Sending letters to yourself is popular enough that websites and online services have popped up to help you do it. Opening a message written a year—or five years, or more—in the past can be moving, entertaining, even therapeutic.
We like the idea of sending notes to Future Us so much we’re including one as the last idea in our #NationalCardandLetterWritingMonth challenge. (That absolutely doesn’t mean you have to wait.) We can think of a lot of reasons to write yourself a message, seal it in an envelope, and wait to open it for just the right moment. (Our Journey On activity journal featured in this post has inserts that make it easy!) Here are a few to try.
DECIDE TO WRITE
- Words of encouragement. On a day you’re feeling like you can do anything, take a minute to remind Future You how it feels or Past You how far you’ve come.
- Happy wishes. Capture your hopes and dreams to be opened on birthdays, anniversaries and other milestones.
- Good things. Write about great memories, what is making you happy right this second, and what you’re looking forward to in the future.
- Big questions. When you’re wondering what the days ahead will bring, ask the questions. Let your older, wiser self answer them.
- What it’s like. Tell Future You how you spend your days, who you hang out with, what takes up space in your brain.
ADD A GIFT
Include something that will make the envelope extra nice to open. Try one of these.
- Pressed flowers
- A photograph or two
- An article that means something
- A hand-lettered quote
- Sketch of yourself, your pet, or your plant
SIGN, SEAL, AND FORGET IT
As silly as it seems right now, it’s easy to completely forget your notes to you exists. Here are a few ways to make sure you open them as planned:
- Put them somewhere safe and remind yourself about them with an online calendar or app.
- Slip them into the back pages of a journal or planner.
- Write the date or reason to open them on the envelope and keep them somewhere you can’t miss.