If your New Year’s resolution was to try something new or to take up a hobby that you’ve been wanting to try for a while, you might be able to fit it in at the weekend. Let’s take a closer look:
How long is a weekend?
With a busy schedule, you mightn’t think that you have time to do something that benefits you. But, with some time management, anything is possible. Let’s say you wake up at 9am on the weekend (give yourself a lie-in), and go to bed at 11pm, that’s 14 hours a day that you have to play with. Take three hours each day off for meal time, and two hours per day for seeing family and friends and you’re left with 18 hours.
Expand your language skills
Take some time out of your weekend to become more cultured and learn a new language. Benny Lewis, author of Fluent in 3 Months and a fluent speaker of seven languages, estimates that it can take around 400-600 hours to be a proficient speaker at B2 level. This is where you can express yourself on a range of topics and would have the ability to show someone around an area and give detailed descriptions in the new language.
If you were striving for B2 level, let’s say that it takes 500 hours. If you spent eight out of your free 14 hours perfecting the new skill (any more than this could be too intense). This would take you 62.5 weeks — are you up to the challenge?
Hit the roads
Some people think that driving is not for them. But, being able to get behind the wheel can have some benefits. You can look for jobs further afield, venture on driving holidays and visit family and friends that don’t live close by. With a full-time job though, driving can be difficult. How long would it take if you used your weekends to pass your test?
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) estimate that it takes 45 hours to pass a driving test. With a non-intensive driving instructor, it’s likely that you’ll be able to take 2-hour lessons. The DVSA also advise that you should spend 20 hours revising for your theory test to ensure that you’re fully prepared. That’s 65 hours in total before you’re a fully-fledged driver!
Commit yourself to four hours of learning each weekend and you could be ready to book your practical test after 12 weeks. For ten of these weeks, you should spend an hour per weekend day revising for your theory.
Use the weekend to boost your fitness levels and get active. If you enjoy running, why not challenge yourself and train for a half-marathon? Experts advise that you should be training at least three times a week. So, if you can fit a training session in mid-week, you could be well on your way! Runner’s World suggest that 15 weeks is sufficient to train for the 13.1-mile race — what’re you waiting for?
If this sounds too strenuous, why not start walking more? It can be just as beneficial. It depends on your weight and distance of the walk on how many calories you burn. For a person who weighs 130 pounds (9.3 stone) an hour walk at a moderate pace burns 120-140 calories per hour. If you spent four of your 14 spare hours walking the dog or heading out to the countryside, you could burn 520 calories on your days off!
If you’re a fan of winter sports, you could use your spare time to perfect skiing. There are many dry slopes in the UK that offer ski lessons. UK indoor ski slope, The Snow Centre, say that to achieve a ‘good’ level of skiing (be able to venture down advanced steeps on the mountain) you need to complete five of their two-hour lessons and two of their two-hour coaching sessions. If you spend five weekends completing two-hour lessons and two weeks on the coaching sessions, you’ll be ready to hit the slopes after seven weeks!
The Waterfront Hotel, host of spa days in Bedfordshire, says that you can still burn calories whilst relaxing. If you have a swim and sauna session for an hour a day on the weekend you can still improve your fitness and wellbeing levels. One 30-minute sauna session can lead you to burn as much as 300 calories! And a 30-minute swim can burn 295 calories.
It’s never too late to learn a new instrument. Use it as a way to de-stress and improve your concentration skills. Suppliers of guitar lessons, Hub Guitar, have suggested that it takes around 312.5 hours to play at beginner level. This is where you have ‘an expanded grasp of fundamentals, and can play several pieces, albeit imperfectly’. Spending eight of your free 18 hours per week could lead you to reach this level in 40 weeks.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to choosing a new activity. You could learn to cook, take up photography or even write a novel! Start being proactive and make the most of your weekends.