Write Yourself a Letter

Reflecting and Planning

At my writing coach’s retreats, she has the participants write notes to our future selves. We can write encouragement, ask questions, include accountability, or whatever we want. Then, we stow it somewhere where we will find it in the future. One time, she sent it to us in the mail. We never knew when it would come, so it was pretty cool to see the timing work out so well. But the idea is to read it within the next year. 

Have you seen the letters to your 18-year-old self? If not, do an online search and read a few. Often the person writing the letter looks back and encourages or warns herself. Why? Because it’s an exercise in reflection. If you could go back and communicate with yourself just out of high school, what would you write? 

I encourage you to choose one of these letters to write to yourself. If you just made some goals, write yourself a letter to be opened later this year to hold yourself accountable. If you are going through a hard time, write yourself some encouragement and ask a friend to send it to you in the future (give her an idea how far in the future). If you feel like you don’t know what to do next, write a letter to your teen self. I bet that process will help you work through your life now and inspire some forward progress. 

If you need lots of accountability or encouragement (and who doesn’t!) take it up a notch. Buy a pack of nice cards or postcards. Write an inspirational saying or Bible verse on each one. Entrust a friend or two to give you the cards at random times. 

When I read my own letters, I my spirits lifted so much that I wanted to write similar encouragements to others. When you’re ready, do the same for someone else. Write them a message—just because. 

Oil and perfume make the heart glad,

and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.

Proverbs 27:9