So, how is 2018 treating you so far?
Did you make resolutions or set any intentions?
Maybe you need a little help?There’s a reason gym memberships skyrocket in January and plummet within six weeks : change is hard! When the new year rolls around, we feel a sense of renew and vow to make changes to better ourselves. The problem is that sometimes, we try to do too much all in one shot and we quickly loose our stamina.
Last January, my husband and I tried an exercise to help us with our intentions for 2017. On January 8th, 2017, we wrote our future selves a letter where we described what had happened to us over the past year and how great we were feeling. On January 8th of this year, we anxiously opened our letters to see if our wishes had come true and a very interesting thing happened.
When I read my letter, I felt giddy because many of the things I’d written were in fact on point. I’d written that I was so grateful to have been able to attend Spirit Junkie Masterclass Levels 1 and 2 when at that time, I had only just found out about these trainings. I had no idea about the cost, the location or even the curriculum. I just knew that I had to go. I had also mentioned that I was done my first book and getting ready to send it to publishers (which is true! EEK!) and I also talked a lot about how I wanted to feel throughout the year, about relationships that I wanted to mend and about how I wanted to take better care of my body by listening to it more attentively.
My husband, on the other hand, read his letter with a little despair. Nothing he’d written had come to fruition. At first, I could tell that he was disappointed in himself, but then, I saw a spark light up. He had mentioned quite a few times over the last few months of 2017 that he’d felt like he was in a holding pattern. He felt like there was something big on the horizon, but for now, he just had to rest for what was to come. To my surprise, he is the one that suggested redoing the exercise for 2018 and to be honest, this year is shaping up to be a big year for him.
So yesterday, we wrote ourselves a letter which we’ll open in January 2019. This time, we focused more on how we want to feel with a few accomplishments we’d like to achieve rather than specific goals. Sure, we all want to loose a few pounds and make a little more money, but in all honesty, that is not the answer to long term happiness.
Also, we hid our letters last year in order not to be tempted to open them earlier, but this year, we’ve put our sealed envelopes in plain sight in order to remind ourselves that we have a plan even if we forget exactly what we’ve written on those pages.
It’s an interesting exercise that makes you stop and think about what kind of life you truly want to live. Think you’d like to try? Here are some questions to help guide you along. This can be done at any time of the year, but could be an interesting tradition to begin on your birthday (which is a little hint for a dear friend celebrating her 45th birthday today!)
“Dear future me”
- Where would you like to see yourself one year from now? What would you like your life to look like?
- What are some of your biggest dreams and deepest desires?
- What did you do in the past year to make these dreams a little closer to reality and to live a more authentic and happy life?*
*Remember that you will read this letter one year from today so you need to write it in the past tense as if all these wonderful things have actually happened.
You can write a draft if you like, but try not to overthink it. Also, try not to censor yourself. You will be the only person who reads this so let it out! However, be realistic! Keep in mind that if some of your dreams may seem too big to achieve in one short year, but you can always set an intention to start working on them a little bit this coming year, like saving for a big trip for example.
Use nice paper or even a stationery set. Decorate the envelope with stickers or little doodles and place it somewhere so that you’ll see it often in order to remind yourself of your intentions. A year from now, you’ll be glad you wrote the letter and hopefully, it will have helped you move along your path to a more joyful, happy, and authentic life.