How to Dream Big with a Letter from the Future

Recently I had the opportunity to participate in the first retreat for our company’s five year strategic planning process, called Applied Strategic Planning.  We work with a consulting team, and they facilitate the process for us.  There are many components we started to define or redefine including company values, mission, core competencies, and so on.  All of these are important to ensure our company is in alignment with what we want to achieve and one of the most unique outputs of the work we are doing is something called a letter from the future.  Essentially this letter is compiled and written as though we are in 2026 and telling someone (a friend or our employees) how much our business has changed in the last 5 years.  It includes significant vision and specific things that have happened as a result of our growth.  The reason I’m sharing this with you is because we were encouraged to also write a personal letter from the future, setting our individual five year plan, and I think that is a worthwhile idea!  

Begin with the end in mind.

Stephen Covey

Set a goal to achieve something that is so big, so exhilarating that it excites you and scares you at the same time.

Bob Proctor

I’m currently working on my letter from the future.  It has been challenging to think bigger than I have in the past.  It is easiest for us to lay out the things that are likely to happen but more difficult to open our minds to bigger ideas of what we could achieve.  I’ve asked Jake for his thoughts as well to help me widen my scope and dream bigger for us as a couple and a family. By the way, there may be a sailboat in our future, and that scares me a little.  I’m excited to be working on it and know doing so will increase my ability to achieve more than I would without the vision.  

When you set a goal, your brain opens up a task list.

Mel Robbins

After completion of the letter, the next step will be to break down the dreams and translate them to individual goals.  This process will allow me to work backward from the five-year point and break large dreams down into smaller achievable steps that can be tackled from the present.  

You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.

Jim Rohn

It will be a process and won’t happen overnight, but I’m excited about this approach.  I’m already dreaming bigger than I have before because of exposure to this method and I hope this idea resonates with you too.  If you have additional ideas for dreaming, setting large personal goals or inspirational quotes, please share them so we can all grow and achieve more than we ever believed.  


4 thoughts on “How to Dream Big with a Letter from the Future”

  1. Natalie,
    This was exactly what I needed to read this very morning. Our Foundation was birthed 6 years this week when I invited several friends to a dinner, never envisioning that they would become our future board members. I nervously shared my vision and asked them if they wanted to be part of the team. 6 years later and it is the perfect time to revisit and formulate goals for the next 5 years.
    A letter from the future is exactly what I need to inspire during our next Board meeting. Setting goals, achieving them, imagining how that would feel and ultimately seeing our work coming to fruition would be powerful for the board. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Stephanie McCormick Gilbert

    Natalie!!! I love this so so so much!! I’m working on this now too and we are going to plan a workshop around this for Fitness Loon.

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