I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this word pop up in conversations over the past year. People saying ‘I wish I had a hobby…something just for me…something I can spend my time doing that I enjoy’. In fact, finding a personal hobby is one of the top five goals people come to me wanting to achieve within their life.
If you think about it, the majority of us had lots of hobbies growing up. Life was jam packed with after school play dates, weekend sports, school shows and events, family adventures…we had so much time to simply explore, play, and create. However, as we get older it feels as if we lose that ability, and more so the freedom, to engage in personal activities. We start telling ourselves we don’t have time, or that other ‘things’ take priority, therefore we stop engaging in activities purely for the sake of enjoyment.
Over time we find ourselves saying ‘I don’t really know who I am…I don’t do anything for myself any more….I don’t know what I enjoy doing’, as we associate our identity (who we are) to what we spend our time doing.
This is where hobbies come back into the mix. Hobbies, and taking time to engage in activities purely for enjoyment, is food for the soul. Hobbies give us a sense of purpose outside of our everyday roles as an employee, employer, parent, partner etc…and allows us to simply be ourselves, and behave in ways that are consistent with who we want to be.
So, how can we reignite the passion for activities that bring us joy, and bring a hobby back into our lives?
Step 1: What.
Stop and ask yourself ‘What do I enjoy doing with my down time?’, ‘What activities make me feel 100% myself, and that I lose track of time when doing?’. Chuck everything that comes to mind on a piece of paper, simply let the pen flow without judgement. The trick here is to not get caught up in thinking a hobby has to be this big-ass, action-packed activity, it can be the simplest of things that bring you joy e.g. reading, cooking at home, watching old-school movies, organising weekend adventures, hand-crafts, taking photos etc… Also it doesn’t have to be ONE thing, it can be a collection of things.
Step 2: How.
Now that you have a list of things that bring you joy, the next step is to ask yourself ‘How could I bring this more into my everyday life on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis?’ Let your mind wander here and get outside the box. What would someone who specialises in your hobby/activity recommend you do? What would it look like if you included other people in this activity? What’s one big event you could look forward to doing with this hobby each year?
Step 3: When.
People end up spending 90% of their time talking about doing a hobby, rather than doing it. Clarity comes from engagement, not thought.
When it comes to finding a hobby, you have to physically engage in doing it to experience it, BECAUSE…the passion and excitement you get from a hobby is in the experience of doing it.
So, look at the list of ideas you created, around how you can bring these activities into your life, and select 1-3 things that jumped out to you, that you want to implement, and DO IT. Don’t think about it, simply find a time that it works and schedule it in.
As always enjoy taking this time to learn more about yourself, and what you can be doing to create a life that brings you greater joy and vitality.