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Journaling Exercise: Write A Letter to Your Future Self

Some additional information in one line
Mari L. McCarthy August 10, 2012


journaling future selfWhen you look back on yourself in the past – 10, 20, 30 or more years ago – it’s surprising to see how much you have changed over time. Your experiences, your friends, your family and your work have all shaped who you are right now. But where will you be in another few years? How will you have changed? Reflective writing in your journal is an excellent way to think about what you want out of the future.

You may have already written a letter to your younger self before, conveying all the wisdom and perspective you wish you had had at the time. Now consider the opposite end of the spectrum; what would you say if you wrote your future self a letter?

A Futuristic Journaling Exercise

1. Take a few minutes to consider what you hope for your life in 10 or 20 years. Ask yourself the following questions, and use them to guide your letter:

• How old will I be? Do I have an idea of what I will have accomplished, personally or professionally, by that age?
• Where will I be living? Where will my friends and family be?
• What will I be doing? Will I be working, retired, going to school, touring with a band, writing a novel?
• How will I have changed for the better? How will I have grown as a person?
• How will I have stayed the same? What will I still love doing?
• What will I wish I had appreciated more when I was younger? What will I wish I had spent less time worrying about?
• What will my philosophy toward life be?
• What will I be most proud of?
• What will I still have on my “bucket list”?

2. Write your letter as if you are writing to your best friend – this is just for you, so no need to be too formal! Describe your life right now – your day-to-day routines, goals, likes and dislikes. Ask questions and make predictions about your future life.

3. After you finish your letter, continue your reflective writing for another few minutes. Did this journaling exercise change your perspective on the present or the future? What did it reveal about your values or priorities?

Have you ever written a “time capsule” letter to your future self before? Share your experiences in the comments!

Are you new to journaling? Or perhaps you're an experienced journaler who wishes to restart a daily journaling practice? Our Build a Lasting Journaling Practice in 14 Days self-paced journaling course can show you how.