My Future Christmas Letter Exercise
Imagine not only your “best year yet”, but a year that was the “most enjoyable”.
At this time of year, we usually get Christmas cards from family and friends. Some of these cards contain letters that describe all the events and highlights of that person’s family that happened over the last 12 months.
There are several versions of this exercise which is essentially called – Time Travelling. The idea is to travel in time and describe your life as if you are looking back over that time period. Most of the time it is focused on what accomplishments (results) had happened over the last 12 months.
Recently Michael Neill, a mentor and trainer of mine put it out as “Your Most Enjoyable Year Yet.”
When you think about it, isn’t that what we all want in the end is to have an enjoyable life, regardless of the results and circumstances that might happen from now to then?
So, lets get started.
Get a blank piece of paper and make four columns and label them A, B, C and D.
Under each of the letters, you will make a list of items, and make it as complete as you can. Remember this exercise is for you and no one else. It is also for you viewing, so no one will be judging this list except you and I highly recommend that you turn that filter off and just let the ideas, insights, wishes and thoughts to flow.
Under A, list all the things that you enjoy doing, that no matter what, you will continue to do. Those things that you do that for no other reason, but you can and enjoy.
For me, the items are related to camping, enjoying the outdoors. Spending time with family and friends. Taking grandkids out, exploring whether on land or sea. Photography, coaching and writing brings me much joy and that would be on the list too. If you know me a bit, you can imagine this list will be my biggest.
Under B, list those things that if were easy and/or available I would like to do. I would not go out of my way to do them but if they just happen to come up or I got an invite to do or if just fell into my lap, yes, I will not turn it down. The items here are different from the A listed items as you would not be pursuing these.
On my list would be items like out of province or country trips. I would enjoy them but if they did not happen, oh well. I enjoy public speaking, but I would not be going out of my way to pursue engagements, however if the chance would come up, I would not turn it down. There are many creative projects that if I would there were suddenly some time to do them, I would be there in a heartbeat.
Under C, list those things that you do because there is an obligation. Things that you are doing for money or that they are things that you “should/have” to be doing. It is a bonus if there is some enjoyment, but in most cases if you did not have to, you may not be doing them.
There is not much here on my list. Most of what might be here would be related to chores, which who knows, maybe someone else gets to do them in 2021!
The last column D list those things that you know you should not be doing. They do not really give you much joy and in some cases distract you from participating elsewhere. Those things could be people related too.
Since I have done similar exercises over the years, thankfully this list is the smallest. There are a couple of residual items and maybe 2021 is that year.
As you might be guessing where this is all going, yes you are correct.
Imagine a little of what life would be like if you spent more time on the A’s, allowed more time for the B’s. less time at the C’s and dropping when you can any D’s.
Relax, take another deep breath and release it – imagine that!
Now let us put that 2021 Christmas Letter together.
Take a deep breath, look up towards the sky and let that breath release slowly from you. As you do, allow those muscles to relax. Take one deep breath and let us begin. It is now December 2021.
The letter begins:
Now imagine what the end of 2021 is like. Imagine you have just completed the most enjoyable year yet and you are now sharing it with those that matter the most to you.
What made you so happy?
What is it about 2021 that made it so enjoyable?
Were there any surprises?
Where there any new things that came into your life?
What did you stop doing that you noticed made such a difference in 2021 over 2020?
What did you learn about yourself that you want to share with others?
What was a struggle before that seems not to be so much anymore?
Who did you spend more time with and/or less time with?
How are you feeling each day as this year (2021) ends?
What are some of those accomplishments you managed to get done that made such a difference and brought joy to your life?
What are you most grateful for, reflecting on the year?
Do not hold back!
Write is as much detail as you can and remember that no one will hold you accountable for what is written BUT, would it not be cool if it all turned out as you wrote.
How enjoyable would that be?
In the book, Becoming Magic, A Course in Manifesting an Exceptional Life, Genevieve Davis has a similar exercise and what she instructs her readers to do is to place their notes in a “magic box” and forget about it.
You do not have to create a magic box, but that is cool too. Do seal the envelope and place it someplace where in 12 months, in December 2021 you can retrieve it and read it and see if compares to the actual “Most Enjoyable Year Yet.”
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”― Eleanor Roosevelt
2020 certainly has been interesting and we continue to live in interesting times. What we do with this time is all on us.
My Christmas wish for you is that you find peace and happiness in all that you do, no matter the situation or circumstance you find yourself in.
Enjoy, lots of love!