Have you ever wanted to learn more in your life? Maybe you’ve wanted to take a skill that you already have to the next level, well like a lot of people you might have a guitar collecting dust in your garage or maybe you have some expired dance classes that you’ve been putting off.
Personally, I just recently had a nun-chuck training, after having these unfulfilled plans as completely normal in life we get bogged down. Weights can fly by without really anything happening with many of our highest priorities such as our relationships and work taking so much of your time and energy that it can be hard to find the hours to dedicate to our hobbies or skills that we want to improve.
It can be really intimidating thinking about learning a new skill especially if you’re starting from the bottom you might hesitate to walk up to a new class because you feel out of place or you might doubt your ability to actually become better at that skill and this might cause you not to even start learning a new skill.
Learning should be fun and exciting though, or maybe even worse! Perhaps the first few weeks are filled with enthusiasm but then you realize it’s going to be a really hard work and the progress isn’t coming as fast as you wanted. So the disillusion sets in and it can be very demotivating.
Everyone intend to learn a new skill every month, well that’s what I’ve attempted to set to find out I’ve had people in my life speak about their ambitions to learn a new skill but hesitate to take that journey to learning it. So I decided to figure out the best techniques to learn something fast and share them with you all to encourage you to follow your own passions
Learn a new skill every month
Learn a new skill every month from violin to backflips, salsa dancing, skateboarding and all kinds of interesting things to train your brain on something new. It won’t be easy but certainly you will enjoy the journey.
Here are few key principles that are crucial for developing a skill in a short period of time:
1. Get the fundamentals right
When you have such little time you can’t afford to mess around by getting some of the important basics incorrect. When you miss some of the fundamentals, you start to learn bad habits which will mean you can never get really really good at the skill you’re trying to learn. Bad habits can start your progress massively, take it easy in the starting even though you will be excited and break down on the most basic skills. Focus on what you need to be and be able to take any skill to the next level
2. Small chunk learning
This means breaking down a big task like juggling five balls into a smaller task. Start by doing some research into the skill you want to master, keeping the specific goal you want to achieve in mind we’re working to understand all of the components of that goal. List down all the components needed to learn the skill
For examples for juggling five balls you need consistent direction and consistent height and also you need to be able to keep a consistent rhythm. You need strong hand-eye coordination and so on. Break that down and start juggling with three and then start jogging with three, after that higher your throws and then start juggling with three but all the balls up in the air at once and then start working on four and then start five. Don’t just start throwing five balls in the air and expect to be able to master the skill this.
Chunk approach makes learning much less intimidating because it allows you to work on and master specific skills within the major skill and build out your abilities in a tangible way. It also gives you a nice reward at each incremental improvement you achieve.
3. Get a coach
Without a mentor or coach you’ll be guessing what your mistakes are and trying to experiment with techniques to further develop your skills, even though you have no idea what you’re doing. Feedback is the key you can reflect on your skill levels, movements and actions to see where you’re going wrong. A coach can help keep you accountable.
4. Avoid information overload
Don’t spend hours browsing for more and more information! It’s important to start the process with an understanding of what you’re trying to achieve but not so much so that you don’t get started. You might find yourself with information overload that will end up freezing your brain and slowing your progress. Some people just love to learn but don’t want to actually start putting into work. Muscle memory can be a powerful ally so just start learning those smaller skills from your chunk learning. You will need to rely on your muscle memory and your subconscious for many skills. The information doesn’t all need to be in the front of your mind to get you started.
5. Practice it consistently
Don’t just do something three times in a week expect to hold that skill level a month later after not practicing at the end of the day. Number one thing that will get you over the line in terms of mastering a skill is practice as in fact as smart actors frequently practice in small sessions so you get burnout. I found that to meet my expectations about getting to a certain level of learning within a month at small regular sessions are better than long infrequent sessions.
6. Have a strong why!
Why do you actually want this skill? The deeper you understand your why the more you can connect to your core values and the stronger your motivation will be to achieve this goal. Your motivation will allow you to focus when you need to and handle some bigger setbacks. When I learned the violin on the surface it may seem just like a fun skill and something that could be enjoyable to play but if I break it down deeper I can link that goal to me. Wanting to show the world how accessible it can be to learn an instrument I know that I’m able to meditate through the process of playing an instrument and I wanted to share that with people and on a personal level I want to be a Renaissance man or a man of many skills. These desires helped me to continue to play through the pain period when I had little to no skills at the beginning of the process. Knowing your WHY will differentiate so as they quit and those that stick through it.
To know more about WHY
7. The 80/20 rule
It’s been loosely agreed by many chronic learners that you get 80% of the skill from doing 20% of the work. Focus on this, in your process and know that you’re going to be able to develop a decent level of skill by committing to the first 20% of the process. To give it a go,
For example When I did my first backflip my buddy remembered it and the second or third tries were much much easier as I knew what to expect with all this in mind. I wish you the best of luck learning whatever new skill that you wish to achieve.