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News Link • Education: Personal Growth

Make 2019 the Year You Learn Stuff


Instead of coming up with all sorts of intense resolutions that will totally change everything (until you stop doing them in a week or so) what if you did something different this year? What if you vowed to make 2019 the year that you learn stuff?

Now, before you roll your eyes and say, "That's so lame. I learn stuff all the time" – answer this. Do you really? Or do you read an article or two on the internet, maybe watch a video on YouTube, and feel like your work is complete?

There are some steps you need to take to learn something well.

#1) Choose your topic.

Every winter, I choose something I want to learn while the weather is cold and I'm cooped up inside. Over the years, my winter projects have run the gamut. I've learned to make really good pizza dough without looking at a recipe, to raise microgreens in my kitchen, to braid a rag rug, to cross-stitch, and to pressure can. And all of those skills have been practiced over the years since then to the point that they don't even feel like "skills" anymore. They're just things I do.

The key is to pick ONE THING. You need to choose one topic and focus on it for a period of time until you've really learned it thoroughly. Don't just read a couple of articles and say "I know how to do this."

#2) Research.

The age of the internet is a wonderful thing in many ways. You can learn practically anything if you know the right keywords to search.

When you are beginning to learn about a new topic, the internet is your best friend. You can find a website dedicated to just about any subject. I suggest researching using multiple websites and YouTube channels for the best results. If you find conflicting information, continue researching until you find a consensus.

You can also find lots of in-depth books on a wide variety of subjects at your local library or on Amazon if you have room in the budget. (Also, be sure to check out our inexpensive PDF books here on this website.)

Before spending a lot of money on lessons, tools, and supplies, spend some time researching so that you make good choices. There's nothing worse than investing a fortune and discovering what you bought doesn't fit your needs.

#3) Find a teacher.

Next, you need to find a teacher. There are all sorts of ways to do this. First, look for someone to teach you in person. If you look for local groups on social media or the website Meet-Up, you may be able to find folks in your area who like to get together and do the very thing it is you want to learn. If people are already in groups, clearly they like to talk about this subject. You can learn a great deal just by hanging out around them and chances are that they'll be happy to answer any questions you might have. You can also check out your county extension office and take advantage of any courses they might be running.

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