I’ve just got back from dinner with a friend. We have dinner in the same restaurant every December, and we compare notes from the year gone by. We examine where we are and how far we’ve come since last year. We decide what we want to achieve over the next 12 months. Then we go out into the world and try to put our ideas into practice, amid a fairly typical amount of faffing around.

This year, we wrote our goals on the back of an envelope. After a while we got bored, and drew smiley faces instead. This was meant to represent our wish to spend the next year being happy. We felt it summed it all up quite nicely. I also drew a sunshine. Because sunshine is nice. Then I decided to go one better. I turned the envelope over and wrote a note to my future self, in the hope that I’ll read it next year and feel comforted by my past self wishing me well. This is something I have come to put a lot of stock in, and I wonder if any of you have ever done this too. The truth is, it’s nice to look back and know that someone was rooting for you all along, even if that person was you. Especially if that person was you.

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Life can be so full of stress, sometimes it’s hard to go sailing through it, moving from one task to the next with no cheering squad to motivate you. Reading a note that you wrote to yourself days or weeks or months, or even years earlier can be just what you need, a handy little reminder that no matter what you’ve battled through, whether it be a hard day at work or a trying life event, you’re still there and you’re still trucking. Friends and family can make up an excellent support network but having a message from YOURSELF is like a quiet little word in your ear from the person who knows you best. ‘Hello. You’re still out there! You’re still winning at life! Well done, I knew you could do it!’ Even if all the note says is ‘have the calamari. It’s nice’.

Try it one day. Write your future self a note and leave it somewhere you’ll find it at the appropriate time. Let me know if it helps you. I’m certainly looking forward to reading my own words of wisdom to myself in a year from now.

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