If you wrote a future me letter (or any message to my future self) while in school, you can understand the value in this assignment. My class wrote one in high school, and thirty years later I still have mine. Each time I find it, I am amazed at how eerily correct I predicted, or knew my future at fifteen. A message to my future self writing prompt can be an amazing growth mindset project to have students write about, at certain parts of their schooling, and archived for later review.
Today’s free download is a template writing prompt for a future me letter.
message to my future self
What would you include if you were to write a “message to my future self”?
Think about how your life looks right now. What would you change about your environment, your career, friends and family, life situations, etc. What wouldn’t you change about those life events and circumstances?
Can you picture a future life with your optimal circumstances? This is a peek into your future life that you might like to live.
A message to one’s future self is a letter about how you might see your future. It’s a description of how things are right now in your current situation and how you might like to change certain things or not change other things.
Much like using the power of yet, a “future me letter” or a “message to your future self” is a growth mindset tactic. Using affirmations and visualizations, a future me sets the stage for setting and accomplishing personal goals.
This task can be a tool for breaking down goals as well as visualizing a future with those goals already being accomplished.
A message to one’s future self might include:
- Predictions about what you think your life goals should be
- Advice for your future self
- Events and feelings you might want to recall later
- Your wildest dreams, if you could have anything
- Things you would say to yourself, if you were grown up
- A future me letter containing highlights of present day to be remembered later
FUTURE ME LETTER AT DIFFERENT AGES
Students (and adults) of all ages can write a future me letter.
Imagine the different letters written by each age student.
Kindergarten future me letter- Kindergarteners might write about their future self becoming a princess or firefighter, or their love of Mom and Dad. They are not able to think beyond what they know, or far outside of their own circle. This can look like a picture or drawing predicting their future selves. It can also be a sentence or two at the end of the kindergarten year.
Elementary future me letter- Elementary age might have a more realistic view on the world, although still limited in what they are able to write about.
Middle school future me letter- The future me letter starts to shine during middle and high school when students are able to think outside of their present self, imagine a future, reflect on past mistakes, and offer advice to themselves.
High school future me letter- In the teenage years is where we start to see a real strategy and prediction of the future self. In the high school years, students are moving toward career readiness as they get first jobs and make post-high school plans. A future me letter written during the high school years can be fairly accurate or completely off base, but the actual letter can be a treasure to read back on as an adult, when all of the learning that has happened is literally on the paper.
Future me letter for adults- Just because schooling has passed, doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for a future me letter. In adulthood, writing about future goals and perspectives can be a stepping point for career changes, life goals, and big changes.
No matter the age, this opportunity to look at one’s past, present, and future goals is a wonderful self-reflection activity put into action.
I am a huge fan of the time capsule idea. Collect relevant items from a time period in your learner’s life, and store them away. Once your learner is old enough to reflect and appreciate the information, share the time capsule with them. Given “modern” technology, the time capsule, including future me letters, can be physical items, or documents stored on a floppy disk (remember those?)
Personally I prefer being able to hold and touch physical items from the past.
Writing a message to your future self
Writing a future me letter, whether it is kept in a time capsule, posted on the refrigerator, or tossed in the recycle bin (GASP!), is a beneficial assignment. If you prefer a different writing prompt, this list of interest prompts might help your learners get started.
One tool to use in writing a message to ones future self is this goal ladder resource. Use that tool to create actionable steps to achieving a “future you”.
When coming up with a message for your future you to read, it is helpful to reflect on what you would like the future to look like.
This is where self awareness reflection comes in. One needs to be aware of self, but also reflect on current situations as well.
This letter is a great way for therapists to address introspection with clients.
Introspection refers to the examination or observation of one’s own thoughts and feelings. We know that our thoughts and feelings impact daily functioning, executive functioning skills, learning, and social interactions. By taking a look at our thoughts and feelings, we can see where we may want to make some changes for our future self to experience in life.
Use these points as a starting point to create a message to your future self.
Writing a message for your future self in therapy
Writing a message for your future self is a great activity prompt for therapy sessions, beyond the functional handwriting activity. We can use this functional activity to assess and document skills in the future me letter writing prompt.
Accurate documentation, although tedious, is a necessary evil in therapy settings. Documenting handwriting to show progress can be challenging without a rubric.
Does your note reflect accurate documentation, or contain phrases like good line placement, fair letter formation, or poor spacing? Think about how you will determine if the spacing has improved with words like poor/fair/good.
Writing in general is a core skill. It begins with tracing, moves on to copying, then to response writing, or creative flow. Learners can get stuck at any of these stages. Look at this printable Handwriting Tips Pack for strategies. Analyze the activity to see where the learner is lacking the skill to move forward.
- Kinesthetic awareness – are the messages from the body going to the right receptors?
- Hand strength and dexterity – staying on the lines builds hand muscles and develops muscle control. Is your learner missing some strength or dexterity?
- Visual motor skills –Combining what is seen visually and what is written motorically. This takes coordination to be able to translate information from visual input to motor output. Coloring, drawing, counting, cutting, and tracing are some visual motor skills. Poor visual motor skills can be a stumbling block to moving past beginning letter formation
- Social/Executive Function – Following directions, task completion, orienting to details, neatness, multi-tasking, attending to task, and impulse control can be contributing to difficulty completing the future me letter
- Handwriting: Letter formation – correctly forming the letters top to bottom. Letter sizing – correctly fitting the letters into the sized lines provided. Spacing, line placement, directionality, and spelling are also needed for success
- Copying – copying words from a model, transferring the letters from one place to another is a helpful building block to successful writing
- Fine motor strengthening, hand development, and grasping pattern
- Bilateral coordination – remembering to use their “helper hand” to hold the paper while writing.
- Strength – core strength, shoulder and wrist stability, head control, balance, and hand strength are all needed for upright sitting posture and writing tasks.
Use the message to your future self to identify areas of development:
- the percentage of correct letters
- how many letters are formed correctly/# of reversals/legibility of writing
- size of letters in relation to the space, # of letters on the line
- Omissions, additions, punctuation errors, and spacing can also be considered
- grasping pattern, hand dominance
- attention to detail, following directions, prompts and reminders needed, level of assistance given
- Number of times you need to repeat the directions so your learner can follow them
- Amount of prompts and reminders reminders your learner needs while doing this activity
- Determine what goals and skills you are addressing. Are you looking strictly at letter formation, line placement, and alphabet recall, or something else entirely such as executive function, thought processing, and behavior?
This type of documentation may feel foreign at first if this is not what you are used to, however insurance and governing agencies are becoming more strict on accurate documentation practice.
When it comes to reviewing progress and gathering information, you will find thorough documentation will be helpful. Check out How to Reach Handwriting Goals.
Perhaps this future me letter has inspired you to write one to yourself. What would you say to the future you? Don’t get married to that guy, take a different job, say no to that piece of cake, have more children, or become a princess after all.
Free Letter to future self
Would you like a to print off a template for a letter to future self to use as a writing prompt? This letter can be used in therapy sessions or for personal use. We’ve covered the various ways to use this resource, and now is a great time to start writing to your future you!
This printable is a resource found inside The OT Toolbox Member’s Club. Members can log in and grab the future me letter under “Handwriting Tools“. Not a member? Enter your email address into the form below to access this printable resource.
NOTE*The term, “learner” is used throughout this post for readability and inclusion. This information is relevant for students, patients, clients, preschoolers, kids/children of all ages and stages, or whomever could benefit from these resources. The term “they” is used instead of he/she to be inclusive.
Victoria Wood, OTR/L has been providing Occupational Therapy treatment in pediatrics for more than 25 years. She has practiced in hospital settings (inpatient, outpatient, NICU, PICU), school systems, and outpatient clinics in several states. She has treated hundreds of children with various sensory processing dysfunction in the areas of behavior, gross/fine motor skills, social skills and self-care. Ms. Wood has also been a featured speaker at seminars, webinars, and school staff development training. She is the author of Seeing your Home and Community with Sensory Eyes.