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Learn Something New in 30 Days or Less

If you've always wanted to learn something new, find out how you can do it in a lot less time.

Image: Antonis Lamnatos, Flickr

Once we get past the New Year's weight loss and financial goals, it seems that what people most want to do is learn new stuff. We're generally put off or give up easily because we think we don't have the time. Actually you just need to give up a little bit of your TV watching or internet time to become good at most things. So what are some of the most popular things that people want to learn? Much to my surprise people want learn cooking, another language, knitting, playing the guitar, touch typing and coding. I've included some resources to get you started on a few of these.

You Can Learn Something in 30 Days

Matt Cutts: Try something new for 30 days

Video / ByMatt Cutts

Are there things that you've always wanted to do but never got round to - why not try it for 30 days. Matt Cutts wrote a book, gave up sugar and biked to work during his 30 day challenges. As his challenges became more difficult he also noticed that his confidence grew, and instead of the days, weeks and months just flying by, they became more memorable.

How to Learn Anything Fast

The First 20 Hours - How to Learn Anything

Video / ByJosh Kaufman
You don't need 10,000 hours to learn something new. According to Josh Kaufman you need 20 hours - which equates to 40 minutes over 30 consecutive days. So we are all capable for learning something new in a month. 17 minutes into the video he demonstrates how you can play pretty much any pop song from the last five decades by learning just four chords a skill he picked up from The Axis of Awesome . Dusty guitar, here I come!

The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything ... Fast

Book / ByJosh Kaufman

Josh Kaufman has tested his 20 hours method by learn programming, yoga, touch typing, windsurfing and the ukulele. His four major steps for rapid skill acquisition are; deconstruction of a skill, learning, removing barriers and practising for at least 20 hours.

How we Learn

How to Remember What You Read

Video / ByHowcast

If you're going to be learning something new, you'll probably be doing a bit of reading. Here are some tips to help you retain what you're reading. For a start you can stop highlighting - it does not help you remember facts. Instead write down what you would want to remember while verbally repeating it to help commit to memory.

The Science Behind How We Learn New Skills

Article / ByThorin Klosowksi

Don't try and cram all your learning over a few days. Shorter periods of learning over a longer period of time is more effective. When we learn is also key, it seems that learning before bed time helps with information retention, as does applying your new skills everyday.

Learn a New Language


App / ByLuis von Ahn
I love Duolingo. Not just because it's completely free to use, but because of its great community; you can track your own progress against your friends and family; and you can also make a contribution by helping to translate the web into other languages. Currently you can learn Spanish, French, Italian, German and Portuguese. There are also courses for non-English speakers. You can learn via the website or with their apps which are available for both Apple and Android devices.

Learn to Cook in 24 Hours

Jamie's Ministry of Food

Book / ByJamie Oliver

In keeping with the idea of learning stuff in as little time as possible, here's some help from Jamie to turn you into a competent cook in 24 hours. This book is aimed at the reluctant cook, those who would rather have a take-away or pre-prepared meal. There are step-by-step instructions as well as guidance on the equipment you will need for each recipe. There a lots of basic/starter recipes which you can then add to and build on to create something amazing. There are also some twenty minute dishes which are worth ditching the take-aways for.

Learn How to Play the Guitar

Play Ten Guitar Songs with Two Easy Chords

Video / ByAndy Crowley
These instructions are really easy to follow. You start by learning the E major and A Major chords. Andy then teaches you how to play For what it's worth by Buffalo Springfield. In the subsequent videos you will learn songs by Embrace, Starsailor, Ed Sheeran, The Beatles, U2, Chuck Berry and Bob Marley.

Learn Knitting

Knitty Gritty: Knitting for the Absolute Beginner

Book / ByAneeta Patel

When learning knitting what you need are pictures, pictures and more pictures - this book does that very well. It truly is a knitting book for the complete novice. You start off with the requisite chunky scarf and before you know it you'll be reading knitting patterns like a pro and creating baby booties and fingerless wrist-warmers.

I am the founder of I love reading personal development books and try very hard to implement the stuff that resonates with me. For the most part I am paralysed by fear and indulge in the fine art of proscrastination. So it's small changes for me.

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