“What are your hobbies?”
You cringe when you hear that question.
You don’t really have any.
But you’d like one.
Perhaps you think you need a hobby to be a more interesting person.
Maybe you just have lots of spare time that you currently fritter away doing nothing in particular.
Or do you simply find the repetition of your current life a bit boring?
Whatever the reason, you are searching for something to do.
But how exactly do you go about finding a hobby?
How do you choose one that suits you and not pick something you’ll end up loathing?
Before you can get into a new hobby, there are some things you’ll want to consider.
Here are 13 tips that’ll help you find a hobby that you love. The first 6 involve asking yourself some questions and answering honestly.
1. When will you do this hobby?
Is there a particular block of time that you regularly have free and that you’d like to fill?
Not all hobbies are suitable for all times of day/night and so you have to be realistic about what you can actually do.
If you are searching for something to do one or two evenings a week, trekking in woodland might not be feasible – at least, not all year round.
Similarly, if there is a local sports league where games are played every Sunday morning, but you are a devout churchgoer, you may have to scrap that idea, even if it appeals to you (unless you can go to an afternoon church service).
Whilst many hobbies can be done at any time on any day, be aware that some have a more rigid timeframe in which they can be enjoyed.
2. How much do you want to spend?
Some hobbies are free. Others cost a lot of money.
What budget do you have to work with when choosing a new hobby?
Sure, time trial road cycling may sound appealing, but chances are you’ll need to spend a lot of money on the right bike and kit.
If you don’t have that sort of money available, it isn’t worth considering as a long term pursuit.
The caveat being whether you are able to hire or borrow what you need, at least until you can get the necessary funds together.
A second benefit of being able to hire or borrow equipment is that you can try out a new hobby to see if you enjoy it before taking the plunge and making the more serious investment.
This avoids you having to buy lots of stuff that then gathers dust in a cupboard of garage if you decide the hobby is not the right fit for you.
3. What type of hobby are you looking for?
There are literally thousands of different activities that could be described as hobbies, but they boil down to a handful of characteristics.
Are you looking for a physical hobby that gets the heart racing or that demands a great deal of stamina?
Would you like to take up a creative hobby to transform ideas and materials into art, music, or practical objects you can use?
Perhaps your idea of a fun time is challenging your mind. In which case, an intellectual hobby is something to consider.
If it’s the interaction with other people you desire, there are lots of social hobbies where you can partake in an activity whilst also enjoying the company of others.
You can categorize hobbies into indoor/outdoor, too, which can be helpful if you prefer one or the other.
When you know what sort of thing you’re searching for, you have a better chance of finding it.
4. How far are you prepared to travel?
You can do some hobbies in the comfort of your home, or in your own backyard.
Others might take you into your local park or town.
Then there are those that require far more travel.
Where you live will play some role in what sort of hobbies are easily available to you.
It might not be feasible, for example, to take up surfing if you are a number of hours away from a beach.
You’ll probably find fewer cooking classes in a rural community than in a big city.
Sports teams might play away games that are some distance from their home ground.
Travel considerations play a part in the previous points about the time and money you are able to dedicate to a hobby – it takes time and can be expensive to travel a lot.
5. Does it require other people?
Many hobbies can be enjoyed alone, even if some might be more enjoyable with company.
Other activities require more than one person to partake. And if you can’t find a club or organization in your local vicinity, will you be able to find people with whom to make the hobby work?
Maybe you have to convince some of your friends to try it with you.
Perhaps you put the word out in local Facebook groups or by putting posters in shop windows and you organize an event yourself.
Or if it’s something you can enjoy virtually with other people around the world, where do those people hang out and how can you get involved?
6. Is there a steep learning curve?
Be honest with yourself about how much of a challenge you are looking for.
Whilst many activities require you to learn new skills or rules, some are far more involved than others.
Restoring classic cars might sound like a fun thing to do, but you’ll need to learn a lot as you go.
And what sort of skills are you most proficient at? Taking great photographs is one thing, but are you confident using a computer to process and edit them?
How much time do you want to spend becoming good at something (relatively speaking) before you can really get the most enjoyment from it?
You need to spend many hours practicing the basics before you can play most instruments to a good level, but visiting museums and galleries requires no specialist knowledge for you to enjoy yourself.
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7. Ask your friends what they like to do.
If you’re currently stuck for hobby inspiration, a good place to start is to ask your friends what they do in their free time.
This can not only provide ideas, but also an opportunity to ask them questions about the activity to better work out whether or not it would suit you.
You probably have friends with a wide range of personalities, but you do at least share something in common with each of them, so their hobbies might well be a good fit for you.
And, as an added bonus, they might be happy to personally introduce you to their hobby. This is especially helpful if it has a social element as it’s not as daunting to meet new people when your friend can act as a go-between.
8. Revisit hobbies from your past.
Did you used to have a hobby that you really enjoyed?
It doesn’t matter whether many months or years have passed, it’s definitely worth trying it out again to see if you still get that same enjoyment from it.
Sure, you may be a bit rusty if it’s a hobby that requires a skill, but it’ll all come flooding back to you in no time.
Perhaps look really far back and think about what you used to enjoy doing as a child.
We often get involved in many different activities when we’re young, but most will fall by the wayside.
Yet if it made your soul smile in your youth, there’s no reason to believe it won’t do the same now.
9. Be selective, but get outside your comfort zone too.
There are so many potential hobbies that it can be challenging to choose a few to try.
Be discerning about the hobbies you attempt, but don’t be afraid to consider things that might not instantly seem like they suit you.
You might find that doing things that are outside of your comfort zone provide just as much enjoyment as anything else. After a while, those things will start to feel more comfortable.
And you will likely experience a feeling of pride at having challenged yourself to something that you wouldn’t normally do.
10. Don’t try too many things at once.
It is important not to spread yourself too thin by sampling too many activities in a short space of time.
Whilst you may want a hobby, you won’t want to lose all of your free time. You need that time to decompress from life.
So it is advisable not to try more than one or two hobbies at a time. Do them a few times, and if they are not for you, then you can move on and try something else.
If you fill your schedule with loads of new activities, you’ll probably find that you don’t get the full enjoyment out of any of them.
You may feel overwhelmed by all these activities and struggle to identify which you like and which you do not.
11. Find a hobby that reflects your interests and values.
What do you currently enjoy doing?
What are the values that you hold most dear?
Your answers to these two questions can help to identify possible hobbies to try, and they can help you to rule out those that aren’t likely to be a good fit.
If you currently enjoy reading, perhaps joining a book club and talking about the things you read will appeal to you.
If you enjoy the company of animals and you have a very caring nature, volunteering at a community farm project could be just what you are looking for.
12. Combine a hobby with self-improvement.
Perhaps there are aspects of your personality that you would like to change for the better.
See if there might be a hobby that can help you develop that particular trait.
Perhaps you want to work on your self-confidence and speaking skills. You could join a debate or discussion group and practice thinking about and conveying your thoughts to others.
If you need to work on your patience, something as simple as a jigsaw puzzle can help you to do that.
Hobbies tend to promote personal growth in one way or another, so if you wish to target something specific, ask yourself what types of activities might be particularly helpful.
13. Notice your mental and emotional energy after trying a new hobby.
Upon trying something new, how can you tell whether it is something that you’re going to enjoy in the long run?
As we have mentioned, it is worth trying a new hobby at least two or three times to get a real taste for it.
After each time, engage in a little self-reflection and ask how you feel.
The important thing to be aware of is whether the activity drained your reserves of mental and emotional energy.
Most things will be a bit of an energy drain at first as you get used to it, but if you feel overly drained by something, it might not fit with your personality type.
A hobby that suits you will be one that is a source of mental energy. You should look forward to it and feel great afterwards.
Obviously some hobbies will leave you feeling physically drained, so it’s best to just focus on the mental and emotional energy you lose or gain.