By Jonathan Rose on February 18th, 2021 ~ 8 minutes Read
Once again, it is that time of year again where you might have started or already broken some New Year’s resolutions. In this article, we’ll talk about some hobby resolutions that I think, with some structure and tips, you can not only keep but make some actual progress in your grey pile of grey.
So, what are hobby resolutions?
About this time last year, I was scrolling through my social media feed on my hobby account, sharing some of the hobby love, when I came across a post called ‘New Year’s Hobby Resolutions 2020’. With no discerning visuals, I was curious and clicked on #hobbyresolution2020 and what I discovered was a whole mini-community of fellow hobbyists. In this community, they are all invited to share a post with a list of hobby-related things that they want to achieve that year. Things like:
- New hobbies to try
- Learn a new skill
- Continue a project
- Start a new project
How to set hobby resolutions you’ll stick to
Just saying something like ‘I am going to paint all my pile of grey this year’ is all well and good but, depending on how many models you have, that might be an overwhelming task. I have found that refining the task and making it more specific helps me stick to it. Having a list of things I want to achieve in the next 12 months allows me to focus on a variety of projects. This stops me from getting bored a few months in and abandoning projects. Like with most things, breaking it down into specifics helps you visualise the whole project better and reduces the potential to stress out about the volume of the work ahead – usually the thing which makes you not want to do it.
By now you are thinking, ‘Yeah, this could be a good idea. I want to give this a go. Please tell me more!’ I’ll start by sharing my current hobby resolutions list as an example and go into further detail.
Now, I know what you are thinking: ‘That’s a lot of things to try and do in the next 12 months.’ Yes, on the face of it it does appear like I have a lot on my hobby table.
What I have done with my list this year is curated it around one big project: the Armies on Parade in late November. The reason I have chosen AOP this year is because I feel comfortable enough in my hobbying ability to be able to attempt and actually deliver a worthy entry into this annual event while at the same time pushing my skills further. The AOP board allows me to tick a couple of things off my list at once, which has got to be a win-win.
Don’t think your list has to be as extensive as mine and don’t get weighed down by what makes the cut this year on the list. I’ll go over some helpful ways to narrow down and refine the list to make it more comfortable.
This is my take on how I approach this and I’m not saying it’s the best or the right way, it has just worked for me.
Hobby resolutions ideas & inspiration
Here are a couple of ideas and suggestions to help keep you on track or organise your hobby resolutions to suit you:
Get all your “pile of grey” out (and I mean all of it)
- Depending on how long you have been into tabletop wargaming this might need to be split into brand/game systems (Warhammer 40k, Infinity, Kings of War etc.)
- Do this as an exercise to understand exactly what you have.
- You might find a gem you bought and then forgot about.
- It helps to visualise the volume of what you have.
- Your hobby resolution list will start to form right now.
One big project or several small projects?
- This will ultimately depend on you and your collection and how varied it is.
- One large project is cool and something you can watch come to life over the course of the year and have that big payoff at the end.
- Lots of little projects on the list is a great way to keep things fresh and avoid fatigue.
- I like to include a nice mix of both sizes of projects to allow me some room to change it up if I am losing motivation.
Start a new project or finish an existing one
- Nothing gets the hobby juices going than starting a brand-new army or even jumping into a new game system.
- This could be a rule of cool or that the army is the new meta and you must own it.
- Everyone needs an easy win and it’s great to help get the ball rolling by finishing off one of those projects that are just half done to give you a kickstart.
- Give yourself a treat by saying if you complete this unit then you can treat yourself to painting a vehicle or something that works for you.
Learn a new skill
- This one I feel quite passionate about. If every year you can look back and say, ‘Yeah, I learnt a new skill or made an improvement in my hobby,’ then that’s got to be a good thing right?
- The new skill can be something as small as a new technique to base your miniatures. For example, last year I learnt to use milliput and rollers for the first time to make textured bases for my Sisters of Battle.
- Go large and learn multiple skills into one project like making a 6×4 wargaming table.
Make something practical
- Last year I decided to make a table topper for my current home dining table so I could play some more games at home with friends.
- It ended up being a 7×4 table topper just something rough and ready and I plan to take that topper and have it be part of my more permanent table in the garage.
- Scratch build some themed terrain for your table like an ork shanty town or something more generic like a rocky outcrop or dense forest.
Organise your hobby space
- This again is totally dependent on your home situation. Some people have a dedicated space to hobby, while others have to share a hobby space with the dining room table.
- Try and keep your hobby space tidy. I know that sounds simple but if you have to tidy away some models or paints, that can just delay you getting into your hobby mojo on.
- Only have out the project you are working on. The reason I say this is to keep you focused and to not overwhelm yourself when you sit down to build or paint. Analysis paralysis is real.
- I know this might sound insane but I took the time to clip off all my bits from the sprue and organised them into boxes. This saves space for more sprues and allows me to go to a specific box for bits rather than search through endless piles of sprues.
- This is the one commodity you might not be able to control. This can be down to a number of things like family and work.
- If you can only carve out 20 minutes a day that’s incremental progress and better than nothing.
- Whatever time you can commit however large or small make it count.
Hold yourself accountable… in a fun way
- Don’t go it alone, get some friends involved. Challenge them to make a hobby resolutions list. We all hobby better when we are hobbying together.
- Start a dedicated hobby social media account. Instagram is a great way to get started and this will allow you to share the progress of your projects.
- I find this is another way to keep you honest and on task as you can dedicate a monthly post to your current progress to show how far you have come.
- If you get to the end of the year and you haven’t done everything on the list, don’t worry about it. Focus on what you have been able to achieve instead
Join a community or two
- Tabletop wargaming is so wide in its appeal that you can find a group almost anywhere.
- Most groups don’t stick to one outlet and you will find they stretch out across a lot of the popular formats.
- Some groups are very niche and will focus on one game system. While others will be more general in their approach and all hobbies are welcome.
- Local hobby stores like Goblin Gaming have their own hobby community then it splits into more specific game systems like Warhammer 40k, Magic The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons to name a few.
This list isn’t exhaustive either and I am sure you will find a way to put your own spin on it. But I hope that it gives you some inspiration and spurs you on to create your own hobby resolution list. I would love to hear from you if you do take this up and challenge yourself.
Get hold of the supplies you need to complete your resolutions
Once you have made your hobby resolution list I would recommend you go and visit Goblin Gaming and stock up on much-needed supplies – I am looking at you nuln oil! You’ll find everything you need to get working through your hobby resolutions and all at great prices.