Why Write A Letter To Your Future Self?
Doing this exercise can be a really insightful experience.
Just imagine writing a letter to your future self 5 years from now, then opening it at that exact moment 5 years down the road to see how much of it resonated with you. It is a useful supplementary tool to be used in goal achievement, because when you write the letter to your future self, it helps crystallize exactly how you anticipate yourself to become at that specific moment down the road.
As you read the letter in the future, you can assess how many things match up (or not) vs. your expectations in the past and think about why that’s the case. Often times, the goals we set and our goal achievement process are subjected to a lot of changes along the way, due to varying obstacles, unanticipated circumstances and changing priorities. The letter gives you a macro-view of your initial vision and lets you recognize how your current vision differs from the past.
In addition to that, at the very moment you are writing the letter, your consciousness is captured and stored right there in those words. When you open the letter in the future, you as your future self gets to compare how you used to be in the past and compare with how you are currently. This lets you see in totality how much things have changed since then – and this can be a really intriguing experience. It’s interesting to just see how much you have grown/changed since you wrote the letter
What To Write About?
- Look at today’s date. Now imagine you writing to yourself, exactly X years from now. What do you want to say to your future self?
- How do you want your future self to be like 1 year in the future?
- What are the different dreams and goals you would want to be realized by then?
- What is your desired status of the areas of your life wheel at that time? Career/Business/Studies? Finances? Family? Friends? Love? Health? Spirituality? Recreation? Personal growth? Contribution?
- Put the papers in an envelope. Seal it.
- On the cover, write “To [Your Name]. To be opened on [Date]“. Replace [Your Name] with your name, with [Date] the date that’s 1 year from now.
- Set in your calendar to open your letter 1 year from now.
- Put this envelope in a safe place where no one can access to it.
You can either write it as hard copy (for a greater sense of nostalgia due to the aging condition of paper by then) or have it as a digital soft copy. I personally wrote a hard copy, then transferred it into soft copy document on my computer just in case I lost the hard copy. You can also try FutureMe.org, an online time capsule service that stores and sends information to a specified email address any time in the future you specify. Personally I prefer to have a copy by my side.
Opening My Letter From My Past Self
I wrote a letters to myself last in 2003 when I was in primary 2 (8 years old). I got this idea on a Sunday afternoon while I'm standing at home alone and nothing to do. After having my lunch, I started thinking how I would be in future? I saw mom work as a housewife but also wearing nicely everyday to shopping, sometimes travel, while my aunt likes to read books about philosophy. I was wondering which of them I would be in future? I started envy mom that she can buy whatever she want but I couldn't. I hope I can grow up quickly to live in this kind of life. Besides, I also wish to be wise like aunt who read a lot. I started to make my future self a letter using my Hello Kitty sheets. Now, it's 10 years ago! Reading the letter, it is interesting to notice how I was in the past and how I have changed.
Write Your Letter To Your Future Self
At the end of the letter, seal it in an envelope, write the date to open it on the cover and put it in a safe storage space. Fix the date to open this letter in your personal calendar. When you open this sometime in the near future, you might gain additional insights about yourself and your journey in the past few years that you were oblivious to.