20 things you can learn starting today

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April 2, 2013 by Diana M

Most of these things are stuff that I’ve learned or am in the process of learning. So feel free to share your own or add your own resources and ideas ūüôāphoto-26-300x300

1. How to learn Japanese

I’m fascinated with it. I can’t wait to see the day when I can speak it fluently and write it at an¬†understandable level. As you know, Japanese is a pretty hard to learn language, but it’s actually not THAT hard. It has three¬†character sets: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. The last one is the most difficult to learn, because it contains over 2500¬†different symbols, but the first two are like learning new alphabets. It also makes it easier if you are a fan of anime or Japanese movies, because the longer you are exposed to the language, the easier it gets to actually be able to speak it. You can start learning Japanese from here:

 

2. How to make your own jewelry

I had a period in my life when I would make tons of polymer clay jewelry and then I would sell them on this other blog I used to have or at various events. But for that type of DIY projects you need specific stuff, which I currently don’t have (like polymer clay, or an oven). So instead, I started focusing on making jewelry from other materials: beads, metal, t-shirts…

Here a couple of inspiring tutorials:

 

3. How to code

I was always curious about coding. I learned how to make my own web design when I was 16 using html code, but because we didn’t pursue it in school, I ended up dropping it. Now I kind of regret it because in today’s world, programming is one of the most sought after jobs and careers.

I found codeacademy.com to be a great place to start learning, but maybe you would like to read a little bit about coding first; in that case, check this article from Lifehacker.com. You can also read this article about 10 places where anyone can learn to code, from TED.

4. How to sew using a sewing machine

You have a sewing machine but never used it before? Or you want to buy a new sewing machine and start making something wearable for yourself or others? You can check the following links to learn how to thread your machine, and how to make a couple of clothing items.

 

5. How to draw Manga

There are a lot of tutorials and videos out there on how to draw in general, or how to draw¬†different¬†body parts. But if you’re curious about how to draw Manga characters, then here are a couple of helpful links for you:

 

6. How to reuse your old clothes

You’ll find so many blogs and websites out there that give out tutorials on how to take a piece of clothing that is too big for you or out of fashion, and they turn it into something completely new, comfortable and usable. I was blown away the first time I stumbled upon an upcycling blog, thinking of all the 60’s to 80’s dresses resting in my mother’s and grandmother’s closets, just waiting for me to get my hands and sewing machine on them. Here are a couple of blogs that will you give you some really cool tips and tutorials:

 

7. How to do creative DIY projects

If there’s a Holiday coming up, and you’re a little short on money but want to make some bitching decorations for your home, then you’re in luck! The Internet is filled with awesome ideas for whatever need you may have, from Halloween Costumes to Christmas cookies, from cool lanterns to original wall art. You can find literally hundreds of ideas on Pinterest and Stumbleupon, but some of my favorite DIY blogs are these:

 

8. How to cook under 15 minutes

I may not be the best cook in the world, but I do like food. Well ok, I like eating it more than preparing it, true, but I did look up a lot of different recepies to give cooking a shot once or twice. I love Jaime Oliver when it comes to favorite cooks, so here are a couple of helpful sites or books that will show you how to cook in under 15 minutes:

 

9. How to defend yourself

If you’re woman, then I think it’s really important to know a little bit of self-defense. Even if you’re quite petite, you can still find ways to protect yourself against a possible attacker. The best way to learn self-defense is to find a class near you and work with other people. It will motivate you, it will help you understand the principles and the moves a lot better and it will help make new friends too.

You can also look on Youtube for different videos that will show you a couple of moves on self-defense, or find websites that will talk to you about the techniques involved.

10. How to pack your bags properly

This is important people. This is really really important. Whenever I would visit my grandparents or (later on)¬†my parents, coming home from college, I would always take with me this huge bag with stuff that I didn’t really¬†need. They were¬†just in case items, because I never knew if I might need that sweater to go with those pants, or that book instead of the other one I wanted to read. So when I had to go to France for 6 months, and carry all those bags by myself, I had to really cut it down to necessities, and after that I actually started planning my clothing by days whenever I would travel. Day one I would wear this ensemble, day two, that ensemble and so on and so forth.

I found this really cool video that shows you how to pack like a pro, but there also other resources, like wikihow or about.com that will give you tips and tricks and checklists for your travel. So have no fear! You’re bag packing will be awesome from now on (or so I hope).

11. How to make paper flowers

Real flowers can be overrated sometimes. Sure, they’re beautiful -when they’re fresh; but they eventually wither and die. So why not make something that will last longer than a couple of days? Decorate your room or give gifts of handmade paper flowers. Here are some inspiring posts and different DIY projects:

 

12. How to make subtitles

The easier way is to just download them from one of the numerous websites out there. But if you want to make your own movie subtitles, all you really need is: Notepad. Most of the people I know are using Subtitle Workshop (present party included). It took me a while to get around to what exactly you need to do to create subtitles, but once I started, I was on a roll.

Here are a couple of resources that could help you learn how to make your own movie subtitles:

 

13. How to play guitar

I learned my first song on guitar when I was 18. Now I only play from time to time, but I always use the same resources for when I want to start learning something new. If I have a song in my head, I go to Ultimate Guitar to look for the tab. Then I go over on youtube, and I either look at Marty Swartz‘s channel, or find some acoustic cover done by someone else that shows the strumming pattern clearly. This kind of combination has helped learn how to play guitar by myself ever since that first song at age 18.

14. How to write 750 words a day

For those of you who have this urge to write stuff, whether you want to build up your own book, or just want to put yourself out there, somewhere, with all your rants and raves, I found a couple of cool websites that will help you write more and write better. First of all, I discovered Writer’s Digest, which is filled with amazing articles in case you’re interested in writing short stories, novels, and everything in between. There is also this cool little website, called 750words.com, which challenges you to write 750 words every day. They time you, they use statistics and analyze your writing to give you some information about the mood you were in or what you wanted to express. They also have cool badges that I love ūüôā

But, if you want to push your creativity against the clock, I recommend oneword.com. It gives you a word a day, and 60 seconds to write whatever passes through your crazy little mind at that particular time. You should try it, and then read what others have thought about.

15. How to do yoga poses

I’ve been fascinated with yoga for a long time now, and have tried it in the comfort of my home on numerous occasions, but never consistently (lazy me!). I love how it works all your muscles; it teaches you how to breathe deeply and correctly, it opens you up, gives you flexibility, strength and it’s a hell of a workout too.

If you can get your hands on the P90X video on yoga, then I suggest you try it. In the meantime here are a couple of helpful sites/articles:

And two videos of people doing extremely cool stuff with yoga here¬†and here¬†ūüėÄ

16. How to blog

Not an expert, but I did find a several blogs or websites that helped me understand a little bit more what this blogging thing was all about. I really liked these two posts written by Elsie from A Beautiful Mess (1 & 2) for example; also, Dragos Roua has some amazing articles on not just about blogging, but also about personal development, online business, motivation and so much more. Lifehack had a post that was called The Ultimate Writing Productivity Resource which has over 50 different links on anything and everything regarding writing.

17. How to make natural curls

I found these two cool techniques on Pinterest (and Youtube). One involves putting a rubber band around your head and swirling your hair around it, as shown on this pin. The other one is called the sock-bun method, and you will need a (clean & cut) sock in order to get some cool natural curls; here’s a video that will show you how to do it. Enjoy!

18. How to bind your own book/journal

Ever since I was a kid, I was completely fascinated with notebooks. I don’t know why, I can’t really explain it, but even now when I walk into a bookstore or any kind of shop that has stationary in it, I would get lost in all the notebook models, the little boxes and colors, and of course, all the cool books too. I learned how to bind my first journal when I was in highschool, so here are a couple of ideas¬†that will help you learn how to do that too:

 

19. How to knit your own scarf

Without further ado, here a several cool resources if you really want to learn how to knit a scarf or a hat:

 

20. How to hack your own life

Lifehack.org has this amazing post about 100 Life Hacks That Make Life Easier (how many times can you use life and hack in the same sentence before it starts to sound weird?). Anyway, this post is so amazing, it basically contains everything you need to know to make your life easier, from how to keep cords untangled to how to eat better.

So what did you learn today? What will you learn tomorrow?

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