How to keep the spark alive... in your hobbies

It’s the worst ‘icebreaker’ question ever: what are your hobbies?

Image

The sudden panic, the blank mind, the total absence of any socially acceptable interest that would save us from being judged as the dullest human in the room. Does Netflix count? Cleaning my teeth? “I like cooking!” you say, hoping nobody asks you what your favourite recipe is because you’re more acquainted with the microwave than the oven. 

Then one day, you find a real, proper hobby. Suddenly, you’re doing something you’re excited about: curating an Instagram page, doing a workshop or course, starting that Etsy craft business, or training for an event. Maybe you went in search of it, maybe you fell into it, but your enthusiasm levels are through the roof and you’ve mapped out your future life as an influencer/founder/athlete. “This is my thing!” you congratulate yourself, ready to nail it next time you’re asked the icebreaker question. 


Light and shade

So far, so good. But what about a couple of weeks, months, or years later when the initial spark feels like it’s flickering, and you’re rapidly losing interest? Is this new passion destined to be relegated to the back of the ‘hobby cupboard’ along with that adult skipping rope, DIY pottery kit and recipe book that had at least 18 niche ingredients in every meal? 

Life is about light and shade; noise and quiet. Any filmmaker, composer, or personal trainer will tell you that you can’t go full intensity the whole time or people end up over-stimulated and exhausted. It’s the same for our hobbies. Sometimes we’re filled with energy, other times we can’t muster up much enthusiasm.

So how can we tell when we’re just going through a natural lull with our new passion, versus slogging away at something that’s not right for us?

What’s the point?

Keep coming back to why you started the activity. If it was meant to be fun, could you bring a friend along for a laugh, or ease off some of the pressure you’re putting on yourself? If there’s a longer-term goal you’re working towards, bring it front-of-mind with a photo or mantra you remind yourself of every day. If this goal feels too far off, build in some treats at smaller milestones along the way to reward your dedication and progress.

Broaden your horizons

In bursts of enthusiasm, we can overdo something. Maybe you finished Couch to 5k and told anyone who would listen about your new athlete lifestyle and #running blog… but you’re secretly feeling a bit bored of running. The trick is to keep it sustainable. Before you ditch the idea, how can you introduce new elements to your hobby to keep it fresh and varied? Try adding some dance or swimming to your workout mix to boost your cardio, or consider interviewing other runners for your blog instead, and get re-inspired by their tips!

Take a time-out

Sometimes taking control of the energy fizzle can feel more empowering, so consider taking an intentional pause. Decide what else you’d like to pursue with your time and energy instead. Next, tie up any loose ends (freeze that gym membership, announce your break on any social channels, finish your current course subscription) so that crucially you can step away without burning bridges with friends, contacts or customers.

It’s also important to pick a date to revisit the hobby and set yourself a reminder. Whether it’s a week, a month or a year later, reflect on what you have and haven’t missed during your break. Do you feel re-energised to start again?

Nothing ventured, nothing gained

Sometimes, we just need to get an idea out of our system. Realising that a particular activity is more challenging, not so glamorous or less lucrative than you’d imagined from seeing it on social media is a useful result in itself. You can refocus on activities that are better suited to your strengths, and banish the ‘what ifs’. That doesn’t mean it was wasted time! Before you dive straight into the next idea, take a moment to reflect on what you’ve learnt and achieved from the experience. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

Share this article with a friend
Image
Weybridge KT13 & London W8
Image
Written by Alice Gaisford, Trusted Life & Career Coach. Empowering you to be your best.
Weybridge KT13 & London W8

Alice Gaisford is an experienced life and career coach. With a background in psychology from Oxford University, Alice specialises in empowering her clients through self-discovery, restoring balance, and building positive habits.

Show comments
Image

Find a coach dealing with Hobbies

All coaches are verified professionals

All coaches are verified professionals