Write a Letter To Your Future Self
You’ll Be Glad You Did.
Imagine getting a letter this morning addressed in your own handwriting, from you, to you!
Let’s say it was written a year ago.
Maybe it talks about where you were back then and what and who mattered to you.
What was keeping you up at night back then?
Do you remember what were you obsessing about those days?
What did the biggest dream you dared have then look like?
What was bringing you joy?
Write a letter to your future self. I did it, and it awesome.
I wrote my first letter to myself back in December of 2013, and received it June of 2015.
Honestly I had forgotten all about it.
Receiving and reading that letter was more emotional than you can imagine.
Seeing my shaky handwriting from back in that dark time gave me goosebumps.
I stopped breathing for a few seconds, and then slowly opened it like it was a time bomb. I cried.
Here was a message from the person who knew me best, and the writing and message was familiar and yet so unfamiliar at the same time.
My letter was encouraging, hopeful, comforting and introspective.
It was extremely hopeful and future focused and surprisingly prophetic.
It actually talked about finding a way to bring joy back into my life by relating to a like-minded community of others who were starting over through my writing and creativity. Hmm. Not sure I knew what a blog was back then, but that sure sounds like my current vision for second mojo.
Perhaps the most amazing thing was looking at the lens and perspective of time and distance. OMG.
The things that seemed so important and overwhelming back then had evaporated, with just the hard learned lessons remaining.
And the overarching sense I was left with was that we are always stronger, and “more” than we think we are.
I still keep that letter in my desk drawer. I pull it out when it happens to catch my eye and have a read, and sometimes I reach for it when I need to be reminded of what matters, and what doesn’t. And that this too, shall pass.
So, all of this to say – You MUST write a letter to your future self.
That confidante you always wished you had? You’re it! And you are going to LOVE getting this letter.
Obviously I didn’t invent the concept of writing a letter to your future self.
Julia Cameron wrote about it years ago in The Artists’ Way.
Futureme.org, a site that facilitates delivering these letters via email reports that over 5 million letters have been sent through them since 2002.
In other words, you’ll be in good company.
Why Write a Letter to Your Future Self?
Millions of people are writing letters to their future selves. It’s amazingly reflective, helps focus on what’s important and offers a unique perspective on your life, your goals and your concerns.
It will help you focus on what’s important to you, and offer a unique perspective on those things that are fundamental to your nature and unwavering, as well as the more temporary things that will pass with time.
Those two lessons are equally important to understanding, coping, and making the best of who we are.
Your letter will be different than anyone else’s but it may inspire you to move forward and take action, either on the things you’re struggling with today or maybe on those dreams that need some shape to them.
Remember, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
No idea who said that but I like it!
And how great so see the progress we’ve made.
Or your letter may just be that warm reassurance and the gentle embrace we all need from time to time.
Trust me on this, you won’t believe how exciting it is, and how good it feels to get this letter.
What Should You Write About?
Think about this as a conversation with yourself, maybe even a love letter.
You’ll be surprised at how easily it takes shape.
Mine ended up part rant, part visionary and goal setting, part wound licking, and a whole lot of encouragement and self-assessment.
It was a promise to myself that I would be great whatever came my way.
If it helps, think of this as your own personal fan letter.
Be personal, be presumptuous, be bossy and above all, be gentle and understanding.
Talk about what you hope to become, what you need to survive, and what you are driven to achieve.
Make those promises to yourself in writing.
Talk about what you’re ruminating about these days and why.
What is it that you need to overcome?
Talk about your talents and what makes you proud to be you.
What do you want to manifest?
Talk about that big dream and why it matters to you? What will it feel like? How are you going to get there?
What do you want to contribute to the world?
You get the idea. Just write.
When Should You Write a Letter to Your Future Self?
Create an annual ritual.
Mine is my birthday, which is why I am writing about it this week.
Isn’t that the perfect time to look back and to look forward. Trust me, this will be the best birthday gift you’ll get.
Many people do this as a form of New Year’s Resolution. That’s probably a good time for a little introspection, but I like a quieter time where the expectations seem more personal and, well, less predictable.
It can be a year in advance or even a few months in advance. But just do it far enough out that getting this letter is an utter surprise and joy.
Create a letter based around a certain event.
Committing to a 3 month health plan, an alcohol free month or two, or working on a major project? Make your letter and your timeline more specific to this event. There’s nothing like the harsh reality of accountability, or a pat on the back from numero uno.
How Do You Send This Letter?
So who mails this letter?
How do I surprise myself?
There are a few ways to manage this.
The letter can be handwritten (my preference as I find it more insightful and deliberate) or email.
- There is a site called futureme.org. They will send your email to you at any point in the future for no charge. (The site takes donations.) They have tons of actual letters people have written, but don’t go down that rabbit hole until you’ve written your own letter.
- There is also a service called Dear Future Me. They will store your letter and send it to you when you want it. Full disclosure? I know nothing about this site and have not used it. So beware.
- The Old Fashioned Way – Write your letter, be sure to date it, address it and add postage. Ask someone reliable put it away, to note the “send” date in their calendar and mail it for you then. How about a buddy system?
- If you can trust yourself to “not open until Christmas” – Write and address your letter. Write “Not to be opened until X” and put it in a safe place. Calendar the open date one year from now.
Get Started Now….
Don’t know where to start?
Here are a couple prompts to get you going.
So I’ve been thinking about you. You may not hear this enough but….
By now I’m hoping that…….
I was concerned that….
It’ so exciting that you’re….
And it’s that easy.
I hope you try this fantastic exercise. You will love it.
Please let us know in the comments section below what your thoughts are.Have you tried it?
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