Make room for a new hobby

Mar 11, 2010 at 9:09 a.m. ET

Do you always seem to put off new activities? Whether you feel unmotivated because it's too cold out, or it's too hot, or too rainy... the rut of mental and physical laziness is a likely excuse for not completing anything on your to do list. However, you can easily break out of your slump by creating space and opportunities to do something new! Here are a few ways you can start.

Paint brushesInstead of just thinking you need to pick up a hobby, be proactive and actually set the stage for it. Not only will you find your free time more enjoyable, you may just experience or create something beautiful.


If you like art, buy an easel. Its mere presence can coax you into picking up a paint brush and unleashing your creative energy. Stick a sketchpad between your coffee table books, or arrange a few pieces of charcoal or watercolor pencils in a vase near the couch for impromptu drawing during commercial breaks or reruns on the television. Even better, hone your artistic talent with instructional videos


Love listening to new music but feel like you never get around to listen to that recently-purchased CD or playlist? Set up a stereo near your front door so you can turn on the music as soon as you get home from work or school. Let your new tunes play in the kitchen while you cook dinner. Take your new album or playlist to the gym and make it a habit to move to your music instead of listening to the piped in songs you have heard over and over again.

>> Top 10 workout playlists


Instead of continually putting books on your wish-list, commit to buying – and reading – one a month. Join an online book swapping community or check out Barnes and Noble, Amazon or Meetup for a list of book clubs that interest you. If you want to be more social, get involved in the book clubs at your local bookstore and library -- or join the free SheKnows book club!


If you like to spend your free time at home but are tired of doing the same old things, look into an online writing class to stimulate your interests. You can complete creative writing assignments as well as exchange ideas and drafts with an instructor and people from around the country all from the comfort of your own living room.


Buy a deck of cards and keep it in your purse or backpack. Learn a new card game and make a habit of dealing the cards when you and your friends or family are sitting idle. Another option is to learn a few card tricks and awe your friends and family with your card wizardry. Visit Pagat for the games and rules for card games around the world.


How often do you pass by the spice or ethnic shelves at the grocery store and, though intrigued, pass on the unfamiliar or exotic ingredients because you do not have a clue on how to use them? Next time, bolster your inner chef and pick up something new -- a new spice or condiment can inspire you to cook and try or create a new recipe. Even if you don't use it right away, it will be there when the epicurean urge hits you.

>> Seven super spices for super health

For the ultimate spice experience, visit a Penzey's retail or on-line store for over 250 seasonings and recipes to use them.


Recreate an adult version of that cozy tent or pillow fort you built when you were a kid to give you a comfortable space for reading, writing or any other activity requiring a quiet space. Some ideas: Hang a circle of mosquito netting around your bed or near a desk to give the illusion of a private area. Arrange a three-part screen for a makeshift cubicle for yourself to block out distractions from others in the house. When you need to get away, you have a welcome space ready and waiting.

Visit iRoomDividers or ShopWildThings for a wide array of options to create your cozy nook.

Mosquito nettingMAKE A SPA HABIT

Turn your bathroom into a spa and be bathing-suit ready all year round. Use a loofah and exfoliating scrubs to refresh your skin. Give yourself a healthy glow with a tinted moisturizer for your body and face. Do a deep condition on your hair while you pretty your feet with a pedicure. Luxuriate in a candle-lit bubble bath once a week.

Here is a helpful checklist to get you started on creating the spa experience in the comfort of your own home.

Visual cues around your personal spaces will more easily entice you to turn over a new leaf and nurture your creative self with enjoyable hobbies. Soon enough, those hobbies that you have been meaning to pick up will become just another part of you and your daily routine.