New Year, New Skills: How to Learn Something New in 2018

A new year can feel like a fresh new start, the perfect opportunity to break a habit, make a change or learn something new. Perhaps that’s why many people make resolutions at this time every year (though I like to set mine in September).

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions out there is “learn something new” and for good reason. Among all of those goals to quit (or at least minimize) the things we know are bad for us, it’s nice to think about the positive things we can add to our lives.

With a shiny new year upon us, there are plenty of new things to learn and lots of ways to go about learning them. The Edmonton Public Library can help. We’ve got programs, services and resources to help you tackle learning goals big and small—no matter what they are.

Learn to Manage Your Finances

If you resolved to get a better handle on your money this year, we’ve got you covered.

Bone Up on Budgeting

Need help setting up a basic budget? Try placing a hold on You Need a Budget by Jesse Mecham (founder of the financial software and app of the same name) and get tips on how to stop living from paycheque to paycheque.

Learn Personal Finance

If you don’t have time to read a whole book while working to get on top of your finances, consider reviewing the videos in the Lynda.com course “5 Personal Finance Tips” and get the skinny on managing spending, budgeting, investing, and saving—all in under 10 minutes.

Debt Management 101

If managing your debt is your big financial goal for 2018, you can register for the Debt Smarts program being held at our Jasper Place Branch on January 21, 2018.

Learn a New Language

Whether you’ve resolved to learn a new language because you’re travelling to exciting new places this year or just because you like the challenge, we have awesome online resources that will have you ready to say bonjour, ciao or even ahoy in no time.

Rosetta Stone

With 30 languages and over 50 hours of foundational immersion instruction at every level, Rosetta Stone is an online language learning service that can take learners to the basics and beyond.

Mango Languages

Mango offers a simple language course to prep travellers for a trip someplace new as well as a more advanced offering to help language learners increase their vocabulary, improve their grammar and speak more fluently.

Muzzy: Language Learning for Kids

If you have a little language learner in your life, we’ve got a resource just for them! Aimed at kids from preschool to elementary school age, Muzzy is the world’s No. 1 language course for children.

EPL offers a variety of programs designed for English language learners as well as Cree Language Learning and Family Storytime: World Languages, available in Arabic and Russian.

Learn a New Creative Skill

If you’ve decided to take on a new creative hobby in 2018, EPL’s shelves are full of material that will set you well on your way to becoming a total master.

Become a Knit-Wit

Tired of drooling over gorgeous scarves, blankets and sweaters on Pinterest and Etsy? Consider taking up the needles yourself and finally take on knitting. We’ve got many titles on our shelves for the novice knitter.

Discover the Joy of Painting

Paints and brushes more your jam? We have tons of books to get you started whether you’re interested in oils, watercolours or acrylics. Or, if you prefer a mellower introduction, why not watch Bob Ross as he gives guidance on how to paint those happy clouds, mountains and trees?

Take Up Woodworking

Want to take up a hobby that leaves the smell of wood shavings lingering in your nose? Woodworking might just be up your alley.

From folding origami to playing the guitar, there are tons of creative pursuits out there, just waiting for you.

Learn New Tech Skills

You know how to use Excel, you spend (too much) time on Twitter and Tumblr, and you know the easiest solution to many a computer glitch is turning it off and turning it back on again. But perhaps you’ve resolved to learn a bit more about coding and other tech topics.

Get Your Geek On

Consider attending our Get Your Geek On drop-in program for adults happening at the Mill Woods Branch in February. 

Take a Bite Out of Raspberry Pi

More interested in trying out coding ideas on your own at home? You can borrow a Raspberry Pi starter pack from EPL and work your way through the “Up and Running with Raspberry Pi” course available from Lynda.com

Learn to Cook

If you’ve resolved to dine out less and cook more in 2018, there are literally hundreds of cookbook and recipe options available in our collection.

Become a Beginner Chef

Still a novice in the kitchen? Try Halfway Homemade which offers cheats such as using store-bought biscuit dough, deli bought rotisserie chicken, and frozen veggies to make mini pot pies. An easier way to start making meals at home.

Improve Your Go-To Recipe Roster

Want some solid standard recipes to try that are simple enough you can quickly memorize them for future use? Try Alex Guarnaschelli’s The Home Cook who works to create a cookbook of staples for every kitchen.

Take Your Table Around the World

If adding more international flavours to your table is your 2018 goal, AtoZ World Food is for you. This database includes dozens of recipes for all three meals (plus dessert) from almost every country in the world. It also provides information on the local culture, ingredients and other awesome factoids—so you can impress your guests with your culinary skills AND your cuisine expertise. Perfect for the adventurous foodie!

Learn a New Sport

Chosen the old stand-by resolution of being more fit in 2018? Why not consider taking up a new sport and not the boring ones like running or basketball (sorry to fans of running and basketball).

Say ‘En Garde’ to Fencing

Want to live out your childhood knight, pirate or Robin Hood fantasies? Consider taking up fencing. Any sport with swords is obviously awesome.

Get into the Swing of Things

Have a partner available who also wants to get more fit this year? Try swing dancing. It’s a fun way to get a cardio workout.

Make Every Day Boxing Day

Looking to work out some of that pent-up aggression after dealing with relatives during the holiday season? Boxing is a fantastic full body workout.

Whatever your New Year’s resolutions may be, EPL is here to help you tackle them. Whether you’re looking for more resources to help you with the resolutions mentioned above or you want to get started on entirely different resolutions, talk with staff at your local EPL branch. They’re always happy to point you in the direction of more awesome stuff to help you learn new things.

Learn Something New

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