Learning new skills can not only be life changing, it can reveal a number of unexpected benefits. The more you learn, the more your brain is stimulated and the better you get at doing it.
Learning keeps your mind engaged and your body active. Increases your motivation, fuels creativity, makes you more adaptable, more relevant and relatable, and builds a sense of accomplishment and pride.
Most importantly it’s fun, makes you happier and helps you grow. That’s got to be a good thing in anyone’s book.
In a changing environment, many people have found themselves with more time on their hands than ever before. So it’s a good time to take advantage of a less than ideal situation by doing something positive for yourself.
Technology and the online space have made it easier than ever to learn a new skill. You can sign up to an online course, take live lessons over video, or watch a webinar. Some of which can play a part in helping you to further your career, learn a new hobby or simply pass the time.
FROM REAL-TIME LEARNING, TO VIDEO CONTENT, TO BLOGS, YOU CAN JUMP ONLINE AND PURSUE ALL MANNER OF WAYS TO LEARN A NEW SKILL
Online courses allow you to learn your new skills from wherever you like, whenever you like. There are a variety of courses available, from short courses on platforms like Skillshare that can help you upskill or do something for fun, like learning a new language or perfecting those cooking skills. Or opt for something more involved and lengthy, like a degree or postgraduate courses offered by universities and TAFE, that may offer a change in career direction.
From real-time learning, to video content, to blogs, you can jump online and pursue all manner of ways to learn a new skill.
Why is learning a new language important? It can open so many doors for you. It helps you better connect and communicate with a wider range of people and cultures, broaden your outlook and improve your cognitive ability and brain health.
There are many ways and methods to learn a new language. Personal tutors, online courses, apps, books, or through friends or social circles. Why not even try immersing yourself in a foreign tv program?
Perhaps one of the most convenient and accessible methods is using an app. And there are plenty of them - Rosetta Stone trains you to associate words with imagery in real-life situations and has 24 language options. Babbel helps you learn in short, 10-15 minute chunks. Memrise uses cartoony game rewards to help you along. And Duolingo even lets you learn fictional dialects like Klingon. Whatever you decide, picking up a new language is a great skill to have.
Public speaking is a great way to improve your communication skills and helps your personal development on so many levels. It can boost your confidence, build critical thinking, build leadership ability, and help you to network and even advance your career.
There are plenty of public speaking courses you can choose from that are offered by professional speakers, universities or private coaches. Find them online through webinars, classes or in-person lectures. For those on the go, why not listen to an audio book, like Dale Carnegie’s ‘The Art of Public Speaking’. TED Talks also showcase public speaking techniques to great effect.
The benefits of meditation and mindfulness are far and wide and can help improve both your physical and mental health. When you take control of your mind, you become mentally clear and emotionally calm. It helps to reduce stress and control anxiety, promoting a more positive outlook, along with reducing blood pressure and facilitating a better night’s sleep. Ultimately, it improves your quality of life.
There’s quite a variety of meditations styles, each with different strengths. The one you choose can depend on what your goals are.
You can take mindfulness and meditation classes offered by Buddhist centres or accredited meditation instructors, or even small yoga studios and outdoor groups. You can do them in person and or online, in the comfort of your own space.
There are also a number of apps for mindfulness and meditation - Calm, Headspace, Aura and Smiling Mind are a few you might like to check out.
There are so many benefits of undertaking a DIY project. Doing it yourself can be immensely satisfying. Yes, you might be a little out of your comfort zone at first, but the more projects you do, the more confident you become. Start small, and work up to those larger projects. You can also save a few dollars too, without having to call on a professional to do the job. What’s more, when you DIY your brain and body also get a little exercise, and it can be a great way to get the whole family involved in doing something together.
It’s a good idea to choose something you love doing, and thoroughly research before you begin. Acquire the right tools and materials for the job, and seek advice from those in the know, like hardware stores or other DIY enthusiasts. Jump online and you’ll find endless step by step videos to help you finish the job.
Picking up a musical instrument is good for you in so many ways. Beyond the sense of achievement you feel when mastering a tune, learning to play a musical instrument is an excellent workout for your brain, using almost every part. It can improve your memory, teach patience and perseverance, and reduce stress. Along with coordination, concentration, confidence, self-expression - the list goes on.
So, how do you go about choosing a musical instrument to learn?
The recorder is super easy to learn. As is the ukulele, harmonica, bongos and even the piano when starting out. There are dozens of instruments that are pretty simple to learn.
When choosing an instrument, think about the time you can dedicate and your budget. Also give thought to the kind of music you like, the space you have to practise, and how accessible lessons will be. There’s a host of ways to learn, from one-on-one instructors, to free online lessons on YouTube, to a myriad of apps.
Managing your money helps set you up for financial success. It enables you to meet your more immediate financial needs, like monthly bills, and reach your long-term goals, like buying a property or planning for your retirement.
But it’s about more than just being disciplined and living within your means. It requires managing a broad spectrum of finances; savings, budgeting, banking, insurance, mortgages, investments, retirement planning, and tax, along with managing your credit cards.
The best way to learn personal finance is to start with the basics. The foundations will help you make smarter and more informed decisions. A number of educational institutions offer short courses, and you can also browse and find a variety of free classes online. Find out more on personal finances by reading articles and blogs, listening to podcasts, reading popular personal finance books like the Barefoot Investor, or even downloading some personal finance apps, like Mint, Personal Capital and Every Dollar. Each can help in their own way.
The skills you can learn are endless. Whatever you decide to learn, you will end up being better for it.