Please do this for yourself. Pick out some stationery that you love. Put your phone down, shut down your computer, turn the TV off and get to your quiet place. You are going to write a letter to yourself. It is called “A Year From Now”. It is my belief that one of the most important and impactful letters that you may ever write, is one to yourself. Now, grab your favorite pen, sit down and start writing. Think about your life a year from now. How do you want it to look, feel, be?
I am suggesting that you consider nine domains of your life. In your letter, describe how you want these areas of your life to be in one year.
Family: Regardless of the makeup of your family, what is your best vision of how it takes shape over the next twelve months? It may be as simple as having a healthy family that communicates well and appreciates one another. Or, maybe there are some ‘fences that need mending’ and you are going to play a positive and active role to help your family achieve that outcome.
Friends and Affiliations: Jim Morrison, the American singer, and songwriter once said, “A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.” This is so true. I urge you to surround yourself with supportive and inspiring friends who admire your authenticity. I have come to know that friendship is like gardening. Both require nurturing, devotion and persistence. What do you want your ‘a year from now’ friendships to look like?
Marriage/Significant Other: Ann Landers describes love as a friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weakness. Relationships can be challenging in the best of circumstances. And, they can also be rewarding, fun and exciting. What is your image of your ideal relationship? How will you have to show up for the next several months in order make your image a reality?
Vocation: Statistics state that only 13% of people say that they love their jobs and 59% of people would leave their current job if they could. Those are pretty sobering statistics. This is why I have labeled this life domain “vocation” versus “work”, or “career”. It is my observation that often times people get caught up in resume building instead of doing work that they are good at. Or, they pursue careers for the money instead of seeking work that helps others. Whereas people with a vocation find their work to be particularly worthy and suitable. What are you committed to in this part of your life? One final thought: If you are a mom, especially a stay-at-home mom, I consider your vocation of motherhood some of the most essential work that you will ever do!
Money and Finance: Oftentimes our financial situation is a reflection of our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions as it relates to money. Wars have been fought over it, some relationships have thrived because of it while others have fallen apart. Some people never worry about money, others never stop worrying about it. The decisions we make regarding money can cause great strife or provide much wholesomeness in our lives. The choice is yours. You have a year to change this aspect of your life. What will it look like twelve months from now?
Physical Health: I think most people have at least one thing about their physical health that could use some focus. What is yours? Pick one thing that you would like to change in the physical health realm of your life. Describe the manifestation of what this looks like in your letter to yourself.
Personal Evolution: What do you want to do in the next year to enhance your personal development and evolution as a person? Is there a course you want to take? Do you have a list of podcasts that you want listen to? Would you like to start a MasterMind group? Or maybe it is as simple as getting up 15 minutes earlier each day for some personal quiet time.
Discovery and Creativity: What do you want to learn or master. Do you want to become a skilled cook? Maybe some painting lessons are in order to bring out the budding artist in you. Perhaps a photography or dance class is waiting in the wings. Whatever it might be, express how this part of your life will look a year from now.
Self-Care: This is an area worthy of your attention. What recreation and leisure will you add to your life? How are you going to be gentler and kinder to yourself? I will remind you that self-care is a generous act not only to yourself but to others who are significant in your life. If you don’t take really good care of yourself, it will be difficult for you to be your best self for others. Make this a priority and watch what happens.
Please remember that there are no rules around writing this letter. It is your letter to yourself. Craft it however you want. You can follow my suggestions or not. The important thing is to put down on paper exactly what you want your life to be like one year from the date that you write the letter. When you finish you letter, address the envelope to yourself, put a real stamp on it and record the date on the back of the envelope. Now give it to someone you trust. Ask them to keep it in a safe place and then put it in the mail ‘a year from now’. I think that you will be surprised when you open it and read it. There is magic in the words you put on that paper, you just wait and see.