Daily Checklist for Recovery-Centered Living

I’ve been thinking about some of the tools I learned about in early recovery. For me, my early years of recovery among the rooms of the 12 steps were foundational. I wouldn’t be where I am today without some of the guidance, tools and pearls of wisdom I received from others in the rooms – especially from my sponsors.

One of the habits I remember using was a daily checklist – kind of a mental intention for each day, that I would review at the end of each day.

The idea was on any given day, you strive to complete at least 3 items from the checklist. Not all of them. Just enough. This made the idea a lot more realistic on any given day.

I think I remember the five items – but feel free to substitute other things that work for you.

  1. Go to a meeting
  2. Talk to someone in recovery
  3. Read the (12-step) literature
  4. Do a spiritual practice (pray or meditate)
  5. Do a gratitude list

I could see journaling or self-care as useful for some. For others, it might be “Practice harm reduction.”

For spiritual practices, that could be praying, meditating, going to a church or other house of worship. Even as an agnostic Buddhist, I have access to prayer and meditation even though I may not choose to go to a worship service. And the Serenity Prayer is as much about living life as it is praying – it’s an addict’s friend.

I always knew at the end of the day, I could count on doing two things before bed – saying the serenity prayer and writing out my gratitude list. And if some days, I wanted to skip those I always could.

Anyway. You get the idea.

90 in 90 was another tool I used at several points in early recovery. I know I used it as I came out of my initial in-patient treatment. I know I used it years later after I relapsed. For me, it was a helpful tool.

For some, 90 in 90 may not be helpful. In those cases, I think this “3 of 5” approach using what works for YOU can be helpful.

I hope you find this helpful. Share your thoughts or suggestions in the comments. What 5 things would be on your list?

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I see life as full of possibilities and the world full of beautiful people possessing unique and often untapped talents. I’m a learner and connector, seeking ways to leverage the abundance in this world through strong community.

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