Have you ever written a letter to your future self?
I remember writing one when I was in university. I wrote what I thought I would become, my hopes, my dreams.
When I read that letter several years later, not one thing had happened as I thought it would.
But I wasn't sad. I didn't feel like I had lost anything. I was just on a different path, a path that took me all over the world, experiencing amazing things, one that ultimately led me to where I am today.
Why write to your future self?
For so many reasons!
1. To get things out of your head.
Sometimes your head is just so full of needs, wants, hopes, dreams, worries, anxieties, and self-doubt, that it can be a great idea to just write it all down. It can help make clear the things that are really important to you and help you to focus on where to go.
2. To remember.
Your values and beliefs at this point in time. Will they be the same when you open your letter? Have they changed? Are they something you want to find again?
Your relationships with friends and family. Have you stayed in contact? Do you want to stay in contact? Your letter is a reminder of who is really important to you and to not take people for granted.
The path you were on and where it has taken you. The goals you had - did you achieve them, or did they change along the way?
Who you are. The things that bring joy, the things you hope won't change, and the things you hope will change.
3. To give yourself encouragement
Remind yourself of who you are, of all the amazing things you are capable of, that you are strong and brave and beautiful. Let yourself know that if you have lost this version of you along the way, you can find her again.
Remind yourself that any mistakes you make along the way are OK.
4. To record your life in periods
It's a form of journalling, one where you can see the big jumps and where you are reintroduced to your past self. It will make you laugh or cry, wonder what happened to the girl you were and be proud of all you have achieved and become.
It will make you evaluate where you are in your life all over again. You will reset your goals, work harder towards your dreams or work on new dreams.
What should I include in my letter?
- What you are doing now? Are you studying, working, bringing up a family?
- How are you now? Do you feel strong, happy, and healthy? Are there things you need to cut out of your life to feel this way? What are things you plan to do to make sure you feel this way?
- What are your dreams and goals for the future? Think job, family, finances, travel, where you live, and how you live.
- Relationships - are you in a relationship? What do you want the relationship to be like in 5 years? Are you happy?
- Family - do you get along? How often do you see each other? Would you like to be closer? Do you have issues? How can you sort them? What do you want your family to look like - kids, fur babies, no kids?
- Advice for your future self - this could be encouragements, reminders to give up habits you don't want in your life, reminders of who you are.
- Things you don't want to forget - lessons learned, people and things precious to you, the small moments that can so easily be forgotten if they aren't written down.
How should I do it?
Keep it simple with some note paper you have at home, grab some paper from your printer, or sign up to our newsletter (👈🏻 click the link and enter your email address at the bottom of the page) for some pretty downloadable notepaper.
Seal your letter up in an envelope and write the date it is to be opened on it. You may choose to open it in 1 year, 3 years or 5 years. Put it away somewhere safe, but not too safe - you don't want to forget about it!
Not into pen and paper? There are apps and websites where you can email your future self and select a date for it to be sent.