Why 2018 is the Year to Learn a New Skill (And How to Do it)


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Fender Play for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

One of my favorite things about my job as a blogger is reading through reader emails. Every once and awhile, I get one that really strikes a chord with me and inspires me to write about it. This email was one of those.

She said, ‘Dear Julie, I’m in my mid-40s, recently divorced and feel lost. I’m depressed, overweight, tired, sad and don’t even know who I am anymore. Although I can’t travel full-time like you, I want to do something fun that helps get me out of this funk. I need a goal. I need something in my life that I look forward to waking up to in the morning. Help.

I receive similar emails to this one all the time. I wish I could sit down with every single one of you, buy you a cup of coffee and talk for hours.

As women, it’s in our nature to give so much of ourselves to everyone else, that we end up forgetting to save some of that attention for someone who needs it just as much. YOU. 

I don’t talk about this very much, but I too have struggled with depression. One episode ended with my husband having to take me to the hospital, which resulted in anti-depressants and long talks with a therapist. I’m no longer on any medication and my therapist is my journal, but it was a long road to get to this point in my life. I still have low days and I just accept them for what they are, but I don’t let those low days own me anymore.

I truly believe one thing that helped me get past that difficult time in my life was learning a new skill. I loved being a mom and a wife, but I needed something that was mine. Something that inspired me. Something that when my eyes popped open in the morning, it got me excited.

For me, that was blogging. To make a long story short, I found a blogging job, then went out on my own. I set a goal for blogging to replace my husband’s income and I woke up every single day and did the work. The day he was able to say ‘adios’ to his job was one of my proudest moments.

When I told friends about my blogging and my goal to replace my husband’s income, most were supportive but there were some that basically patted me on the head and told me how cute I was. 

Don’t let other’s opinions of your dreams and desires stop you from going for it. Imagine if I led myself to believe that my blogging dream was just ‘cute’? I can guarantee you I wouldn’t be sitting here, writing to you from the comfort of my RV as I’m traveling North America and Canada.

Make 2018 YOUR Year

Make 2018 YOUR year to learn something new!

Is there something you’ve been wanting to learn how to do? What is it? What’s stopping you?

If you’ve been following my posts about Fender Play, then you may know that my oldest son has been learning how to play the guitar. Then my younger son said he wanted to learn how to play. Which then got me thinking that I too would like to learn how to play. At least some of the basics anyway. Because, why not, right?!

The First Step is the How

When it comes to learning a new skill, the first thing you have to figure out is how you’re going to learn it. Are you going to pay someone to teach you? Will they come to your house? Will you go to them? Will you take a course online? Will you read a book about it?

The how is the first step.

For me, using Fender Play as my how to learn the guitar was a no-brainer. I’ve watched my boys use the platform and the way it teaches you to play just makes sense. It’s the easiest way to learn how to play guitar since the lessons are song- and riff-based using popular and instantly recognizable songs. 

I had to start with the very basics because I didn’t even know how to properly hold a guitar or about finger placement. (Which my boys thought was hilarious of course.)

Logging into the platform via computer

One of the basic lessons in the Fender Play Platform

Me in our RV living room learning finger placement

Here’s how Fender Play works:

  • The curriculum was created by experts and the leading guitar brand.
  • The curriculum is based on your musical preference, so if you like folk, you learn folk. If you like rock, you learn to play rock.
  • Fender Play helps you learn to play the songs you love by breaking it down into the basics first.
  • You can access the Fender Play dashboard via your computer or their app.

How to Stay Motivated

Along with learning any new skill comes a point where you struggle to stay motivated. It’s happened to me every time I’ve decided to learn something new. At first, I’m all gung-ho and excited and then the excitement fizzles out and the next thing I know, I’ve gone weeks without doing anything to get me to my goal.

Sound familiar?

With blogging, I stayed motivated by the numbers. I tracked my pageviews, my income, my email list, etc. Those numbers kept me going. Those numbers kept me motivated.

With learning to play the guitar, I can hop on to the Fender Play platform every day and see my progress + pick up where I left off.

Setting goals for yourself and tracking your results is the best way to stay motivated to learn something new.

Are you Ready to Learn a New Skill This Year?

Why is 2018 a good year to learn a new skill? Because so many of you have emailed me saying how terrible 2017 was and how you just really need 2018 to be better. So let’s learn something new, shall we?

Here’s my challenge for you:

Step 1: Decide what new skill you’re going to learn

Step 2: Decide how you’re going to learn it; finding a way that works best for you

Step 3: Set a goal

Step 4: Figure out what it is that will keep you motivated to achieve that goal

Step 5: Work hard and don’t give up

Sound good?

If learning to play the guitar interests you, sign up at Fender Play for your free trial. One subscription gives you access to Fender Play desktop, mobile and the iPhone app.

Now tell me, what skill(s) are you going to learn in 2018? Comment on this post or email me personally (julie at momfabulous dot com) and let me know what it is. 

This is YOUR year my friend.

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  1. This is sooooo cool. You’ll be super rad for knowing how to play the guitar-it’s such a cool skill! The skill I’m working on learning is rock painting… That and being a more tidy person. lol

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