22. Learn Basic Car Maintenance – Check fluids, change a flat tire, replace air filters – knowing simple car repairs saves money and comes in handy. Ask an automobile expert to demonstrate foundational skills.
  23. Brush Up on Self-Defense – Taking a women’s self-defense workshop gives confidence navigating unpredictable scenarios. Moves focus on disarming grabs and escapes rather than fighting. Most community centers offer free intro courses.
  24. Practice Entertaining Skills – Learning magic card tricks, juggling or easy circus skills at parties entertains all ages. Borrow instructional books from the library to practice sleight-of-hand or physical stunts.
  25. Practice Mindfulness – Even five minutes of focused breathing exercises or daily journaling reduces anxiety. Apps Coach stress relieving mindfulness techniques for mental wellbeing day or night, anywhere.
  26. Train for a 5K or 10K Race – Runners set small weekly mile goals towards a 5- or 10-kilometer timed race distance over several months. Races motivate and welcome walkers too. Training with a friend makes it more fun!
  27. Memorize Shakespeare Sonnets – Reciting beautiful rhyming verse from the Bard strengthens memory and familiarizes you with timeless literature. With daily practice any poem can be delivered enthusiastically.
  28. Pick Up Birdwatching – Binoculars let you observe amazing avian diversity, from songbirds to migratory waterfowl, even in your neighborhood park! Field guides help identify common species by markings or song. Cameras record sightings.
  29. Learn Basic Sign Language – Conversations using hand gestures and facial expressions lets people communicate across speech barriers. Books and apps teach ASL’s alphabet, numbers, colors and phrases useful in any setting.
  30. Try Knot Tying – Useful knots secure ropes and tie down loads. A handy reference sheet demonstrates tying basic overhand, figure-eight and bowline knots for boating, outdoor jobs or just camping fun.
  31. Brush Up on Useful Skills – Basic sewing repairs buttons and hems, soldering fixes electronics. Intro woodshop teaches measuring and sanding. Blender recipes expands culinary art. Shadow a pro or watch videos online.
  32. Learn Simple Card and Board Games – Strategy classics like Bridge, Mahjong, Backgammon, Chess or Go welcome new students of any age with patient teachers. Community centers offer lessons.
  33. Volunteer in Your Community – Assist habitat restoration projects, read to children, deliver meals, foster shelter pets or help organize fundraisers. Non-profits welcome helpers eager to learn about important causes.
  34. Take an Online Class – Websites offer expanded learning at home in self-paced classes on a range of topics including personal finance, graphic design, coding, astronomy or foreign languages. Interact virtually with other students.
  35. Try Geocaching – This high-tech treasure hunting game uses GPS coordinates to locate hidden containers “caches” left by others all over the world, even locally! Geocaching.com makes it easy to get started on fun outdoor adventures.

I hope seeing this wide variety of options inspires you to try something new and engaging this year. Learning fun skills brings enjoyment, confidence and fulfillment to your life, even in small ways. Pick one from this list or come up with your own – happy practicing!

By john

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