Journal Writing Tips: Writing a Letter to Yourself 12

A FUN AND EFFECTIVE journal writing activity is to write letters to yourself — letters that you can seal up and send, just save for a rainy day, or never read again. You can write to the future you, the past you, or the current you. You can write from one part of you (the child) to another part (the parent).

As an example, I write a letter to myself on January 1st each year as a New Year’s ritual. In that letter, I take a predictive tone. Dear Amber, I say, and then I tell myself all the great things that are going to happen that year. I encourage myself to continue following my dreams, and I address things that I’m worried about. At end of the year, just before I write the next year’s letter, I read the previous one. It never fails to amaze me how much wisdom I have.

I also write letters to myself any time I need advice. After all, who can be better than your inner self at knowing what you need? You can use letters to remind yourself to do things, encourage yourself to continue learning and growing, and give yourself pep talks. You can tell yourself how wonderful and love-worthy you are.

Here are a few journal writing prompts to get you started:

  1. Write a letter to yourself to be opened 6 months from today. In that letter, address all your current worries and concerns.
  2. Pretend that you are in the future, old and wise. Now write a letter from that old, wise you to the present you. What advice does the wise you have for the you of today?
  3. Write a letter to yourself about things — memorable and funny — that you want to remember in the future. Write that letter as if you are telling a friend about these things. Date it to be read 2-5 years in the future.

When you complete your letter, seal it in an envelope and give it a date to be opened and read. Write a reminder on your calendar to open the letter and, of course, make sure to keep it someplace you can access later.

If you want, address it, put a stamp on it, and mail it to yourself. You’ll be amazed at how wonderful it is to receive a letter from yourself in the mail.


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