22 Effective Strategies to Find a Hobby You Will Love

How to find a hobby

Finding a hobby that suits you can be a challenge. However, it is possible to find a hobby that will give you joy for years to come, especially if you are willing to put in the work.

While it does take time and effort to find something that you will truly enjoy, the biggest benefit of going through this process is that it can lead to a journey of self-discovery. You learn a lot about your dreams, fears, needs, abilities, and values. This new knowledge can open up an exciting new chapter in your life, so it is definitely worth making the effort.

The strategies I give in this list evolved out of my own challenges in finding a suitable hobby. Through trial and error, I was able to find a set of hobbies that I truly enjoy. Currently, I do blogging, birding, reading, graphic design, web design, coding, traveling, and more than 20 other hobbies that revolve in and out of my life.

So, hopefully, you will find something that you can apply in your own situation.

There is a lot to cover so let’s jump in.

Here are the best ways to find a hobby.

1. Investigate Your Barriers to Finding a Hobby

This is probably not your first attempt at finding a hobby. If you frequently start and quit hobbies, there could be barriers holding you back.

It is important to investigate and deal with these barriers so that you can increase your chances of success.

Some of the barriers you may be facing include:

  • Lack of resources. You don’t have the time, money, or energy to pursue a hobby.
  • Mental health issues. You may struggle to find and maintain hobbies if you are depressed or have social anxiety or ADHD.
  • Perfectionism. If you put too much pressure on yourself to succeed in your hobbies, they can start to feel stressful rather than fun.

I have done a detailed examination of 16 such barriers and limitations in my article on Reasons Why You Have No Hobbies. In the article, I also go through 40+ tips and tricks that you can use to deal with these barriers.

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2. Schedule Time for Finding Hobbies

If finding a hobby is important to you, it should be on your schedule along with other important things in your life. If you don’t block time off for hobbies, you could get distracted by urgent but unimportant tasks.

Here are some tips you can use to find time for your hobbies even if you are busy:

  • Audit your time. Doing an audit of how you spend your time can help you identify non-essential activities that you can eliminate so that you can freed up time for your hobbies.
  • Multi-task. Integrate your hobbies into your daily activities. For example, you can listen to audiobooks while you do your chores or commute to work.
  • Make use of small chunks of time. For example, if you spend 20 minutes a day learning to code, you will have spent over 120 hours within a year. This is enough to get you started in coding.

If you need more tips, check out my article on How to Make Time for Your Hobbies. In the article, I discuss strategies I use to ensure that I have enough time to pursue my hobbies.

3. Find Out What You Enjoy

If you start a hobby that you don’t enjoy, you will not stick with it for very long. Therefore, to find out which hobbies will best suit you, you first need to be clear about what you enjoy.

Boy with dismantled electronics
What activities gave you joy as a child?

Here are some tips you can use to figure out what you enjoy.

  • Figure out what puts you in a state of flow. When you are in a state of flow, you have so much fun and are so engrossed in what you are doing that you lose track of time.
  • Examine your curiosity What subjects can you talk for hours about? What can you study without losing interest?
  • Remember the activities you enjoyed as a child. We tend to be at our most authentic selves as children. Although we change as we grow, we tend to retain some of the interests and passions we had as children.

4. Figure Out Your Gift

You are more likely to succeed in a hobby that takes advantage of your unique abilities and strengths. To identify your gift, you need to find out what comes easy to you but others find difficult or not worth their effort.

For example, if writing comes easy to you, you can get into hobbies like blogging, copywriting, or creative writing.

Here are a few strategies you can use to find out what you are good at.

  • Talk to people who know you best. Your friends and family can tell you what you do well because they interact with you daily.
  • Identify activities you perform better than others at work. For example, if you are good at organizing activities (such as events or trips), you might enjoy hobbies like travel, wedding planning, or coordinating interior décor.
  • Remember your school days. What subjects did you excel at in school? Which sports did you do well at? Which extra-curricular activities were you good at?

5. Figure Out Your Life Goal

If there is a conflict between your hobbies and life goals, you are likely to sacrifice your hobbies. For example, if financial security is your top goal, you will cut off your hobbies to focus on work.

You therefore need to align your hobbies to your life goals. For example, if your goal is financial security, you can start hobbies that are great for making money.

You can use the process below to help you do that.

  • Clearly define your life goal. What do you want to achieve in life? What impact do you want to have in life? You should pick one or two major goals that you are willing to dedicate your life to.
  • Make a plan to achieve your life goal. Choose a strategy to help you achieve your life goal. For example, if you are passionate about the adoption of renewable energy, you can become a journalist, politician, or scientist.
  • Develop the knowledge and skills needed to achieve your life goal. For example, if you want to be a journalist, you need to learn skills like writing, YouTube, social media, storytelling, and interviewing.

6. Examine Your Needs

Your hobbies should help you to solve a problem or fulfill an unmet need in your life. If a hobby does not play a role in your life, it might be difficult to justify spending so much time, money, and energy.

For example, I got into Yoga and physiotherapy to deal with my persistent back issues. These are hobbies that I would never have considered before my back problems started.

Here are examples of common needs that hobbies can help you to meet.

  • Relaxation and fun. Hobbies can help you to unwind and decompress. Examples of hobbies that are good for relaxing include fishing, bird watching, and listening to music.
  • Making money. Hobbies can help you to earn extra income doing what you enjoy. Examples of good hobbies for making money include blogging, YouTube, DIY, and coding.
  • Improving your mental health. Hobbies are great for dealing with mental health issues. Examples of great hobbies for mental health include meditation, Yoga, and journaling.

These are just a few of the needs that hobbies can meet. For more, check out my article on the Types of Hobbies Everyone Should Have for a well-rounded life.

7. Make a Bucket List

The term “bucket list” was popularized by the 2007 movie Bucket List, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. Making a bucket list involves writing all the things you would like to do before you die (or kick the bucket).

Once you have your list, it will be easy to pick out recurring themes like travel, or creative arts. You can then build a hobby or a group of hobbies around the most important aspects of your bucket list.

Camel safari near pyramids
Which places have you always dreamed of visiting? Put that in your bucket list

You can create a bucket list by listing down:

  • Places you would like to travel to. For example, you can have a goal to visit all seven continents or all the states in your country.
  • Experiences you would like to have. For example, climb the Eiffel Tower, or take a balloon ride over Masai Mara.
  • Skills you would like to acquire. For example, learn French, Parkour, or how to play the guitar.

8. Take a Personality Test

Your personality can play a big role in determining your strengths and weaknesses. It can also influence what you like or don’t like. Therefore, if you want to find hobbies that will suit you, you first need to understand your personality.

Taking a personality test (such as Myers-Briggs or Big Five) can give you valuable insights into your personality. Truity has a good selection of personality tests that you can take.

A personality test will help you answer questions about yourself like:

  • Are you introverted or extroverted? If you are extroverted, you may prefer hobbies where you do activities with others. As an introvert, you may enjoy solo hobbies (see The Best Hobbies for Introverts).
  • Do you prefer working with tangible objects versus ideas? If you prefer working with ideas, hobbies like writing will be appropriate. If you enjoy working with your hands, a hobby like pottery could be ideal.
  • Do you prefer creative tasks versus logical tasks? If you are creative, you might enjoy hobbies like drawing or painting. If you are logical, you might enjoy coding or electronics.

9. Explore Hobby Lists

You can get some great ideas for hobbies by looking at hobby lists. Try and compare several hobby lists to find out which hobbies feature regularly. For example, hobbies like writing, reading, DIY, music, swimming, hiking, and camping often feature on many lists.

As a starting point for your search, check out my article on 135+ Hobbies for Beginners. This will give you an in-depth look at beginner-friendly hobbies.

Once you have explored other hobby lists, you should:

  • Make your own list. Use other people’s lists to develop your own list of hobbies you might enjoy. Write as many hobby ideas as you can without editing.
  • Order your list. Once you have your initial list, order the hobbies in order of preference. This will give you a list of hobbies you experiment with.
  • Write reasons for hobbies on your list. For the top 10 hobbies on your list, write down why you were attracted to those particular hobbies. This will give you a deeper insight into what things drive you.

10. Take Classes

Taking a class, especially for hobbies that require skill, will tell you whether you are interested enough in a hobby. For example, if you think you might enjoy coding, take a class on creating mobile apps using a language like Swift (for iOS) or Kotlin (for Android).

Taking classes helps you meet people who share your interests and passions. This is a great way to find friends and mentors. Classes also equip you with skills that make it easy to excel at a hobby.

Here are some great platforms for taking hobby-related classes.

  • Domestika. This is great for creative hobbies like crafting, art, music, and writing. You can access 1,000+ courses for less than $7 per month (explore Domestika courses). They also have some free courses you can take.
  • Udemy. You can get a course on almost any topic on Udemy. They often offer discounts that can bring down the cost of a course from $200+ to around $10-$20 (check out Udemy courses).
  • Craftsy. This is another good platform for creative hobbies like photography, arts, and crafts. You can get 2,000+ courses for less than $10 per month (explore Craftsy courses).

11. Research Potential Hobbies

If you fail to research your potential hobbies, you will get blindsided by things you did not expect.

To research your hobbies, list your top 5 potential hobbies. You can then look for information on costs, time needed, and potential challenges (See Disadvantages of Hobbies to get an idea of some of the challenges).

You can do your research in several ways. Here are the most effective ways.

  • Online research. Look at forums, Facebook groups, and Reddit to find communities related to your hobby. You can also follow your favorite hobbyist on YouTube or social media.
  • Offline research. Reach out to people involved in your potential hobby and ask them for advice. You can find such people at specialty stores, hobby clubs, hobby events, and government agencies.
  • Immersion. Immerse yourself in your potential hobby for a few days or weeks. For example, if you are interested in homesteading, you can live on a hobby farm for a few days.

12. Do Journaling

Journaling is one of the most impactful things you can do in your search for a hobby. Journaling is a great way to find a hobby because it can help you to:

  • Capture and store ideas and information. You will forget many of the ideas and information you come across when searching for a hobby. To prevent this, you need to record them somewhere as soon as you encounter them.
  • Understand yourself. A big part of finding a hobby is understanding your passions, needs, strengths, and weaknesses. Journaling helps you to tap your subconscious for this information.
  • Help others out. The information you find can be helpful to someone else in your situation. When you write it down, you can share the information with others later (through blogging or YouTube).

The easiest way to start journaling is to use a pen and paper. However, to increase your efficiency, you can explore digital journaling using a Zettelkasten tool like Obsidian, or by starting a blog.

For me, I use all three methods. I use pen and paper to capture ideas quickly. I then transfer these ideas to Obsidian. I later turn these ideas into blog posts.

13. Study Your Heroes

The people you admire can give you an idea of the characteristics, talents, values, or lifestyles that you would like to have. Your heroes are often a mirror of your ideal self.

Start by making a list of people that you admire and respect. For each, write down:

  • What you admire about them (i.e. their personality, character, lifestyle, or abilities).
  • Their beliefs and mindsets.
  • The challenges they have overcome when pursuing their passion.

You can then select hobbies that will help you develop the qualities and abilities you admire in your heroes.

Where can you find heroes? Heroes are everywhere you look. Your heroes can be:

  • From your circle of family, friends, and co-workers. If someone you know has a strong passion for something, seek them out and observe them. Ask people in your circle to connect you to interesting people they know.
  • Public figures. For example, if you are interested in learning guitar, you can study interviews with someone like Mark Knopfler.
  • Historical figures. History is full of heroic figures who have accomplished great things. You can read biographies of inspiring people like the Wright Brothers, Henry Ford, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Isaac Newton.

14. Piggyback On Other People’s Hobbies

Write down any unique hobbies your family, friends, co-workers, and friends of friends have and join them the next time they engage in them. Many would be happy to have some company, and you might be surprised at what you discover.

For example, I got into one of my hobbies (birding) by accompanying a friend who was obsessed with birding and I caught the bug.

The benefits of trying other people’s hobbies are:

  • You will have more fun. Hobbies are often fun when you do them with people you like. Your friends will challenge you, teach you, and encourage you.
  • You have someone who will teach you for free. People who are passionate about something will often share their knowledge enthusiastically. You don’t have to pay for classes if you have a friend who is already an expert in something you are interested in.
  • You can use their equipment and resources. Buying equipment can be expensive, and if lose interest in the hobby, you may have to sell them at a loss. If you have friends already engaging in a hobby, you can ask to borrow their old equipment.

15. Expand to Related Hobbies

If you already have a hobby, look at other related hobbies that you can try. For example, if you enjoy drawing, you might also enjoy painting.

Certain hobbies work particularly well with others. I call these ‘gateway hobbies’. Gateway hobbies:

  • Can accommodate other hobbies with minimal effort.
  • Need other hobbies for them to operate at their best.

Here are some examples of such gateway hobbies.

  • Camping: If you enjoy camping, you can get into hobbies like outdoor cooking, star gazing, RV travel, and orienteering.
  • Homesteading. If you love homesteading, you can get into hobbies like woodworking, canning, sewing, soap making, and gardening.
  • Interior design. If you enjoy interior design, you can get into DIY hobbies like upcycling, sewing, painting, landscaping, woodwork, and crafting (see: Best DIY Hobbies).

My gateway hobby is birdwatching. Through birding, I have become interested in related hobbies like camping, bird photography, bird art, hiking, plant identification, and birding travel. For more, see Is Birdwatching the Ultimate Hobby?

16. Transform a Responsibility Into a Hobby

An easy way to find hobbies is to transform responsibilities and chores into hobbies. You will have to do these chores anyway, so why not inject some enjoyment into them?

Some chores that can easily translate into hobbies include:

  • Cooking. Don’t just cook for sustenance. Set a challenge to cook restaurant-quality meals at home.
  • Car cleaning. You can turn this chore into a car detailing hobby. If you combine this hobby with a car repair hobby, you will always have a pristine vehicle that maintains its value.
  • Lawn care. You can turn a lawn care chore into a landscaping hobby. With this hobby, you can upgrade your backyard into a space where people would be happy to hang out.

A chore that I am currently turning into a hobby is cooking. I enjoy eating, but I find cooking tiring. I have challenged myself to learn how to cook all my favorite meals and explore recipes from different cultures.

17. Transform a Work-Related Activity Into a Hobby

Your job can be a goldmine for finding hobbies. If there are work-related activities that you enjoy more than others (or may grow to enjoy them), why not convert them into hobbies? It’s all about a mindset shift.

Here are some hobbies that you can easily convert into a hobby.

  • Writing. If your job involves doing a lot of writing, you can put some extra effort into learning how to write effectively.
  • Public speaking. If you do a lot of presentations, you can join a local Toastmasters group and learn how to speak well.
  • Data analysis. If you work with data, you can explore how to use your skill in data-hungry hobbies like machine learning, rocketry, robotics, and coding.

Graphic design is a work-related activity that I converted into a hobby. It has helped me become good at making attractive presentations, graphs, charts, and reports. I also use it to design my blogs.

18. Look for Volunteering Opportunities

Volunteering is a great way to find out about yourself while serving others. Pick something you might enjoy or are curious about and look for volunteer opportunities. For example:

  • If you love being around animals, you can volunteer at an animal shelter, vet clinic, or zoo.
  • If you enjoy nature, you can volunteer at a campsite or national park.
Woman handing out food packages
Volunteering your time is a great way to find out what you are passionate about

Here is why volunteering is a great way to find a hobby.

  • You discover what you like and don’t like. Volunteering can help you discover your likes and dislikes. Often, you cannot be sure if you will enjoy an activity unless you try it. Volunteering gives you a no-pressure way to test things out.
  • You learn new skills for free. When you volunteer, you interact with experts who teach you skills that you would have otherwise paid for.
  • You get to follow your curiosity. For example, if you are curious about how birds live, you can volunteer as a research assistant to an ornithologist.

19. Join a Group Related to Your Potential Hobby

If you are interested in a particular hobby, you should consider joining a group that shares an interest in that hobby.

You can find if there are any groups you can join by:

  • Checking online for clubs and associations near your area.
  • Visiting fairs, farmers markets, or anywhere people with similar interests congregate.
  • Asking at specialty stores or local businesses that sell hobby supplies.

There are many benefits of joining a group, for example:

  • You meet people with similar interests. If you have an unusual hobby, it can be hard to find people who share your interests within your circle of friends and family. With hobby groups, you can meet many like-minded people in one place.
  • You get accurate information about your hobby. Groups are great places for finding experts who can give you accurate information about your hobby.
  • You get people you can share your hobby with. This makes hobbies more fun. You also become more accountable because you don’t want to disappoint your friends. This positive peer pressure can motivate you to be consistent with your hobby.

20. Examine Your Envy

Envy is a feeling of discontent aroused by someone else’s advantages or good fortune. When you are envious, you wish to have something someone else has.

Like all human emotions, envy has a role to play in life. Instead of pushing it away or feeling ashamed about it, let it point to what you want.

You can use envy to identify:

  • Abilities you wish you had. For example, if your work colleague gives engaging presentations, you might desire to improve your presentation skills. In this case, a hobby like storytelling or public speaking can be ideal.
  • Goals you would like to achieve. For example, your best friend may have recently lost a lot of weight and they look great. This can motivate you to lose weight as well. In this case, a perfect hobby for you would be an active hobby such as running, swimming, or Zumba.
  • Experiences you would love to have. For example, if you envy an uncle that regularly travels to many countries and exotic places, your potential hobbies can be traveling and learning new languages.

21. Examine Your Habits

Here is a fun fact. Computer models can accurately predict your personality from your Facebook likes. With 150 likes, the model can predict your personality better than a family member.

While this is disturbing, it also means that your online habits can tell you a lot about your interests, likes, and dislikes.

For example, if you mainly consume home décor content on Instagram, then interior decoration could be a potential hobby for you.

You can leverage your digital habits to find:

  • Places that fascinate you.
  • Foods that you would like to try.
  • People that inspire you.
  • Things or items that you crave.

Here is how you can use your habits to discover your hidden interests.

  • Check your browsing and YouTube history. Which websites do you often visit and why? Which kinds of blogs do you like to read? Which websites do you bookmark? Which channels have you subscribed to?
  • Check your purchase history. Which kinds of equipment and supplies do you often purchase and why? What are you planning to purchase?
  • Check your social media history. What kind of content do you like consuming on social media?
  • What documentaries, movies, and TV shows do you like watching? Check your Netflix account for clues.

22. Experiment With Different Activities

A powerful strategy you can use is to treat your hobby-finding journey as an experiment.

Make a list of 30-50 activities that you think you might enjoy. Arrange them in order of preference and then do each hobby for a month or two before moving to the next hobby. For example, you can learn French in January, run a marathon in February, and spend March bird watching.

Essentially, you are throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. This may seem hardcore, but desperate times require desperate measures.

The trick to making this method work is to:

  • Try many activities. The more activities you try, the more likely you will find something to enjoy. It’s like rolling the dice; the more times you roll, the higher the chance of hitting a six.
  • Systematize the process. Have a schedule for doing the hobbies on your list with a defined start and end date.
  • Make it fun. Focus on the process rather than the destination. Enjoy the journey of trying out different hobbies.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, you have found a few tips you can implement in your journey to find a hobby you will love. You don’t need many hobbies, you only need enough to fill your unmet needs and make you passionate about your life.

Try and make the process of finding a hobby fun. If you can, make it like a game or an experiment. This will make the entire process much easier, even if it takes longer than you expected.

Further reading

Here are some other articles you may find useful: