The problem with trying to make changes in your life is holding yourself accountable.
Sure, you can say that you want to save up to buy a house, or take time off work for that round-the-world adventure, but how are you going to make yourself do it?
That’s where future self journaling comes in.
Future self journaling is the practice of being in tune with your long-term goals to spark positive change in your actions today.
It makes you more aware of the way what you’re doing today is creating your future tomorrow.
There’s no one better to hold you accountable than your future self.
After all, she’s you!
She wants an amazing life, but she’s reliant on you to take the necessary steps.
Discover how you can plan for the future and motivate yourself to save with these self journaling tips and tricks.
What Is Future Self Journaling?
Future self journaling is like writing a letter to your future you that allows you to tap into your subconscious mind.
(Learn more about the power of talking to your future self in this interview.)
It’s a form of mindfulness that helps you clarify your goals and become more aware of your actions.
Try it out for yourself! Write out where you’d like to see yourself in a few years. Would you like to have a deposit for a house, or the money to take a cruise, or less financial stress?
Journaling helps you reflect on your long-term goals to ensure you make choices that don’t just make you happy now, but make your future self happy!
How to Start Self-Journaling
Grab a blank journal and find a quiet space to yourself.
Step 1. Evaluate Your Present Self
Where are you right now? Are your finances where you want them to be? Do you have a budget that allows you to have some financial freedom while also setting you up for a fruitful future?
Don’t shy away from the hard questions. For example, do you trust yourself with money? Deep dive into your relationship with money to find areas you can grow.
Step 2. Display Inspiring Aspirations
Hang up motivational notes throughout your home to stay focused on your goals. Print and cut out these free affirmation cards and stick them to your mirror or on your workstation. These tiny reminders may help you say no the next time email sale reminders flood your inbox.
Step 3. Establish Healthier Habits
How does your current life compare to your dream life? What habits can you start today to benefit your future self?
This may mean setting your alarm earlier to work out before starting out your workday and fueling your body with healthy food without breaking your budget.
Step 4. Create Real-World Strategies
If you’re struggling to sort out your finances, don’t give up. Look for solutions that work for you. What you need to motivate yourself may be different from what works for someone else. Get creative!
Step 5. Don’t Focus on Perfection
Setting unrealistic goals can hold you back. Brainstorm realistic goals that you can measure, and don’t forget to reward small victories.
Future Self Journal Prompts for Personal and Financial Success
Putting pen to paper can be hard if you don’t know where to start.
Use these brainstorm prompts to kickstart your journey and let your manifestations flow.
Here are 15 more prompts to help you work towards your dream career, reach financial success, and discover yourself.
Questions to Find Your Career Niche
- What habits do you want to change?
- What does your dream job look like?
- What activities set your soul on fire?
- Who do you look up to the most and why?
- What are 5 things you’ve learned in the last year?
Power Questions to Help You Save More
- Where do you see yourself in 6 months, a year, 2 years?
- Write out 5 financial goals you want to achieve in a year.
- What unnecessary expenses are hindering your budget?
- What actions could you take today to simplify your life?
- What do you need more of in life? What do you need less of?
Journal Prompts for Self-Discovery
- What does your ideal day look like?
- What are 5 things you’re grateful for?
- What limiting beliefs are holding you back from your dream life?
- What does happiness mean to you?
- When do you feel most in tune with yourself?
How to Get the Most Out of Your Future Self Journal
With self-improvement projects, it’s easy to start with good intentions…
Then run out of steam.
These 5 tips can help you maintain your journaling practice.
Figure Out Your Writing Style
Get in your writing zone without any distractions. Find a quiet area in your living space and put your electronics on silent to focus. Experiment with writing at different times of the day and in different settings to discover where and when you feel most productive.
Make Room in Your Daily Routine
Once you’ve found the best time and place for you to journal, turn this action into a habit. Schedule 15 minutes each day to write a letter to your future self. Keep this up for 66 days and you may have permanently added a healthy habit to your routine.
Avoid Negative Self Talk
If you have a slip-up when reaching your goals, speak to yourself like you would a friend. Instead of allowing negative thoughts, think of your mistake as a healthy growing pain of your new routine. Shift your focus back to working harder to reach your biggest goals.
Visualize Where You Want to Be
Always think about where you’d like to be in 6 months, a year, or even 5 years. Do you want to have a house or pay off all your debts? Remind yourself of these aspirations by writing down your goals.
Act Like the Person You Want to Be
You’re not where you want to be yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t act like the person you want to be. See if you can step into the shoes of your future self. How would you act and behave if you were already the person you’re working to become?
Your future self wants you to succeed. Help her by making the decisions now that will create an amazing future life.
This post originally appeared at Mint.com, which offers a free budget tracker and planning app
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