“Let us never underestimate the power of a well-written letter.” ― Jane Austin
Letter writing, especially to oneself, can be a powerful and underestimated tool, giving you the opportunity to tap into your conscious and subconscious thoughts, desires and reflections. By setting intentions for the future, you can crystalise on paper the life you want, and the person you want to be.
In this article, we take you through the process for writing a detailed ‘life letter’ that harnesses self-reflection, self-awareness, goal setting and life planning benefits.
If you’re ready to ignite your inner spark, read on!
What the research says about letter writing
- increase happiness and wellbeing
- reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness
- keep your mind sharp, active and present
- create a stronger connection with yourself and an appreciation for life
- help manifest your destiny, set goals and appreciate the passage of time.
A letter to your future self – how to do it with impact
When was the last time you sat down and really thought about what you want from life? Crafting a ‘life letter’ allows you to imagine your best life – in every facet. Only when you have a vision for your perfect life can you take the steps to actualise it. So, let’s get started.
- Start with a blank page, preferably lined, and find yourself a quiet, cosy corner. I love to write letters outside if the conditions are right (e.g. sunny and quiet). Make sure you have at least 30 minutes to 1 hour of undisturbed ‘you’ time.
- Date the top of the letter and start the letter with ‘To my future self.’
- Dig deep, reflect, and write a response to the following questions. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling. Don’t worry if the responses sound unattainable or too grand. Also don’t worry if feelings of unease, shame or pain come to the surface. Just put down whatever is in your heart – your truth.
- Think about your life in 5 years’ time. What does it look like? (Feel free to use whatever timeframe you choose e.g. 3 years, 10 years etc. It’s whatever feels right for you.)
- What are you doing? How would you be living? What have you achieved? Who is in your life? What type of person would you be?
- Think specifically about one day in your ideal future. Map out what this perfect day looks like – from when you wake in the morning, to when your head hits the pillow at night.
- The next part is to think about your life right now, and how it differs from your best life in the future. Ask yourself the following and jot down whatever comes to mind:
- What challenges have I had in life up until now, and what lessons have I learnt?
- What are my proudest moments and achievements so far, and who has helped me along the way?
- Am I happy right now? How could I be happier?
- Am I living my purpose? Do I have meaning in my life? What am I grateful for?
- What is important to me (rate the following from 1 to 10 – family, friends, health, relationships, career, spirituality, money?) What are my top three core values? Am I spending enough time on what’s important?
- Am I living a life on my terms (not doing what others expect of me)?
- The last part of the process is to fill the gap between your desired best life, and the one you’re living now. Here are some key questions to think about:
- What fears or anxieties do I have about realising my ideal future? Are these real or perceived fears? How can I address these anxieties to help meet my best future self?
- What advice would I give to myself now to meet my desired future state?
- What goals or habits can I make in the next 6-12 months to help bring my best life to fruition? Who will hold me accountable to meet these goals/habits?
- What should I include or exclude from my life to meet my desired future state?
How to send your letter
So, you’ve drafted a ‘life letter’ but what now? You can bin it, burn it, give it to a trusted confidant, or keep it in a drawer for years to come. But why not consider sending it to your future self!
Sites such as Future Me now give you the technology to write and send automated emails to your inbox. You can select when you’d like to receive your email (e.g. 12 months or 5 years) – the timeframe is completely up to you. Alternatively, Dear Future Me offers a letter storage and postage service (if you’d prefer to send mail the old-fashioned way)!
I personally know the power of the written word, and what setting intentions for your life can ensue. Why not give this letter activity a go? A life of transformation awaits…
Ready to increase your wellbeing, meaning and fulfillment, or that of your team? Learn more today.