How to Use Future Self Journaling

How to Use Future Self Journaling

Future Self Journaling is a focused form of journaling that helps you make tangible changes in your life. 

As opposed to more traditional journaling which is typically a reflective process, Future Self Journaling is a future and action-focused form of journaling. While there are a number of different approaches, I learned about Future Self Journaling from the Holistic Psychologist who teaches it as a form of self-healing. 

Who is Future Self Journaling for? 

Future Self Journaling can be a great tool for just about anyone. It’s best when you have some specific goals in mind and are willing to commit to a daily practice. It’s more practical and focused than a Manifestation Journal, so it is a good introductory way to use journaling as a tool for creating change in your life. You don’t have to consider yourself a “writer” for this to work. The writing is a tool for your growth and is not meant to be shared with anyone else. 

How Do I Begin Future Self Journaling? 

Consistency is important in Future Self Journaling, so the first step is to pick a time of day for your practice and commit to journaling every day for at least 30 days. 

 Next, you want to identify an area of focus. It’s good at this point to narrow in on one area where you hope to see a change in your life. Ideally, you will stick with the same focus for 30 days, so pick something important that you will want to stick with. 

It’s worth noting – while you are focusing on one area for 30 days, you will likely see changes and improvements beyond that. A constraint is important because it helps us to focus our energies, but there are usually benefits beyond what we initially expect. 

Next, each morning, you will follow a similar prompt. The Holistic Psychologist has a great list of prompts you can follow each day. If you prefer to “create your own adventure” here are the main areas to focus on in your journaling practice each day:

  • What change do you want to see in your life? Write out what this would look like in the affirmative. 
  • Who do you need to be in order to bring about that change? 
  • What does your future self look like in terms of behaviors, habits, and actions? 
  • How can you embody those behaviors, habits, and actions today? 
  • What will you do if you run into temptation or distractions? 

These questions are all about bridging the gap between your current self and your future self. This exercise connects your current self, to your short-term future self, to your longer-term future self. Your daily actions impact the outcomes in your life and this exercise helps you to be more intentional and focused on what you do each day. 

You’ll repeat this same process each morning. Warning, this almost certainly will feel tedious at moments and you’ll be tempted to stop. Commit to keep going even if this happens. You can do anything for 30 days! Give it a shot, at least once, and see if the payoffs are worth it. 

An Example:

To help demonstrate how this would work, here is an example of how these questions could be used. 

Let’s say I wanted to use this process to help with procrastination. I would pick that as my focus for the 30 days. A daily entry might look like something like this: 

  • What change do you want to see in your life? Write out what this would look like in the affirmative. 

I easily and smoothly complete all tasks early or on time. 

  • Who do you need to be in order to bring about that change? 

I would be someone who is focused, who doesn’t get overwhelmed, and is brave when I get stuck. 

  • What does your future self look like in terms of behaviors, habits, and actions? 

I wake up on time and make a plan for the day. I work on the most important things first. I take breaks when I need to so I am able to do my best work. I put away my phone when I’m working so I don’t get distracted. 

  • How can you embody those behaviors, habits, and actions today? 

Today I can start my day by working on my big project. I will set a timer so I take a break and go for a walk. 

  • What will you do if you run into temptation or distractions? 

I will want to check my email and my phone. When I feel that trigger I will drink some water instead. 

 What are the benefits of Future Self Journaling?

Future Self Journaling helps you to be more aware of your thinking and behavioral patterns. It directs your attention to how you are currently showing up and helps you to identify clearly your blocks. By building a stronger connection with your future self, you also develop your will power and ability to take actions that will benefit you in the future.  Additional benefits include: 

  • Greater clarity in your day-to-day life 
  • A chance to “rehearse” your desired behavior so you are primed to make better decisions 
  • More confidence in yourself and your decisions 
  • Greater awareness of your thoughts and how they might be sabotaging you 

While you might not always follow exactly what you write each morning, by repetitively revisiting these thoughts over and over again, you start to strengthen your new patterns and habits. Simply by consciously thinking about your behavior, you’ll start to shift it. It might be small at first, but over time you will start to see actual changes in your life. 

And there you have it – an overview of Future Self Journaling and how you can start using it now. 

Have you tried Future Self Journaling? What changes or shifts did you see in your life? What surprised you with it? 

Xo 

Louisa 

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