In January of 2018, my writing teacher Michelle asked her students to spend the beginning of class thinking about what we wanted for ourselves in the year ahead. Goals. Hopes. Dreams, big and small. Then she had us write a letter from our future self, telling our self of today about all of the amazing things that had transpired. We wrote from the perspective of already having achieved, instead of projecting far into the future. It was a deceptively simple exercise, and a powerful one.
The real thunderbolt came last week, when I went to the mailbox. I had forgotten that the exercise included giving Michelle the letter in a self-addressed envelope. I opened my letter slowly, with anticipation usually reserved for when expecting love or money. Reading it was like correspondence from a wise old friend. She whispered in my ear and I listened.
DECLARE WHAT YOU DESIRE
Everything I had written in that letter had, in some way, come to bear fruit. I finished my book of stories and pieces of it have been published. I grew my practice. Deepened my relationship. I am becoming more comfortable with my body, and more forgiving of my appetites and my quirks.
I believe that putting our heart’s desire on the page—declaring it, in a way, out loud—is an important step toward making it all real. It’s not magic though. A shit ton of sweat and strategy must follow. For me, the writing of it is where it all begins to take shape. And now, I offer the same beginning to you.
Looking back at 2019, write yourself a letter, reflecting on all you’ve accomplished and what has made you most proud. Be specific. Write with the energy and feeling of future you, and sign it with love.
If you’d like to give me your letter to mail back to you in January, 2020, just drop me an email and we’ll work it out. It’s not too late. In January 10th. You’re just in time to make it an amazing year. ;)
Laurie Shiers is an LA -based writer, coach and experience junky on a quest to find meaning in the mayhem.