For the past two years I have done something to start each year that has completely changed my life.
It’s far different and far more impactful from the boring old goals and resolutions.
Here’s what you’ll need before you start:
- A pen and piece of paper (or a computer)
- 30 minutes of quiet, uninterrupted time
Next, do this:
- Visualize where you want to be one year from today. Don’t know how to visualize? Here’s an awesome video from Marie Forleo and Danielle LaPorte. Or check out this article from Jack Canfield.
- Write a letter to yourself as if all the things you visualize for yourself have already happened (I included an example of a letter I wrote to myself at the bottom of this post).
When you’re writing, focus on the things in your life that matter most: family, career, health. Really try and visualize and feel what it would be like to have those things happen.
In the book Switch, Dan and Chip Heath say that creating a clearly painted picture of where you want to be (they call it a “destination postcard”) combined with the right habits is the key to achieving big goals.
This letter to yourself will serve as your destination postcard. And once you develop that clear picture of where you see yourself going, then it’s time to create some goals to help you get there (I wrote about the new science of goal setting on Entrepreneur a while back … it’s definitely worth checking out).
Most people just go straight to goal setting, then get discouraged when they don’t pan out.
You need to set your destination postcard first.
Ever since I started writing a letter to myself the last two years, I’ve been blown away by what I’ve been able to accomplish.
Not everything I wrote down came true, and certain events will play out far differently than you planned. But it’s incredible how many of the things I wrote down did come true … and every single one of the most audacious, seemingly-impossible ones have also begun to take form in my life.
The science world is only just starting to understand the power of imagination, visualization, and intuition. We don’t know how they work … but we know they do work.
So I ask you: what have you got to lose? 30 minutes out of 525,600 you’ll have this year?
Try writing a letter to yourself, read it once a week so that seed you planted cultivates and grows, and report back to me in January of next year. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.
Here’s an example of a letter I wrote to myself in January 2014 if you need some inspiration. When I re-read it in January 2015 it was pretty cool:
Most importantly, you just had your first child. I won’t spoil the surprise and tell you whether it’s a boy or girl. You always detested the people who said, “You’ll understand when you have kids.”