A brandiD team member sent me a message on Slack recently, excited about an experience she’d just had with her “past self.”
Six months prior, she’d written a letter to herself, thanking her “future self” for taking specific actions toward her life and career goals.
It was the culminating exercise in a personal development course she was taking, so she wrote the letter, put it in an envelope, addressed and stamped it, and gave it to a friend to mail in exactly six months.
She then promptly forgot about it.
“I opened my mailbox and pulled out a letter from myself,” she wrote to me in Slack. “I’d forgotten I’d done it, so it felt like a complete surprise. The crazy thing was that one of the things I thanked my future self for doing was getting my finances in order…and I had JUST come from the bank where I’d finished organizing all of my business and personal bank accounts! The timing of that letter was incredible!”
“I’m so glad I actually did what I thanked myself for,” she continued. ”It would’ve felt really disappointing if I hadn’t. Now I want to write another letter to my future self, thanking myself for a bunch of new things. I think it will really motivate me to do them.”
I’ve done exercises like this in the past, so I understood my team member’s excitement. It is exciting to follow through on your goals and the commitments you’ve made to yourself.
So exciting, in fact, that I wanted to share my team member’s story with you in case you feel inspired to do the same.
The timing is actually perfect because if you do it this month, it’s exactly six months until the end of 2020. This is a great way to take action on the goals you made for yourself at the start of the year.
Now I know, 2020 has been very unusual in so many ways, and your goals may have changed completely or significantly shifted since January.
Along with your business or career goals, you may now have goals that include maintaining some of the life adjustments brought on by COVID-19 that have served you well or doing some introspective work around your beliefs and upbringing.
No matter what your goals are now, consider writing a thank you letter to yourself for achieving them. Doing so is very powerful for lots of reasons, but especially in two key ways:
- Writing down your goals helps you to think them through and define them. The more solid and focused your goals are, the more likely you’ll be to pursue them and achieve them.
- When you’re writing a letter to your future self, you’re allowing yourself to visualize what you want to happen. Visualizing is an incredible tool for goal achievement because it focuses your mind on the end result you’re aiming for. When you focus your mind there, you’re able to experience what it will FEEL like to have achieved your goal, which is incredibly motivating to get you started but also forms beliefs and inspires actions that will make it so much more likely that you’ll see your goal all the way through.
Ready to start writing your letter?
All you have to do is pick a goal or two that you want to accomplish before the end of the year and craft a letter telling yourself how proud you are of yourself for achieving them. Don’t forget to include how great it feels to have done it and why it means so much to you. Then, sign it from “Past You” and give it to a trusted friend to mail to you in six months.
When you spend the rest of the year taking action on your goals, you’ll LOVE opening up your mailbox and seeing that letter waiting for you. It’s the best feeling ever!