Change Your Life – Step 5 Learn New Skills

Step 5 Learn New Skills

If you are new to the Change Your Life series then you can catch up with the following articles from the series:

Part 1 – Exercise

Part 2 – Eating Healthily

Part 3 – Get Knowledge

Part 4 – Your Appearance

This week’s addition to the change your life series involves learning new skills. This objective is very different to Part 3 – Get Knowledge as it concentrates on working on practical skills instead of understanding something. However, hopefully the two can go hand-in-hand!

Teach Yourself New Skills

Do you consider yourself a skilled individual? Would you call a plumber if the hot water stopped working, or would you start investigating the heating unit with the help of google? Do you take your computer into the shop when it breaks, or do you research articles online until you can find a fix yourself? Can you change a tire, a fuse or install electric fittings? It’s time to become more practical.

The aim of this post is to take up a hobby / hobbies which is inline with your interest(s). This will give you the motivation and will be sure to entertain you as you learn. Contrary, maybe you want to take up a hobby in order to save you money. Got an old car that needs some work? Teach yourself to be a mechanic; House in need of renovating? Learn to plaster – you get the idea. The internet is teaming with resources: Askmen, Lifehacker, wikihow, ehow etc. Sign up for some newsletters if you need some inspiration.

You don’t have to learn complicated new skills; the potential is endless. Compile your own list. Ask your spouse/friends/colleagues if they would be interested in learning some with you. Go out and practice them. Keep challenging yourself to learn; some skills will interest you, some will not. This will keep your mind active and fresh. Man was born to be active and not to sit at a computer all day. Do you think cave men knew about ergonomics? I think not…

When you learn a new skill, make sure your practice it regularly. I promise you that you will feel incredible for having achieved something. What’s even more is that great feeling that you will get when you demonstrate your new skill in front of others who don’t even know where to start. There is no better way to impress.

Furthermore and best of all, you might even evolve these skills into a business and one day find yourself making money.

You can also educate yourself more thoroughly on the matter to ensure that you know what is healthy and what is not. The Master of Science in Nutrition Education degree is an excellent way to learn about nutrition because it covers topics like chronic illness and obesity, linking each of them to the foods that you eat. Earning this degree also provides you with the credentials needed to work with a public health department, nonprofit organization, school systems, government agencies, and food agencies, giving advice and truly making a difference in society.

Change Your Life

Here are some of the things I want to learn:

  • Shuffle a deck of cards like a proIt just looks wicked!!
  • KnitI have always been amazed by this
  • Design an App for iPhone / AndroidEver since I watched a TEDx talk by a young kid who designed the Bieber basher app I have wanted to learn
  • Underwater PhotographyAs some of you know, I want to run a dive school one day and I want to learn how to take the perfect underwater photograph
  • Start a fireFrom scratch… I used to try and rub 2 sticks together as a kid but always gave up
  • PoiInspired by the Thai performers
  • Pick a lockjust for the heck of it
  • Do a backflipStems from childhood
  • Handstand pushupsThis would be a great physical achievement


OVER TO YOU: What skill have you always wanted to learn and why?


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  1. Great post. I am always intrigued by picking up new skills. Currently, they seem to focus around fixing things around the house. We’ve had a number of things break recently and there’s a great sense of accomplishment to learning how to do something to the point you can do it on your own and not have to pay someone to do it.
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..Hi There, What Can You Tell Me About Yourself?My Profile

    • Thanks John… I absolutely agree about the sense of accomplishment. I recently mounted a tv on the wall and use all the right tools to drill the brickwork etc. It may be a small task, but when I managed to hang off it (all 20 stone of me) and it didn’t flinch – it felt pretty good 🙂

  2. I’m awesome in all of these things! Go me. lol
    I also enjoy the sense of accomplishment though – so maybe I’ll mix things up and get even more awesome?
    Margyle recently posted..Can Love and Travel Mix?My Profile

  3. I have skills I want to improve on: Sewing, loom knitting, blog techy stuff (SEO etc), and photography.
    Catherine recently posted..Does Being Frugal Alienate Relationships?My Profile

  4. I’d love to knit too. First step, mend clothes and sew buttons back on my shirts. I hope to pick up some house renovating skills soon too or my house will never be ready!
    Pauline recently posted..No income while traveling? No problem! (part 1)My Profile

  5. I absolutely love learning new skills. I’m currently working on gaining more skills with VBA in Excel, learning how to use Access (we pretty much never use it at work but I know some people who use it all day at their job), and various skills around the house including electrical. Love the post!
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted..Get the clutter out: 5 things to organize todayMy Profile

  6. I really want to learn some basic spanish….we are going to a spanish speaing country in February and I would like to be able to make some basic conversation! Plus, I think it would be fun.
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted..My Escape from the “Toxic Employee from HELL”My Profile

  7. Learn to fix it yourself rather than outsource the problem to someone else! I also want to learn to backflip…. and moon walk.
    Stephen S. recently posted..Wednesday’s Weekly PhotoMy Profile

  8. Forget the hanstand pushups, I’d like to be able to do pull ups. Upper body strength is my fitness weakness. We have learned tons fixing up our rental property, both mentally and with physical labor. I’ve also learned tons of new things from running a blog. Pretty good year for new skills I’d say. Still have to work on the pull ups.
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted..Halloween Humor: Random Things I’m Scared OfMy Profile

  9. Jamie Dickinson says:

    Great post. I’m doing that right now. I feel I’m a pretty decent Graphic Designer and it’s now something I would like to make a career out of. But these days traditional Designers are in poor demand, so I’ve enrolled at Trafford College to learn some basic front end development skills to expand my design skill set…if you don’t learn, you don’t grow!
    Jamie Dickinson recently posted..Deals, Voucher Codes and the Newest Sales this WeekMy Profile

    • Cheers buddy! I would love to pick up some graphic design skills. I can use some of the Adobe programs quite well, I just seriously lack creativity! You will have to let me know how it goes… 🙂

  10. I actually started to become more handy since moving out away from my parents. I guess it was forced on me, as I am too tight to pay for someone to fix things…
    Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted..October 2012 Goal ReviewMy Profile

  11. Poi is so awesome! I love it! I suck, but it’s super fun. My spouse absolutely hates it, he’s terrified that I’m going to burn myself. It cost me about $100 to get started, I bought a learner’s kit with 3 types of poi and a DVD. I really like the LED light ones because you can use them anywhere and they’re safe and still look amazing.

    The next thing I want to learn is how to make cheese!
    Anne @ Unique Gifter recently posted..Family TraditionsMy Profile

    • Anne! Thanks a lot for the info… Glad to hear you also like it! My sister can do it pretty well and it always makes me a bit jealous. I think I will learn with fire. Getting burnt will make me learn faster…

  12. Mandy @MoneyMasterMom says:

    That’s pretty cool that you want to learn to Knit. They say it’s an art that will die with our grandparents generation. You may need a rocking chair as that seems the most appropriate seat for the hobby, oh and maybe a cat sitting at your feet 🙂

    I’d really like to learn sign language, and learn to take some wicked pictures!
    Mandy @MoneyMasterMom recently posted..6 tricks to make you BUY BUY BUY!My Profile

    • Hey Mandy! Cheers… but I think I’ll pass on the rocking chair for now 😉 I have been taking some nice pictures on my weekend break… wait and see 😛

  13. Picking up new skills is a great thing and I think I did that a bit when starting this blog (as I knew NOTHING about marketing, blog design, code, hosting, etc). My wife and I want to take a few language classes over the coming years and I think that’s a valuable skill to add considering the world that we live in these days. Speaking 2-3 languages is a great thing!
    Jason @ WorkSaveLive recently posted..Recipe: Stuffed Acorn Squash with QuinoaMy Profile

    • The blogging skills are great… and they come with numerous additional business and social skill building opportunities. Best of luck on the language front… something that I also need to do

  14. I love picking up new skills! I have taken a couple photography classes and have done a couple photo shoots, so that was a learning experience. I also learned how to replace the brakes on cars, and would like to learn more about cars in general.

    I have always wanted to learn how to pick a lock! We had a couple doors at our old house that I learned how to open with the inside of a pen, but it would be neat to learn how to pick other locks. I have also wanted to learn how to hot-wire a car, but I have been told it is not as easy as it looks on TV with the newer cars. 🙂

    Great post!
    Vicky recently posted..October 2012 Spending Plan ResultsMy Profile

    • Photography is also something that I am trying to learn. I have just spent a long weekend away playing with my digital SLR so hopefully will have some good results to show you soon! Very impressive that you can change brake pads – that skill in itself will save you a small fortune.

      PS I am glad I am not the only dodgy one 😉

  15. I feel like I am pretty good with (and always working to keep up on) eating healthy, exercise, and appearance. I also am always working on the knowledge point, however for some reason I find it much easier to expand my knowledge of things I already know a little about. Starting from scratch to learn a new skill has proved to take a lot more effort. For example, I want to learn HTML but find myself choosing to explore and learn about areas where I already have a basis of knowledge.

    Thanks for the inspiration though! I need to dedicate myself to an entirely new skill.

    • Hey Kira. Glad to hear you share my passion in being a health/fitness junkie! You make a good point about expanding knowledge Vs starting a fresh… I think that if you take the right approach to learning things, you can always take it from an angle that you are familiar with though. Try and find a tangent that links up somewhere down the line.

      How have you approached learning HTML? I only know basic HTML… I tend to use Dreamweaver to do most of the design stuff that I do!

  16. justin@thefrugalpath says:

    Great article. Learning new skills can save you a great deal of money. I’m definitely a Googler, except when it comes to soldering pipes, or working on cars( I had a very very bad experience when I worked on a car once) But almost anything else I’m up for the challenge.
    justin@thefrugalpath recently posted..Friday’s Fork in the Path: Posts that Kept me on Track 11/2/12My Profile

    • Cheers Justin. I am a born googler!! I seriously don’t know how people managed before (as sad as that sounds). Sorry to hear about your bad experience soldering… was anyone hurt?

  17. David @ Bankruptcy Canada says:

    I am with you. Everyone has to learn new talents to cope with life’s difficulties and accomplish goals. Your point regarding learning skills that are simple is also very practical.
    David @ Bankruptcy Canada recently posted..Personal Bankruptcy Blog Carnival October 31, 2012 EditionMy Profile

  18. This series is great, I think its important to always try and learn new skills, no matter how far on in life we are!

  19. Change a lock. I watched it done last time, next time I’ll do it.
    Marie at Family Money Values recently posted..Clutter, Clutter Everywhere – continuedMy Profile

  20. It is incredible how easy it can be to turn a hobby into a marketable skill. I just updated my resume this morning with a new programming language I learned. I have made a habit of sitting down each night after work, before going to bed to hone one of my skills. It could be getting out that book on a language I am learning. It could be a book on web design. It could even writing out ideas for new skills to try to learn.

    The best part is there are skills many of us should be exhibiting as we know how to do them. For example, did you know using Microsoft Excel with proficiency is a skill? A lot of people do not know how to do that and it is quite marketable.
    Scott @Youthful Investor recently posted..Is Too Much of One Great Stock a Bad Thing?My Profile

  21. Good list btw, I would add for me Photography, and another language. BTW picking a lock is way easier than you think, but when you have a stubborn one that you lost the key to, breaking it into pieces is more satisfying 🙂

    Found your blog link on twitter and stumbled onto this page. I guess I never thought about fixing up a home as something someone would want to learn, I always thought of it as something you just do. I grew up building houses with my dad, so I can fix a lot of minor things and some major things already in my house. For the stuff I have to rig there is always “This Old House” which I have watched since I was a kid. To me fixing my house is just the way you do it, and to have someone else do it is only when something like a gas line, heating or major electricity is involved.

    • Hey – Thanks! 🙂

      I still haven’t tried picking a lock, but almost had to do it the other day when I thought I had forgotten my keys! It is strange to think that not everyone would attempt DIY huh?!

      Glad you found SavvyScot on Twitter… and for commenting.


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