Have you ever heard of a “live list”? It’s the concept of creating a list of things you want to complete or experience within a specific time frame. It could be a summer live list, a live list to complete by a specific age, or maybe even a list of things that you routinely add to for the rest of your life. 

Maybe your live list includes topics such as; running a marathon, climbing mount everest, writing a book, or starting your own business. All of these goals are great, exciting, and admirable, however they are substantial goals requiring months or even years of preparation and many small steps in effort to achieve the larger end goal.

When setting a goal to run a marathon, you may start with buying new running shoes, researching routes to run around your neighborhood, and creating an upbeat playlist, all before even taking the first strides towards being able to run 26.2 consecutive miles. The goal of running a marathon consists of preparation, persistence, and self compassion. 

When thinking about your healing journey, it is easy to jump right into the end goal of wanting to be fully recovered. We forget that like a marathon, working towards recovery must consist of preparation, persistence, and self compassion for long lasting and fulfilling results. We often get in the mindset of wanting to be healed without doing any of the small preparation work that is necessary and part of the journey.

What can preparation, persistence, and self compassion look like when focused on healing? It could present as:

  • Frequent journaling or self reflection and being transparent with yourself about what stage of change you are truly in. 
  • Being vulnerable with your support system when increased support is needed.
  • Showing up for yourself in therapy and when meeting with a dietitian. 
  • Creating space for uncomfortable or unknown emotions, even when it may feel easier to avoid them. 
  • Continuing to work towards your goals, no matter how slow the progress feels.

Giving yourself the freedom to move forward with your goals without pressure creates a space where you can be focused on the journey of recovery, rather than solely being focused on the end result of being recovered. Recovery is an ongoing and vulnerable, yet freeing experience, when we wholeheartedly submerge ourselves into the process without limitation.