Best Possible Self

If you want to get somewhere, it helps to know where that place is. This is an exercise that helps you define an ideal future.


  • Type: Written / Visualisation
  • Time needed: 20 Minutes
  • Frequency: Daily for 3+ days

Short version

Close your eyes and go forward in time 1 year (or any time period you prefer). Imagine that everything in your life went as perfectly as it could. Forget realism, and just imagine that every single thing went right for you.

Now write about that future for 20 minutes.


  • Happiness / well-being / positive mood
  • Clarity over your goals
  • Increased focus on getting what you want, as opposed to avoiding what you don’t want


Close your eyes and go mentally forward in time – as far as you want. A common period is 1 year, but you can also try:

  • 1 week
  • 1 month
  • 6 months
  • 1 year
  • 5 years
  • 10 years
  • 15 years

Or any other time period you want. It all depends on how far forward you feel comfortable thinking about and planning for.

If you’re not sure, use 1 year.

Imagine that everything in your life went as perfectly as it possibly could. Everything you did was successful, you got every outcome you wanted, and the circumstances of your life are exactly as you would ideally want them to be.

Don’t worry about realism, the idea here is not to set a SMART goal. but to identify a future that you’re inspired by.

Think about:

  • What are you doing?
  • What do you do for money?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What’s you’re family situation?
  • What do you feel?
  • What’s a typical day like?
  • What do you look like?
  • Who are you?

Then, write about that future for at least 20 minutes.


As a basic rule, repeat the exercise every day for at least 3 days, using the same time period each time. It’s OK if you write about different things each time – you may end up refining and clarifying your vision as you go.

You can go beyond the initial 3 days if you think you’ll get more out of it.

A good rule of thumb is to try to come up with a vision that energises or excites you to some degree. Something that you want to work towards. If you’re not getting that type of feeling from your envisioned future, try imagining a different future.

Why it works

First of all, it’s a mood booster. Its simply uplifting to think about things going well. So many people report a more positive emotional state for a while after doing the exercise.

But also, it helps clarify your future. It helps you hone in on the things that matter to you, because you are literally thinking about what your perfect future would look like. Once you have a better idea of what that might be, you can then start working on ways to bring it about.