10 hobbies you can pick up to improve yourself in 2021

From skateboarding to digital coding, here are some hobbies that can help with your new year's glow-up.

Shannon Kuan

Weird talents include playing the violin, but with a ukulele and a clothes hanger.

Published: 8 January 2021, 12:06 PM

With the dawn of a new year, comes resolutions for self improvement and change.

Whether it is to improve your skill sets, mindset and attitude, or mental and physical health, having a hobby can actually help with that!

Don’t fret over it if you don’t know where your skills lie because hobbies can be easily picked up for a test trial. Remember: You don’t have to be phenomenal at something to enjoy it.

And if you don’t have any specific interests to get you started, here are some hobby ideas you could try out!

1. Learn an instrument

Learning how to play the guitar, ukulele, or piano is probably the most generic hobby there is. There’s nothing wrong with that because those instruments can be easily learnt and accessible. And when mastered, one can really impress with their skills.


If you’re looking for something a little different, why not try the cajon or even a kalimba?


Even your voice is an instrument so maybe you could get into beatboxing!

The possibilities are endless when it comes to music, as you can learn how to write song lyrics, compose and arrange songs, and even learn mixing if you’re interested in the more technical aspects of it.

Having music as your hobby will not only improve your skill sets, but is also believed to reduce anxiety and blood pressure, while improving your memory, mood and mental alertness.

2. Coding and programming

For the more tech-savvy, you might be interested in learning digital skills such as coding.

Although it may sound daunting and confusing at first, there are many free online courses and websites available that can teach you the basics of coding.

Of course, there are different types of programming languages such as Python and Java, but beginners are advised to start with Python as it is simpler to understand.

Coding opens one to a world of possibilities, from creating your own websites with nifty features to altering and playing around with video games features.

With our changing digital landscape, coding and programming is a valued skill that might even give you benefits and higher opportunities in job interviews, as well as exercise your mind.

3. Write stories or poems

If you are a huge fan of reading and often find yourself immersed in paragraphs of texts, have you tried doing the writing yourself?

Give yourself creative freedom and pen down the stories you always wanted to read about. Create a fictional book about a post apocalyptic world with your own characters, or write the love story you always wanted between two of your favourite book or movie characters.

Writing doesn’t have to be for storybooks either, it can be in the form of poems.


The best poems are those that depict the rawest emotions, yet are relatable to many. PHOTO CREDIT: SUZY HAZELWOOD VIA PEXELS


So, if you need a space to vent out all your pent up feelings, maybe you could express it through turning them into poetic writing.

4. Get into photography or making videos

You don’t necessarily need a professional camera to take good shots. If you can’t afford a proper camera, you could always try taking photos or filming on your phone first. Editing can then be done after to spice up your shots.

Photography and filmography is pretty versatile, and you can make anything have a story with the right props and angles.

If you prefer being in front of the camera, you could try live streaming or making videos.


With the right personality and ideas, you could create videos that would encapture many viewers. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTUBE.COM/BESTDRESSED


For example, you could vlog about a day in your life, tell funny life stories that you have experienced, do a shopping haul and show off your wardrobe, post music covers, or show off your video game skills. The possibilities are endless!

5. Learn how to dance

A fun hobby that could double as exercise as well, dancing can be fulfilling and loads of fun, especially if it’s to a song you like or a choreography you find cool.

Fans of K-Pop have taken the time and effort to memorise the dances to many choreographies of the K-Pop songs they love.


Many K-Pop fans will watch and copy dance practice videos and learn the dances at home. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTUBE.COM/STRAY KIDS


Even pole dancing has seen a resurgence in popularity! If you’re interested in trying something new and exotic, there are many pole dancing classes available.

Dancing truly can improve one’s self esteem, muscular strength, endurance and flexibility.

6. Bake and cook your favourite treats

Baking and cooking are both fun during and after the process of making your own food.

Not only is it relaxing to combine different ingredients to form an edible mass, but it is also gratifying to know that you produced something delicious. You could also treat your family, friends and neighbours to some homemade goodies if you are feeling generous.

Instead of going out to buy food or snacks, you could save money by creating it in the comforts of your own home! From baked goods and savoury meals to drinks like smoothies and milkshakes, everything can be made at home with the right ingredients and tools.

7. Draw, paint or illustrate

Looking to unlock your hidden artistic abilities? Learning how to draw or paint would be a good start!

Of course, art doesn’t just involve physical pencils and paintbrushes, as there are also graphic design and digital art.

Depending on which medium you prefer, you can create art both offline and online about whatever you like. Some ideas could be portraits of your friends or pets, your favourite video game characters, flowers, or iconic landmarks and scenic landscapes.


Making fan-art of your favourite online characters or content creators may also motivate you further to get into the hobby. PHOTO CREDIT: TWITTER/@KUROGIRIS


Art is a skill that takes time to hone, so don’t expect to create something of Leonardo Davinci’s level on your first try. With practise and patience, you’ll be able to draw or paint something that you’ll be proud of.

8. Get into a new sport

Playing sports is a fun way to exercise and there are plenty of sports you can try out alone. 

If you’re unsure about which sport to start with, swimming and cycling are two of the better choices as those tend to be more common.

Sports that involve teams may be harder to coordinate and play, but if you have enough friends who are interested in the sport, such as basketball or soccer, you could always tag along and have them teach you.

Although skateboarding and rollerblading may not necessarily be a sport, they are activities that have grown in popularity and can be really fun to learn, especially when it comes to doing tricks.

Sports are endless fun and encourage one to go out and exercise their bodies. Not only does it promote physical health, it can improve one’s mentality too as exercising produces endorphins — chemicals produced by the body to relieve stress and pain.

9. Pick up sewing and embroidery

With the trend of sustainable fashion on the rise, many are picking up sewing so that they can reuse old or thrifted items of clothing by either altering them or transforming them into something trendier.

Having sewing skills is extremely useful, efficient and also provides you with the ability to design clothes any way you want to.


You can easily personalise your jackets, tote bags and more by embroidering a design of your choice. PHOTO CREDIT: MAGDALINE NICOLE VIA PEXELS


Unsure about the hows to sew? Online tutorials can be easily found on YouTube!

10. Partake in some meditation yoga

If you would prefer a more relaxing hobby that also soothes the mind and soul, why not try meditation yoga?

Yoga can improve flexibility, endurance and strength, while meditation helps keep the mind sharp, relieves stress and anxiety. It can also strengthen the immune system.

Easily done at home, you could follow a YouTube video tutorial and ease yourself into the process.

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