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A new year tradition

January 7, 2011



I can’t remember where the idea came from, but some time in my early teens, I began a tradition I continue to this day. At the beginning of each year, I write a letter to myself about what is going on in my life right then. I include everything I can think of: work, relationships, hopes, worries, wonders and predictions in all areas of my life. When I’m finished, I seal the letter in an envelope with a note not to open until the following New Year’s Eve. This experience has always been one I treasure for three main reasons:

1. Informality. An informal letter allows your personality to come through and you’re free to simply express your feelings. It’s more of a journal entry instead of written goals with deadlines (though those are important too!).  I’ve always included a recap of the previous year as well, just so I can compare my predictions with reality.

2. Perspective. It’s amazing how what seemed so important to you just one year ago may hold almost no relevance in your life now. It’s nice to have a reminder that what we often worry about, whether in business or our personal lives, is usually never as bad as it seems.

3. Snapshot. By now I’ve accumulated around 15 letters and have written documentation of how I’ve changed over time. I have a snapshot of who I was at a certain point, and that’s something I want to hold onto.

 It doesn’t take long to write a letter, and I’ve always found it’s worth it when I open it a year later and remember exactly where I’ve been. The insights I’ve learned about myself have helped me in unexpected ways in both my business and personal life.

Give it a try. And let me know if you have any other traditions you follow in the New Year.

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