Thanking yourself from the Future
Thanksgiving is usually a time to reflect on what we are grateful for. This year, why not give it a little twist?
Most of us talk to ourselves now and then, but have you ever thought about writing to yourself? More specifically, I’m asking you to consider writing a thank you letter from your future self to your today self.
Sound crazy? It might be a great way to keep you focused on what is truly important to you.
Imagine yourself in five years. Assume that things have gone pretty well for you. What does that look like? I’m guessing that you are healthy. Maybe you’ve lost a few pounds and your muscles are toned. Your financial health is in good order, too. You’ve accumulated a decent amount in your 401(k) plan, have paid off debts, and built up your emergency fund. Perhaps you’ve finally gone to that event you’ve always wanted to attend, have made amends with a former friend, and are more at peace spiritually…whatever the case may be. You know your hopes much better than I do.
The point is that in writing a thank you letter from your future self, you’ve got to think about what you will need to be thankful for. Future you might thank today you for the regular aerobics exercise you are getting and that change in diet you made. You might be thankful for the meaningful changes you made in your spending to allow that debt to go down and your savings to go up. Or maybe it was just that you finally examined your priorities in life and made adjustments so that your actions fit your wants.
In writing this letter, be specific. What actions did you take and what results did you achieve? What preparation did you do? Who did you involve? Remember that this is a thank you letter, so the results should be something that you see as a gift from your present self to you in the future.
Once you’ve written this all out, look over the letter. Remember, this is you in the future. Close your eyes and visualize all that you did to get to this point. You might want to add a P.S.: “Thank you for not putting this off; thank you for getting started. I know that the first step was the hardest.”
Every week or so, reread the letter. Are you earning the thanks that you gave yourself?
You want your future life to be purposely filled with the accomplishments that truly matter to you. What you do, or don’t do, between now and five years hence is up to you. This letter of thanks can be a potent reminder that you can’t just hope that the future will become as you desire—you have to actively make it so.
This article was published under the title "Thanking yourself from the Future"
in the WichitaFalls Times Record News Biz to Biz November 2010.
Return to Home Contact Us Sign up for our e-Newsletter