With a new year dawning, it seems that everyone has a resolution they're looking to keep. With a new year come a fresh perspective and a desire to improve your life – whether that means beefing up your CV, improving your health, or simply doing something you’ve always wanted to do. If you feel like you have the commitment and drive to start, here are a handful of suggestions for skills you could take on:
Learn a new language
Taking on a new language is something many people aspire to, and with good reason. It could boost your employability, enable you to make more ambitious travel plans, or simply add another string to your bow. But learning a language takes time and commitment: the best method is undoubtedly with a fully accredited language school. Those looking to learn or improve their language skills should consider taking English classes with UIC London, who offer a range of courses including Spanish and French lessons based in the heart of London.

Play a new instrument
Learning to play a musical instrument is an ambition held my many people. This is a skill which might not necessarily appear on your cv directly but employers do like to hire well-rounded individuals with wider interests outside of the workplace. It is a skill that is guaranteed to bring you a lot of pleasure and many people observe that playing music relaxes them and gives valuable focus.

Learn self-defence
There are obvious benefits to learning self-defence techniques – if you live in London or other major cities the ability to defend yourself from crime and undesirable people is an obvious asset. But self-defence can also be an excellent way to keep fit and socialise. There are classes available to suit every age and ability, ranging from a martial art to more basic self-defence skills.

Take up photography
Since practically everyone now has a camera-phone in their pocket, photography has never been more accessible to beginners. Professional photographers, however, have sought to distance themselves from the grainy camera-phone standard and now photography as an art form is more highly-valued than ever. With a decent camera, the basics of old-school point-and-click can be self-taught, and many digital cameras have on-board tuition.

Learn to repair just about anything
It's all too easy to call a number and get a professional in to fix your cupboard/sink/bicycle. But when times are tough, more and more people are embracing the DIY spirit and teaching themselves new repair skills. With thousands of online guides and YouTube tutorials, the resources are all there at your fingertips. So, the next time something stops working as it should, why not try repairing it yourself before paying the professionals?

Learn to cook
Over recent years, fast food and microwave meals have diminished the art of cookery. Luckily, the proliferation of TV chefs, cookbooks, and online guides means there's a wealth of information out there. Cooking can be a very relaxing and satisfying pastime and you can’t beat a home-cooked meal or a plate of cookies still warm from the oven.

So there you have it. Whether you decide to take French lessons at a London language school or a course in DIY, you won’t regret learning a new skill this year.

Resource box

10 repair projects you should never pay for
Lifehacker lists some easy repair jobs

Never too late to learn an instrument
NPR article on the benefits of learning an instrument

How to cook
The BBC's online home for cooking advice and recipes

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