A Letter to Yourself

by Carolyn Babcock, Ph.D.

There have been several references in this blog to the “Day Zero Project,” an interactive site that helps you create 101 goals to be accomplished in 1001 days (dayzero.com).  One of the suggested activities is to write a letter to yourself to be opened in 10 years.  What would you put in that letter?

There are many different approaches you could take and questions you could pose.  You could think about where you want to be in 10 years – 2021.  Or, consider what you hope to have accomplished?  Or, describe what things move and inspire you today?  Or, explain how you feel about your life today?

We take snapshots of our lives.  These photos capture one second in time.  A letter to yourself is open-ended in time.  You can reflect on moments and eras  – your lifetime, past, present and/or future.

Unlike a journal, which keeps your thoughts and feelings up-to-date, a letter to yourself is a singular event with the idea of its being opened in a decade.  You get a chance to talk to you!  What will the person in the future know that you do not know now?  In 10 years, what will you have forgotten so that the letter will need to serve as a memory trigger?  How will your feelings have changed?  What goals will you have accomplished?

If you have decided to return to school – for whatever degree or program – in 10 years you not only will be done, but you will be underway using that degree!  Whatever changes you have decided to make now, in 10 years those changes will have been incorporated into you – and, instead of those changes being a part of your future, in 10 years they will be part of your present.

It’s exciting to think about writing the letter.  What will you say?

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