Learn Something New: 101 New Skills to Learn Starting Today
Want to do something cool in 2018?
One of the best ways to leverage your spare time in the upcoming year is to learn a new skill.
Just think about the most successful people in the world. Those who consistently succeed are those who are best at learning new skills.
Successful people make the commitment to dedicate their spare time in the pursuit of learning (instead of vegging out in front of the television.) And they stick to their promise of learning.
With that in mind, there are countless things you can learn in your spare time. This list puts a number to that list and shares with you 101 valuable things to learn that will improve your life. Both personally and professionally.
With this list it will not be difficult to find those new skills to learn, it will be difficult narrowing down your list of what you want to learn.
Learning new skills is the process of a lifetime. Begin today!
In the following article, we will cover 101 new skills you can learn (with an hour of dedicated time each day) that can dramatically improve your personal and professional life.
Let's get to them…
Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links in the post are to courses where we will receive a sales commission if you decide to buy them (but at no extra cost to you.) That said, we only recommend products we know provide value and will help you build specific skills.
Don't have time to read the entire post?
This post is pretty lengthy. So if you don't have time to read it, then we've simplified this list into eight courses, each teaching a great skill you can master for the upcoming year. Here are the favorites that other readers love...
General Skills to Learn (The FUN and USEFUL Skills)
The “general skills" are a mixed bag. They do not fall into any specific category of skills to learn. These are the type of skills we often think of when we want to learn something new, but never invest the time and effort involved to actually learn them.
New skills to learn can be useful, fun and are often great at making a “well-rounded" person. Who wouldn’t like to be able to play guitar, fix a car, cook a 5-star meal, grow a lush garden and be able to protect yourself with martial arts.
1. Speed Reading
How much more work could you accomplish if you were able to complete all of your required reading in one-third of the time? Or even half the time?
Speed reading is basically learning to understand the fundamental principles of the human visual system, allowing you to eliminate inefficiencies in your reading and increase the speed at which you read while also improving your retention.
Even slight improvements in reading time can save a lot of time long term. And many people report massive gains in reading speeds after building the speed reading skill.
Also, if you'd like a quick primer on speed reading, Tim Ferriss has a quick video that teaches a few basics of the process.
2. Basic Home Repairs
I am no expert at home repairs. But I would argue that most people should be learn the basics of keeping their own home in tip-top shape.
One of the best reasons to learn how to do basic home repairs is that having someone come out to do them for you is incredibly expensive and time-consuming. There are several resources online to help walk you through some basic home repairs, such as: DIY Pete and Home Made Modern.
3. Learn How to Draw
Drawing is actually a basic skill that we were all born with. While we have to be taught to read and write, people are actually born with the natural ability to draw.
Drawing is essential for human survival because it is a form of communication that everyone can understand, no matter what language you speak. Toddlers begin drawing before they start to read or write and continue to do it throughout life.
Take a drawing course that will have you drawing like a professional in no time at all, and perfect your skill and express your creativity with drawing.
4. Basic Car Repairs
Car repairs can drain your wallet quickly, but there are a lot of repairs that you can actually do yourself. Even if you don't have technical skills, you can still do things like change your oil, fix fuel filters, and change alternators. This can help save you time and money.
5. Home Cleaning and Decluttering
Have you heard of the Kon Mari Method of decluttering? It is currently the hottest and most popular method of home decluttering.
The Kon Mari Method was created by Marie Kondo, who owns a business in Tokyo where she teaches her method to help people turn their homes into peaceful and inspiring spaces. It starts with discarding things that you do not need in your home anymore and then organizing what is left. Having a clean home will help you de-stress your life and live in a place that is free from clutter.
The class linked below is actually taught by Marie Kondo herself. Even if you have read her popular book this organization training will show (in video format) many of her cleaning methods that are difficult to follow in the book. (Like her folding method) Add a link to marie kondo book
And here's a talk that Marie Kondo did at Google where she talks about her book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" and the many benefits that come when you declutter your life.
6. Photoshop Mastery
Everyone should know some Photoshop basics. Learning Photoshop is an important tool if you want to work in graphic or web design or even just use it at home for your own pictures. Because it is such a valued skill, it is great to be able to add to a resume as well.
It is also important to learn Photoshop if you work in a hands-on marketing role. For example, if you create flyers, email newsletters, or brochures, knowing Photoshop will help you optimize your creations and retouch your images. Photoshop actually offers some resources to get you started.
But if you want a bit more “hands on" training. The course linked below gives over 30 hours of video training that will make you a Photoshop expert.
7. Learn to play the guitar
Can learning to play the guitar change your well-being?
Research actually shows that the brains of guitar players work slightly differently than those of everyone else. The process and art of learning to play the chords on a guitar and read sheet music can open up new neural pathways and rewire the brain in a positive way that can lead to cognitive benefits.
If guitar playing has always been a dream. Or if you are looking for a skill to build from scratch, check out this guitar training course, made for beginners, but taught by experts. It removes many barriers from learning the guitar. YOu will find yourself playing recognizable tunes in hours, rather than months.
A criticism that is often heard today is that people spend too much time taking pictures of their experiences instead of living them. However, the photographs play the important role of allowing people to hold on to memories and show the rest of the world a peek into their lives while also telling a story.
Everyone should learn some photography because it provides several benefits. It is a fun hobby and can help you grow as a person by cultivating creativity.
In the photography masterclass linked below, you can learn a complete guide to photography with 15 hours of training. It will teach you everything from understanding how your camera works to what gear you will need. It will also give you tips for selling your photographs.
And if you want a quick overview of the photography basics, this video tutorial covers specific elements like ISO settings, aperture, and shutter speed.
9. Travel Photography
To be a great travel photographer, you have to learn how to see the world as a photographer would. Travel photography is specifically designed to teach you how to find, frame and take the very best pictures while traveling.
Travel photography is a bit different from normal photograpy, and requires its own training The below course is great for people who know how to use their camera, but want to develop the skills needed to succeed in the business of travel photography and create a portfolio of high-quality travel photos.
10. Gardening: How to Grow Anything
Maybe you've tried to grow things in your garden before, but your previous results made this seem like it was not a skill you could master.
However, if you learn how to grow your own flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruits, you can save a lot of money and have a beautiful yard to look at. Also, eating food straight from your garden is the healthiest way to get the nutrients that your body needs.
Here is a helpful video on growing your own greens to create your own healthy salads. This video will walk you through a garden tour in Southern California. Finally, take a look at this video to learn more about organic gardening.
11. Learn to Cook Like a PRO
While it is certainly one thing to be able to create a four-course meal at the last minute, it is another to be able to at least make a decent pasta dinner, a nice pot of soup, and a winning batch of chocolate chip cookies without the help from a box. Having the skill of cooking well will help you out for your entire life.
First, you will be able to know what is going into your food and therefore what is going into your body. You can control how much fat and salt goes into your dishes to create a healthy diet for yourself and your family. Also, you can impress your friends and family when you have them over for dinner, even if you just make something simple. Lastly, you will save a lot of money eating at home versus eating at a restaurant. You can make enough food at home to have leftovers for lunch the next day and even to freeze meals for a future dinner.
This set of online courses has classes for both people who desire a career in cooking and those who would just like to learn to cook a few excellent dishes. They have courses to become a professional chef. They have classes in any specific cooking skill like Wok-stir fry cooking, and they even have classes based on healthy cooking like plant based cooking.
With detailed training designed for both student chef’s and someone who just wants to learn a few professional meals you can learn to cook like a pro for a fraction of the cost of going to culinary school classes.
12. Learn Piano
Learning to play a musical instrument, often a piano or guitar, is on many people’s bucket list. The problem with learning these instruments is the perceived high barrier to learning the new skills of playing these instuments.
Many people have tried traditional methods of learning these skills and been turned off by the slow going of plodding through the basics and learning to play “exciting" tunes like “row, row, row your boat.
The Pianoforall course is different. It starts you in with the basics & the foundations, but has you learn them by playing exciting modern piano songs. With this method of learning you will love learning and want to show off your skills after only a handful of hours of lessons and practice.
13. Learn Self-Defense Basics
Nothing feels better than being confident that you can take care of yourself, whether it is mentally, financially, or physically. Being able to physically protect yourself in all situations is a reassurance that can only be gained through self-defense classes. While many people automatically think about women and children when they think about self-defense, it is really a skill for everyone.
The key is to find your favorite martial art and learn some basic self-defense skills from a class.
And if you'd like a quick introduction, here is a video that covers all of the major martial arts techniques.
14. Learn to make your own furniture and decorations.
If you are like me, woodworking seems like a dream. I remember my grandfather making fancy wooden home decorations. I remember my dad building a deck to our home when I was a young boy. But everything I have tried has turned out to be a big mess. I think the woodworking gene skipped a generation with me. It is a skill I don’t seem to have.
This is why I am so intrigued by this woodworking course. It breaks the process down into simple steps and offers many detailed plans. It make major woodworking projects seem so easy that even someone like me with zero woodworking skill might have a chance of success.
15. Mastering Tai Chi
Learning Tai Chi is great for your body and your mind. This practice can help alleviate natural health conditions that come along with aging and encourage people of all ages to relax and let go of nervous tension. The main benefit of Tai Chi is its ability to mitigate the effects of stress.
Learning Tai Chi imparts the six principles of flow and imparts grace and flow to the practitioner.
Find out more about this healthy form of exercise that reduces stress, builds confidence, imparts grace and strength, helps you live longer and helps your mind reach a state of clarity.
Also, if you'd like to get started and learn the basics of Tai Chi, here are 10 moves you can learn that is part of a 14-minute workout.
16. Basic Dance Moves (for guys)
Guys, how embarrassing is it to go out to a club and try to impress some ladies and then find yourself completely unconfident and timid on the dance floor?
I have been there.
Trying to do some fancy moves… but only looking like spastic monkey. Or even worse, sitting on the sidelines, afraid to embarrass myself.
You do not need to be a master dancer to go out and meet people and have fun. But having a few good moves in your back pocket will go a long way toward helping your confidence. That is why I think basic dance moves can be an important skill to learn.
To get started, here's a funny (but helpful) video on how to not dance like a dork.
17. Reading (Everything)
This is one skill I would say is the most important of all the skills on this skill list. When you read, even if it is just fiction, you learn and expand your worldview. You visit places you may never see and learn about skills you might otherwise never take the time to learn.
Get in the habit of reading through things. Articles, blurbs, drafts, books and volumes of material are all worthy of your time.
How good quality the information is is directly proportional to how informative what you read is. Reading comic books for instance, is worthwhile, but not as good as reading a good non-fiction text on a subject you are interested in.
My personal rule. Read 1 nonfiction book for learning for every fiction book I read for fun.
18. Change a Flat Tire
Flat tires are either silly inconveniences or serious issues. The difference between the two is often in the ability to fix them quickly.
Even with improvements in tire technology and “run flat" tires, everyone gets a flat tire from time-to-time. And, of course Murphy's Law will make sure those flat tires come at the most inconvenient time possible.
Don’t rely on a car service to fix your change your flat tires. It is a very easy process, and keeps you from being reliant on others.
Plus learning the skill of changing your own flat tires may save you a few dollars in expenses.
Prefer a visual walkthrough?
Here is a quick video that shows the basics of changing a flat tire.
19. Gain the Skill of Humor
You're trapped on a desert island with two people. One is annoying, and one is funny. Just about everyone would prefer to be stuck with the guy with a good sense of humor, while leaving the annoying one back at camp.
The ability to be humorous is rooted in the ability to recognize absurdity, chance, circumstance, tonality, language choice and emphasis. These are all powerful skills independently, but together, they form the basis of humor.
When you are able to use humor effectively in writing, speech and socially. You will find yourself a sought after commodity, like the last hamburger stand before you get to a all-vegan community.
20. Jump-start a Dead Battery
Someone on this planet, at this very second, has a dead battery. What's worse is that they probably don't even have jumper cables. A dead battery is not as easy to fix as a flat tire because it inherently requires another person. (Unless you have one of the new battery powerpack jumper cables.)
But what if the other person only has the battery to offer? Or doesn't really know how to set up the cables either?
Will you be ready to affix the cables, go through the motions and get your car up and running? Or will you be left at the roadside?
This is another simple skill that every single adult should know.
And here's a quick video tutorial on how to jump start a car.
21. Learn to Start a Fire (anywhere)
When you are in the wilderness one of the most important resources is fire.
You need fire to purify water. You need it for warmth. You need it to scare off wild animals.
Most people think that starting a fire from scratch is a difficult skill to learn. Something to daunt survivalists with years of experience.
Well, most people would be wrong. Starting a fire from scratch is painfully simple. With nothing more than friction, air flow, kindling and a mass to hold the flame.
And here is a video that has eight ideas for starting a fire without matches.
22. Surviving A MAJOR crisis
Starting a fire without matches is probably about the limit of my personal “woodsman" skills. (and I am admittedly slow at making fire).