There's so much 'New Year New Me' stuff floating about the internet right now that I find pretty demoralising. For starters, I don't want a new me. I want to improve the old me. Trying to recreate myself in someone else's image, or start again from scratch isn't going to work. How am I meant to get rid of all of my past experiences and turn myself into a completely different person? I just can't. So, a lot of my resolutions involve challenges that I'm placing for myself, and include continuing or starting up a few hobbies that I want to pursue this year. Here's my list of 10 hobbies you could start in 2017 too that won't break the bank:
1.) Learn a new language. Yes, this sounds bloody expensive, but have you heard of a gorgeous little app called Duolingo? It basically lets you learn a language completely free of charge. You're not just stuck to translating text either. It involves listening to speech and typing it out both in your language and the one you're learning, mini vocab tests where you pair words up, and tests for your pronunciation, amongst other things. It also updates you each time you become one percent more fluent and you can add it to your LinkedIn profile. (This isn't a #spon by the way, I just love the app).
2.) Start puzzling. I know this sounds super lame, but I find doing puzzles so cathartic. The act of sorting all of the pieces out and building a fuller picture gradually helps me to completely chill out.
3.) Get involved with mindfulness colouring. This is basically my favourite trend, ever. I've got a little collection of colouring books now and filling them in makes me feel so creative. I'm not brilliant at anything arty, but I LOVE doing this, especially in my new Wuthering Heights colouring book.
4.) Help out the local wildlife. I've kick-started this with having a bird-feeder in my garden (that and the food cost me about £3 in total). Plant some things, help out with fundraising for wildlife charities, or even volunteer at a local rehab centre for injured wildlife. This is such a nice idea for a hobby and I really want to get more involved.
5.) Yoga. There's this weird perception that you need to be a white, thin, rich woman to do yoga, but it has benefits for everyone, and you don't need a huge budget to do it. Yoga with Adriene YouTube videos are where it's at for me, but if you don't enjoy her methods as a teacher then there's a whole world of yoga YouTube videos out there. I bought a £5 yoga mat to got started and I haven't paid a penny since then whilst doing yoga for the past two years.
6.) Start the 1001 books challenge. There's a list of 1001 books to read before you die. I reckon I've probably read ten. You can buy the book which has the list in or find it for free online and get cracking.
7.) Do some creative journalling. I've got the 'Start Where You Are' journal and it's fab for completing each night before sleep. It contains a whole range of creative ways to think about things. Alternatively, you could start your own bullet journal, or use something like a 'Wreck This Journal' for a bit of fun.
8.) Pinterest DIYS. I have a whole Pinterest board of these waiting for me to try, but I just keep forgetting to find the time for them. Spruce up your home with some cheap DIYs, or even just get crafty.
9.) Blogging. You all knew this was coming, didn't you? Although blogging can be costly, you don't *have* to spend anything on it. Write about what you love, take pictures if you want, and share your thoughts with the world.
10.) Re-learn the art of letter writing. This one is something I want to keep up in 2017. Snail mail is so cute, and I love getting it through my post box. Pick up a writing set in the sales, or just use a pen and some blank paper and let the people you love know they're being thought of!
So there we have it, 10 hobbies for 2017 that won't bankrupt you. Are you starting any new hobbies this year?