How To Start A Hobby: The Ultimate Hobby Guide for Beginners

How to Start a Hobby

Starting a hobby as an adult can be challenging, especially if you are juggling a full-time job and kids. When money is tight and time is limited, pursuing a hobby can often seem like a distraction and a luxury you cannot afford.

So, how do you motivate yourself to start a hobby?

The key lies in realizing that hobbies can help you live a happier and more successful life. Rather than being a distraction, hobbies can actually get you closer to your goals.

Of course, some hobbies are huge time wasters. But if you choose your hobbies wisely, you will definitely see a transformation in your life.

With that in mind, I have created this detailed guide to help you navigate the various aspects of starting a hobby. In this guide, I will:

  • Explain why you need a hobby in your life.
  • Explain how to choose a hobby that will bring joy and meaning into your life.
  • Give you some great examples of hobbies you can start as a beginner.
  • Give you a step-by-step procedure for starting and sticking to a hobby.
  • Show you how you can make money from your hobby.
  • Show you where you can find good learning resources for hobbies.

If this seems interesting, stick around!

1. What Is a Hobby? A Simple Definition

The first step in finding a hobby is to have a clear definition of what a hobby is. Many people often have trouble differentiating between hobbies, interests, and passions.

For example, you hear people complaining that they have too many hobbies while in reality, they have many interests.

So, before we get into the weeds, let us define a hobby and look at how it differs from other similar terms.

Definition of a hobby

A hobby is an activity you do in your spare time for fun or enjoyment. Examples of popular hobbies include reading, dancing, gaming, and watching movies.

Some other common names (synonyms) for hobbies include pastime, avocation, recreational activity, and hobby horse.

Several terms are often used interchangeably with hobbies, such as interests and passions. Let us explore these terms and how they differ from each other.

Did you know? The term hobby comes from the old English term Hobby Horse. This was a popular children’s toy that was made of a wooden stick with the shape of a horse’s head. Children would straddle it and pretend to ride a horse. Over time, people used the word to describe any enjoyable activity (See: What Is a Hobby?).

What is the difference between an interest and a hobby?

An interest is something that fascinates you or arouses your curiosity. It can be an activity, but it can also be a subject such as history, geology, or philosophy. You may also have an interest in a person or a thing (e.g. Elon Musk, birds, or gemstones).

Hobbies and interests can often overlap but there are subtle differences between the two. Here is a table showing the major differences.

Hobbies are enjoyable activities that you do regularly.Interests are not restricted to activities. You can have an interest in subjects, people, or things. For example, you may be interested in flying planes and aviation but have never flown a plane.
You often do a hobby during your free time.Your interests are not restricted to your free time, for example, you may have several interests at work.
Hobbies are primarily done for fun, enjoyment, and as a way to relax and unwind from all your hard work.Interests are primarily concerned with satisfying curiosity.
Hobbies often require a higher level of commitment than interests. This means you will naturally have fewer hobbies than interests.Interests require a lower level of commitment than hobbies and can often be fleeting. You can also have many interests compared to hobbies. However, interests can develop into hobbies or passions.

What is the difference between a hobby and a passion?

We are often told that we should follow our passion. But what is a passion? And when does a hobby become a passion?

A passion is a strong interest in an activity, undertaking, or subject; and is often accompanied by strong feelings and emotions.

Hobbies differ from passion in the degree of attachment and commitment. Hobbies and interests can develop into passions given the right conditions. Here is a table showing the differences between a hobby and a passion.

A hobby feels enjoyable, without intense feelings or pressure to excel.A passion can come with intense feelings of desire that can border on an obsession. It feels more like falling in love.
You enjoy engaging in a hobby but don’t feel compelled. You can go for long periods without engaging in a hobby without feeling like things are out of place.You feel driven to engage in a passion. When you are not doing an activity that you are passionate about, you feel like something is missing.
You can easily abandon a hobby if it becomes too challenging.You can endure a lot of hardship to pursue your passion.
You can have more hobbies than passions because hobbies don’t require the amount of energy and commitment that comes with a passion.A passion takes a lot out of you, so having more than one or two can be draining.

Major Takeaways

Hopefully, going through these differences has helped you to have a clear understanding of hobbies. As you think of these differences, ask yourself:

  • Do you have an interest that you can convert into a hobby or even a passion if you put in more effort?
  • Can you downgrade some of your hobbies into interests so that you can concentrate on what truly fulfills you?

2. Why Should You Start a Hobby? The Benefits of Hobbies

You need to have a strong reason for starting a hobby, otherwise, you will not stick with it for very long. Hobbies have plenty of benefits and you don’t have to think hard to come up with several reasons.

I have already done a deep dive into The Benefits of Hobbies but in this section, I want to touch briefly on some important benefits.

#1. Hobbies can give you meaning in life

Sometimes, life will throw you curve balls that can leave you feeling lost and unsure of yourself. In such times, hobbies can help you to find new meaning in life by:

  • Giving you a goal to work towards. If you do not have an exciting goal you are working towards, you may spend your time ruminating on your failures or shortcomings.
  • Giving you an alternative lifestyle. For example, if you are a highly-stressed executive, you may decide to quit to pursue a slower-paced, minimalist lifestyle as a homesteader.
  • Helping you overcome trauma. Hobbies can help you deal with trauma and mental health issues. For example, studies show that hobbies like journaling, meditation, and pet care help with depression and PTSD.

For inspiration, check out this story of how war vets are putting their lives back together by caring for dogs (4 minutes).

#2. Hobbies are great for challenging yourself

Successfully facing and overcoming challenges can boost your sense of self-worth and strengthen your identity. There is something special about doing something you have never done or facing your fears.

Challenging yourself through hobbies helps you to:

  • Change limiting beliefs. Hobbies are a powerful way to break many of the limiting beliefs you hold about yourself. You don’t know what you can do until you try. Hobbies allow you to find out.
  • Boost your self-worth. Hobbies give you the opportunity to do things that will make you proud of yourself, for example, doing your first rock climb despite your fear of heights or overcoming a disability to play a sport.
  • Shape your character. Hobbies can help you to develop character traits like self-discipline, perseverance, or commitment to excellence.

#3. You can use hobbies to advance your career

Hobbies, if chosen wisely, can be quite useful in helping you build and advance your career. Hobbies do this by:

  • Giving you skills. Hobbies can help you to develop skills that can land you a job or get promoted. For example, if you are the only person who speaks Mandarin in your division, you will have an advantage when opportunities open up in China.
  • Helping you meet people. People often have a soft spot for people who share their interests and passions. You can use hobbies to network with people who can connect you to jobs. Some good hobbies for networking include golf, music, and collecting.
  • Helping you build your portfolio. Hobbies give you a chance to demonstrate what you can do. For example, if regularly engage in graphic design, you will probably have many samples of your work, even if you don’t do it professionally.

If you want to learn more about how hobbies can help you in your career, check out the articles below.

#4. You can make a good income from your hobbies

Hobbies can be a great way to make a side income during your free time. You can realistically make anywhere between $300 and $1,000 a month from your hobbies. This extra income can make a big difference in your finances.

A hobby is a good way to make money because:

  • It is enjoyable. Instead of struggling with a side hustle that stresses you out, why not convert something you enjoy into a side income?
  • There is a high chance of success. If you enjoy your work, you are more likely to work harder, learn more, and do a better job. This increases the odds of your success.
  • You have control. You decide on the direction you want to take your business because there is no one to dictate to you.

Later in the article, I will discuss more about turning a hobby into a business and I will also give you ideas on how you can make money from your hobbies.

Further reading

  • If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of hobbies (including how they can improve your health), check out my article on Why Hobbies Are Important.
  • For more on how hobbies can help you to be more productive and successful, see my article on Useful Hobbies That Will Make You Insanely Productive.
  • Hobbies can also have some negative effects that you should be aware of. Some of these effects can have a huge impact on your life. See my article on the Disadvantages of Hobbies for a discussion on these negative effects and how to avoid them.

3. The Biggest Barriers to Starting a Hobby

If you have unsuccessfully tried to start a new hobby before, you understand how frustrating it can be.

Finding and sticking to a hobby is not easy. There are several barriers that can sabotage your efforts to find, start, and stick to hobbies.

I have done a deep dive into these barriers (and their solutions) in my article on Why You Have No Hobbies. However, in this section, I want to highlight some of the common ones. These are:

#1. Lack of time, money, and energy

This is a big one for many people. Hobbies require time, money, and commitment. As adults, we juggle many responsibilities that make it difficult for us to find the time, money, or energy to engage in hobbies.

But you can start a hobby even if you have no money and no time. Some of the strategies you can use to overcome limitations of time, money, and energy are:

  • Start small. Find out the minimum amount of resources you need to get started. You don’t need to start with expensive equipment or spend too much of your time. For example, to learn French, you can use an app like Duolingo (which is free) and allocate 15 minutes a day for learning.
  • Choose appropriate hobbies. Tailor your hobbies to account for your limitations (physical, financial, or social). For example, if you are broke, you need to avoid expensive hobbies like traveling to exotic destinations.
  • Use your resources wisely. If you have limited time, money, or energy, you have to ensure that you are efficient in how you use them. Cut off activities that don’t add much value to your life.

#2. Giving in to fear

Fear can stop you in your tracks when you are pursuing your hobby. Some of the common fears that many people face include fear of what others will think, fear of failing, and phobias (such as social anxiety).

To overcome your fear, you can try the following.

  • Look at the impact of your fear. What are you missing by giving in to your fear? What interesting things would you do if you did not fear? Make it painful to hold on to your fear.
  • Investigate the source of your fear. Getting to the root of your fear may require that you work on yourself through regular journaling. There are also many psychological tricks that you can use to deal with fear.
  • Take action despite fear. If your fear is not justified (for example, the hobby is not dangerous), then you should try out the hobby until your fear starts to subside.

#3. Pursuing too many hobbies and interests

If you often jump from hobby to hobby, you may find it difficult to reap the rewards of engaging in hobbies. In fact, it might seem like you are on a treadmill- working hard but getting nowhere.

Here is how you can deal with trying to pursue too many hobbies.

  • Understand that you don’t need many hobbies to be fulfilled. You may look at people with multiple hobbies or interests and erroneously conclude that they are happier. But you can be happy with one or two hobbies if you choose them well (see How Many Hobbies Should You Have?).
  • Beware of the paradox of choice. When the amount of options increases, making a decision becomes much harder. And even when you do, you keep second-guessing whether you made the right choice. You can overcome the paradox of choice by limiting your choices. You can do this by prioritizing only the most important hobbies.
  • Examine why you jump from hobby to hobby. Pursuing too many hobbies could mean that you are facing difficulties in finding something you love. This could be a result of using the wrong strategies to find a hobby. See How to Find a Hobby You Will Love for some effective strategies you can use to find a hobby.

#4. Being impatient

It can be tempting to quit when things take too long to work out. For example, if you take up running to lose weight, you may get frustrated if you don’t see results after a few months.

But things often take longer than we expect and, therefore, we need to develop patience. Giving up and going back to our old ways is never a solution.

Here are some things you can do to deal with impatience.

  • Take a long-term view. If you know that a hobby will bring important benefits to your life, aim to make it part of your lifestyle long term. To quote Bill Gates, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”
  • Focus on the journey and not the destination. Focus on enjoying the activities you do every day. Let the joy of doing the activity be the reward so that when you finally achieve your goal, it will be more of a bonus.
  • Believe that things will work out. If you lose hope that things will work out, then you are more likely to give up quickly.If things have worked for others, they will also work for you if you use the right strategies.

Further reading: If you want more information on the common barriers to getting a hobby, check out my article on Why You Have No Hobbies where I discuss 16 common barriers and how to overcome them.

4. How to Choose A New Hobby

There are hundreds if not thousands of hobbies that you can get into (see my Ultimate List of 1,000+ Hobbies). Obviously, you can only try a tiny fraction of these hobbies.

So, how do you choose a hobby that is right for you?

In this section, I will give you some criteria that you can use when choosing a new hobby. This can be especially useful if you are new to hobbies and don’t know where to begin.

When choosing a new hobby, you should:

#1. Choose a hobby that can help you achieve your goals in life

You need to choose a hobby that will help you improve important aspects of your life. It will be easier to stick to a hobby if you make a connection between a hobby and your desires.

The 5 types of hobbies that you need most in your life are hobbies that help you to:

  1. Make money or advance your career (money hobbies).
  2. Improve your health and keep away diseases (healthy hobbies).
  3. Relax and unwind after a hectic work day or week (relaxing or fun hobbies)
  4. Meet people and make friends (social hobbies).
  5. Improve your creativity and ability to come up with innovative ideas (creative hobbies).

This does not mean that you have one hobby for each of these goals. If your hobbies wisely, one hobby can meet all these goals. As an example, see how a birdwatching hobby can help you meet multiple goals in your life.

Further reading: 20 Types of Hobbies Everyone Should Have for a well-rounded life.

#2. Choose a hobby that satisfies an unmet needs

If you don’t have time to pursue multiple hobbies, you can prioritize hobbies that help you meet your unmet needs. For example:

  • If money is a problem in your life, then you can prioritize a hobby that will help you to make a side income.
  • If you have a busy, stressful job, prioritize a hobby that will help you unwind and relax.
  • If you are overweight and unfit, choose a hobby to help you lose weight.

Unlike strategy #1 where you are trying to meet multiple goals or needs to achieve balance, here you prioritize only what is absent from your life. To do this effectively, you need to be aware of your most pressing need and then look for a hobby that can help you fill that need.

#3. Choose a hobby that you will enjoy

Choose a hobby that you think you might enjoy or may grow to enjoy. If you try and force yourself to engage in a hobby you don’t enjoy, you will find it challenging to motivate yourself.

Some of the questions you can ask yourself include:

  • What kind of activities do you enjoy? For example, do you like working with your hands, or do you prefer intellectual pursuits? Do you like doing things with others, or would you rather work alone? Do you want something challenging, or do you prefer something relaxing and fun? Do you prefer spending most of your time outside or inside the house?
  • What kind of projects excite you? What kind of projects do you like to watch on YouTube? Which creators do you follow on Instagram, TikTok or Pinterest? Which projects have you always wanted to try? Hobbies like home décor, fashion, crafts, and drawing have lots of projects you can try.
  • What are you good at? What skills do you already have? What do other people say you are good at? What comes effortlessly to you?
  • What are your past hobbies? Is there something you used to do that you’d like to start again? What subjects interested you in school?

#4. Choose a hobby that matches your personality

Your personality plays a big role in what you like and don’t like. You want to choose hobbies that will match your particular personality type.

For example:

  • If you are an introvert, you may prefer hobbies that you can do alone such as hiking, camping, or reading (see The Best Hobbies for Introverts). If you are an extrovert, you may prefer hobbies that involve others such as singing in a choir or participating in a group sport.
  • If you score high on the openness scale you may prefer more adventurous or creative hobbies (such as art, crafts, and DIY Hobbies). If you score low on openness, you can stick with more traditional hobbies.
  • If you are high on the conscientiousness scale, you may prefer hobbies that involve planning and attention to detail (such as writing, organizing, and travel planning). If you are low on conscientiousness, choose hobbies that don’t require a lot of structure.

If you don’t know your personality type, you can take a personality test (such as the Big 5 or Myers Briggs) and explore hobbies that match your personality type.

Further reading

If you are struggling to find a hobby you will love, there are several strategies that you can use to find your perfect hobby. Find out more in my article on How to Find a Hobby You Will Love, where I discuss in detail over 20 simple but effective strategies you can use.

5. Examples of Great Hobbies to Start as a Beginner

When considering which hobbies to start as a beginner, you need to choose hobbies that are:

  • Easy to start and maintain. You want hobbies that won’t take too much of your time and money.
  • That doesn’t require too much skill. You want hobbies that you can enjoy even if you are not an expert (or those that are easy to learn).
  • They can play various important roles in your life. You want hobbies that will help you improve various aspects of your life (e.g. helping you relax, make money, or have fun).

Based on the criteria above, here are my top recommendations for beginner-friendly hobbies you can try (with reasons why).

#1. Blogging

The great thing about blogging is that it can help you to earn an income from all your other hobbies and interests. For example, if you love traveling, you can start a travel blog and use the income to fund your travels. See Is Blogging a Good Hobby for more benefits of hobbies.

You don’t have to be good at writing to succeed in blogging, just write as if you are speaking to a friend.

To get started with blogging:

  1. Choose a niche you would like to write about. It is best to choose something you are passionate, or knowledgeable about.
  2. Choose a domain name and sign up for web hosting.
  3. Install WordPress and WordPress plugins
  4. Write at least 30 SEO-optimized posts to get an initial burst of traffic.

For a detailed step-by-step process on how to start a blog, check out my in-depth guide on How to Start a Blog from Scratch. Also, check out my Ultimate Guide to Blogging as a Hobby for ideas on how to succeed in blogging.

#2. Reading

Reading is a great beginner hobby because it is a cheap way to learn skills and increase your knowledge. Reading can also provide an escape from the challenges of life.

To get started with reading:

  1. Choose topics that you think you will enjoy, for example, science-fiction, biographies, self-help, or mysteries.
  2. Sign up for a library card at your local library. If you have the budget, get yourself an e-reader (such as a Kindle) and sign up for Kindle Direct.
  3. Set a reading time and goal. For example, you can read for 30 minutes a day before you go to bed.

If you find it difficult to find time for reading, you can listen to audiobooks as you do your chores, or on your daily commute. You can get high-quality audiobooks from best-selling authors at Audible (You can try for free for 30 days).

#3. Walking

Walking is a hobby that almost anyone can pick up because it is cheap and gentle on your body. Regular walking can help you lose weight, strengthen your body, and guard against many diseases.

To get started with walking:

  1. Get yourself a good pair of walking shoes and a steps tracker.
  2. Choose your walking route. If you would rather walk indoors because of weather and safety concerns, you can get yourself a treadmill.
  3. Decide on your walking goals. Experts recommend taking 10,000 steps a day, but you can begin with what you feel comfortable doing.

Ensure that you take the appropriate precautions, especially when you are walking outside. Also, listen to your body and take breaks when you need to.

#4. Cooking

If you know how to cook, you can make delicious and healthy meals at a fraction of the cost you would pay at a restaurant.

To get started with cooking:

  1. Choose the style of cooking you would like to focus on (for example, frying, stewing, baking, or grilling) or the kind of food you would like to make (pizza, pastry, lasagna, meatballs, or stir-fries).
  2. Get the basic cooking equipment (such as pots, pans, cutlery, bowls, and mixers). You can borrow equipment or buy them second-hand.
  3. Get the necessary cooking ingredients (for example, spices, fruits, vegetables, and meats).
  4. Look for recipes online or on YouTube and start cooking.

Cooking can be highly creative. If you avoid getting stuck in a rut and work at improving your cooking skills, cooking can be an enjoyable hobby to pick up.

#5. Gardening

If you want to avoid eating fruits and vegetables laced with dangerous chemicals, then you should pick up gardening. Gardening is also a great way to relax outdoors and get some sun.

To get started with gardening.

  1. Choose a place to do your gardening. This could be your backyard, community plot, or balcony.
  2. Choose the type of plants you would like to grow, for example, flowers, vegetables, herbs, or fruits.
  3. Get the basic equipment and supplies such as gloves, a hoe/shovel, a wheelbarrow, a rake, a sprinkler/watering can, fertilizer, and seeds/seedlings.
  4. Start by planting the right plants for the right season.

Gardening may be easy to start, but you may need to improve your skills to ensure that you get good yields. Look for a beginner-friendly gardening course to get you started.

Further reading: If you want more beginner-friendly hobby ideas, check out my article on the 135+ Hobbies You Can Start as a Beginner.

You should also check out the articles below.

6. How to Start a Hobby (The 7 Steps to Take)

Do you often start hobbies on a whim? Maybe you get inspired to start a hobby after watching someone do something cool. Or you start new hobbies at the start of the year as part of your new year’s resolutions.

Unfortunately, when you start a new hobby without proper planning, chances are high that you will abandon it after a few months when you get bored or encounter challenges.

This can lead to hobby hopping, where you start a new hobby every few months. This can be demotivating, but also a waste of your time and money. You, therefore, need to have a strategy when starting a hobby.

In this section, I will take you, step by step, through the process of finding and starting a hobby. These steps will increase your chances of sticking to your hobby long-term.

Step 1: Be clear about why you want to start a hobby

You need to have a strong motivation for starting a hobby. And the way to build that motivation is to be clear about the benefits you expect the hobby to bring into your life.

Start by making a list of all the things you want to have in your life, for example:

  • Friends who value and understand you.
  • A business that aligns with your interests and values.
  • More fun and enjoyment.
  • A strong and fit body.

Make the list as long as you can. To get more ideas for your list, you can check out the articles below.

Step 2: Make a list of all hobbies you might be interested in

Once you are clear about what you want in your life, you need to make a list of hobbies that can help you achieve those desires. For example, if you want to be fit, you can list hobbies that will keep you active.

Don’t overthink this step. Write as many hobbies as possible, you can always edit later. When writing your list, think about:

  • Interests that you have or have always wanted to have.
  • Skills you already have or don’t mind acquiring.
  • Activities or interests you enjoyed as a child.

Step 3: Order and trim your list

By now, you should have a long list of hobbies that you think you may enjoy. But before you go to the next step, you need to trim this list to a manageable size.

To do this, you first need to rank the hobbies based on specific criteria, for example:

  • How effective they are at helping you satisfy your needs or meet your goals. Ideally, you want hobbies that satisfy multiple needs or goals (for example, bird watching. See Is Bird Watching the Ultimate Hobby?).
  • Your level of interest in the hobby. You want hobbies that will make you excited to get started.
  • How much resources they will consume (time, money, and effort). You want hobbies that will not take up too much time, money, or energy to start. As a beginner, this will make it easier for you to stick with the hobby.

Step 4: Do your research

Once you have a list of hobbies that have made the shortlist, then it is time to refine the list further. To do this, you need more information about the hobbies and this requires research.

Research will make it easier for you to add or remove hobbies based on what you have found.

When researching hobbies, look for information about:

  • Approximate costs associated with the hobbies.
  • Equipment and supplies required (and availability of space to store them).
  • Amount of time and effort the hobbies will require.
  • The difficulty level of the hobby. Will you need classes?

Here is how you can do your research.

  • Look for information online. You can find a lot of useful information on YouTube, Instagram, forums, blogs, and Facebook groups.
  • Look for information offline. Visit specialty stores and attend trade shows or conferences. You can also go to the library and read books and magazines related to your hobby.
  • Talk to people that are engaging in your prospective hobbies. Talk to your friends and family members to see if they know people who have the hobbies you want to start. Alternatively, you can send cold emails to people engaged in the hobby.
  • Join clubs. This is a great way to try out a hobby. For example, if you want to get into hiking, you can check your local area for a hiking club. Clubs are a great way to meet people who have been engaging in a hobby for a long time.

Step 5: Make preparations for the hobby

At the end of the research phase, you should have 2 to 3 hobbies that meet your criteria. Pick one that you are most enthusiastic about, and then make preparations for starting the hobby.

Here are things you should do during the preparations phase.

  • Get your family on board. If you have a family, you need to have them on board because they will be impacted by your hobby in one way or another. You need to know, for example, if your spouse is okay with all the time and money you will spend on your hobby.
  • Create time. Allocate sufficient time for your hobby. Also, set specific times for your hobby. For example, if you are starting a blog, you can say that you will write for one hour every day before you go to work or before you eat dinner. If you are struggling to find time to engage in your hobby, see my article on How to Make Time for Your Hobbies.
  • Create a budget. Your research phase will give you an idea of how much money you will need to spend on your hobby. At this point, you don’t want to spend too much on your hobby because you are not sure whether you will stick with it long-term. However, you still need to set aside some money from your monthly budget.
  • Get equipment and supplies. Once you have a budget, you need to start purchasing (or borrowing) the equipment and supplies you will need for your hobby. If you have everything at hand, you reduce the temptation to procrastinate.
  • Make appointments. If you are doing the hobby together with a friend, set a time to meet. If you have to attend a class, book an appointment with your trainer.

Step 6. Get started

Once your preparations are complete, the only thing left for you to do is to start. If you have followed the steps above correctly, this step should not be too difficult.

However, there are some things you need to take into account to avoid being discouraged.

  • Start small. Don’t overstretch yourself on the first day. For example, if you start a running hobby, you can run a few laps around your block. You need to leave something in reserve so that it will not be too difficult for you next time. The important thing is to form a habit.
  • Be flexible. You should be willing to change things based on your experiences. For example, if you find it too difficult to wake up at 6 am to run, you can try running at 5 pm.
  • Embrace failure. You will probably not perform well at your hobby as a beginner. Adopt the attitude that failure is just a step toward success. You cannot move forward if you fear to fail.

Step 7: Improve your skills

Once you establish a routine, and you are fairly consistent in your hobby, it is time to take things a step further. You need to become good at your hobby. Increasing your skills will make things easier for you in the long run. In the short term, however, it might be painful.

  • Practice. Incorporate deliberate practice into your routine. This involves learning one task and then challenging yourself with a harder task. The idea is to gradually master more difficult skills as you progress in your hobby.
  • Take classes. To facilitate deliberate practice, you might need to take classes to help you learn the most ideal way of doing things. You can find classes for almost any hobby online or offline.
  • Find a mentor. Get someone who can encourage you when you are down, or advise when you are stuck. Your mentor can be someone more advanced than you in your hobby.

7. Best Tips for Starting and Sticking With a New Hobby

Many people start hobbies but quickly fall out of love with them. When you jump from hobby to hobby, you don’t get to experience the full benefits of a hobby and it can lead to a lot of wasted time.

But there are tricks you can use to ensure you maintain an interest in your hobby long-term. If you are struggling to stick to a hobby, here are some tips to help you.

#1. Understand your why

Hobbies need a lot of commitment in time and effort. If you are unclear about the benefits you get from engaging in a hobby, you are likely to quit at the first hurdle. Ask yourself:

  • Which life goals and needs do you want to meet by engaging in the hobby?
  • How can your hobby help you achieve your long-term goals?
  • What kind of person will you become by engaging in the hobby?

The articles below will help you understand how hobbies can transform your life and those of others close to you.

#2. Turn your hobby into a habit

To overcome resistance and friction in practicing your hobby, you need to turn it into a habit so that you do it automatically. Here are some ideas you can use to turn your hobby into a habit.

  • Engage in your hobby regularly. To facilitate this, you need to block time in your schedule for your hobby.
  • Start small. For example, if your goal is to be fit, you can start with 15-minute sessions every day.
  • Guard your hobby time. Ensure that there are no distractions that could interfere with your hobby time.
  • Prepare your equipment and supplies beforehand. This helps to avoid friction when you are ready to start.

If you want some great ideas to help you turn your hobby into a habit, read the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. It has plenty of tips for overcoming procrastination and forming strong habits.

#3. Understand the challenges that come with hobbies

Hobbies can come with some significant challenges and negative effects. Unless you are aware of them beforehand, they can discourage you and lead you to quit your hobby early.

You can deal with any potential challenges by:

  • Doing your research to identify the potential challenges you are likely to face.
  • Mentally preparing yourself to deal with the challenges.
  • Coming up with a plan to overcome the challenges.

If you want ideas on how to deal with challenges that come with hobbies, check out the following articles.

#4. Avoid perfectionism

Perfectionism can stop you in your tracks when you are trying to start a new hobby. Unnecessary preoccupation with being good at something can leave you more drained than refreshed.

If you give in to perfectionism, you will start beating yourself up whenever you don’t meet your high standards and the hobby will stop being fun.

Here is how you can deal with perfectionism.

  • Understand that you will perform badly as a beginner. Be gentle and understanding with yourself.
  • Don’t compare yourself with others who are further ahead. They probably went through the same struggles that you are going through.
  • Adopt a growth mindset where you believe you can improve if you put in the effort.

A good book to read if you struggle with perfectionism is Mindsets by psychologist Carol Dweck. It will help you to understand how your mindset can hold you back in many aspects of your life.

#5. Do it with others

Hobbies are fun when you do them with others. Also, you can harness the power of positive peer pressure because you don’t want to let your friends down.

You can find people who share your passions and interests by:

  • Joining clubs (online or offline).
  • Visiting specialty stores, libraries, or markets.
  • Taking classes.
  • Sharing your interests with others through blogging or YouTube.

#6. Keep costs low

Costs can be a big barrier in sustaining a hobby long term. Even for seemingly inexpensive hobbies, the costs can add up. You can keep costs low by:

  • Looking at what you already have that you can use. For example, if you have a smartphone with a camera, you can get into photography
  • Borrowing or renting equipment until you are 100% sure you want to stick with the hobby.
  • Looking for good discounts on equipment and supplies.
  • Buying second-hand on eBay or Craigslist.
  • Looking for opportunities to make money from your hobbies.

8. How to Make Money from Your Hobby

As your skills improve, you need to think of how you can monetize your hobby.

Some people hesitate to make money from their hobbies because they feel that this will diminish the pleasure they get from the hobby.

However, if you do things well, you can still make decent money and retain the joy you get from your hobby.

Why should you make money from your hobby?

If you have a passion or a hobby you love, you should look for ways to make money from it for the following key reasons.

  • To bring in a side income. Unless you are already wealthy, you will always need some extra income that you can use to sort out emergencies or treat yourself. Instead of taking a second job that you don’t like, why not turn something you enjoy into an income source?
  • To support your hobby. If your hobby is draining all your money, you are likely to quit it at some point. By making the hobby pay for itself, you ensure that you can sustain your hobby long-term.
  • To justify the time spent. If you are spending a lot of time on a hobby, it can be difficult to justify this to yourself and others, especially if you are struggling financially.

How much money can you make from your hobby?

You can make anywhere between $100 and $1,000 a month or more from your hobbies. And there is really no ceiling on how much you can make.

How much money you make from your hobby will depend on many factors such as:

  • How aggressively you monetize the hobby.
  • The niche or topic of the hobby. For example, a tech hobby may be easier to monetize than a bowling hobby.
  • Your experience in the hobby. You can easily spot new opportunities if you have been doing the hobby for a long time.

The best ways to make money from your hobby

Here are the best ways to make money from your hobby, in my opinion.

#1. Blogging

You can use blogging to monetize almost any hobby you can think of. To give an example of blogging, some bloggers make over $100,000 a month by writing about things they enjoy such as food, travel, crafts, and DIY (see the Highest-Earning Bloggers).

You can fit blogging around your schedule even if you have a full-time job. Also, there are plenty of ways to monetize, such as display ads, affiliate marketing, and sponsorships (see Benefits of Blogging for more).

If you are interested in starting a blog, check out my articles on the Ultimate Guide to Blogging as a Hobby and How to Start a Blog from Scratch.

#2. YouTube

YouTube is an easy way to start making an income with your hobby because you only need to turn the camera on as you do your hobby. For example, if your hobby is cooking, film your cooking sessions and upload them on YouTube. You don’t even need to show your face.

With YouTube, you can make money through YouTube ads, affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and donations. Currently, to join the YouTube partner program, you need 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the last 12 months.

#3. Do freelancing

Freelancing is a great way to start making money from your hobby. In freelancing, you get paid for offering services such as web design, coding, graphic design, or writing.

The advantage of freelancing is that, unlike blogging and YouTube, you can start earning money faster. However, scaling income can be hard unless you hire people.

You can offer your services on platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, or Freelancer. If you have a website or blog, you can add a “hire me” button so that people can contact you. If you are a beginner, Fiverr is a great place to get started. Check out what services other people offer on Fiver to get an idea of what you can do.

#4. Sell digital and physical products

You can sell digital and physical products related to your hobby online. Some of the things you can sell include ebooks, photos, crafts, t-shirts, and stickers.

There are two ways you can sell products. First, you can join platforms like Etsy or Spreadshirt and sell there. Alternatively, you can sell on your blog using Payhip, WooCommerce, or Shopify.

If you are just starting out, I would suggest going with Payhip because they have a free plan that allows you to sell unlimited products. You don’t have to pay anything unless you make a sale.

#5. Start a local business (offline)

When people think of starting a business around their hobbies, this is what often comes to mind. For example, if you like baking, you can start a small bakery in your area.

The biggest disadvantage of this business model is that it can be expensive to get started. Also, there might be regulatory hurdles that you may have to comply with.

If you are a beginner, I would suggest trying the first four methods first before venturing into this.

9. Should You Turn Your Hobby Into a Business?

You can turn all kinds of hobbies into thriving businesses. There is nothing better than making money from a business you enjoy.

Therefore, once you start making some money from your hobby, you should start thinking about turning your hobby into a business.

Before you turn a hobby into a business, here are some questions to think about.

#1. Can your business make money?

Before you go into business full-time, you need to have a rough idea of how much money your business can make. Ask yourself:

  • Are you already making money? If you are already making money, then you might make more money if you put in more time. You only need to scale what you are already doing.
  • What are others doing to make money? You need to investigate how others are making money from your chosen hobby and then decide if you are comfortable following the same path.
  • Do you have a concrete plan to make money? You need to have an idea of how to answer basic questions like: Who is your ideal customer? How can you help your ideal customer? What products and services can you offer? Which platforms can you use to offer products and services?

#2. Are you willing to lose your hobby?

Sometimes when you turn your hobby into a business, it can stop being fun. For example, if you start a bakery because you enjoy baking, you might not have the time to do the baking yourself as you get more customers. Most of your time will probably be spent managing employees, doing accounts, and marketing.

To avoid this, here are some things you can do.

  • Choose the right business model. For example, if you start a food blog or YouTube channel, you don’t have to manage employees or do sales. And you can scale quite rapidly if you do things the right way.
  • Learn how to outsource and delegate. If you can outsource, delegate, or automate the types of work that you find tedious, then you can focus on aspects of the business that you enjoy.
  • Choose a hobby you are willing to lose. When looking for a hobby to turn into a business, choose one you can lose without feeling like a part of you is also lost.

#3. Are there good long-term prospects?

When turning your hobby into a business, you need to look at the long-term business potential. Some of the aspects you should take into consideration are:

  • Profit potential. Some hobbies don’t make good businesses because the profit margins are low or they take too long to be successful. Look for and study success stories in your niche.
  • Regulatory hurdles. Some businesses (such as food or health) may require that you jump through regulatory hoops before you get your license. These can torpedo your business before you even start.
  • Scalability. Some businesses are particularly difficult to scale. You want a business that can scale without too much time or effort.

#4. Can you handle failure?

Most new businesses end up failing, and this is something that you should factor into your calculations. When you do something for the first time, you don’t have the skills to make it work. It can take repeated failure before you find a strategy that works.

To ensure that failure does not break you:

  • Start small. If you commit all your resources and the business fails, you will have nothing to re-start the business with.
  • Be willing to experiment. Try different ways of doing things to increase your chances of success.
  • Learn from your failures. Each failure teaches you something that can help you do better next time.

10. Best Resources for Learning About Hobbies

Expanding your skills and knowledge about your hobby is important. Here are some good online course platforms where you can find courses related to your particular hobby.

#1. Domestika

Domestika is an online learning platform that focuses on offering courses for creatives. You can find courses about writing, photography, crafts, and fashion, among many others.

The great thing about Domestika is that they have a membership plan (Domestika Plus) where you can access thousands of courses at less than $10 a month .

You can see the types of courses available and pricing information here.

  • Number of courses available: 2,000+.
  • Course Prices: Many courses range between $10 and $60.
  • Subscription available? Yes at $9.99 a month for access to select courses and discounts.
  • Types of courses: Fashion, crafts, photography, and art.
  • Are free courses available? Yes.
  • Do you get a certificate? Yes (for plus members)

#2. Alison

Alison is an online learning platform that offers certificate and diploma courses on a variety of subjects such as sales, business, health, and management. They also have a variety of courses related to hobbies.

The great thing about Alison is that you can take the courses for free if you don’t mind Ads. You only pay for the certificates. You can also opt to pay a monthly fee to remove ads.

  • Number of courses available: 4,000+
  • Course prices: Free (but you have to buy a certificate).
  • Subscription available? Yes, 7.99 Euros/month (to remove ads).
  • Types of courses: coding, languages, design, 3D printing, painting.
  • Are free courses available? Yes.
  • Do you get a certificate? Yes.

#3. Craftsy

Craftsy is another online learning platform that focuses on creators and hobbyists.

The great thing about Craftsy is that they allow you to pay a monthly membership fee and get access to its catalog of 2,000+ courses. You can also share your membership with up to 3 friends.

  • Number of courses available: 2,000+ across 20+ hobby categories.
  • Course prices: varies but most are between $30 and $40.
  • Subscription available? Yes. $10 per month or $97 a year.
  • Types of courses: Drawing, Sewing, Yoga, Home Decor, Writing.
  • Are free courses available? Yes.
  • Do you get a certificate? No.

#4. Udemy

Udemy is one of the most popular online learning platforms. The great thing about Udemy is that they have a huge catalog of courses. You can find a course for almost anything you need.

Although courses can cost up to $200, you can get discounts that will bring the cost down to about $11.

  • Number of courses: 213,000+.
  • Pricing: varies between $11 to $200 or more per course.
  • Subscription available? No.
  • Types of courses: Coding, photography, design, illustration, writing, and film-making.
  • Are free courses available? Yes.
  • Do you get a certificate? Yes, for some courses.

11. Hobbies FAQs

  1. In this section, I want to look at some common questions people ask about hobbies.

#1. I have no hobbies or interests, what can I do?

If you can’t seem to get interested in anything no matter how hard you try, it could be because of several issues:

  • You have some underlying issues that you have not sorted out (such as depression or anxiety). You may need to see a therapist or do some shadow work.
  • You are choosing interests or hobbies based on fear of being judged or desire to please others so that you can receive praise. You need to choose hobbies that you genuinely care for.
  • You are using the wrong strategy to find a hobby. If you need some simple but effective strategies, see my article on How to Find a Hobby.

If you want some practical solutions on what you can do if you don’t have hobbies or interests, check out my article on Reasons Why You Have No Hobbies.

#2. What can you do if others don’t understand your hobby?

Sometimes, your family and friends may not understand your hobby. They may even be against it. However, they are probably looking out for you. Talk to them and see what they are concerned about.

Here are questions you should ask yourself:

  • Is the hobby dangerous? If you get hurt or maimed, your family will have to foot your hospital bills and take care of you.
  • Will the hobby lead you to bad habits? Some hobbies can lead you to keep bad company and adopt habits that can ruin you.
  • Are you in danger of getting addicted? If you spend so much time on a hobby that you neglect your responsibilities, it may be time to dial back.

Check out my article on The Disadvantages of Hobbies where I discuss some of the negative effects of hobbies.

#3. Can you make money from a hobby?

Yes. You can monetize most hobbies as long as enough people are interested in them. I have seen people making good money from small niche hobbies like succulents. To investigate if you can make money from your hobby:

  • Look to see if people are creating content on YouTube or blogging about it. How many views or visitors are they getting?
  • Look at marketplaces like Etsy, Amazon, or TeeSpring. Are people selling merchandise related to your hobby?
  • Look at service platforms like Fiverr or Upwork. Are people offering services related to your hobby?

#4. Can you start a hobby later on in life?

You can start a hobby at any age. With that said, when you are in your late 30s, 40s, and early 50s, it can be difficult to start a hobby, especially if you have kids, because that is when your responsibilities are at their peak.

However, when you retire or when your kids leave home, you will have a lot of time on your hands. You will need something to occupy you, otherwise, you may start to feel like something is missing in your life.

Further reading: If you have questions that have not been answered in this FAQ section, check out my article on What Is a Hobby where I go into more detail regarding common questions that people have about hobbies.

#5. How much do hobbies cost?

Hobbies can cost anywhere from zero dollars to thousands of dollars. How much you spend on hobbies varies depending on factors such as:

  • Your financial situation. The higher your income, the more you can spend on your hobbies.
  • The type of hobby you have. Some hobbies are more expensive than others.
  • How often you engage in the hobby. The more times you engage in a hobby, the more expensive it becomes.

However, the average American spends around $300 a month on hobbies, leisure, and entertainment activities.

A 2021 survey by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the average American household spent $3,568 a year ( 5.3% of their income) on entertainment (excluding alcohol, eating out, and out-of-town trips).

Some of the spending listed under entertainment were:

  • Fees and admissions: $654
  • Pet toys, hobbies, and playground equipment: $969
  • Other entertainment supplies, equipment, and services: $925

Wrapping Up

In this detailed guide, I have given you some ideas to help you navigate the process of finding, starting, and sticking with a hobby.

Trying to find a hobby is one of the most eye-opening things you can do. You learn a lot about your desires, needs, strengths, and weaknesses. So, if you are struggling to find a hobby or a passion, instead of resigning yourself to fate, put in the effort to find a hobby that suits you.

Also, give yourself time. It may not happen overnight, but if you keep working at it (and on yourself), you will finally find something that will give you joy.

The journey to finding something you love will be a winding road, but it is definitely worth starting it.

Further reading

You might also enjoy the following articles.