OK, if you've decided you want to give up teaching to become a heart surgeon, you’re going to have to go back to school for that. As in, really go back to school. But if you’re looking to develop skills that will help you further personal growth and fulfillment or grow a small business, the world of online classes is pretty amazing.
In fact, our hyperconnected world has made it incredibly simple to learn almost anything via laptop while sitting on your couch in your comfy pants.
Here’s the catch: While YouTube suffices when it comes to getting out a tough stain or putting together an Ikea couch, you may need to search elsewhere if your goal is deeper, long-lasting learning.
There are courses hosted by reliable sites — like Craftsy or MasterClass — that are taught by pros. Whether you’re learning to sauté garlic or snap a photo, you know the advice you’re being given is the best of the best.
Check out one of my 10 favorite curated classes below to learn a totally new skill (or to brush up on an old one) this year.
1. Cook Veggies Like a Pro
Let’s face it: Plant-based diets are happening. Whether you’re on board with the avocado-toast revolution or you miss eating bacon every morning, this is no time to not know how to blanch broccoli. Get all the Vegetable Know-How you need from Ivy Manning, six-time cookbook author.
Vegetable Know-How Class, $20 (normally $40), Craftsy
2. Learn to Knit
How will you fully embrace hygge if you can’t even knit your own cozy scarves and blankets? Plus, once you learn, via Startup Library: Knitting, the practice comes with science-backed stress-relief benefits. If you’ve got the basics down but want to move from hats to sweaters, there are classes for that, too.
Startup Library: Knitting Class, $60 (normally $70), Craftsy
3. Become a Master Sourdough Baker
There’s almost nothing better than freshly baked bread, and sourdough is both tastier and healthier than other varieties. Take Handmade Sourdough: From Starter to Baked Loaf and your friends will be really impressed at your next dinner party.
Handmade Sourdough Class, $20 (normally $40), Craftsy
4. Turn Your Business Idea Into an Actual Business
In Entrepreneurship Hustle: From Business Plan to Real-World Success, Michael Chernow takes you through the basics of starting a new business, from developing a brand and culture to pitching investors. As the co-founder of The Meatball Shop and owner of Seamore’s and other successful businesses, he’s got plenty of insights.
Entrepreneurship Hustle Class, $0.99 for three-month access, Skillshare
5. Embrace Your Inner Flower Child
Nothing says “I’ve got my life together” more than freshly cut, beautifully arranged flowers in every room of your house. After Modern Flowers, you’ll have that covered and will also know how to design centerpieces, create beautiful gift bouquets, and take care of delicate flowers like orchids.
Modern Flowers: DIY Arrangements Class, $20 (normally $40), Craftsy
6. Give Your Entire Lifestyle a Boost
What you take away from this course could affect how you approach other courses and projects in the future. In Boost Your Physical and Mental Energy, a fitness and wellness consultant takes you through the many things that affect how much energy you have — from breath to diet to relationship quality.
How to Boost Your Physical and Mental Energy Class, $50 (normally $170), Craftsy
For more ways to change your life in 2018, read one of our editor-recommended self-betterment books.
7. Upgrade Your Photos
MasterClass is just what it sounds like: Its courses are taught by legit superstars. For example, take The Art of the Photo, which is taught by Annie Leibovitz, one of the most famous photographers of all time. If this class doesn’t improve your Instagram aesthetic, I’m not sure what will.
The Art of the Photo, $90 for 14 video lessons, MasterClass
8. Teach Your Kids Kitchen Skills
Want your little ones to be able to help out in the kitchen? Craftsy’s also got classes for the smaller set, like this Bake for Good one, which will be super fun for them and may result in a new sous chef for you.
Bake for Good, Free!, Craftsy
9. Make Your Own Jewelry
If you’ve always dreamed of running an Etsy jewelry shop, getting started is as easy as taking a course like Wire Weaving Bracelets: Basics and Beyond. After your wrists are fully adorned, you can decide if you’re ready to move on to more intense metalworking.
Wire Weaving Bracelets Class, $20 (normally $40), Craftsy
10. Take Your Journaling to the Next Level
Whether you’re keeping a journal to jot down big ideas, track goals or just reflect on thoughts and observations, Expressive Pages will teach you to turn the medium into a platform for creative expression by adding visuals like sketches and more.
Expressive Pages Journaling Class, $15 (normally $40), Craftsy
11. Hone Your Green Thumb
Whether you want to learn how to grow a vegetable garden or just keep a plant alive longer than a week, there are classes all over the internet that cater to you! This How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening for Everyone tutorial from Craftsy was a 2017 favorite.
How to Grow Anything Class, $50 (normally $170), Craftsy
12. Change Up Your One-Pot Game
One-pot meals are a staple with most families we know - just throw it all in and you are good to go! But if your recipes are getting a little stale, shake things up with the One-Dish Meals Made New class with Pam Anderson (no, not that one). With this class you'll learn time-saving techniques and family-friendly recipes.
One-Dish Meals Made New class, $20 (normally $40), Craftsy
13. Quilt Like You've Never Quilted Before
There are tons of resources online for those who like to sew or quilt. This Ultimate Travel Bag class will teach you how to quilt and sew something other than a blanket! With this class you get seven lessons, hours of close-up instruction and the travel bag pattern so you can follow along.
Sew Sturdy: The Ultimate Travel Bag Sewing Class, $20 (normally $40), Craftsy
For more ways to improve in 2018, read one of the books from our list of books that just might change your life!