The Best Possible Self

What is it?

The Best Possible Self is an exercise to clarify your goals.

Why use it?

Research shows that building optimism about the future motivates you to work toward that desired future.


First prepare a visible calendar with five checkboxes representing the next five days. For each day that you accomplish the assignment, tick a box.

Each day, take a moment to imagine your life in the future.

  • What is the best possible life you can envision?
  • In all the different areas of your life, professional or personal, what will happen in your best possible future?

Write for at least five minutes, use the hot pen technique. Write what comes to your mind without editing (you can write longer if there is a lot of information coming to mind).

Be very specific in your write-up

  • Describe a better future in which you are your best possible self, and what needs to change in your current situation, what you will learn, what habits you will change.

You will start the next day with a blank page.

After five days, you may be tempted to continue the exercise because you feel that you can learn more from it. Please do and drop us a note to tell us what was the right duration for you.

Some people find it useful to let a few days pass before reviewing their writings, when you are ready, review your writing:

  • Are they different from day to day?
  • Do you see key themes coming back over the days?
  • Can you write down the themes in the present tense?

One last word, if you miss a day, don’t be harsh on yourself. Guilt has a negative effect on our willpower. Success is simply restarting.

Further Information


  • Alexis Monville

    Alexis Monville worked in multicultural and distributed environments for years, coming back from the US and now based in the southwest of France. When asked if he misses the work in the office, he usually answers that he spent half of his 30 years of management experience in diverse sectors outside of the office and a lot of that working from home. Alexis is Chief of Staff to the CTO at Red Hat, a long-time hybrid open-source software company with more than 100 office locations in 40 countries, where half of the 20,000 people work remotely. Alexis is a firm believer that change starts with the self. He is the author of two books: Changing Your Team From The Inside and I am a Software Engineer and I am in Charge. Alexis facilitates successful playful collaborations. He designs and builds sustainable and high-impact teams and organizations.