Are you thinking about writing a letter to your future self? This practice presents a meaningful opportunity for personal growth and self-reflection in both the present moment and the future. When you begin to feel overwhelmed by external demands, such a letter can help you to realign with what matters most and might just give you the words you need to get through a difficult time period.
Because you’re the sender and recipient, there aren’t many structural guidelines you must follow to write your letter. You can write your letter on lined notebook paper or pretty stationary, or you can type it up in an email and schedule it to be sent at a later date. The tone can be serious or casual, like writing to your best friend. Before you begin writing, the most important question to consider is your purpose; why is writing this letter important to you, and what do you hope to gain from this experience?
Keep reading to learn about the benefits of writing a message to your future self as well as how to get started and how to deliver your letter on a specific date. And if you’re ready to start writing your first letter today, we have created a DIGITAL RESOURCE that will provide you with helpful guidance, questions to ask, and content suggestions for writing meaningful letters to your future self. Learn more about the benefits of using this resource below.
Purpose & Benefit Of Writing A Letter To Your Future Self
Here are some of the benefits of the practice of future self journaling. Writing letters to your future self:
- Promotes self-reflection. Writing a letter addressed to your “dear future self” offers you the opportunity to self-reflect, both in the future and in the present moment, thereby fostering self-continuity . As you write your letter, you’ll be able to contemplate your goals, dreams, and lessons you’ve learned. When you read back your letter, you’ll have the chance to pause and appreciate how fully you’ve bloomed .
- Allows you to uncover hard truths. In your letter, you might write about your dreams or make important promises to yourself. As you read back your letter, you’ll have the chance to step back and remember these dreams and promises. Are you living in alignment with your goals? Did you keep your promises? It’s okay if your goals have changed since you first wrote the letter. But this might also be the reality check you need to make profound changes based on what truly matters most in your life.
- Can be uplifting during difficult moments. In this letter, you can give yourself all the things that you need in challenging moments: love, kindness, compassion, and encouragement. Your own words can often be your greatest source of inspiration.
How To Write A Letter To Your Future Self And Send It
# 1 – Define Your Purpose
Before you put yourself in the time capsule and begin to write your letter to your future self, it’s important to first define your why.
Why is writing this letter important to you? What do you hope to gain from this experience? Why is now the right time to write this letter?
Your purpose may be as simple as wanting to record all of your thoughts and feelings at this moment in time. You may also want to write about lessons you’ve learned that you don’t want to forget.
Before you get started, here are a few questions that are worth considering:
- What do I hope to achieve by writing a letter to my future self?
- How do I hope to feel when I read this letter in the future?
- Why do I want to write this letter now?
- What key points do I want to be sure to include?
# 2 – Create A Safe & Comfortable Environment
Before you begin letter writing, create an environment that allows you to truly connect with your inner self. Consider this your personal safe space and make sure to spend enough time in it to get into the mood of self-reflection. If you’re at home, you might use candles, essential oils, blankets, and other items that promote comfort and relaxation. And if you share your house with others, make sure everyone knows you need some uninterrupted time period to yourself for a while. You can also write your letter at a park, beach, lake, or another spot that promotes feelings of calm within.
# 3 – Express Your Current Hopes & Beliefs
In your letter, write about the hopes and beliefs you have for yourself at this moment. You might write about things that are important to you now such as your ethical values or any personal and professional goals.
Write a letter to your future self with all of the qualities that you want to embody for this period in time. You can mention actions that will help you achieve these goals as well as thoughts and feelings that might interfere with them.
If you’re having trouble getting started on this part of the letter, ask yourself specific questions. What do you value? What makes life worth living every day? What lessons have been valuable throughout your life?
# 4 – Identify What You Want To Change In The Future
It’s critical to include information about things that you want to change in the future. You might write about dreams and goals that you hope to achieve in the future or challenges you hope to overcome.
When writing down these hopes and challenges for your future self, think of three key points that truly matter to you at this point in time. How do these desires relate back to what you value most?
If one particular aspect is difficult for you, consider writing a few sentences about each idea and coming back later when you have more time with your letter. The goal isn’t just to complete every single thing on your list; rather, it’s about opening up space for deeper reflection and creating a powerful vision for your future self.
# 5 – Include An Inspirational Quote
Make sure to include a quote from someone you admire at the end of your letter. You might think about a quote that inspired you during a particularly tough time in your life or one that makes you feel hopeful for the future.
You can also write down an inspirational message to yourself that provides support and encouragement moving forward in life. It could be anything from “Remember to laugh” to “Don’t forget to take good care of yourself!”
If this part is difficult for you, consider writing down a quote, poem, or song lyric that resonated with you most this past year, or choose an encouraging word or phrase that will bring you comfort when reading your letter later on in life.
# 6 – Make A “No Self-Criticism” Rule (And Stand By It)
As you write, uncomfortable truths may arise. Know that it’s okay to feel sadness, anger, hurt feelings, frustration, and other difficult emotions. Just don’t criticize yourself for having these feelings.
Before you begin writing, make a promise to yourself that you won’t label anything as being “bad” or “wrong.” In fact, you can intentionally choose to replace self-judgment with self-compassion using these simple yet powerful words:
Let everything you feel be okay. Let every word you write be okay. Let the lessons and mistakes be okay. Let it all be okay.
# 7 – Know Your Writing Preferences
If you generally prefer to brainstorm and create outlines before you start a project, you might make a list of categories that you want to address in your letter. For instance, your categories could include career, passions, finances, family, spirituality, and your overall life purpose. Keep this list next to you as you write. You might even break down your letter into subcategories to keep it organized.
But if you prefer to just put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and see where it goes, that’s completely okay, too! Just don’t lose sight of your why as you write your letter.
# 8 – Release Perfection And Focus On Personal Growth
After you write your letter, you might be tempted to read it over immediately to see how it flows. I gently urge you not to do this. Most likely, after years of schooling, you’ve been trained to look for mistakes in your own writing. Know that your future self cares more about authenticity than perfection. Vulnerability can often be a little messy, and that’s okay. Embrace the messiness. Let it be raw and truthful and real.
# 9 – Choose An Open Date
When do you want to open your letter? You can choose a date with a specific meaning, such as a birthday, or you can set it for one year from now, two years from now, three years, and so on. You might even choose a date at random and trust the synchronicities of the universe to deliver the letter to you at exactly the right time.
You could also align when you open your letter with an event that doesn’t yet have a set date, such as your future wedding, the birth of your first child, the day you retire, or another important occasion. In this situation, you might find it helpful to have a designated container for these types of letters. Keep the container somewhere safe and pull out the letter on the day of the event.
# 10 – Deliver Your Letter To Yourself
Depending on whether you write your letter to your future self through email or by hand, you have a couple of different options for delivering your letter on the specified date.
If you write your letter by hand, set a calendar reminder for the day you want to open the letter. Be sure to make a note in your reminder regarding its location. (And take care to store it somewhere safe!)
If you’re sending your letter by email using Gmail as a provider, for instance, you can use Gmail’s scheduling tool to deliver the email to yourself on the intended date. After you finish writing your email, simply select the dropdown arrow next to the “Send” button and click “Schedule send.” From there, all you have to do is pick the date you want the email to be sent. (Other email providers have similar options.)
Writing Meaningful Messages With The Letters To My Future Self Digital Booklet
Are you ready to put yourself in the time capsule and start writing your first letter to a future version of yourself? To help you get started, we have created a digital booklet called Letters To My Future Self. This resource provides detailed guidance on how to write a letter to your future self the easy way for five distinct topics:
- Life goals
- Overcoming obstacles and challenges
- Cultivating joy and gratitude.
For each topic, you’ll receive helpful advice and tips to start writing your letter. Each topic also includes six to eight questions to ask yourself before you write your letter, suggested sentence starters and additional content ideas for your personalized messages.
This resource has been created to easily adapt to your needs and preferences. If you’d prefer to type your letter, it includes editable text fields to type your messages directly into the PDF document. To handwrite your letter, simply print out the file and begin writing using the space provided in the booklet.
Here are some of the benefits of using this digital resource:
- Ease of use. You can simply open the document, read through the helpful guidance, and begin writing your messages today!
- Multiple sending options. To send your letter through email, you can upload the file as an email attachment or copy and paste the words directly into an email message. If you’d prefer to have the physical letter, you may print the document and place it in an envelope. (Just don’t forget to schedule a calendar reminder!)
- Guidance in the present moment. While you may be writing this letter for your future self, the encouraging words you find in this booklet will also help you in the present moment. For instance, if you’re experiencing challenges in your life, read the section on encountering obstacles and challenges for a profound reminder of your own courage and strength. This guidance will help you to curate the message that both your present and future selves need to hear.
- Long-term use. This resource can continue to serve you for years to come, as you continue to write letters to your future self.
Sounds good? Why not DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY OF THE INTERACTIVE E-BOOK and try out writing your first letter today?
The Bottom Line
Writing a letter to your future self offers you a meaningful opportunity to self-reflect, allowing you to remember your passion, purpose, and your own self-promises. You know better than anyone else what your soul needs to hear in each moment. Writing a letter to your future self is a profound act of self-care, as it allows you to give yourself the love and support you need.
If you’re ready to start writing meaningful messages to your future self, we have created a helpful resource that provides practical guidance and allows you to type or handwrite your personal letters to the future you. Learn more about this digital booklet HERE.
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