No matter what you do for work, chances are you’ve got some downtime on your hands – whether it be just an hour or a whole day, it’s time that’s all your own. For me, long weekends and holidays usually have a few spare hours to do whatever I want, like start my next hobby or passion project. Even though I craft for a living now, for me it’s important to have an outlet for non work related creativity – it’s so good for your state of mind! And before you ask, although Game of Thrones marathons could, potentially, be classified as a hobby, it’s not exactly conducive to really getting your creative juices flowing, making you happier and adding an extra dimension to your life (sorry all you die hard GOT fans!). And as someone who, through a lot of late nights, has managed to turn a hobby into a full time career that brings me so much happiness everyday, I feel like the ultimate advocate of getting stuck into a passion project. The sooner the better in my eyes! So why not start today? Read on for my tips on getting started.
How To: Start Your Next Passion Project
As part of my trip to down under, uber stationery and lifestyle store Officeworks have asked me to share a few of my tips for getting started on your next hobby.
Decide what you want to do
The biggest hurdle to actually starting your next hobby is knowing what you want to do. Use your interests to determine something you would love to do, and feel proud of doing in your spare time. Do you like interiors? Being outdoors? Making things with your hands? Taking photos? Doing yoga? What activities make you happy and drawn you in? What did you love doing as a child? A lot of people worry that they lack the creativity or skill required to start a hobby, but those things are learnt over time and the trick is to choose something you think you’ll love and just get started.
Create a Goal
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt is that most of us are more successful when there’s a specific goal in mind. Learn Cantonese is a pretty daunting task, but when the goal is ‘be able to order a meal in full Cantonese within 3 months’ the task seems more doable. So instead of taking up painting with no goal in mind, perhaps you could say within 6 months you’ll be able to paint a simple portrait. Or even a bowl of fruit – having a goal will help you to focus in on your skills.
Stock up on the basics
I love shopping for my hobbies, it’s one of the most fun parts of the whole process. Opening the box on that new camera, or tearing the paper off that package of paintbrushes, it feels like a world of possibilities are at your fingertips. I like to start with small investments in a hobby, as a way of testing my skills and interest levels, and build as I go. For all you photography addicts out there thinking of stepping up your photo game, investing in a DSLR starter kit (like this one) is a great way to test the waters, or nab yourself a some paints and paint brushes for all the basics.
People always say to me that the biggest barrier for them to being able to start their next hobby, whether it be crafting, painting or running, is a lack of time. Don’t I know it! But honestly, your next passion project is well worth the time investment in the sheer joy it will bring to your life (and maybe the new career you could build out of it). One way I like to ensure that I will make time is to organise to do some projects with friends so that it’s an enjoyable social activity that you can share (and will be much less likely to back out of!).
Jump right in
And lastly… Don’t be afraid to have a go. Have the confidence to make your next passion project a reality, the worst thing that could happen is that it doesn’t work out, and the best thing? You next passion project becomes your life.
This April, Officeworks – the home of pretty much everything you need to get started on photography, papercraft, scrapbooking, hand drawn typography and fitness – is helping you ignite your passions with lots of ideas in stores.
What’s your next project going to be? Can you tell I’m dabbling in painting? I’ll let you know how I go!