Monday, February 06, 2006

Steps To A Hobby Search

Finding a hobby is a bit like finding a life partner, except you do not have to commit to only one hobby! You can work on as many hobbies as you would like, but most people find that they only have time for one or two. If you are looking for a new hobby, then there are some simple ways to think about hobbies that should lead you in the right direction.

First consider what you already enjoy. It may be a hobby, or it could be something that you could easily translate into a hobby. For example, perhaps you love reading. That is a hobby! If you are looking for something more involved, check out local bookstores or the library for book clubs. You also could look into a certain author and learn about his or her life as well as reading the books, or you could become a book collector, starting a library in your home.

If you do not have something that you can make into a hobby, then think about what you want to get out of a hobby. What kind of personality do you have? Are you looking for something to do alone or with someone else? Some hobbies, such as writing poetry, are activities that are best done alone, but if you prefer a group, you may consider joining a bowling league.

Think about what you want to get out of the hobby. If you are competitive, for example, you will be looking for an entirely different level of hobby than someone who is looking for a way to unwind. Imagine yourself doing a hobby (nothing specific, just get into the feel of a hobby) and then imagine how you want to feel. Now look for a hobby that could give you that feeling.

Also think about how you like to spend your time. While one person may think that everything done outdoors is too much physical exertion, another person may thrive on this atmosphere. You should consider what you will want to do when you are deciding on a hobby. If you are having trouble coming up with a suitable hobby, consider what you do when no one else is around and then try to make that into a hobby. Even if you watch television, you can find a way to make a hobby out of it. You could become a buff of certain films, for instance, or you could collect television memorabilia, or you could write about trends in television.

How much time do you have to devote to your hobby? Maybe you are looking for something that will take only a couple of hours a week. Then playing tennis with the guy in the next cubicle may be a good choice. Or perhaps you have every evening to devote to a task. Then you may want to make replica historical villages.

The important rule here is that your hobby should not become a burden. You should never get to the point where you feel that you must do your hobby because someone is expecting you to or because you have promised a certain product. I had an uncle who loved woodworking, but he almost gave it up after trying to transfer it into a business because he had so much business. He felt overwhelmed and no longer enjoyed woodworking for its own sake.

Of course, financial considerations must come into play at some point. Instead of just starting a hobby and seeing where it leads, think about how much you can put toward the hobby and still have the money you need for other purchases. You do not need to purchase every piece of equipment to begin. You can start some hobbies with little start-up and then add to your collection. For other hobbies, however, you may find that the initial cost is too much. Know how much you are willing and able to spend before you begin your hunt.

Be willing to think outside the box. You may find something you had not considered, such as collecting board games or creating puzzles. If you allow yourself to be open to new ideas, you may just find that perfect hobby waiting on you.

By Julia Mercer

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