A Message from Your Future Self

By , SparkPeople Blogger

Have you ever seen an episode of StarGate? The series is no longer being produced, but a few years ago, I watched it faithfully. Yes, I am a Sci-Fi geek!  In the show, the people had a ''StarGate'' that they could step through and travel to another planet within a matter of minutes. They were explorers traveling from earth to various locations in the universe.  Periodically – okay, in most episodes – they would stumble across bad guys intent on destroying life as we know it and they would have to protect the earth or face certain disaster. On a few occasions, they would write themselves notes telling them not to go to Planet XYZ and throw it back into the Star Gate to their past self. The past self could then decide the note was a warning and take Planet XYZ off the gate system so no one would ever travel there, thereby averting the disaster in the first place. They would then go on their merry way exploring other new worlds.

Can you imagine what it would be like if we had the power to send ourselves a note into the past? When I thought about this I knew exactly where in my past I would have sent it and what I would have said. When I was in high school I swam for two teams (school and city league), but after my senior year I just stopped. The junior college I started out at didn’t have a team. I quickly gained the freshman 15-20lbs. That started the yo-yo cycle that became a substantial part of my adult life. It progressed from the 15-20 all the way up to the 90-100 lb mark.

I remember sitting at my best friend’s kitchen table my freshman year in college with a food magazine, talking about some of the meals I was going to make after my ''diet'' was over.  Her dad looked at me and said, ''You can’t eat that way and expect to keep the weight off; you have to eat healthy."  At the time, I was young, naïve, and truly didn’t think he knew a thing about what he was talking about. Now I look back and realize he has never had a weight issue his whole life and he did know what he was talking about. He was offering me wisdom that I didn’t see and didn’t accept.

My note would go back in time to my last swim meet and I’d tell myself: ''Don't quit! Find a school with a team, or find some other sport. Learn healthy eating habits and don’t gain the weight." You cannot imagine how much food I could consume while swimming long distance races for two teams and working out eight times a week, typically swimming between 25-40 miles. I was the tall, skinny girl who would eat everyone's leftovers when coach took the team out to dinner. I didn’t know that once I stopped, I couldn’t continue to eat that way. 

What note would you send back to your past self?  More importantly, what note would you write for yourself for tomorrow?  I think mine would say that no matter what has happened in the past, it’s a new day. Nothing can hold me back from reaching my goals as long as I’m determined.  Life is about choices and I can make good ones.  I saw a poster somewhere recently that said ''you always have choices - the one where you work out is better." I’d encourage myself all over again not to make excuses, to study and learn more about nutrition and exercise.  I’d remind myself that on days where I just don’t have it mentally or emotionally that I should go on SparkPeople and read motivational blogs. I can’t tell you how many times that has pulled me up out of the depths of despair and gotten me back on track. 

And if I had a chance to write you a note… oh wait. I do! Dear You – don’t give up. I know it’s hard.  I’ve been there – repeatedly. I know it’s easier to give in and think it’s just for today, just for this meal, just this last time. Easier doesn’t get you the results that you want, does it?  You can do this!  Make it fun, make it just for you, and don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Be happy. Be healthy. You are worth it!

If we ever get to the point in time where we have a StarGate, I’ll use it. Until then, I guess I’ll have to stick to blogs and post-it notes to remind myself where I should go and what I should do. 

What do you want to write on your note for yourself for tomorrow? Is there something in your past that you just need to let go of so you can move on into a new future?  Today is a good day to move on and to chase your dreams.

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Thank you SO much for this blog!! I can't put into words how much I needed this right now! In fact, I'm going to write myself a letter tonight, from my future self. ;-) In it, I'll thank myself for taking care of me NOW, because I'm enjoying my life so much in the future as a result! :-D Report
I'm a sci-fi geek as well, so your blog easily caught my attention. There are so many notes I'd write to my past self it almost is not funny. And yet I think to myself how much of the what I have been through to this point (at age 55) has made me who I am!

In any case, sure is fun to think about. Thanks for the thought-provoking blog! Report
This is an interesting way of looking at it... I figure the past is the past and whatever happened, good or bad, it has made me who I am today... plus being the know-it-alls we were when we were young, would we have listened to our future selves? I'm not sure! Report
Loved this!! Really made me think! Thank you!! Report
This is the best article I have read on Daily Spark. Thank you!! Report
This Idea is really precious! As I learn & re-learn to be kind to myself, (I AM to everyone else!) this idea really helped my inner kid, be happy! Thank YOU! Report
Great blog, loved it! Report
Thanks so much. I had been thinking along this line today. Thanks for sharing..... If i could write a note I'd tell myself think of the tough times they will not last tough people do. Keep forging ahead and you will meet your goal. Report
Thank you. Report
Thank you. Report
While at times there are certain events I wish had transpired differently, the choices we make and the consequences (good or bad) of those decisions make us who we are.

That being said, I wish I could send a message back to myself at

15: don't date that guy
17: keep exercising!
18: don't be friends with that girl

But at the same time, I can't believe that if I made any of those decisions differently, that I would be where I am today - and aside from those extra 45+lbs I'm carryin' around here is pretty darn good! Report
A very inspiring article, thank you Report
Thank you for making me really think about my past, and where my future is going. What a great blog!! Report
VERY good thought...however, I doubt my past self would listen--she did, after all, grown into me! But I love the idea--as long as heavy regret isn't allowed too much of a voice.

We are who we are because of the choices--good and bad--we've made. If we had made other choices, we might not be who you are. It's a good thought for eating healthy, NO question. Report
Thank you ... there is a lot that i should say to the past me and even more to the future me ... thank you for the very interesting blog Report
Absolutely what I needed to hear today! Thank you! Report
Thank you for that! I need to write some notes to my future self one of these days, maybe a video and pictures. I want to remind myself later of the hard work it takes. It would be pretty awesome to tell my past self what challenges I will come up against so that I could be better prepared, though. Perhaps I'll start that anyways and have something for the future... Thank you! Report
Michelene Cleary, you write some of the best blogs!

I was just thinking about this very topic...as a matter of fact, it is the subject of the sermon I'm writing for this Sunday's church service. I love the fact that the theme of "letting go of the past and moving on toward the future" is applicable to so many areas of our lives.

If I could write a note to my past self--well, it would be more like a book full of what not to do and who to stay away from! I'm not sure what my note for tomorrow would say...probably something about my ability to do anything I set my mind to; the progress I've made so far; maybe even that I should keep that picture of myself in my head...the one where I'm fit, healthy and happy!

I think I'll start now..."Dear Self..." Report
Notes to self:
1- Fast Food will NOT be your friend but WILL be around a long time. So, visit sparingly.
2- Your obsession with thick Guernsey milk will eventually turn you into the animal it comes from.
3- Think of the times that you felt healthy or lost weight. Chances are some form of exercise was part of your life at those times. Remember and repeat! Report
my niece -26 says my words stay with her. Staying in shape is a whole lot easier to get into shape... she is beautiful and stays in great shape. That is what I would send back to my 20 something self!! Report
Thank you. I really needed this today. Report