Notes to Myself

Danielle Kennedy shares her personal letters that helped her decompress during a very overwhelming period in her life.

July 1, 2000

Early in real estate consultant and speaker Danielle Kennedy's career, when she was selling 100 homes a year and raising young children, she found herself overwhelmed and burned out.

One of her mentors advised her to attend to those parts of her life she had was neglecting--and missing. So she began writing letters to herself.

She focused on six areas of life--spiritual, physical, mental, family, work, and social--and wrote about what she wanted to accomplish in the next year and what she needed to do to achieve those results.

Writing down her goals helped her relax and re-embrace missed aspects of her life.

Kennedy shares several of her letters with you here exclusively.


Opportunity will open up this year for you to get away quietly for three days to your favorite retreat center to pray, meditate, and examine your daily life. Begin to plan the time and make responsible arrangements for your family’s care while you’re gone. This quiet time will energize you and refocus your commitment to serve others.


Cut out that picture of Kim Basinger in a bathing suit and place it on your refrigerator. You will resemble that body soon. Choose dancing for your exercise because the music and movement recreates your childhood spirit of play. Select a book to educate yourself about food. In eight months you’ll be able to slip into a size four dress. Congratulations ahead of time. How did you ever get so slim after having all those children, my dear?


You only have 30 more credits, less than two years, and you will have your college degree. This is the year to go back to school so go sign up immediately. Imagine how proud your family will be when they see mother wearing a cap and gown on her graduation day.


During the next 12 months you will take time to be alone with each of your children during certain times of every week. They’re getting older and need more one-on-one time. If you think you communicate well with them now, wait until this time next year!

You are going to go on a wonderful golf outing with your husband. Take some golf lessons first. Get a list of the top resorts and surprise him with a just-for-two weekend.


Follow your intuition and eliminate that routine social engagement that is boring you to tears. Spend more time with old friends you may have been neglecting.

Read Kennedy's column, Curbing Burnout in the 24/7 Salesperson.

Danielle Kennedy is a consultant and speaker on real estate sales and marketing topics. She is the author of three books, How to List and Sell Real Estate,Seven Figure Selling,and Workingmoms.calm: How Smart Women Balance Career and Family.

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