future letter check-in


Around Thanksgiving every year, I like to re-read my Future Letter and give thanks for all of the items that have come true.

This reflection also gives me a chance to refocus and move forward on any Future Letter activities that can still be completed this year.

So if you wrote a Future Letter earlier this year, feel free to pull it out and see how things are going! And if you haven’t written a Future Letter before, feel free to spend some time thinking about what you might like to include in a Future Letter this coming January (or even write one now!).


Over the next few days our parents and my youngest brother, Mike, will be in town for Thanksgiving. Since we live across the country (Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Chicago), this is a rare treat.

While I’m spending time with them and taking the remainder of the week off, I’ll still be posting little updates on Facebook for the remainder of the week.

Thank you so much for reading and Happy Thanksgiving!


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  1. Ashlee Thurlow

    Ah! Jess I was JUST thinking about future letters this morning! I’m a tad bit scared to read mine though…so much has changed!

    1. Jess Lively

      I know, same here! I find that the career part of the letter is always the most inaccurate overall. Things tend to change in the most unexpected ways there (most of the time for the better).

      Is that what you are finding, too?

  2. chantelle

    I need to do this future letter business come January. This is just such a great idea!

    1. Jess Lively

      Awesome! I hope you like the process. You can send your letters to you at some point in the future via futureme.org, too!

  3. Ness G

    I wrote one on the weekend-I turned 30 and felt it was a good time to think about the year ahead, how I wanted to feel and what I wanted to achieve. I really enjoyed the process!

    1. Jess Lively

      First, happy birthday!! I agree, a birthday is a great time to reflect through a Future Letter. I’m happy to hear you liked it! There is a site that can send you your letter in the future – like on your birthday or in six months as a reminder, if you like! Futureme.org

  4. Laura Yamin

    I am planning to adopt this ritual/tradition. Thank you Jess for sharing and being a role model that it does work.

    Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you have a great week with the family

    1. Jess Lively

      Aw, thanks, Laura!! I am happy to hear you are thinking about adopting this habit, too! Let me know how it goes for you.

  5. kelly

    I haven’t ever written a future letter before, but I started writing one today! I’m encountering quite a lot of weird gut-level resistance to putting into words statements about how I’ve reached a lot of goals I have for myself, even though I KNOW from experience that I can reach the goals I really want and work toward (running a marathon, for instance – I did that this year!). Definitely a worthwhile exercise – thanks for the push toward it!

    1. Jess Lively

      That is so great to hear, Kelly! How did it go?

      I know, it can feel a bit strange to write it as if you have already done it… as long as the goals aren’t shiny pennies (http://jesslively.com///shiny-pennies/) that are motivated by ego, I’m sure you are totally fine even if it feels a little scary to write it down as if they are already complete. : )

      Also, to handle any resistance to good things that are truly meaningful, I would suggest The War of Art and Turning Pro. : )

    1. Jess Lively

      You are most welcome, Kristina!! I am glad you like the idea and I hope it serves you well in 2014 (and beyond!).

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