While your short term list is all about taking care of pressing needs, your long term list is about what you envision your future self to be. And the one skill that’s needed for your long term list is – daydreaming!
There are no limits and no right or wrong when it comes to daydreams. Some of the stuff may not even be fulfilled and it’s ok. Your long term list is mean to set a direction for you and give you hope!
I would divide your long term list into two distinct time frames – your immediate long term (6 months to a year) and your future long term (> 1 year out). The immediate long term list should contain things that are not as pressing as your short term list and that would take some time to fulfill. Some examples would be – fully paying off debt, losing weight, working hard to get a promotion etc. Your future long term list should contain tasks that would take a couple of years to fulfill e.g. saving for a house or earning that degree if you are just starting out.
There will be days when you will waver off your plan. You may have days when you cave into certain foods for instance and veer off your diet plan. You may go on an impulsive spending spree. It’s ok. The sun always rises and you have tomorrow to get back on track.
A good motivator whenever you feel tempted to veer of track is to envision your end goal. And this is where you can build your ‘healthy revenge’ in.
One of my biggest goals after breaking up with my husband was to LGFG – look good, feel good. I wanted to look so good that he regrets leaving me. Although that never happened (because a narcissist will never give anyone the benefit of seeing their regret), everytime I felt tempted to cave into junk food and every time I felt the hunger pangs, I reminded myself of my end goal.
The other thing I wanted was for my ex to miss me so much that he’ll come begging for me to come back to him. Again, never happened (and even if it did, I’m wwaaayyy past going back to him ever again). I decided to go no contact on him because I’d read somewhere that going no contact on an ex is a good strategy to make them miss you and come back to you. And I had to go no contact for an extended period of time hence it was on my long term list. So every time I was tempted to text or call him, I envisioned the long term goal of him begging for me to come back and I stopped myself.
Your long term list should also contain things that might never be realized. And why is that ok? Because you’re daydreaming and brainstorming. And you always have to dream big. Only you control your own destiny. No one else can tell you what you can or cannot do. And no one’s gonna be looking at your list and judge you for not fulfilling it. A good thing about recovering from a bad situation is – it’s a chance for you to build another version of your life story. So own that life and build out that vision today.