“I always wanted to learn the guitar. Maybe THIS summer.” Or…. maybe not. It’s a shame how quickly we dismiss our heartfelt dreams and relegate them to the “someday” bucket list. Why is that? We have many reasonable-sounding excuses. Work is hectic, there’s never enough time, the kids, the spouse, the Facebook , etc. Reasonable, sure. But not true.

At HG, we call this inner voice the “chicken,” and boy does it keep us playing small. Instead of branching out and learning a new skill, a hobby, or anything fun and out of the ordinary, we choose the ones that are safe and familiar – movies, dinner, happy hour. Then we wonder why we feel bored and stagnant in our lives!

This summer, lose the excuses and set your sights on something more fun and fulfilling.

A commitment to learning is a commitment to your own brave evolution and improvement. 

Summer is the perfect time to give yourself the gift of a new hobby, skill or activity that you’ve always been curious about. The possibilities are endless!

Consider gourmet cooking, speaking a foreign language, guitar, singing, painting, sculpting, photography, making films, writing stories, running, surfing, tennis, biking, golf, swimming, learning yoga, scuba diving certification, fishing, sailing, juggling, swing dancing, learn to Dj with real records, become a drink mixologist, water ski, make jewelry. Surprise yourself! Impress yourself. Don’t wait until the summer is over to accept this awesome challenge.

5 Steps to Learning Something New

1) Brainstorm

Write down all the activities, skills or abilities you wished you had time to do or you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t. Rate them in order of importance.

2) Choose your activity

Really look at your list and decide what you want to make happen this summer. What would make you happy, and proud, and inspired? This is supposed to be fun and fulfilling for you. If you feel like it’s work, you will resent it.

3) Answer “why are you not doing it?”

It’s something you would love to do and it would make you happy, but for some reason it’s last on your priority list. What is holding you back from learning this new skill or doing this activity? Time? Money? Fear? Face why you’re not doing it and remember, it’s just an excuse.

4) Make a plan

Find time in your schedule to fit in your new activity every week. Start today. Make promises to do your activity. Implement consequences if you don’t do your promises. If you don’t enjoy your activity, you are allowed to change it! This is not school. This is about learning how to do something you love.

5) Declare an end result

What do you want to accomplish by the end of the summer with your new activity or skill? For example, if you are learning how to cook, plan a big Labor Day dinner party with close friends, where you cook the entire meal.

The possibilities are endless! Get to it!



P.S. Inner.U is a 12 session online course that gives you the tools to hack into your own life, hone your dreams, and have every last thing you want in the areas that matter most to you: CAREER, MONEY, LOVE, TIME, FAMILY, and HEALTH. Do this life thing better from wherever, whenever.

Marnie Nir is Senior Vice President & Chief Content Officer and Expert Life Coach with Handel Group. She finally returned from Florida (a period in her life she likes to refer to as “witness protection”) to her home state of New York, but has shuffled around from New York to California and back again throughout her life. Marnie’s professional and personal life have come full-circle as well. A student of Slavic Language and Literature at UCLA, Marnie graduated with a BA and an understanding of Russian Literature as “purification through suffering”. Years later, after several jobs in publicity and production, most notably for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle live tour (can’t make this stuff up), she began to see that, at least in her own life, suffering was not mandatory.  After marrying and giving birth to her first child, Marnie started coaching with her sister, Lauren Zander, creating the dream of who she wanted to be as not-her-mother. However, her work with Lauren took everything in her life to a much deeper level. More than a decade later, she is now an empty nester of two, co-author with Lauren Zander of Maybe It’s You, SVP of Chief Content Officer, and an Expert Life Coach in The Handel Method. She has also continued her creative work, namely as co-creator of the animated series Mother Up!, which aired 13 episodes on Hulu and starred Eva Longoria, serving as an expert at Campowerment, blogging for the Huffington Post, as well as writing her own blog (The Sour MILF).

Image courtesy of Startup Stock Photos.