6 Ways to Improve Yourself by Learning New Skills and Habits (2024)

You can boost your skills and learn skills at any age including when you’re young. It’s called lifelong learning! Here are some ways to keep learning new skills… the fun way.

What’s one trait that is shared by virtually all highly successful people? No, it’s not that they’re naturally gifted or that they run ten miles before breakfast! In fact, it’s very simple: the most successful people are continually learning.

Learning is a lifelong endeavour. So if you want to improve yourself, you need to be continually picking up new skills, developing your existing ones, and tweaking your habits to get the best possible results. Doing so will help you excel in life, work, and education.

Here are six ways you can improve yourself by learning new skills and habits.

Consume educational media every day

How do you learn best? Many people learn by reading. If this is you, then make time to read every day. If you prefer to watch or listen, then why not listen to a podcast, watch a documentary, or find an educational video on Youtube? What matters isn’t how you get the information, but that you’re consuming something educational every day.

You can often work this into your day. Why not listen to an audiobook while you do the dishes, play a podcast while you walk the dog, or read a few pages of your book while your dinner is in the oven? Even 10-15 minutes a day can make a real difference. (To put it into perspective, 10 minutes per day is 60.8 hours or 2.5 days of extra learning time over the course of a year!)

Try something new for 30 days

In his TED Talk, Matt Cutts explains how trying something for 30 days can help you to develop a habit. 30 days is a long enough time to build a habit, but short enough that it feels achievable.

So pick one thing you want to do and set yourself a challenge for the next 30 days. You can also take part in organised or curated challenges. Want to write a novel? Check out NaNoWriMo. Curious about yoga? Find a 30 day video series! Whatever you’re interested in, Google “[topic] + 30 day challenge” and you’ll probably find something.

You’ll be amazed how much you can achieve in just a month when you set your mind to it and dedicate a little bit of time every day.

Face your fears

What are you afraid of? For many of us, fear of rejection, failure, or not achieving our goals can be… well, the thing that holds us back from achieving our goals!

What would happen if you decided that you were just going to try something, and that it didn’t matter if you succeeded or failed? How freeing would that be?

Looking for some inspiration? I love Jia Jiang’s book Rejection Proof (there’s also a video series) in which the author sets out to be told “no” 100 times to conquer his fear of rejection. Give some of them a watch, get inspired, then do one thing today that scares you a little bit.

Learn from everyone you meet

Almost everyone we meet has something to teach us if we’re paying attention. So make the time to pay attention. At work, everyone from the receptionist to the CEO probably knows something you could benefit from. In your personal life, all your friends have their own unique perspectives and sets of experiences.

Talk to people and really listen. Ask them about themselves and their opinions, and absorb the answers. Learn to practice active listening so that you’re not just waiting for your turn to speak, but really taking in what is being said.

Take it a step further by going out of your way to meet new people. Attend a networking event, a talk or conference on a subject you’re interested in, or even go to a party alone! Time that you invest in building relationships is always time well spent.

Take a class or course

Think about something you’ve always wanted to learn. It can be related to your job, but it doesn’t have to be. Maybe you’ve always wanted to speak Italian, play the clarinet, or cook a curry from scratch.

Whatever it is, go and find a class or course you can take that will help you learn that thing. This can be in person or online – whichever makes the most sense for your life and schedule. Put the class sessions in your diary, and make sure you show up. Bring a pen and paper, switch your phone off (or at least silence your notifications,) and immerse yourself completely in learning.

Find focus and productivity hacks that work for you

We all work differently and there is no one technique that works for everyone. Some people like to listen to music while they work or study, others need silence. Some prefer to focus deeply on one thing for hours at a time, while others like to switch tasks regularly. What helps you to focus and be productive?

Try out systems such as to-do lists, bullet journalling, or Kanban boards. If something feels like more effort than it’s worth, then it probably isn’t helping you. If it helps you feel focused and motivated, you’re on to a winner.

Once you’ve identified a system or routine that helps you to get into the zone and tap into your most productive mindset, incorporate it into your daily life so you can stick to it consistently.

Bonus tip: remember to rest

You can’t learn or improve effectively if you’re exhausted. So remember to rest properly, take regular breaks, and ensure you’re getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Sleep isn’t a luxury, it’s actually completely essential to proper functioning for your brain and body.

Happy learning!

6 Ways to Improve Yourself by Learning New Skills and Habits (2024)

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