While writing a letter to your future self may seem like a childish and outdated notion, what you’re really doing is visualizing your future. By writing down your goals and aspirations these become more solid, and you are more likely to achieve them than if they remained ideas in your mind.
We are coming up to the end of the year and New Year’s Resolutions that help people achieve their goals are starting to play on their minds. But with just 8% of people sticking to their resolutions for the entire year, how can you make setting and keeping your goals and resolutions easier, and ultimately bring you closer to the future self you want to be?
In order to become this aspirational version of your future self you firstly need to ensure that this vision is truly aligned to who you are as an individual, and that it uses your strengths and passions. Secondly, you need the determination and motivation to get to this future self. Unsurprisingly, the second need is strongly reliant on the first one.
Find out more about what you enjoy and what feels meaningful to you, and then align this with your future goals. How? For those couch sitters – you will be thrilled to know that doing nothing (well, almost nothing) could be a great place to start.
Practicing mindfulness helps us stop the automatic wandering of our minds and instead focusing on the present moment, both the pleasant and the unpleasant. Doing this regularly can help us be more engaged in our daily lives and more aware of – and to better manage – our emotions. How mindfulness can benefit you at work is by enhancing your awareness of those tasks and responsibilities that you enjoy and are good at; and those that you find uncomfortable or struggle with or would usually avoid altogether.
These mindful moments, doing what you enjoy in your day job, will eventually help you to find a way to identify (and therefore get more of) what you like doing. They will also help you to set yourself exciting goals for the future that feel aligned with you. As a result, you will have more natural energy and motivation to get there.
With this knowledge of your strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement, you can set goals for the future to improve in specific areas that will contribute to your overall development.
Years later you can look back on this letter to your future self and see how just how aligned the present you is with future you that you aspired to be.