Wrinkle & Crease 2021
Future Self Journaling
Future self journaling may seem like an abstract concept but the idea is really quite simple. With just a few moments a day you can think, ponder and write your way to a new you! We’re here to walk you through this transformative journey with some easy to follow step by step instructions.
What Is Future Self Journaling?
Future self journaling is a technique anyone can use to condition their mind and body to experience healing, self growth and happiness.
The idea developed by the Dr. Nicole Lepera, or The Holistic Psychologist, (see original article here - https://yourholisticpsychologist.com) is that by journaling daily questions and affirmations you will be able to tap into subconscious behaviours or habits that might be hindering you from living up to your true potential. Once becoming conscious of inhibiting patterns in our lives, we will be able to rewire the neural pathways in our brains to develop new habits that lead us to growth and fulfillment.
Or... in other words, future self journaling is an extremely useful tool to help you become more self-aware so that you can redesign areas in your life where you’d like to improve.
By analyzing and changing small choices we make everyday, we can harness a powerful momentum for long term growth with positive change.
How Do I Write a Future Self Journal?
First thing’s first - to get started with future self journaling, all you require is a pen and a notebook (and maybe some good old fashioned effort and dedication). Many studies suggest that physically writing down your ideas and affirmations, rather than just jotting them into that trusty Notes app on your phone, is the strongest and most effective way to connect to our brains and ensure success.
Carve out 5 minutes a day and try to keep your daily future self journaling consistent for at least 30 days. Most future self journalers like to practice this in the morning so they can start applying their affirmations fresh in the day, however, choose the time that works best for you!
Part A: The Set Up The very first place to start is by focusing on something within yourself that you’d like to be, adapt, change or become. Think about what habits you’d like to acquire to assist you with this for your future self or perhaps one that you’d need to give up. It’s recommended that you do this once at the beginning of the 30 day time period and for each habit or behaviour that you’d like to change or acquire. Think of this as the ‘set-up’ practice and only needs to be done once for each new behaviour.
Step 1. In this step, you will write down the area of focus:
“ I want to stop sleeping late in the morning”
Step 2. Next, you write down corresponding affirmations:
"I am capable of waking up early”
"I am worthy of the extra time in the morning”
"I am grateful that I have the ability to rise in the morning”
"The person I am becoming will experience joy and peace in the morning”
Step 3. Write down some actionable behaviours that you can use on a day to day
basis. I will practice going to be earlier and being aware of obstacles that prevent
me from doing so in order to be well-rested and wake up earlier in the mornings.”
Part B: For the next 30 days (and beyond if you need more time!) spend 5-10 minutes a day writing out affirmations that help you to focus on the behaviour you identified in Part A. Here are some examples of commonly used prompts that you can answer each morning.
My daily affirmation: “I am capable and worthy. I am able to have discipline.”
Today I will focus on shifting my pattern of: “Staying up late without thinking of the consequences for the morning.”
I am grateful for: “The ability to stretch and move when I wake in the morning.”
The person I am becoming will experience more:“Productivity, satisfaction and peace.”
I have an opportunity to be my future self today when I: “Practice self-care in the evenings to ensure that I have a restful sleep.”
When I think about who I am becoming I feel: “Confident and alive.”
And that is all it takes, friends! A little self-awareness every morning to help you consciously choose your actions throughout the day.
How Do I Get the Most Out of Future Self Journaling?
Ask yourself why. Who do you want to be in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years? Without actionable changes to push yourself forward in life, you may find yourself repeating bad habits for the rest of your life. Future self journaling helps us to be more present in our decision making.
Journal every day. The intentional act of future self journaling takes repetition to change the pathways in our brains. However, if you do skip a day, don’t take this to mean you’ve failed. Just pick up again the next day.
IIncorporate actionable goals. Think about the behaviour or pattern you want to change and break these down into daily habits. (ie. “I want to lose 30 pounds” - forget the goal, but break down the habits as in, cook at home, go to the gym for a half hour a day, etc)
Stick to 30 days or more. Writing as if we are already behaving as our future selves will trick our brains into believing that we are already existing this way. Thirty days or more gives you enough time to create this new habit before moving on to a new focus or pattern of behaviour.
Expect to feel uncomfortable. Humans are not always excited about change - especially the kind of change that literally means re-wiring our brains. Feelings of anxiety or resistance are a completely normal part of the process - do not let this cloud your desire for change. The simple act of being consistent with your journaling will bring change in itself.
Give yourself room to make mistakes. As you practice future self journaling you may question your process or feel as if you can’t answer all of your prompts. Allow yourself room to grow through this and don’t let perfectionism prevent you from healing.
What Are Some Questions to Ask Your Future Self?
Although future self journaling questions will vary from person to person here are a few examples of prompts to initiate your process into becoming more self-aware.
What am I grateful for?
What do I want more in my life?
What’s bothering me and why?
What am I doing on autopilot that’s not serving me?
What bad habits am I doing to check out?
What am I afraid of and why?
The person I am becoming will experience more _________?
I have the opportunity to be my future self today when I___________
When I think about who I am becoming I feel_____________
Be patient and give yourself grace - change is difficult but we all have the capacity for a healthier and happier future self!