Who isn’t looking for ways to be more motivated? Who isn’t a little annoyed at yourself for not following through on all those things you really want to do?
Here’s an idea that will help. I call it “Dear Me,”. Based on a study done at Columbia Business School, this activity not only encouraged futuristic thinking, but it also proved to be a real motivational tool.
Here are the three simple steps:
That’s it. Sounds pretty simple, right? The results at Columbia were very impressive. The professors found that people really started to care more when they became more connected to their future selves. The participants exercised more often, thought about more fulfilling ways to spend their free time, and actually began to take better care of their relationships.
The interesting part here is that not only are you thinking about your future, you are actually planning based what you really want. And you are writing it all down.
Need a little help? Here's a sample:
I’m so glad to see myself healthy and happy as I fill my time enjoying the community-wide activities I always loved. The neighborhood book club I started is a huge success (even if Emily keeps insisting on bringing wine!), and becoming a docent at the gallery was genius. Now not only do I have to learn about each new exhibit that arrives but I also get to interact with the public!
I also love my blogs! They bring me both joy and insight each time I post. My Facebook group, “Make Happy a Habit,” is encouraging and positive. It causes people to stop and think how they, too, can bring happiness into their lives. Yay for me!
I’m proud of myself and send hugs.
Now when you actually have a picture of yourself focusing on what you think you want to do – and feel how it makes you feel – it becomes more real.
These results are not really surprising. After all, once you realize that you are the one making today’s decisions to reach tomorrow’s dreams, it can make all the difference.
So, go ahead… Whether you send yourself an email or actually use pen and paper, write that “Dear Me…” letter today. And let me know how it makes you feel.
Loretta Saff, M.A., CPC, CPRC