Are you looking to improve yourself through journaling? Do you wish to engage in the practice of future-self journaling in the hope that it will merge your present self and your ideal future self? Are you sick and tired of the person you are and want to focus on the person that you are soon to be?
Then step forth and saddle up as we explore two ways you can engage with future-self journaling and why it can be so useful.
Method 1: The Letter Method
Some are more inclined toward a future-self journal that is about writing a better version of their current selves. If you are looking to engage in such a writing exercise, then you likely have some idea of at least some things that you would like to improve about yourself. That being said, if you do not, then try writing about some of the ones below if they apply to you:
- What kind of healthier habits would you like to work toward in the future - make a note of them all and, in doing so, actualize them into being.
- What bad habits do you engage in that you would otherwise like to cut out - though this is but an extension of the previous prompt, it can still prove fruitful to explore both sides.
- Are there things going on in your life that, though murky currently, you would like to become clearer? Make a note of them and elucidate the nebulous.
Is there an aspect of your life that is particularly stressful? Try to explore why it is stressful and what there is at stake in such a point of anxiety.
Much as with manifestation journaling, this is a similar method of future journaling by which you can use your words to manifest something into being. Such future-self journaling prompts might be considered the opposite of gratitude journaling, wherein you detail the things you are grateful for. Here, you tally up the things you are not so grateful for in yourself and that you wish to change.
Method 2: The Looking Back Method
The other most common method by which to contact your future selves through journaling is to use the looking back method.
Instead of journaling to cast the vision of a new and improved future self, try thinking about the long-term goals you already have, and assessing the person you are today in the meantime (as well as the person your past self was). After all, every day on this earth is fuelled by the manifold number of choices we make, so we can do a good deed for ourselves and our knack for predicting future emotions by looking back first.
It has often been found that it takes journaling about the things we hope to accomplish in the future version of our life to really realize the things that we care about and that we hope to accomplish later in life. It is in this way and only this way that personal growth takes on the form of a merging, this merging between the future self we envision and the current self in which we live.
Merging this ideal future self through writing letters and the like can not only improve our future prospects but also increase our overall happiness. Indeed, much as gratitude journaling has been shown by research to improve our overall contentedness with life, the same very much goes for this metaphorical merging of the future and the past.
Why Try Future-Self Journaling?
If you still remain unconvinced, then let these 5 reasons for trying future-self journaling cure you of your skepticism.
1. Keep Track of Goals and How to Reach Them
If you are looking to make a habit of emboldening your self-awareness for the sake of your mental health, then you are likely going to want to make some goals on the subject. Future-self journaling is an apt way to keep track of the goals you have for your present and future self as well as plan ways to reach them, relative to your own strengths and weaknesses.
2. Allow Writing to Shape Your Life
Sure, self-development is all about not exactly knowing how the future is going to pan out and accepting that fact for what it is. However, accepting such an inevitable fact does not mean that you can't allow your journal practice to help you shape the path your life is going to take.
Not only that, but you can do say by using writing as your tool, scribbling your way into a place where you can gain clarity and chart the darkness of your soul one bullet point at a time, whether bullet journaling or otherwise.
3. Become More Reasonable in Decision
Sadly, we can't all be classical philosophers. No matter how hard we may try to fight it, we will eventually make an irrational decision. The mind is not a perfect palace of reasoning but is, rather, affected by the countless emotional quandaries that each human experiences every day.
Future-self journaling can help with this though, for it offers a platform for you to explore where you want your life and your being to head and how you should go about doing it. In this way, you can reason out your own decisions and get to know precisely why you choose to do them in the first place.
4. Predict Positive Emotions
As already alluded to above, humans are nothing if not the playthings of their emotions. Even for the most adept and zen, it is impossible to predict where the mind and soul will take a person's thoughts and feelings.
One of the many reasons people choose to engage with future-self journaling is because it is a great way of tracking patterns of thought and, thus, better predicting where the mind is likely to head on its courses through thought and feeling.
5. Harness Positive Aspirations
In a very similar way, getting in contact with your future self can also allow you to harness whatever positive aspirations you presently have, either for your future self or future self.
Passion is, after all, the driving force of most people's lives. Where would we be if not for the things that actually interest us? Such passions don't need to be grand or even cosmic - the smallest interests like walking with yourself or another in a local park are more than valid.
Using future-self journaling you can identify a passion in your life worth creating something meaningful around, providing you with something worthwhile to rally around.
So, there you have it! Hopefully, you are now feeling ready and able to start your own future-self journal!
FAQs Future-Self Journaling
HOW DO I START MY FUTURE-SELF JOURNALING?
The most important thing for starting your own future-self journal is to be honest with yourself in why you are wanting to engage in the practice of one in the first place. The best thing to do before starting any journal is to have an intention in starting it, even if you don't necessarily stick strictly to this intention later on.
WHAT SHOULD I WRITE IN MY FUTURE JOURNAL?
Anything you like while bearing in mind that this is intended to be a way to manifest any future ambitions and goals you have for yourself as well as to realize any of your deep-seated dreams. For many, future-self journaling is their own way of merging their future selves with their present selves, all while unifying those aspects of their past which, though undesirable, are necessary in order to learn anything from one's mistakes.
IS FUTURE-SELF JOURNALING FOR ANXIETY?
Though it is not specifically designed for anxiety, future-self journaling can certainly be used to help alleviate some of these kinds of issues around mental health. Since a future-self journal is amply suited to those who wish to merge their ideal future self with their present self, then such a methodology can be used by those with anxiety, bringing together a future self that is not as afflicted with anxiety with the present self that is otherwise afflicted.
WHAT DO YOU WRITE IN A SELF-GROWTH JOURNAL?
Though you can write anything you want in just about any journal, the idea of a self-growth journal is for you to grow and develop your personality based on the things you do not presently like about yourself. Thus, you would likely be writing about these kinds of things in a self-growth journal, embodying them and detailing what they are, as well as exploring how you might go about remedying their effect on your life.