How to learn new skills and stick with it
I don't try learning new skills as often as I'd like. What are some ways to make sure one tries new skills and sticks to at least one of them for a while?
1. Pick something that you are interested in
If you pick something you are interested in, then you will be motivated to continue.
2. Start small.
For instance, if you want to learn how to draw, don't start by drawing a person. Start with a simple shape and try to make it interesting.
3. Find a teacher or mentor.
This is important because someone can point out your mistakes and help correct them so you can improve faster.
4. Make every day practice time.
Like an athlete training for the Olympics, set aside time every day (or every week) where you focus on this skill and try to make progress each time. This is critical because...
5. There will always be plateaus and it's important not to get discouraged by them.
The first month or two of learning anything new there will be huge improvements but then suddenly it seems like nothing is improving anymore. It's important not to get discouraged at this point because...
6. The 10,000 hour rule applies here too. But it's more about 10,000 hours of focused practice than total hours if I remember correctly from my podcast with Malcolm Gladwell (but I might be wrong).
The key is that if you are focused for an hour a day for 100 days straight on trying to improve at something, even if the first month or two seems like nothing is happening, suddenly there will be huge improvements after 100 days of focused practice (assuming the other rules above are being followed).