So, for the last few years, I’ve been creating these little time capsules for myself. A month or two after my birthday, I’d write a bit of a letter to myself just jotting down a few ideas about the future, then I’d collate a bunch of random documents, clippings and any other little object that’d fit in an envelope with the letter, and I’d seal it up and put it away to open in a year or so. Often I’d forget about them, but when I eventually found them again, I’d read the latest one, critique it and write a new one for the next year. This year, I decided to formalise the process, and step it up a bit. I wrote a list of questions that I can use year after year, but also can add to (or remove from if the questions become really irrelevant). I’m calling it the Longitudinal Study of Me, and I was thinking you may want to try it too.
There are just under 50 questions which I’ve written, taking inspiration from various places. Many of them focus on goal setting, and laying out the plans I have so I get to see how they turn out a year, or longer, from now. I’ve also try to write the questions to capture my mindset at the time of answering, how I think and how I feel, so that I get to see the changes that occur in me in those areas over time. Most of the questions are fairly generic, so that they will apply to you too (some of them won’t work so well if you’re a girl, but you can just flip them a bit). Feel free to add extra questions to cover things that are specific to you, and maybe even leave them in the comments so everyone else can get in on your awesome ideas.
Many of the questions demand long answers, so it may take you a fair chunk of time to do the self-survey, but I encourage you to answer all of them fully. You’ll thank yourself in the future.
So, the questions are below, but before we get to them, I’ve got a few ideas for you:
- Accompany the questions and answers with a cover letter to your future self, from your past self. Maybe there’s a story or a joke you want to tell yourself, or maybe there’s a conversation you wish you could have with someone from the future. Here’s your chance!
- I’m planning on answering the questions the old fashioned way, on paper with a pencil in hand. But you may like to do it in quite the opposite way. If you know you’re going to still have the same email address in the future, you can send your responses as an email to yourself in the future using Futureme.org. You just choose the date when you want your email to arrive, and it’ll be there!
- I’ve got a PDF and a DOC here that you can download and/or print to input your answers on. It preformatted with the space you need to answer each question, over 10 pages.
The Longitudinal Study of Me – PDF
The Longitudinal Study of Me – DOCX
Here are the questions:
Note: All questions should be answered in detail, not just with one word, or even one sentence if the question demands it. Even when the question sound like it’s not asking for much, questions can be extended upon to give better detail, or more representative answers that will be of interest in the future.
How old are you, exactly (years, months, days)?
How ya doing? (If this isn’t a good response, come back later. I don’t want biased answers.)
What time is it?
Do you currently have any other ones of these time-capsule/letter-things outstanding? If so, state what they are.
Go to your primary internet browsing device and tell me, what are the 5 most visited websites? (attach screenshots of them for posterity.)
If you put your MP3 player on random, what are the first 5 songs to come up? (You can skip one song.)
What was the last book you read?
-If it wasn’t a novel, what was the last novel you read?
What book are you currently reading/planning to read?
What video game/s are you currently in the process of playing?
What series are you currently in the process of viewing?
What are two things you wish everyone knew about?
What was the last good freebie you received?
For each day of the week, what does an average evening involve?
What was the most significant purchase you made in the last 12 months?
What is the next significant purchase you plan on making, short or long term?
What was the last rash purchase that you made (probably online)?
What was the last album you bought?
What was the last video game you bought?
What’s currently playing on your mind the most?
What is your biggest fear, at the moment?
What is your biggest fear, going into the future?
What was the last big fear you recently overcame?
What was your last significant life experience/epiphany?
If you weren’t you, what would you dare yourself to do?
What do you fantasies most about doing/being/etc.?
What are you doing for a living?
-Is this what you want to be doing?
What goals are you trying to achieve (/have already failed to achieve) over the course of this year?
What are your goals for the coming year?
What are your current daily endeavours (e.g. school, work, band, webmastery etc.)?
What was your latest project?
What’s a current pipe dream of yours?
-Have you done anything to try and achieve it?
Got any brain crack?
What are the five most important things (physical or not) in your life?
What are four things that best define who you are?
If you were to die tomorrow, is there something you would like people to know?
Where are you living?
Do you have a crush/girlfriend/wife? (Change as applicable)
How many times have you been on a plane?
How often do you wear glasses?
When were the last two times you wore contacts?
When was the last time you were clean shaven?
When was the last two times you consumed alcohol?
Are there any questions you would like to add to this survey for next time?
How many goes did it take to complete this survey?
So, what did you think of all that? Did you like the questions? Were they relevant to you? Did you come up with any of your own? As always, if you have something to say, like a suggested blog topic, feel free to tell me in the comments below, Through the Contact page or on the Facebook fan page.
To Infinity and Beyond,