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"Dear tomorrow…" Send your future self a letter

If you could say one thing to your future self, what would it be? What are some of the important things you’d like to remind yourself, before life gets in the way again? 

Have you ever thought about writing a letter to Future You? Think of it as starting a conversation with your own self, through space and time. Because time does fly, but a lot happens in between, and sending a letter to your future self can be an excellent reminder of that. 

But how, you may ask? Technology never ceases to amaze. Did you know that there are websites that can deliver that self-message for you, after an agreed period of time? Read on: we’ll tell you all about these email time capsules, with some expert tips and inspiration on how to write your message.

A digital ‘hello’ to your future self
Life is full of unexpected twists and turns. Your life now may look a lot different from what it was only a year ago – let alone five or ten years. That’s why the idea of writing your future self a message is so powerful and fascinating. It’s like time-travelling, with words.

And while you could use pen and paper, and then ask a loved one to store the message for you (preferably someone with an excellent memory), there are websites that make this exercise a lot easier and 21st century-friendly. Here are some that are available in New Zealand:

Futureme.org – With Futureme.org, you can send yourself an email to be delivered at any date up to fifty years in the future. The question is, will emails still exist by then? You also have the option to post your message publicly on the website if you like – and you can read other people’s messages as well.

Lettertoyourself.com – Not too fond of emails? Lettertoyourself.com allows you to send a physical letter to yourself, or someone else, in the future. All you need to do is choose a delivery date, up to 10 years from now, type your message, enter the street address and pay. They ship worldwide through the UK Post office, for a flat fee of €3.99 | £3.49 | US$4.99 – no matter how long the letter or how far the recipient is.

Lettertomyfutureself.net – Similarly to Futureme.org, Lettertomyfutureself is a free email scheduling tool, and your message is stored encrypted. There’s also a Premium version: for US$9 a year, you can send unlimited emails, edit/reschedule/delete your emails, and set custom send dates for special events like birthdays and anniversaries.

Honourable mention to LetterFromYou.com, a service that allows you to write a letter to your loved ones or yourself, handwritten by real people and wax sealed. Unfortunately, the service is only available within the US – but who knows what the future may hold?

Tips and benefits
So, now you have the tools, but what about the message itself? Of course, what you write in your letter or email is entirely up to you – that’s the beauty of it. 

Now, maybe you’re intrigued by the idea, but not quite sure where to start – so here are some prompts from the experts.

Make it aspirational: According to Forbes’ contributor Amy Blaschka, writing a letter to your future self is an opportunity to dream big. “Resist the urge to edit yourself, and instead, allow yourself to include everything that will help you achieve your goals. Write down your loftiest aspirations and the smaller wins, describing how they came to fruition and writing as if they’ve already happened.”

Ask yourself some questions: There’s no limit to the questions you can ask your future self. “Life will definitely have given you some precious knowledge… help yourself verbalise it,” writes Bucket List Journey’s blogger, Annette White. She also suggests some questions to start with, like “What is important to me?” or “Am I spending enough time on things that matter?”

Some topic suggestions: This interesting article published on ThePenCompany.com suggests writing about future goals and plans, your concerns for the future, big life events and things that are happening soon, the most important people in your life, and of course, advice to future self. Once again, it’s up to you!

Make it specific: “What, specifically, do you hope to be celebrating? What do your life and career look like?” writes Blaschka. “Challenge yourself to be curious about the possibilities, and consider what your new story might be. There is power in visualising your desired future, writing it down, and then watching your life manifest in kind. Even if it doesn’t unfold the way you imagined, you might be pleasantly surprised at what you learn about yourself in the process.”

And finally, make it positive: Imagine you’re talking to a beloved friend after a long time. “Remember, this is a letter to your future self; be kind, gentle, encouraging and supportive,” Blaschka continues. “The beauty of writing your future self a letter is that you control the narrative. And this is one story that is sure to have a happy ending.”

Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current development or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.