How to learn new skills and stick with it
1. Stop being a pu**y.
The truth hurts but sometimes we need to hear it. If there's something you want to do you're stalling and whining about getting started, you've decided it's much better to sit in your comfort zone than try something new and possibly grow into a better person. Look at yourself in the mirror and say, "Stop being a pu**y!" Because that's what you're being. And then go do the thing.
2. Pick something that could provide an immediate reward and a long-term reward.
These are the best skills to learn. Because you know you're doing something that will help you one year, five years, or ten years down the road, but you're also deriving some sort of reward from it right now. One example is learning how to be a cyclist, an example I'm going to return to later in this list. Of course, if you stick with cycling you'll be a more fit person in the long term, but in the short term, you can combine learning how to be a good cyclist with being part of a training group and making friends.
3. Once you start, do it every day without fail.
Consistency is king. You'll feel far less inclined to stop learning if you keep a daily streak going. As a small example, I struggle to journal but I recognize its value so I do it every day. Some days it's only a couple of sentences and it takes me two minutes. On other days it's pages long and I write for 30 minutes. Either way, it gets done every day.
4. But don't be afraid to drop it if it no longer delivers value or it's just not for you.
We can't just layer new skill upon new skill and do them every day. Sooner or later we'll run out of time. Sometimes there are things that used to be really valuable to us that now don't deliver the way they used to. When that happens, it's okay to let them go to leave room for things that are more important to us now.
For example, I've heard a hundred times in my life I should take up cycling, especially most of the last year as I've been injured and not been able to run (which is my true passion). But every time I bike it feels like a waste of time, plus I just don't want to own and maintain a bike. I simply don't like it, and I don't care how good it is for me, if it's not for me and I don't like it and I don't care about it, then I'm not going to do it. So, for me, it's okay to not learn how to be a better cyclist.
5. Find someone to learn it along with you.
There is nothing better than an accountability partner who's on a similar level to experience something new. It'll make you show up to the thing, practice the thing, and be prepared for the thing.
6. Post your progress in public.
I think it's cool when someone starts something new and blogs or posts about it on social media so others may follow on their journey. It's inspiring to others and motivating for the person doing it. And assuming your followers aren't assholes, you'll receive a lot of encouragement to keep it up.
7. Invest in the thing.
I saw @eyegor list this one so I can't take credit, but I think we all have experiences in feeling compelled to do a thing when we've already paid money into it.
8. Get a coach/mentor.
Another steal from @eyegor, but I do want to relate one recent personal experience relative to this one. I'm the kind of person who's reluctant to get help for anything (a real weakness), but when I got a mentor shortly after I launched my business last year, things almost immediately started shifting in a positive direction and now my business is growing faster than ever. I mean, virtually every elite athlete in the world, including Olympians, has coaches even though they're already the best of the best. Why shouldn't we?
9. Enjoy it.
Learning anything new is hard, and failure will happen far more than success, but it can't always feel like a struggle. Learn to take enjoyment from the learning process, and if you're doing it for a while and not even the smallest amount of joy is coming from it, that's a sign to move on.
10. Teach someone else to do it.
You're officially an expert in a skill when you're better than someone else, even if it means you're in the bottom 20% of all people who know how to do the thing. It doesn't matter as long as you're better than someone. So if that someone wants to learn the same skill, go teach it to that person. It's a great way to cement your knowledge, be a mentor, and keep you motivated to keep going yourself.