Four Tips for Turning a Hobby Into a Habit

We asked Penn positive psychology professor Scott Barry Kaufman (co-author of Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind) for pointers on getting in the groove.


Photograph courtesy of iStockPhoto

1. Acknowledge that hobbies are legitimately important.
“The more you can satisfy your basic needs in lots of different ways, the more whole you’ll feel as a person, and the more likely you’ll be to fire on all cylinders.”

2. Make time, but don’t be rigid.
“How do you know when that moment on your calendar comes what you’re going to be in the mood for? I tend to be spontaneous. I tend to follow my feelings of inspiration.”

3. Break out of your comfort zone.
“I engaged in this really cool project called The End by experimental theater company Swim Pony. There are a lot of these interactive games and theater companies in Philadelphia. This particular one had me face my mortality for 30 straight days and engage in exercises and activities that allowed me to embrace life more fully. Even as a psychologist who studies that topic, I found this game really elucidating.”

4. Live it.
“I think that openness to experience and the creative life is just a way of being; it’s a way of processing and embracing the world and uncertainty and novelty and challenge. And we could always be on the lookout for that at any moment in our lives.”

» Click here for an A-to-Z guide to finding your next hobby in Philadelphia

Published as “Express Yourself” in the January 2018 issue of Philadelphia magazine.