There are various ideas for what to write to your future self but the basics of this exercise are as follows:
- Find some paper and an envelope.
- Write a letter to your future self.
- Seal the letter in the envelope and write the date on which you would like to open the letter.
You don't have to only write one letter either. You can write several letters about different things or you can write a letter at certain ages or certain stages in your life. Some people write about what is happening in their life right now along with their goals and dreams and choose to open those letters on certain milestone birthdays or at the time of other milestones in their life. Some people write letters to their future spouse or future children or future grandchildren. Some people write a letter to their best friend to be opened on a future date or for a milestone birthday. There are so many possibilities for this exercise!
Here are some ideas of what you can write about in your letter (a whole list, actually) or maybe you'd like to write a separate letter for each topic:
- What is happening right now in your life
- What is happening right now in the world and what you think of all of it
- Accomplishments so far
- Goals and dreams
- Favourite memory/memories
- Pep talk
- What you think your future will look like/hope your future will look like
- Challenges that you have overcome so far
- Your current favourite things (music, movies, books, places, activities, experiences, etc.)
- The most important people in your life and why they are important
- What you love about yourself right now
- Current hobbies
- What you would like to change about your present self (what kind of person do you hope to be in the future?)
- Things that you never want to forget (memories, experiences, people, pets, accomplishments, challenges, etc.)
- Who, what, where, when, why, how (who: the kind of person you are right now, what: what you do right now, where: where you live right now, when: the date right now, why: why you do what you do and think what you do right now, how: how do you live right now [beliefs, morals, values])
- Include some photos
- Add some drawings
- Write a poem to your future self
- Add some extra little (flat) things in the envelope like a movie ticket from a movie that you saw recently, the program or brochure from an event that you went to recently, a note from a friend, etc.
- Get your friend to write a letter to your future self and add it to the envelope without looking at it
- Make a collage of your favourite things and attach it to your letter or add it inside the envelope
- Decorate your letter and envelope in whatever way you like
- Turn a small box into a mini time capsule and add your letter(s) to it along with other little things from your current life
I know that it's important to stay in the present moment but this exercise gives you an excuse to think about the past and future and celebrate them! We need to appreciate the past and feel grateful for it. The things that happened in the past happened for a reason and we need to learn from them. The future has yet to come and so we need to plan for it. We can dream about it too. Sure, some things will just happen and we need to be flexible but some things need a bit of planning.
I have already written a letter using some of these ideas to be opened on my 30th birthday and I know that I will definitely be writing more and coming back to this post for further ideas! If you choose to try this exercise, I hope you have fun!