How to stay motivated while learning a new skill?

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Learning a new hobby or leisure skill seems so easy at the beginning. However, once boredom and frustration kicks in, most of us stop trying and give up on the hobbies and skills we want to learn.

In this post, I will share some tips and hacks that I’ve learned during my journey to learn the guitar (I’m still a total beginner). These tips can help you get passed the frustration phase of learning any hobby, and make learning something that you actually enjoy.

Set reasonable goals and expectations
If you expect to play guitar songs well after taking a few classes or speaking French after two months of learning, you have set yourself for failure!

Becoming a master guitarist in two months is an exaggerated goal for a beginner. Yet, learning most of the chords and playing “Stand by me” song on the guitar is a reasonable goal. I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but even after two months of playing the guitar (or whatever is your hobby) you would mostly still suck. That’s totally OK and you should feel good about it. Enjoy the journey and take things easy. The most important part is to improve a little bit every time you practice. You have all the time you need to become awesome, for now just keep doing it and have fun.

Find a hobby-mate
Whether you like it or not, getting good at anything require tons of practice. Although taking classes is a great idea to help yourself learn a new hobby, you still need someone who is at your skill level to help you learn too. There is a kind of motivation that comes only from competition, your hobby mate will be the best source of that. Also, he or she will keep will hold you accountable to practice, and share tips and tricks that make sense for someone at your skill level.

Ask an expert
You may underestimate how far you have progressed or do things the wrong way. Meeting with an expert will help you clarify that and know where you stand in your learning journey. Asking experts for help and guidance could be a huge time-saver, sense an expert knows most of the shortcuts, techniques, and resources that can help you become good at your new hobby.

Have a routine
Having a routine is one of the best ways to keep yourself motivated while learning a new hobby. Whether your hobby requires a daily or weekly practice, making a dedicated time for it will keep you anticipating that time and gives you a clear time-frame for learning and practice. Putting the timing part on auto-pilot will make your life easier and minimize the amount of decisions that you have to make. So, instead of making your goal to practice the guitar 4 hours a week, make it to practice every Tue, Wed, Thur, and Sat for one hour between 6-7pm. That way it will be easier for you (and the ones around you) to know what times are dedicated for your new hobby.

Share your progress
Getting praise and compliments from friends, peers, and family can help you stay motivated and make you more interested in the hobby that you’re trying to learn. I used to share my progress when I was learning how to play the guitar with my friends. Of course, they’ve made fun of me sometimes, yet, they also encouraged me and noticed my progress. Such small encouragements can go a long way!