Write a Letter to your Future Self

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Rusty Thompson on January 24th, 2023
close up image of a pen writing a letter on paper

This time of year is typically all about resolutions or goals, as my team and I set milestones we hope to achieve this year. In preparation for the new year, we also review last year’s goals and analyze what we did well and what we could have done differently, as we set action steps to move us into the next season. 

How can we improve A
How do we reduce B?
Why did we stop C?
You know the drill.

However, after several years of writing about goals, this year I wanted to focus on a tool I found a year ago that had a profound impact on me and a peer group that I’m a member of. 

Last year, a mentor mentioned the impact of writing a letter to your future self and writing about things you hope will be true when you open that email. 

Although any time frame can be used, I used 1 year in advance for my letter.

I started out with the things you will not be surprised with if you’ve read my corner for long—goals I wanted to have hit and habits I wanted to have kept/quit, — but it also led me somewhere I don’t go very often.


Ever tried to journal? I’ve heard of many that use it as such a great tool for self-analysis, but I’ve never committed to it long enough to really develop the skill.

However, this act led me deeper than any journaling prompt I have ever tried.

As I put myself in the shoes of my one-year-older self and opened this letter, I realized some unavoidable truths that weren’t so clear until I took a moment to fast-forward time.

Some were about my family. Some were about my faith. Some were about memories I wanted to create. 

Most of all, it led me to look at things from a different vantage point than I had ever considered.

Writing a letter to your future self can be a powerful tool, and I will use it much more regularly from now on. The act of putting your thoughts, feelings, and aspirations onto paper can help you clarify your values, identify your priorities, and create a sense of accountability to your future - of which no one has more interest in than you.

For more information, or to use the tool I used, visit futureme.org. It’s a free service that is worth every moment you put into it. 


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