Why learning a new skill should be one of your New Year’s resolutions

We’re a little way into 2021 now. How are your New Year resolutions faring? If you’ve let some lapse, why not make a new one for the Lunar New Year?

For many people the new year marks a new beginning, the opportunity to start fresh, with a clean slate, a mind full of ideas and a heart full of hope. That’s also why so many of us also have a long list of resolutions waiting to be put into practice.

Yet some are still not sure what their resolutions should be about. For all the undecided souls out there we have a suggestion: make learning a new skill your New Year’s resolution

You might be wondering why out of so many things one could wish for, you should focus your already limited time and energy on learning a new skill. Well, it’s not just us saying this is a great idea, but also the scientific community. Scientists agree that learning a new skill can benefit you in ways you can’t even imagine and help you become a more well-rounded and happier person, regardless of your age. If you’re not yet convinced that learning something new should be your priority this year, let’s see exactly what you can get out of it. 

You’ll have improved brain function 

Since we brought scientific research into discussion, we should develop further on the topic. Research suggests that a lifetime of learning can help improve brain health and memory.

When you challenge your mind and learn a new skill that requires mental effort and concentration power, you help slow down the aging process and keep neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia at bay. That’s because activities that keep our minds active change the very chemistry of the brain by stimulating neurons and forming new pathways.

The more you learn, the more neural pathways are developed and that will lead to increased brain function, so you’ll be able to process and absorb information faster. 

You’ll have increased mental wellbeing

But it’s not just the brain that can benefit from these endeavors. Constantly feeding your mind with new knowledge and information and developing new abilities will also help with your mental wellbeing. When you learn something new and expand your horizons, you get a feeling of purpose and accomplishment. This will make you feel more confident and boost your self-esteem.

Knowing and appreciating your own worth means you’ll be able to tap into your potential and achieve your goals, and that will set you on the path to success. With every challenge you overcome, you become a better person. All these aspects are key to leading a healthier and happier life. 

You’ll have a more impressive resume 

Getting employers to notice you is a difficult task. If you want to land your dream job, you have to be prepared to face a tough competition. An impressive resume can get your foot in the door, but what if your CV doesn’t look that great and gets lost or overlooked in the virtual sea of applications?

You can turn things around by proving you have a proactive attitude and you’re focused on self-improvement. Listing the new skills you’ve learned on your own can stand proof of all that and will make you stand out from the crowd when applying for a job.

It’s up to you to decide how you want to expand your skill set. Nowadays, taking online classes, joining webinars or study groups are becoming increasingly popular methods to gain new knowledge and learn new skills that will help you advance your career.   

You’ll connect with new people

I might not seem obvious at first, but continuous learning can help you make new friends. Learning a new skill will connect you with people who have the same passions and interests as you. Whether you choose to join an online course or enroll in traditional classes, you’ll find yourself surrounded by like-minded people.

When you share a common purpose with someone, it’s much easier to break the ice, start a conversation and form a meaningful bond. So don’t be surprised if you find your new BFF while you’re on your quest to self-improvement. 

You’ll discover new passions 

People often reach an age when they feel they know everything there is to know about them. They know what they like and what they don’t like, they know their strengths and weaknesses and things fall into some sort of routine.

While staying in your comfort zone can feel safe and warm, it can also keep you from growing, so you’ll find yourself stuck and unable to move forward. You should allow yourself to explore and challenge yourself if you want to break this cycle. The best way to get out of your routine is to learn something new, whether that means pursuing a childhood dream or discovering new passions and hobbies. 

You’ll become more adaptable 

In this hectic world we’re living in everything seems to be changing at the speed of light. If you can’t keep up with the pace of the world and adapt, you’ll be left behind. But when you remain curious and keep yourself open to new experiences, you’ll be able to stay up to date with everything that’s going on around you and be one step ahead of the game.

It’s the new skills we learn that keep us relevant and competitive, making our lives infinitely easier, so don’t ever assume you’ve learned enough or there’s nothing else that could help you evolve. 

You’ll keep boredom at bay 

Routine and habits are important for living a disciplined and well balanced life. But there’s more to life than doing the same things over and over again. If you fall into a repetitive pattern, you’ll miss out on many wonderful experiences that can enrich your existence.

What’s more, you’ll leave the door wide open for boredom to set in, and when that happens, your motivation levels will decrease and you’ll slowly lose interest in things that once brought you joy. The best cure for chronic boredom is learning new things all the time and keeping your mind active and engaged.