Learning 12 Skills in 12 Months to Improve My Overall Brain Health
From automation and AI with Python to speaking Chinese and crocheting a placemat...
After listening to the TedXTucson Talk, How to Achieve Your Most Ambitious Goals by Stephen Duneier I decided on my most ambitious challenge yet...
Over the next 12 months, I plan to dedicate some time to learning some new skills and trying to master some skills I haven’t used in a while!
I am a big fan of pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Just like Duneier the goal here is to see how far I can take my skillset with only a month of rapid skill development.
I also plan to demonstrate that regardless of age you can learn anything you want, whilst holding down a full-time job, side hustles, family, and life in general.
Improving Brain Health
The Brain is a muscle and learning new skills is a lot like strength and cardio training. It's going to take some consistency, but over time my connections will get stronger and I will become faster!
Learning new skills can help your brain to not only build new cells but strengthen the connections between these cells. This will improve cognitive functioning, like your ability to concentrate, and pay attention to detail, improve memory recall and problem-solving.
Research has shown that learning new skills, such as languages can also reduce the chance of developing dementia later on in life and slow down cognitive aging!
Learning new skills is good for your mental wellbeing too! It can give you a sense of achievement that will give your dopamine levels a little mood and may also help to improve your confidence.
12 Skills in 12 Months
In no particular order…
- Dive down into an ethical hacking project
- Automation & AI with Python
- Dust off my Chinese and hold a conversation for 30 minutes
- Brush the dust off my sign language skills.
- Hustle — Invest £10 and earn £100+ within 30 days
- Learn about investing and money management
- Become a chess master
- Learn to crochet
- Find my voice and bang out a tune
- 30 days of drawing whatever
- X2 wildcards (you decide — let me know in the comments)
Questions and Answers
#1: Why are you doing this?
The short answer: I have ADHD.
The longer answer just like Duneier my surname also begins with the letter ‘D’!
Oh, am I am “curious to see what I’m able to achieve in a month of learning.”
#2: Are you starting from scratch?
To be honest mostly, no.
I can code- sort of. My past day jobs and side hustle(s) relied on my ability to apply CSS, HTML, Java, and Python.
I am also a false beginning in Chinese and sign language but haven’t used it for a couple of years now.
The purpose of this project isn’t necessarily to demonstrate what I can learn from scratch, but how I could take some of these skills to the next level, whilst improving my overall brain health, confidence, and wellbeing.
#3: Do you actually think you’re going to be able to complete these challenges?
Properly not, no 😐
BUT I am sure going try away!
#4: Are you working on this project full-time?
No. I have a full-time job, family, and Netflix addiction.
I will only be dedicating an hour a day over 30 day period.
#6: Now what?
I’ll stick my hand in a pot and if it doesn’t get stuck I’ll pull out the ‘topic of the month'
💭 You can follow my progress (or lack of) on Twitter @DunbarTrisha. If you have any ideas for a monthly skill for me to learn, let me know. I’ll add all your ideas to another jar and pull one out when I get one of the wildcards pop up!
If you’re interested in following along with this project or joining in with your own set of 12 skills make sure to follow along and hit that subscribe button for regular updates.