I’m continuing an annual tradition I began last year and writing a future letter to myself in lieu of making New Year’s resolutions. Instead of reexplaining the concept, I will just borrow from my post last year:
That’s the thing about New Year’s resolutions — sometimes it’s a one and done type of thing, like “run a marathon PR this year.” Or lose 10 pounds. But other times, the goal is more nebulous: Be a more supportive partner. Communicate better. It’s not a one-time thing — it’s a lifelong thing.So when I read about the concept of a Future Letter to Yourself on Jess Lively’s blog, I was intrigued. It’s like New Years resolutions meets your ideal resume plus your Amazon.com wish list and your travel bucket list. OK, maybe that’s just my letter, but it’s basically a letter to me, Natasha, written from the perspective of one year hence … about all the accomplishments I’ve achieved and positive changes I’ve enacted — large and small — over the course of the future year …
Next week I’ll review the “results” of my 2013 letter, but first, since it’s New Year’s Eve, I wanted to share some of my 2014 letter and what I’m hoping will have happened in my life come January 1, 2015.There will be a lot of changes in 2014, most notably the fact that we’ll be transitioning from our first tour in El Salvador to our second tour in Afghanistan. With that will come all the logistics of moving (selling our car, packout and consumables shopping, to name a few) along with all the perks (home leave, training in DC and meeting new people, among others).In my letter, I tried to focus on the positives of such a big life change — the excitement of a new place and personal growth that results from overcoming challenges:
When I look back on 2014, I see a year of many changes resulting in positive growth …We successfully navigated the stresses of departing from post and preparing for the arrival to another.We have maintained friendships formed in El Salvador and have also established new ones in Afghanistan.
While Afghanistan is going to be a major life change in 2014, we’ll still be spending at least half of 2014 in El Salvador. Part of my letter focuses on appreciating our time in El Salvador:
We hosted additional visitors to El Salvador and entertained regularly, inviting people over for dinner parties, drinks and other gatherings.
I completed a scrapbook for El Salvador … as part of my long-term goal to create a scrapbook for every post.
We were also able to enjoy quite of a bit of travel before leaving El Salvador, including new countries in Latin America and within El Salvador itself.
Similar to my 2013 letter, my 2014 letter covers everything from being a better partner in my marriage to health and fitness to blogging. I write about communicating better, reestablishing my running routine and continuing to blog regularly for the remainder of our tour in El Salvador as well as in Afghanistan.One departure from my previous letter is that I place less of an emphasis on professional success — not that working or being a good employee is less important, but rather there are other areas of my life to which I’d like to dedicate myself and from which I can seek fulfillment. For example, I already mentioned blogging, but I also write about the continued development of my photography skills. I also mention about another favorite hobby, reading, including keeping up with my book club and a goal to read more books, generally, and more nonfiction books, specifically, in 2014.Stay tuned for a post about how much in my 2013 letter “came true.” Happy New Year!What would be in your future letter to yourself/what are your New Year’s resolutions?