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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USMAWIFE 3/19/2021
thank you Report
CECELW 2/28/2021
i've never tried it, but it might be worth it Report
Thanks! Report
EVIE4NOW 10/26/2020
What a great idea! Thank you!!! Report
CATTI53 8/18/2020
great inspiration. Thank you! Report
Loved that thought process Report
Thank you for this Great article! Report
Maybe and then I would have to remember where I put it. LOL Report
interesting Report
Great idea. Now I have a project for this afternoon! Report
Very inspirational! Thank you for this one. Report
I have actually done this before. Report
I have actually done this before. Report
I like this idea, I think I will try it today. Report
I needed this. Every evening I say tomorrow is going to be different. I do watch calories because I am Type 2 Diabetic, but very little exercise. I have treadmill so no excuse. Report
Great idea! Report
In order to do this you need vision of your future and belief that it will be. "What the mind of man can conceive and believe, he can achieve." Marcus Aurelius, 4 BC Report
I wish I would have done this 2 years ago. I think I should still do it, but it will be so different now. Report
I like the idea of writing a future note, thanks for the motivation. Report
Awesome! Thank you for writing this. Report
Much to think about..... I will be doing this exercise (and extensions on it) over the next few days. Thank you. Report
Thanks for the blog. Writing a note to myself that will encourage me and keep me motivated is a very good idea so I am going to try it. Report
Wow, this is something I've already been thinking about. What could I write down that will help me if I forget everything again, if I start making things up about everything? What could I write that will talk me into getting help and not harming myself or anyone else? Because every time I have gotten sick before I've turned to my books, so maybe I should have a book where I have written a lot of instructions to get better and stay out of trouble. Maybe even just the act of writing all this stuff down will somehow help me to never have to actually use it. That's one of my hopes. Report
I have made all of my children sit and talk with their "Fifty year old self" and they understand that they NOW have responsibility for what their 50 year old self will deal with. They are in their 20s and they know they have to take care of their health so that SELF will be healthy. Drugs, smoking, getting injured, etc. isn't part of their lives. A friend's cousin died from a drug overdose last Spring and my son said "Boy, Mom, he sure made his 50 yr old man mad." I was glad he thought of him. Report
I recently did just the opposite... I wrote a note to my current self from my previous self. I'd been having a rough few weeks and when I was at the gym one night I saw myself through old-me's eyes. We went home & wrote a letter to myself saying how proud I am of me & that I did a good job. I was an emotional wreck for a while after, but it got me into a really good head space! Report
Great way to think about life - I'm inspired to leave myself notes for my future (even if it's just one day in the future!) Part of life is learning all of the lessons we need in the time that is right for us. Too bad we don't usually enjoy the lesson learning part ;) Report
Thanks for this blog, really needed it today! Report
Ha! We are a lot alike! My hubby and I have seen every single episode of Stargate! Plus I was a swimmer in high school and quit after. I could eat whatever I wanted back then and ever since its been a struggle to keep off weight.
I guess in my note I'd say that sticking with things and putting off the immediate gratification ends up bringing more gratification in the end...a wonderful feeling of confidence and accomplishment and satisfaction that feels so much better than that bite of cake ever could. Report
Absolutely Terrific!

If I could only write one letter, I'd send it to myself at about 32 years old when I was walking a mile a day and keeping my calorie count around 1500. I would tell my younger self to keep up the walking and the food plan!

Of course, I'd explain to myself that otherwise she/I would someday weigh 221 lbs. and later need a knee replacement because of all that extra weight! Report
Ooh…good blog. Am going to work on my note today! Thanks for this prompt. Report
I really liked this blog. I'm rather happy where I'm at now, despite the extra weight, but I am curious how things could have turned out. I would tell my past self:

As soon as you enter high school -- join a sport! Join a sport, and stick to it! Get a scholarship for school (tuition is too expensive!!), DON'T TAKE A YEAR OFF, and stay healthy!

I'm in school now. I took a year off after high school, did nothing of significance. Then I rerouted my major which tacked on another year to my schooling. By time I graduate, I'll have been on the 6-year bachelors plan! Report
Great show! I like "Windows of Opportunity" where they get stuck in a time loop repeating every 10 hours. In the end Jack trades froot loops for oatmeal!

I would like to tell my self to keep walking. I too was the skinny tall kid who could eat anything! I couldn't imagine weighing then what I do now! I will never be that skinny again but at least I am living healthy now. Report
I would tell my future self to finish my education, learn to drive a car, and not let my weight yoyo. Report
yup, my all time favorite sci-fi show! I would tell my past self to go to USC instead of staying close to home because I didn't want to be away from my boyfriend, who I dumped just 6 months later anyway. I would also tell my past self to not be afraid of the audition! Report
What a wonderful concept. I am a proud sci fi geek myself. Love those movies! You are so right about reading motivational blogs. I've been trying very hard to put out positive blogs and yet today I thought "I'm just plain tired...maybe I'll write about being tired.....then I thought (before your blog) that I would read some blogs....that I always seemed to feel better after....I was right.

Thank you for lifting my mood for the day! Loved your blog.

Diana Report
Awesome blog! You made some great points in a highly entertaining way.

Alas, I must settle for being grateful that this old dog is able to learn at least a few things because my young pup self would never have believed that any experience of an oldster could be in any way relevant to her. Come to think of it, as an oldster back in school I see that this attitude has not become extinct! I constantly work on respect for others' paths and their right to walk them.

After all, if I really knew all that would I be here today?

Excuse me for the digression and thanks again. Report
I loved this. How true it is that when we are young we can't see the help that older people try to offer us. It is only after going through something that we can see it. Thank you so much for this. Maybe it will help someone younger and less wise to see that with age usually comes some wisdom. Report
It's almost like you were telling my story as I too was a swimmer and experienced alot of weight gain after college. 78+ lbs. actually. I can clearly see a goal now and am well on my way to a enlightened version of my skinnier youth! Thank goodness for do overs and thanks for the fantastic blog, you've made my day! Keep on keepin' on! Report
There are many times we beat ourselves up, so why not sit down and write a word of encouragement everyday? We need to pat ourselves on the back as most of the time we are the only ones who will.
Thanks for this blog. There are so many things in my past that I'd like to do better. I'm really trying to focus on the future and cut myself some slack for the past. I think my future self would like to tell me to just relax and enjoy the journey. Report
I've taken up running lately and have really enjoyed the exhilaration that comes with running (and other forms of exercise). I also tend to be competitive and enjoy pushing myself. I've been thinking to myself lately that I wish I had participated in sports when I was in school. If I could tell my younger self something, it would be, "Don't be afraid of sports. Don't be afraid of being active" Report
I would say to my 9 year old self
You are not unwanted, you are not abandoned, you are good, you are beautiful, God loves you. There is a better place, a way out to come, believe in yourself. Don't hide away who you are, your fear and lack of trust of others need not hold you back. The grownups and their children that persecute you are only jealous of the goodness and the beauty that radiates from you. You can do anything you set your mind to. Failing at something doesn't make you a loser. Give your best and know that it was good enough no mater how much you get made fun of and ridiculed because you tried and that is a good thing. You deserve all the joy and happiness that comes your way. You will be amazed of the things you will accomplished even though you were made to believe you are nothing.

With hope, peace and love

Your future self. Report
There is a free site called futureme.com that allows you to do just that. You write a letter to yourself (at least a month down the road) and it will email it to you on the given date. Report
Dear self, 115 pounds is not fat. Wear those shorts while you still look so cute. Love, Cindy Report
You said it just right. My letter would also go back to about the same time...the day I graduated from high school and all of the physical activity stopped, but I kept the same eating habits and even ADDED the habit of partying just "a little" too much. (I was "free" afterall!) In just one year, between the inactivity, working in a restaurant, having a daily, endless buffet in campus cafeteria, and possibly a few too many beers I put on more than 20 pounds. Since then I've gained an ADDITIONAL 30 pounds.

Over the last 9 years, I have attempted "dieting" over and over again and never incorporated exercise. This time has been so different, though. I've seen "the light" and have made changes for the "forever." I eat healthy, yet I don't deprive myself of the foods I love. I just enjoy them in moderation. I exercise regularly by doing things I love to do (and not turtoring myself in a gym, which I find incredibly boring), like attending local Zumba classes and walking with my husband (who's also been inspired to join me in the journey to get fit and healthy) and children every chance we get. Now in just two months my husband and I are feeling great, have so much more energy, and have lost a combined 37 pounds and counting.

So my letter to my 18-year-old, high school graduate self would say, "Keep active! Limit yourself at the buffet! Put down that beer! Drink plenty of water! And encourage your [then] boyfriend to do the same!"

Great job to you. Congratulations and thank you for sharing this inspirational story! Report
YES!! What a great idea. I felt absolutely encouraged by your note to me (I know ... it was sent out to "all of us", but I'm narcissistic enough to think it was sent directly to me) :-)

P.S. I used to watch Stargate too. :-) Report
That the good outweighs the bad instead of the other way around. We are who we are because of our past experiences. It's all learning opportunities. We are where we need to be and to make tomorrow better than today. Be a better me, thanx! Report
This was a timely blog for me. After reading it, it seemed easy enough to write this letter but then again, maybe not. It would be great to have 20/20 hindsight to know what you should've done instead of what you actually did at a given point in time regarding the choices we make and the people we trust and the relationships we develop and those we don't. I'm at that point now looking back over the past 20 years of my life I don't like where I'm at.

For sure, if I only knew then what I know now how certain relationships turned out, I would know not to have even got started in them. There were too many. They all ended badly and have affected me that I wonder now who I can trust anymore. There were choices made that seemed good at the time. They turned out badly. Now I don't trust my judgment on what choices to make that I don't do anything.

So now, I'm really angry and hurting and alone wondering what I did to be in all this pain. You trust people that seem trustworthy (e.g. pastors and church people) and you do the right thing, take the high road and you get cut down and outbeaten by the liars, manipulators, cheaters and game players at work and in business.

I'd love to have a letter sent to me today from the future that would tell me now who to avoid and not trust and what not to do so I don't regret getting hurt again. Do I dare look in the mailbox and find it? Report
Great topic! I would say to my future self don't ever be afraid to follow my heart and believe in myself. Dreams really come true if we never give up! Report
nice blog........loved it..... I would tell my past this. Dad is wrong. You are not stupid or ugly. You are a nice person. You didn't deserve the beatings that dad gave you. You are pretty. I would tell my future self this. Remember that when times get tough that God is there for you and that Jesus loves you. Also remember to be nice to yourself as you deserve it. and that Dennis will always be there for you. Report