Career Advice - A Community Blog

Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

How to Find A Hobby That Fits You

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Jul 10, 2017 8:15 PM

As children, we couldn't wait to endure the responsibility and freedom concomitant with adulthood. However, we soon discovered that life is a balancing act with the activities that are most important to us. Without self-reflecting on what we want to accomplish, we have a difficult time creating a manageable and sustainable plan for reaching goals. For some, this may look like the mundane routine of eating, working, and sleeping repeatedly without change. If your life fits this description, then the phrase "you need a hobby" applies to you. Maybe you have tried to find a hobby, but were unsuccessful in reaching your goals. This article will take you through three important factors that will help you find and maintain a sustainable hobby. The three most important factors in finding a hobby are to find the activity that you would be doing right now if you were not occupied, set aside funds to accomplish your goals, and set realistic and achievable goals.

The first factor is the most difficult of the three because it involves soul searching and deep reflection. The goal is to end up with an activity that excites you and will make you a stronger person. For example, my aunt's hobby is tending to her garden. Her satisfaction comes from supplying her own vegetables and spices and in doing so keeping the garden weed-free. However, for those that enjoy a mental challenge and being indoors either alone or with friends, gaming could be a hobby for you. Interested readers can begin searching through the multitude of free games that are available online. The bottom line is that it doesn't matter what you pick as long as you want to do the activity and set realistic goals for yourself.

One mistake that people make when participating in a hobby is biting off more than they can chew. My hobby is weight lifting. If I were to have set my weight lifting goal extremely high at the very beginning, I may not have continued to weight train. For example, my very first goal was to be able to perform dead-lifts and bench press using the proper form. I did not set an expectation for myself to pile on weights before I knew how to perform the exercise. However, you should not be afraid to push yourself. It is okay to not accomplish your goal as long as you can be willing to own it and step back to a more realistic goal. For example, when I piled on an extra ten pounds to my bench press routine, I lowered the weights to my chest and could not push the bar back up. I ended up sliding the bar to the ground because I was lifting alone and did not have a spotter. Clearly, my goal for that day was far above my physical strength. Upon stepping back and only adding two and a half pounds to the bar and slowly adding more weight, in time I added the ten pounds back onto the bar. Once you have set a realistic goal, set aside funds to dive deep into your hobby.

Hobbies can often be a money sink. Accomplishing your hobby-specific goals can be prolonged if your finances are not in order. For example, I am a member at Planet Fitness and pay the monthly fee. If I were in financial trouble, I would most likely cancel my membership and be forced to find more creative ways of accomplishing my weight-training goals. If you find that your finances are getting in the way of your hobbies, try to implement money saving strategies. If saving money is not a viable option or is too slow, then you will have to get creative. For example, if outdoor rock climbing is your hobby, then set your goal to master indoor climbing so that you do not have to purchase your own materials. As well, you may find that the climbing center has spare materials that you could purchase or rent.

At this point, you hopefully have a clearer plan for choosing and maintaining a hobby. Now, get out there and start becoming a better version of yourself!

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