Finding a hobby (a new one?) just right for you can give you a lifetime of enjoyment, far into your retirement years. The main thing to consider is what do you really like? Not what your family tree or best friend thinks you should like – It is for you!
Do you think you’re not very good at anything? If that sounds like you, here are questions to ask yourself about what you’ve really wanted to do.
If you’re still working, now is the time to develop a hobby and to plan for future senior activities.
It’s also a great idea to have several different hobbies, because things change as we age. That sure happened to Dad. And he didn’t have much to fall back on.
Working with our hands at any age is particularly valuable. It promotes brain and physical coordination. P.S. – If you’re looking particularly for easy craft ideas be sure to visit our specialized page.
Dad’s Issue – When my father became very elderly and moved in with me, I became his full-time caregiver. His main hobbies had been golf and reading. But because of his vision and hearing loss, he had to give those up and there wasn’t much he could do. Or, that is, was willing to do.
It taught me the importance of cultivating a variety of hobbies and interests including working with one’s hands, because you just never know.
First Ask Yourself:
To get started with finding a hobby, first take some notes and let yourself brainstorm. And keep in mind that some may be good extra income ideas and actually provide ways to do a little work after retirement if you’re interested in that.
- Make a list of the top 5 hobbies or activities you like to do now.
- Now make a list of the top 5 new activities you would like to learn. This is brainstorming — don’t limit yourself, financially or otherwise.
Idea List – for Finding a Hobby
Finding a hobby can be a really fun exercise and will give you ideas on how you can expand the list.
- photography – including nature, weddings, babies, children
- home renovation
- do-it-yourself activities such as a tile backsplash, creative cement work, etc.
- interior decorating
- build and decorate a dollhouse – perhaps elaborate
- furniture making
- painting on furniture
- furniture restoration
- going to or participating in flea markets
- metal detecting – you can find amazing treasures!
- making trash to treasure projects
- starting a collection – perhaps heirloom quality
- studying antiques and antiquing
- join a theater group and be in a play
- or work with costumes and props
- learn a new sport – biking, tennis, golf, swimming
- take up chess; join a group
- painting – on canvas; or paint on glass or wood
- candle making
- hand-painted ceramic sinks
- hand-painted ceramic tiles
- pottery and ceramics
- mosaics (including tables, chairs, trays)
- making crafts – there are many crafts for seniors to explore
- scale modeling (see link at the bottom of this page)
- small appliance or mechanical repair
- rug making (easy rug hooking, braided rugs, etc.)
- learning or enhancing computer skills
- making a web site regarding your hobby or interest (you can make money too – really)
- needlework such as cross-stitching or embroidery
- knitting or crocheting
- quilting – start small like a pillow or wallhanging
- be a volunteer or professional clown
- making puppets and puppeteering
- clock and watch repair
- crossword puzzles
- jewelry making
- stained glass
- specialized cooking
- cake decorating
- gardening – perhaps a specialty such as roses or exotic plants
- flower pressing
- decorative pillows
- journalism – articles for newspapers, magazines, organizations
- creative writing – perhaps memoirs or a novel
- write and/or illustrate a children’s book
- record your memoirs (and help others) and transfer to a CD
- making videos and movies
- dancing – salsa, tap, ballroom, jazz, square dancing, contemporary; don’t limit yourself
- playing musical instruments – (our guest writer talks about a super easy way of playing chimes, without having to read music or practice. Perfect for kids and families too).
- floral arrangement
- bird watching
- card games
- crafts – there are tons of easy craft ideas and crafts for seniors
- make or study wines
- beer making
- getting a pet
- public speaking
- wedding officient
- learn another language – and take a trip!
- sailing and boating
When finding a hobby, remember, there may be a craft store, home improvement store, community resources or a senior center that can teach many of these activities. And don’t forget the library – most of them have or can get videos and books on a favorite topic. Or do you have a friend or family member who can teach you? Groups are always fun.
Do you have limitations?
If you have physical or other challenges and are unable to do your activity of choice now, finding a hobby can be modified. (For instance, did you know there are special easy-to-grip garden tools, and even wheelchair accessible elevated gardens for the elderly, window gardens, and more).
See our page about elderly activities to get ideas for those with limitations that we experience as we age. Also consider reading books, watching movies or TV programs, attending seminars or conferences on the subject, or helping others.
Find out what other related senior activity ideas and groups are available. There are also many special crafts for elderly to consider – ask a local senior center or even a church group.
After finding a hobby (or two) dedicate a room or area in your home to your special activities. Make a list of the supplies you will need, and find out how to get discounts.
A special note:
If you are a writer, visit your library or bookstore and look at the current “Writer’s Market.” This is an excellent yearly publication that tells what book and magazine publishers are looking for in that year. There are hundreds of listings. As you may guess, topics for baby boomers and elders are popular at this time.
You can also very easily self-publish a book by using Amazon’s system for Kindle books. With a for-print book check www.createspace.com — it’s very inexpensive because it’s print on demand. If you want to try electronic publishing, Amazon will also help your put your book into Kindle reader format.
If you are an artist, there is a similar book called “The Artist’s and Graphic Designer’s Market.” It lists hundreds of publishing and licensing companies to submit your artwork to, and what they are looking for. Even tips to go through the process. You can also pursue finding a licensing agent to represent your work to manufacturers, like I have.
And don’t forget to give back, if you can – teach someone what you know. Pass it on to family members, youth, and the elderly.
Do you like crafts?
Finding a hobby with crafts couldn’t be easier. We also do have lots of crafts in many places on our web site, but why hunt all over? Our crafts are all consolidated and organized, along with dozens of NEW never-seen-before projects in our e-book! You get over 120 projects, with plenty of tips on different ways to make them! PLUS a FREE book of pattern templates! Click here for a sneak peak.
And check out this great hobby web site! An online guidebook to all forms of modeling from ships to planes and from trains to race cars. It’s your ultimate guide to the best in scale modeling.