Do you want to try something eye-opening for the New Year?
No, it’s not a list of empty New Year resolutions.
…writing a letter to your Future Self.
Why Would I Write to My Future Self?
Because it forces you to imagine who you want to be, what you want to do, and where you want to go. It gives you a sense of direction and purpose.
Without vision, there’s no fuel.
Here are three simple steps to get you started:
1. Find a Place, Make the Time
Be alone, find a cosy place, and get a piece of paper. That’s all you need. (If you prefer a digital version, try a free service like FutureMe).
This can be difficult and daunting by itself, but see it as a challenge!
Recognise that the biggest obstacle in life is YOU.
Listening to your own Self is a valuable investment and your Future Self will thank you for it. We sync all our software, so why not ourselves?
Put on some music if it helps you to focus. But turn off all other distractions. This is important. You want to be alone with your thoughts.
Feel vulnerable, scared, excited and confused. It’s OK. You’re only human 😉
Now let’s begin…
2. Pick up the pen and write
See this writing exercise as an opportunity to get a glimpse of your Future Self. It is a moment to reflect, ponder and imagine.
Your letter becomes a compilation of past thoughts, dreams, goals and worries. When you write them down, you acknowledge that they exist and you try to deal with them.
It’s like you freeze a version of you on a piece of paper.
But how do you get there? Writer’s block strikes even the most experienced writer.
If you’re stuck, feel free to use the template below:
Dear Future [insert your name]
I hope you’re doing well wherever you are. I know this is kind of strange, but what the heck, there are so many things I wonder about… [insert dreams and goals] did I make it to Tahiti? Did my undergrad pay off? [insert questions about relationships] Am I still friends with xxx and xxx? If not, give them a call! Am I still together with xxx? Do I still live in xxx? Anyway, that’s enough about me wondering about you. Right now, I’m doing xxx and I am single/in a relationship. My best friends are xxx and xxx and…
If the above template isn’t enough to get you started, try using a timer. Set it for 10 minutes and force yourself to write the whole time. Don’t lift the pen from the paper (or the fingers from the keyboard!)
Go ahead, make your letter personal. Let go of your expectations.
After all, no one is going to read it but you.
Unless, of course, you choose to do this intimate exercise with your partner or a close friend who you trust.
3. Seal the envelope, tuck it away and read later
Put the letter to your Future Self in an envelope and tuck it away where no one can find it. For future reference, make a note of where you have it.
You decide when you want to open it – perhaps you want to try one year, then two years and later five and even ten years. It’s up to you.
The mission is to be open and honest with yourself. Open up a dialogue and begin wrestling with your inner dreams and strongest fears.
But remember to live for today.
Breathe life onto the page so when the future finally arrives, your Future Self will have a good laugh.
Now back to you. Thoughts? Ideas? Give it a go and let us know in the comments below.
Good luck with your first letter, and happy writing and reading!