Here at GrownUps, we believe it’s vital to never stop starting – we can always open our minds to new ideas, learn new skills and improve ourselves. Where there’s a will, as the saying goes, there’s a way.
Learning new things can be daunting. We get comfortable with certainty; knowing what we do well and sticking with it. We can also become masters of the excuse – we don’t have the time, or the equipment, or the ability. It’s true it can take years to truly excel at certain things, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn the basics of something new in a relatively short time. If you set a time frame – you may be amazed at what you can achieve. Here are some new skills you could acquire in just a month if you set your mind to it.
Learning your way around the kitchen can be a great way to save money, spend time and improve your health. A month is plenty of time to learn some practical cooking skills. If you find cook books hard to decipher, YouTube is a fantastic resource – you can watch the experts teach knife skills, or how to make basic sauces. Set a goal to learn a couple of basic dishes, or more about one area of interest, for example eggs or pasta.
Being confident online keeps the whole world at your fingertips. If you are a complete beginner, an organisation like SeniorNet will show you how to get started, or try online tutorials about creating your own blog or webpage.
If you missed out on the basics of swimming and water safety as a child, enrol at your local aquatic centre – it may take as few as eight 30-minute lessons to become proficient enough to feel comfortable in the water.
What would you do if someone wasn’t breathing or their heart stopped? If you’re not sure, you’re probably a candidate for lessons in CPR and basic first aid. Knowing what to do in an emergency will give you confidence and potentially life-saving skills. Organisations like St Johns offer courses that only take a day or two. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
In addition to just being fun, digital photo editing is also a talent that’s becoming more sought after on the job market. While it can take a long time to become proficient in photo editing software, just a few online classes can have you picking up the basics of cropping, filters, and image correction.
If you need to entertain yourself, cards are a great way to do so. Again, search on YourTube. You can find some fascinating little tricks to amuse your friends and family, or perhaps even some new games to play. You can learn how to properly shuffle and deal a card deck in just a few sessions—once those are mastered, learning more elaborate card spreads can follow.
Contrary to popular belief, the basics of drawing doesn’t require innate talent. You can learn how to do more than doodle with some daily practice and assistance from online or book-guided tutorials that cover shadows, lighting technique, and some of the geometric shapes that make up the foundation of illustration.
A new language
You won’t become fluent in a month, but you’ll be surprised by how much you can learn if you commit to studying every day for a month. There are a number of free apps and websites that can help you improve your skills. Or you can make a stack of vocabulary flashcards. Another option is to find a community group where you can practice skills with native speakers.
Maybe you’re not planning on joining the circus, but juggling can still help sharpen your hand-eye coordination. Experienced jugglers believe it takes just about a month to master what’s called the three-ball cascade, the alternating toss-and-catch method that will have you keeping three objects in the air.
Try out something new and keep a diary of your progress, then please feel free to share with us!