If you’re going through this all couch potato-y, feeling guilty about how you’re wasting your time, I’m about to inspire you to pick up shit you never considered before!! Hang on to that seat! Here we go. Hobbies are a great way to pick up new skills, give that brain of yours (or body in some cases) a healthy workout, meet new people, and generally make you a more well-rounded and multi-dimensional person. Plus, learning something new is always fun! Let’s keep in mind though, that the process of learning is more important than the result, so don’t fret if you totally suck at a skill, its fine. Remember the wise words of Jake from Adventure Time, “Sucking at something is the first step to being sorta good at something!”

1. Reading

reading as a hobby

Top of the list for obvious reasons, this is a great hobby to have. For two reasons; it gives you new insight or knowledge, and it takes you into another world and cultivates in your mind, imagination and creativity. Reading broadens your mind, activates your brain and gets those creative juices flowing. When you read more, you think more, because you’re exposed to new issues, new concepts and new perspectives that forces your brain to contemplate on. A great book truly adds value to your life. So be it fact or fiction, pick up something you might like and get to reading!

Here are some of my favourite author, Paulo Coelho’s must read books. Some suggestions to get you started 😉

2. Sports

picking up sports hobby

Well, this is an exciting one. And a very broad one, I must say. Sports can range from yoga to football. There are so many types of sports you can immerse yourself in. But the great thing about cultivating this as a hobby is not just the physical exercise, but the learning as well. As your body is forced to pick up new moves, you develop coordination skills and new synapse connections that are great for your brain. If you want to know more about the benefits of learning, you can follow this link. But yea, you get to work up a sweat, have fun with friends and meet new people if it’s a team activity, also, did I mention the endorphin kick you’ll have, post workout? Any time you feel down and need a happiness boost, grab that towel and head to class! You’ll feel better in no time!

If you want to know some of the toughest sports to pick up, here’s a list!

3. Cooking and Baking

cooking and baking hobby

So, I placed this AFTER Sports because too much of the later without the former might be disastrous. Don’t get me wrong, I adore food, with a burning desire sometimes *coughschocolatecoughs*, but I also strongly advocate staying in shape, and being healthy. So picking up a sport and cooking or baking go hand in hand. The best thing about this hobby is that it will make so many people around you happy! A sort of spreading the love kind of hobby, it’s no fun cooking or baking just for one. You’re gonna wanna make more than one. And when you do that, and you live in Malaysia, (KL or Malacca in particular), my number’s right there people. Give me a call and I’ll come running! An extremely fun hobby to have that will garner you a lot of new found friends (I’m kidding), this will fulfil in you both your hunger to create and produce something of your own, as well as your own actual hunger. I’m all for killing two birds with one stone!

Here is a simple cooking video to start you off! Also, a fool-proof cheese cake recipe that you can make (tried and tested by yours truly, so I can confidently recommend it).

4. Language

learning a language as a hobby

Ok, this is a tough one. But if you chose the right language, you’ll be sure to reap its benefits. Knowing different languages is a highly sought after skill in many industries. So if you do decide to pick up a language, and there’s no definite language in mind yet, you can try Mandarin or Spanish, because these two languages plus English are the most widely used languages in the world. If you want to pick up a language for the sake of learning, just go with whatever language that is hardest to pronounce (again, kidding here, but not really, as I decided a month ago to pick up Norwegian because I was fascinated by the crossed Os in their alphabet). My suggestion is to pick up a language that one of your friends can speak. That way, you can converse with them. Practice is key in learning a language. This is one hobby you won’t go as far, on your own.

There are tonnes of helpful sources on language learning out there. I’m using Duolingo. It’s pretty user friendly, so I recommend trying it out. Also, to further inspire you, check out benefits of picking up a new language here.

And read about the perks of being bilingual here!

5. Painting

painting as a hobby

A great way to unleash your creative side, learning to draw or paint is really fun! Of course, if you want to make this more than a hobby, it’s incredibly technical, and I don’t know much about this because stick figures and three lined birds are as far as my art skills go. But, here is a link to the self-taught digital artist, Ali Hyder! Trained himself to draw on the tablet and now working on an animation film, you have my permission to bombard him with all the questions you have as a budding artist!

6. Music

music as a hobby

Music is great for the mind and the soul. Learning to play an instrument equates to fireworks exploding in your brain, because it stimulates that much activity. And the thing is, I know it may seem daunting, but keep in mind that you don’t have to be a master at it, just learn the basics. And that is enough, unless you love it too much and decide to go further. But for the rest of us with two left hands struggling to play an instrument, aim to learn just 5 simple songs before you give up. That’s a doable goal, and the very least you’ll achieve from this is being able to entertain at parties, which is awesome in itself, not to mention the intense workout your brain is getting when you have that level of concentration and focus.

7. Travelling

travelling as a hobby

I absolutely needed to put this in as a hobby, and it counts! Because it is a skill! Learning to travel takes practice, research, planning, and just like any skill, a little experience goes a long way. Much like reading, exploring a different place broadens your mind, and sometimes forces you to accommodate different points of view, however conflicting with yours they might be. It can be an exhilarating experience, like a workout, might require you to learn and speak a different language, and might need you to whip out your cooking skills once in a while when you’re in a different country. Come to think of it, it requires a conglomeration of different skills. And wherever you decide to explore, it will be a very rewarding experience. Because in almost any trip, you’ll learn something new while having a lot of fun. A hobby definitely worth picking up!

I’ll put up another article soon on how to learn to travel, so subscribe! And I’ll give you a heads up when it’s out!


That’s all folks, my suggestions on what you should pick up during the year. It’s never too late for any of these hobbies. Don’t stop learning because life doesn’t stop teaching. There is always more to learn and I hope you’ll join me in picking up some new hobbies this year! Comment below to let me know which you’re keen to attempt!

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