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Team Future Us Challenge

This morning I got a surprise email from someone I know really well. It made me laugh and then my face leaked a little. Even though it was only three sentences long, the email left me feeling cared for and encouraged.

The message ended with:

p.s. you will figure this out!

Who’s writing me such nice emails? Who knows how much time I spend trying to figure it out (“it” being a synonym for my life/my career/the fate of the world/the plot of Homeland)? And that I need to be confident in myself and then learn to let it go?

I’ll tell you who: Me.

Yep, not only do I walk around talking to myself all day, but now I write to myself too.

That’s because I discovered

future me

It’s the most simple, brilliant idea ever. You write yourself an email and schedule it to be delivered to yourself some time in the future.

You might think it’s dumb to write yourself because you’re soooo smart that you’d never forget what you wrote to yourself in the first place, so duh, who cares if you get an email saying stuff you already knew.

Nope. I completely forgot that I wrote that email. Given, I forget to put on real pants some days, but I’m willing to wager that most people totally forget (the email, not their pants). And more importantly, everyone probably forgets what they actually wrote. The content will be a surprise. Wheee!

Think of how helpful this could be. You could:

  • write yourself monthly emails with your plan and motivations for taking care of yourself.
  • write a letter and schedule it to arrive the morning of a day you anticipate will be challenging. Like the first day of a dog training class you’re afraid of going to with your poopy-pants dog. Or a difficult anniversary.
  • write yourself a caring letter of encouragement, to be read on any random day in the future. You might be surprised at how good it feels to hear kind words, even when they’re your own.
  • write yourself random reminders like: Look Down. Are You Still Wearing Pajama Pants?

I really think this might be a good thing. I want you to do it. So let’s try it together. I’ll call it the Team Future Us Challenge.

This week take a few minutes to write yourselves a letter of encouragement. No beating yourself up. Keep it above the belt. Just write a few sentences to give Future You a boost.

Not sure what to write? Think of some area of your life that you’re struggling with and give yourself a pep talk. For example:

If you have a dog that is experiencing some challenges right now, like they lose their marbles every time a dog farts within 50 miles of your house, you could list a few things that you really love about your dog and a few ways that you’re pretty swell too, such as: Despite the fact that walking my dog is torture some times, I really do love him. He’s a world-class foot warmer, a champion floor cleaner, and an excellent karaoke audience. Also, I should give myself credit for trying so hard and stop comparing myself to everyone around me. I’m doing a really good job. Me and my dog RULE.

Or if your dog is perfect and cooks you brunch on the weekends, maybe you could write about some other aspect of your life where you feel a little less than perfect. Think about what Future You might need to hear. Be kind.

So here’s the Team Future Us Challenge part (that is dangerously close to being Team FU, huh?):

  • This week, write yourself a letter of encouragement.
  • Schedule the email to arrive two months from now on November 30th, 2013. That’s Thanksgiving Day weekend. I bet a lot of us could use a little bit of encouragement around the holidays, right?
  • In two months, we’ll all get an email from Past Us. I’ll post a blog here, so that those of us who want to can check in and celebrate our awesomeness together. Because sometimes peer pressure  a community can help motivate you to do something nice for yourself.

What do you say? Let’s go be nice to ourselves.

See US in two months!

  1. Sometimes less is more. That’s the way it was with your email.

    September 30, 2013
  2. This idea sounds amazing….count me in!!!

    October 1, 2013
  3. Adriane Wallace #

    Done and sent, no turning back now 🙂 THANK YOU!!!!

    October 1, 2013
    • Yay! I’ll be seeing you (and me) in a couple of months : )

      October 1, 2013
  4. Conor Hughes #

    We don’t have a Thanksgiving holiday here in South Africa, although I wish we did. So I hope it will be OK if I butt in quietly that weekend as a temporary American and join in with this really cool challenge. (BTW, we are just starting Season 2 of Homeland here, so any pointers about the plot would be exceedingly welcome. Can you imagine how it plays to an audience that have No Idea why the US is at war anywhere?)
    Love your blog. My soul sister Jinx the Aussie thinks Birdie is cooooool.

    October 3, 2013
    • Yes, please join in! (if you want to be a temporary American, butting in – loudly – is a good place to start!)

      I’m just starting season 2 too (I watch it on Netflix) and my only pointer is that you cannot be sleepy while watching this show. Even one yawn will leave you missing some key point of the plot, right?

      Thanks for reading and Birdie snorts a “hello” at Jinx!

      October 3, 2013
  5. Done! Thanks for this post!

    October 5, 2013
  6. I’m in, thanks for a great post. See you next month!

    October 19, 2013
  7. What an interesting idea. I like this. I am going to give it a go! Thanks.

    October 20, 2013
  8. Got my FutureMe email today. Dear FutureMe,
    I know how hard you try to help Krissy. Whatever you do, know that you’re time & effort HAVE helped her! Stop second guessing yourself and realise how much you love her and she loves you.

    November 30, 2013

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