New Year Resolution: Learn Something Different
Where’s the rule that says New Year’s resolutions have to be make before or on New Year’s day? For the procrastinators everywhere we’ve updated this post for 2017 and are delighted to share again as it is about our favorite activity – learning!
Let’s start with the fact that you do not need to make a single New Year resolution – it is entirely optional. You can decide to make changes at any time of the year, of course. But there’s something to be said for joining the (very large) crowd that starts the new year with a burst of optimism and self-improvement fervor. It doesn’t hurt to know that there are tons of people on a similar mission who can give you tips and moral support when you falter.
You may be aiming for changes along the lines of getting healthier, working out more, eating better, getting more sleep, studying harder and getting your work done on time. All good goals. We at Meemli would like to suggest you make a conscious effort to put a resolution to learn something in the mix. It’s not just for when you’re at school, and not just for students. It’s for everyone, at any age and at any stage in their lives.
Why learning? Because learning is a part of being alive.
Learning is an activity that has a huge ripple effect in your life. It invigorates your brain, energizes your spirit, broadens your worldview, deepens your empathy, reduces boredom, boosts confidence, even makes you more interesting and fun. It is not just memorizing facts, it is understanding and experiencing our universe. Einstein knew what he was talking about.
Need some help figuring out what to learn? Here are four approaches to get the ideas flowing!
How much do we know of people who are different from us, of languages and cultures that are not our own, of towns and regions that we have not lived in? Very few of us get to visit a foreign country and live there for months at a time, which is undoubtedly a really good way to get to know how people live in other parts of the world. But, one of the amazing benefits of technology today is that the world is literally at our fingertips.
Pick a place that you’re really interested in (and hope to visit?) and resolve to learn more about it. How about learning a few phrases in the native language? Or reading books written by native authors, or watching a movie or YouTube music video in that language? Or trying to cook a favorite local dish? You can do all this and more, no passport needed.
Getting to know about other people, other cultures, gives us a better understanding for who they are and a better appreciation of who we are ourselves. If enough of us do this, world peace may not be an impossible dream after all.
Are you the person who feels you’ve found what you like and you’re not interested in trying anything else? Congratulations! It is great that you’ve found the awesome hobby, activity, interest that you like – and, presumably, are pretty good at too.
But here’s a radical idea: learn about something very different. What you already know and like will always be there for you, but maybe there’s something else that can grab your attention. Planning to be an art history major? Take a class on web design just to shake up your view of what looks pleasing. If rock music is your thing, maybe a foray into appreciating the classical kind would make rock all the more exciting.
Get out of your comfort zone and explore. At a minimum, expanding your horizons will make your comfort zone a little roomier!
Alright, now for the exact opposite of the previous one – dig deeper into something you already know a little bit and like a lot. A deep dive will show you how much you really like it.
Enjoy doodling? Take an art class and learn to draw for real. Love stargazing? Take a crack at astronomy and get to know the details of your night sky. Take a chance and immerse yourself in learning more about something you like. It may very well be the first step at becoming an expert at it. Being really knowledgeable about something you care about is cool.
Many of us do not have the opportunity to make things as part of our jobs. And students who are past the felt-and-glue creations of kindergarten, have few chances to learn how to make things as options like woodworking are hard to come by in most schools.
So make it your goal to learn how to make something. Something tangible. Something you make with your hands, and tools, if needed. It could be knitting a sweater or throwing a clay pot or building a stool, or even a robot. Whatever it turns out to be, there’s something very satisfying about learning how to make something and seeing it take shape.
Looking for tips on what and how to learn in small doses? Check out these resources that can help you get you started.
Go ahead and make a learning resolution – we bet you won’t regret it. And let us know how it worked for you – we’ll cheer you on!