Start a New Skill • ep. 17

A tween or teen girl with tan skin and brown hair tied up in a bun sits at a table and paints a canvas.

Summer Skills

So May was MAYHEM! But here in Las Vegas we’re done with school and now looking forward to summer! And summer is a great time to sleep in, play all day, or chill out because you don’t have as much scheduled and you’ve got a lot more free time. So what if you used some of that free time to learn a new skill?!

Hear me out, I’m not trying to give you homework. But think about something you’ve always wanted to try or you’ve thought about recently, and hadn’t looked into it because you didn’t have the time. Welp, summer just might be the perfect time for that! I want to give you some skill ideas and Tools how to develop it.

Now I know some of you girls listening live below the equator and are in the middle of winter right now. Or maybe it’s a totally different season when you’re listening to this. Here’s the thing —

ANY time is a great time to start a new skill.

New Skill Ideas

Let’s brainstorm some skill ideas right now. No time like the present, right?

  • Speaking of presents, how about you learn how to wrap a present? Or arrange a gift bag or gift basket?
  • You could try baking cookies or a cake from scratch.
  • Use tools to hang a picture on the wall.
  • Write a letter, address an envelope, and mail it.
  • Sew on a button or stitch up a hole, by hand or sewing machine.
  • Try new styles of braids, like Dutch, French, Fishtail.
  • Fix a toy with hot glue.
  • Make your family a meal.
  • Learn basic first aid & CPR.
  • Review home safety rules and emergency plans.
  • Do your own laundry.
  • Plan a family tea party, storytime, or game night.
  • Dust, vacuum, and mop your house.
  • Clean your bathroom.
  • (I promise your moms didn’t send me a list of chores, these are actually great skills to learn).
  • Read 1,000 pages from books.
  • Write in a journal regularly.
  • Take photos of a fun activity, then print them and create a collage.
  • Study a language.
  • Practice an instrument or try a new one.
  • Master multiplication, division, fractions, etc.
  • Write a pen pal.
  • Do random acts of kindness.
  • Improve your typing speed.
  • Take care of a house plant.
  • Learn cursive handwriting.
  • Earn and save money to buy something you want.
  • Start running, or work on going faster and farther.
  • Learn how to draw, paint, or mold clay.
  • Figure out how to dive or swim new strokes.
  • Play a new sport, or try a new sports skill/move.
  • Perform magic tricks for little kids.
  • Increase your handstand time.
  • Check out rollerskating or rollerblading.
  • Try to code a game or robot.
  • Make a movie and have a screening night with family and friends.
  • Learn how to skateboard or scooter.
  • Master the hula hoop or pogo stick.
  • Discover how to read a map and navigate with a compass.

Set SMART Skill Goals

Hopefully at least one of those ideas sparked your interest. Once you’ve got a skill goal, you can start developing it. We talked about Goals in Ep. 006, and you can revisit it to refresh your memory, but I’ll review it here.

You want to Set SMART Goals — Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely. For instance, with the hula hoop, I could say, “I want to hula hoop for 30 seconds straight for my family reunion talent show next month.”

Then Write down your skill goal with a plan. Think about what information or resources you’ll need to help you develop your skill. You may start out by gathering materials, like I need a hula hoop. If I don’t already have one, I could ask to borrow one from a friend, or I could earn some money from doing chores or helping neighbors or a lemonade stand so I can buy my own hula hoop.

Then you need to learn how to do your skill. You could get tips from someone you know who’s already developed that skill, or you could look up a tutorial online. Write down these steps in your plan to develop your skill.

Once you’ve got your materials and information or resources to help develop your skill, should you expect to instantly master it the first time? No! That’s not realistic or fair to you. So write down a SMART plan how you will work on developing your skill. Break it down into small steps if you need to. I will practice hula hooping for 15 minutes three times a week over the next six weeks.

Now that you’ve got a SMART skill goal AND a SMART plan to develop it, tell your accountability buddy — you’re way more likely to reach your goal when you have someone else you can talk to about it.

Develop Your Skill

And then you’ve gotta get to work on developing your skill! As you learn and develop your skill, try to teach it to someone — it’s helpful for both them and you!

One of the most important things I’ve learned from developing my own skills is

Consistency matters WAY more than accuracy.

You need to Prepare for obstacles, expect to mess up and even fail multiple times, but keep trying. Consistency counts! Be patient and compassionate with yourself. Take breaks if you get frustrated, but don’t give up.

A little progress each time adds up to big growth.

When you reach your goal and develop your skill, Reward yourself! Be proud of your efforts! Remember where you started and how much you grew!

Tween + Teen Skills Poster Printable

To help you with this, I created “Tween + Teen Skills“ posters for you to print out, personalize, and post on your wall where you’ll see it, remember it, practice it, and believe it — that’s the important part.

Lists of skills tweens and teens can develop


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