10 new skills you could learn on the internet

By admin
03 January 2017

Make 2017 the year you challenge yourself to acquire a new skill – and you need look no further than the internet!

Make 2017 the year you challenge yourself to acquire a new skill – and you need look no further than the internet! Instead of making resolutions you’ll never keep – giving up chocolate, being nicer to your in-laws – why not make 2016 the year you learn a new skill? And there’s no need to enrol at a college or buy expensive manuals – not with the internet waiting to be tapped. Here’s inspiration to get you going.

1. Learn to sew

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Your favourite summer dress needs a new zip. Those to-die-for jeans you bought the other day are too long. Sound familiar? Rather than the hassle and expense of finding a seamstress or tailor to alter or mend your clothing, or forking out for pricey home furnishings, why not teach yourself to sew? At Allfreesewing.com you can learn everything from basic mending to making your own clothes and running up curtains or bedding. The comprehensive site has a section for beginners, and features articles and video tutorials as well as helpful ideas such as how to resize a bra or reinvent old jeans.

2. Start journalling 

Whatever you want to record – what you consume or dream, or the progress of your pregnancy – journalling can be fun, unleash your dormant creativity help to clarify your thoughts and goals, and become a lasting record of your life. If you want to journal online there are various fabulous tools such as Day One and Penzu. With Day One you log in from the closest device to hand (it works on smartphones and tablets) and write away to your heart’s content, adding pictures, locations and more. Penzu is also available as an app in both the Android and Apple app stores. For inspiration on journalling, be it on paper or online, check out Daringtolivefully.com which offers challenging, quirky and fun ideas on what to write about.

3. Get fit 

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Okay, this is a new year’s resolution loads of us fervently make then sadly break. So what’s your excuse? Too busy, too lazy to drive to the gym, too self-conscious to flash your Lycra in front of others?

Perhaps choosing to get fit online in the privacy of your home might help you to stay the course and reach your goal. YouTube channel FitnessBlender has hundreds of fitness vids. For some you need weights but for many you need only an internet connection and your workout clothes. Clips vary from Pilates to traditional weight-bearing workouts – there’s bound to be something for you. For wannabe yogis Yoga With Adriene is a great channel to subscribe to. No more excuses!

4. Start a garden 

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Whether you have a small balcony or a sprawling backyard, creating a garden is rewarding and will beautify your surroundings and feed your soul. But where to start? What to plant and when? Which kind of soil do you need? The site Gardeninginsouthafrica.co.za is geared towards South African plants, soils and weather conditions. Find out how to make your garden water- wise in light of the current drought and find region-specific advice and month-by-month ideas for your local conditions. US website Bhg.com/gardening is also a useful and inspirational resource, full of helpful articles. Bear in mind it’s intended for gardeners with opposite seasons to ours but much of it applies universally.

5. Learn to meditate

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Today’s world is a busy place and stepping back from the hubbub to meditate is one of the most effective ways to reduce

stress and anxiety. Meditation is good for the body too and regular sessions are said to strengthen your immune system and reduce blood pressure.

All you need is time and a quiet place to sit. At How-to-meditate.org you can read all about this calming practice and learn the correct breathing techniques.

Read more: A beginner's guide to meditation Many people prefer to meditate in a group so use your search engine to find meditation centres in your area. And if sitting in silence is too difficult for you or you’re too easily distracted, check out YouTube where you’ll find an abundance of guided meditations and meditation music to accompany your sessions. how-to-meditate.org

6. Learn a new language

Learning a language is not only a great way to keep your mind sharp but is useful if you plan to travel. And just think of how impressed your friends will be when you break into a torrent of French, Hindi or Vietnamese! Duolingo.com is a free learning platform offering 26 languages (including Klingon for fans of sci-fi franchise Star Trek!).It’s also available as an app in the Google Play and iTunes app stores. The site Ilanguages.org gives you the basics in scores of languages, including many spoken in Southern Africa.

7. Learn to knit 

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Sarah Jessica Parker does it, Julia Roberts does it, even Ryan Gosling does it. Knitting is enjoying a comeback and it’s easy to teach yourself. All you need is a ball of yarn, a pair of needles and the right online tutor. YouTube channel AllFreeKnitting has hundreds of tutorials, covering everything from absolute basics to more advanced stuff such as knitting buttons. The great thing is you can pause and rewind any time you need to. Check out Simple-knitting.com and Knittinghelp.com for free patterns  and advice. And at Vogueknitting.com you’ll find an extensive stitch library. simple-knitting.com, knittinghelp.com, vogueknitting.com, youtube.com/allfreeknitting

8. Learn scrapbooking 

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It’s a good way to put all your memories in one place. Virtual scrapbooking keeps all your most precious memories in a safe place: online. It’s also the perfect way to put all those digital photos languishing on your devices to good use. Cliptomize.com is the perfect site for creating beautiful, memorable digital scrapbooks and you don’t have to download additional software. For those who prefer not to work online, you’ll find gorgeous free printables at Myscrapnook.com. The internet is also a great place to find out about scrapbooking classes and groups in your area. cliptomize.com, myscrapnook.com

9. Start writing 

Whether you aim to write fictional short stories, freelance travel articles or blogs, writing can be a fulfilling career or pastime. If you’re unsure of where to start, try WritersDigest.com. With helpful articles on common writing mistakes and how to impress publishers, it offers aspiring writers plenty to chew. At Creative-writing-now.com you’ll find free online writing courses and if you’re keen to get in a little practice and establish a fan base before being picked up by a publisher, Wordpress.com offers an easy-to-use blogging platform to get your content out

10. Learn to cook 

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The internet is your oyster if you want to improve your skills in the kitchen. For absolute beginners the web is a giant resource for anyone who wants to learn to cook. All you have to do is decide whether you want recipes, blogs or step-by-step video tutorials, in which case YouTube really is your best friend.

OnePotChef is a popular YouTube channel hosted by a charming Aussie chef. The meals he prepares are varied, the clips are short and the recipes are quick and easy to prepare.

For an all-purpose home-cooking site with easy-to-follow techniques and recipes, try Basic-cooking.com.

And don’t forget YOU’s great recipe collection at you.co.za/food!

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