Country singer Brad Paisley wrote a song recently called “Letter to Me.” Its touching lyrics focused on what a grown man might say to his naive, younger self. And while the notion is tempting, clearly time travel just isn’t possible. Or is it? Thinking about these lyrics, I remembered one of my favorite parts of the show The Biggest Loser. Somewhere in the beginning of the show, probably during auditions, the producers ask each of the contestants to say a few words to themselves as if they were in the final four. These are often the most touching words of the show to me. There sits someone dangerously obese, for the first time imagining they could be thin and healthy and talking to the person who did the work to make it happen.
When we’re considering the work of New Year’s Resolutions, we can take on the same challenge. Get out a piece of paper and date the top December 31, 2012. Then write, Dear Me. And go.
Write yourself a letter about all the good things you’ve experienced in 2012 as if you’d already lived it. Tell yourself what you’re proud of accomplishing. Pat yourself on the back. Allow yourself to celebrate every moment of the success you wish to achieve. Think about what your family and friends might say if you achieved all of those things you wrote in yesterday’s “This is the year” list. Write them in that letter, put it down on paper.
Then, just like the list, don’t let the letter get tossed in a drawer. Keep it with you. Post it in your office or on your bathroom mirror. Let it be a constant reminder to you of how you want to feel at the end of 2012. Wouldn’t it be amazing if all of those things happened? If your sheer will could get you everything you’d dreamed for in the year? And if on December 31, 2012 you could read that same letter with true meaning, knowing you’d accomplished all you’d set out to do? Strive for that feeling of accomplishment, for it will mean more to you than the 5 lbs or dollars saved ever will. Because we don’t lose weight just to lose it or save money just to save it or change bad habits just to change them. We do it because it will change our lives, and it will give us increased joy and accomplishment with which to go forward into the year after and the next and the next.
Write that letter today, and keep it with you as you accomplish your goals in 2012.
Watch for tomorrow’s post on visualization and more tips to keep your New Year’s resolutions in 2012!