One Resolution You Can Make Anytime
Ah well, January is gone and February is winding down fast. Maybe you stuck to your New Year’s resolutions to cook more, eat better, workout everyday. But, let’s face it, most of us have settled back into our normal routines now that the holidays are over and we’re juggling busy schedules and to-do lists. And, with every passing day, it just seems harder to get motivated to stick to lofty goals, which then leads to feeling guilty and unworthy. Resolutions were not supposed to make you feel bad about yourself!
But some goals are a lot more flexible and forgiving, which makes them just so much easier to stick with and get done. At Meemli, learning is our thing, and we know a lot of people make resolutions to learn something at the start of a new year, often targeted towards an external goal. Adults learn a new coding language for work. Students take classes to beef up their college applications. Harried parents sign up for stress management classes. Older adults take language classes before a vacation. All good, but how about learning for fun? How about learning just because?
Here’s our pick for a resolution that anyone can choose to make any time and keep for as long as you want:
Learn what you choose, how you choose, when you choose.
What does that mean? How do you go about doing it?
Pick something just for you.
That means learn something for fun, not because you have to. Pursue something you’ve always found interesting. You can choose to learn to play just one song on the guitar, or learn to be really good at it. Practice 25 common Russian phrases just because your grandfather was born in Russia. Re-learn subjects from school to see if you still remember anything. Even if you don’t live in wine country, you can learn more about winemaking. Choose whatever subject you find fascinating, and dig a little deeper.
Choose how you will learn.
Maybe you want to sign up for a class, or maybe you don’t. As you probably know by now, there are tons of ways to learn something new. Read a book, download a course or talk to other people. Sometimes the best way to learn something is to ask an expert. (Grandpa would probably be more than happy to teach you those 25 Russian phrases!). Your choice.
Make up your own schedule/timeline.
It doesn’t matter how much time you want to commit to this resolution. Take one day, or make your target ongoing for a few hours every week. Think short-term, or plan a schedule over the next year or two. It’s your time and whatever works best for you. And, since this learning isn’t something you have to do, you never have to feel pressured. Stuff happens and plans change. Extend your timeline whenever you need to, with no qualms.
Still need convincing? Here’s why you should try learning just for the fun of it:
1. Boost your brain.
Learning new things actually changes your brain – in a good way. (Read the science behind learning here.) Worried that you’re too old to learn? Age is not a barrier, though it may take some adjustment. Stretch your brain to stay sharp, for now and for when you get older. Great minds think – period!
2. Feel good.
Accomplishing a task makes us feel fulfilled, satisfied and self-confident. Especially if it is something you have wanted to do for a while. So choose something you enjoy, or something you’ve always wanted to do.It’s a break from your role as a parent, professional or whatever other titles you hold. You’re a learner, choosing to know and do something that’s of meaning to you. There’s a sense of fulfillment that comes when you immerse yourself in something that interests you.
3. Lower your stress.
Taking classes during your spare time? It’s proven to be good at lowering stress. You don’t have to take a course in stress management to enjoy these relaxing results, either. Since you’re in control of your learning and it’s free from external pressures, you can work on your resolution without stress, guilt, deadlines or dread (the perception of being in control is another stress-reducer, and you don’t have to be a control-freak to appreciate it!) .
4. Be a role model for your kids.
As a parent, you’ll help your kids see that learning can be a fun life-long activity. Maybe they’d want to learn with you. You can show, by example, that learning is not a chore, and maybe they’ll approach their schoolwork with more enthusiasm. Start new conversations in your home as you share learning with your loved ones. And consider getting other family members involved. Aunts, uncles and grandparents can all be great role models, too! For more about being a role model, check out this article.
5. Make yourself more interesting.
Ok, this may not be THE reason to learn, but it certainly gives you a fun conversation starter next time you attend a party. You don’t have to limit yourself to talking about housing, schools, kids, childcare, the nasty bug that’s going around – you now have something new to share. Those 25 Russian phrases you’re working on may come in handy!
It’s easy to see why resolving to learn something is a no-lose proposition. Throughout the year, we’ll suggest some new ways for families to learn together (subscribe to get updates!). Now we’d love to hear your opinions. What have you always wanted to learn? How will you go about achieving your anytime resolution?
Let us know!