Day 648, Start Something New

“Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19)
Minutes ago, I scheduled a fasting record in my fasting schedule for tonight and tomorrow.  I plan to start at 4:30 PM tonight and eat breakfast at 8:30 AM tomorrow–a sixteen-hour fast.  I named my fast a Celebrating-A-New-Friend fast in honor of a visit a new friend made to our condo.  We walked to the library and park together, talked, and then visited afterward with my husband.  I showed her the values tables in my recent blog posts.  We could relate to each other; it was so pleasant.  She said she would like to come again.
This could be the start of a fast friendship.  I hope for brighter days ahead.  Things have already been going so well since I returned home from Santa Fe House three weeks ago.  Even though Imapramine has a few side effects I do not like, it works.  The side effects are much less consequential than depression.  Depression is deadly: it can spell death, and it can make doing almost anything impossible.  It takes away pleasure and desire.  Now, light has returned.  My productivity score (from JV Life Tracker) has stayed high, still.  Getting out daily in the sunlight has also helped.  Still, it probably required an antidepressant to make me feel good enough to do that reliably.  Now, I do not have to force myself to do it.
Yesterday, while programming JV Life Tracker, my app suddenly reverted to an earlier, buggy state.  I think I know what happened.  However, it will take some time to iron out.  Typically, I would be stressed over the situation, but this time it is affecting me only mildly.  I know I will work the problem out.
What has happened to me?  How did this all start?  I did not suddenly get this kind of resilience overnight.  Or did I?  It has now been three weeks since I came home.  Now I want to live.  I want to:
  • do all the activities on my JV Life Tracker list
  • start doing new things on the list
  • continue developing my blog and make it even better
  • get more people to read it, those who have bipolar disorder, and those who do not.
I have a near neighbor who told me that their daughter has bipolar.  When she said that to me, I did not let her know I have it myself.  Someday, I want to tell her that I have been successfully treated.  It is still too soon to know if my mood will hold long-term.  However, three weeks is a long time to go without depression, for me anyway.  At least it is a great start.
As you can see from the graph, I had difficulty getting over 100 daily points, for a long time.  I usually scored around 50 or even less.  Then I started getting out in the sun and boom, my scores went up.  However, it was not sustainable because I could not force myself out-of-doors every day.  On one of my walks, my depression attacked me like a pack of demons.  Then I got treatment between May 19 and May 22.  There are no points for those days because I was in the hospital.  Once I came out, I started at about 100 and worked up and up to over 200.
What does the future hold?  And what do 200 points mean?  It means that I am:
  • working on my projects
  • getting things done around the house
  • getting repairmen to fix things
  • doing my self-care
  • preparing balanced meals
  • taking care of my husband
  • getting outside daily
  • catching up the mail
  • taking showers
  • getting dressed
  • doing my morning ritual
I know, I’m not designing buildings or re-decorating.  Still, I am performing the essentials of my life.  For me, that is a significant accomplishment.  If you have or know anyone who has bipolar, you know how difficult it can be to even get a shower.
Here is my Top 5 report:  straight 100s so far.  I have scored it for my first week.  For more about it, consult Number Our Days. June 7, 2020, is the start date of 100 days in which I plan to build consistency with my Top 5 activities.  You can start on January one if you want, but January 1, 2021, is a few months off.  You may want to start today.  The point is that you can start any day and at any point in the day.
However, start something.  You choose the activities with which you most want to be consistent.  If it is training for a marathon, then more power to you.  Start your training schedule as soon as you can.  Is it finishing college?  What are the top five or so activities you need to do consistently to get your degree or set of degrees?  I believe everyone has a dream.  My dream has been to get out for a walk to the park every day.  You might think that it is just a cakewalk.  For me, it took a lot.
Starting is one thing.  Finishing is even better.  We probably all start stuff we do not finish.  It is especially characteristic of people who have bipolar disorder to do that.  I started something last year that I am close to finishing.  On June 21, 2021, I will reach one year of measuring how consistently I am keeping my Cronometer diet log.  My goal was to keep it at least 50% of all days.  What is my percentage so far?  75.1%.  I would like to increase that consistency percentage in the coming year because my goals were better reached when I kept a log, versus when I did not.  I also discovered what I need to do besides keep a diet diary.  The above record shows that at least for one week, I have kept that goal at 100%.
Here is the progress record I kept.  When I slipped on keeping my progress record, my weight went up, so I know it is important to hang in there in recording things, even for an entire year.
Complete Cronometer Record
  1. Add the food Completed to each day just before setting it to complete.  Completed is a food record that simply has 100% of a typically unused field.
  2. Run the Trends Nutrition Report and check that field each week to determine the percentage so far (from June 22, 2019).
  3. Fill out the Progress Notes: and Accomplished: each week.
  4. Forward the Progress record to the next week.
  5. Keep the same Start Date and increase the End Date by one week each week.
  6. The goal is to achieve 50-90% of all days with a complete Cronometer record for a year.  If you can get more than 90%, so much the better.
  7. Add additional extrinsic rewards as you think of them.  You can specify interim, short-term rewards if you wish.  Unless a date is specified, the rewards are for after one year.
  8. At the end of the year, if you have achieved at least 50% of all days, you have earned the rewards.
  9. Do this for another year, if you wish, with a different set of rewards.  You may use the same start date or specify a different one.
  10. Do this as long as you wish.  You can change the rules later if you want.
  11. Have fun!
use Cronometer to determine the percentage
Start Date:
Saturday, June 22, 2019
End Date:
Sunday, June 21, 2020
Trigger Event:
Whenever I Eat
Intrinsic Rewards:
  • Clarity
  • Consistency
  • Courage
  • Influence
  • Joy
  • Necessity
  • Productive creativity
  • Timeliness
  • Energetic vibrancy
  • Wisdom
Extrinsic Rewards:
  • Kirkland Signature Organic Pine Nuts 1.5 lbs (2-day delivery)
  • Black Friday 2019 – New International or Collector Barbie doll for myself or Jacque (eBay).
  • Consider an Irish Barbie for Jacque as she is Irish. Polish is also okay as she has been to Poland.
Progress Notes:
  • 06/25/19 – 100% so far!  I lost .4 kilos last night!
  • 06/26/19 – Still 100%, I lost .2 kilos last night, so that’s .6 kilos in two days!
  • 06/29/19 – 100%
  • 07/05/19 – 93%
  • 7/13/19 – 82%
  • 7/29/19 – 71%
  • 8/27/19 – 61%
  • 9/15/19 – 69% – slight improvement, keep it up
  • 9/24/19 – 71% – improvement
  • 9/28/19 – 72% – more improvement
  • 10/3/19 – 73% – even more improvement
  • 10/05/19 – 74% – even more improvement!
  • 10/10/19 – 75%  – even more improvement!
  • 10/12/19 – 75.4% – even more improvement!
  • 10/13/19 – 76% – once more, more improvement!
  • 10/16/19 – 76.2% – inching up, even more!
  • 10/17/19 – 76.4%  – Very good!
  • 10/18/19 – 76.6% – still getting better all the time!
  • 10/19/19 – 76.8% – still getting better!
  • 10/22/19 – 77.4% – and still getting better!
  • 10/24/19 – 77.8% – great going.  You’re on a winning streak.
  • 10/27/19 – 78.3% – Keep the consistency going.  You’ve done every day since 09/22/19!
  • 10/31/19 – 78.9% – Keep on going!
  • 11/1/19 – 79.1% – Almost 80%
  • 11/02/19 – 79.3%
  • 11/06/19 – 79.9% – Even closer to 80%
  • 11/07/19 – 80.0% – Finally reached 80%.  Awesome!  You’ve been doing 100% since 9/2/2019.  You’ve proven that Cronometer is much more effective if you do it every day.  Keep up the good work!
  • 11/10/19 – 80.4%
  • 11/13/19 – 80.8% – good temperance.
  • 11/14/19 – 81.0% – continue logging; you are doing great!
  • 11/19/19 – 81.6% – good logging; get more vegetables!
  • 11/25/19 – 82.3% – still being consistent.  Very good!
  • 11/27/19 – 82.5% – Excellent!  See if you can be over 90% by June 21, 2020.
  • 11/30/19 – 82.8% – Still going strong!
  • 12/9/19 – 83.7% – Still using Cronometer constantly, very good!
  • 12/27/19 – 83.2% – Lost a bit of momentum over the holidays; you can get it back.
  • 1/10/20 – 82.4% – Make a comeback.
  • 1/11/20 – 82.5% – Progress!
  • 1/17/20 – 82.5% – Holding.
  • 1/26/20 – 81.8% – Losing ground, keep logging!
  • 3/19/20 – 78.8% – Focus on the process, not the goal!
  • 3/24/20 – 79.1% – Turned the corner!  Keep going!
  • 3/27/20 – 79.0%
  • 4/8/20 – 78.1%
  • 5/11/20 – 75.1% – Pretty good, considering it has been nearly a whole year!
  • 5/15/20 – 75.4% – Improving!
  • 5/23/20 – 73.9% – Missed some days while in the hospital.
  • 6/12/20 – 75.1% – Back on track!
Whew!  Thanks for looking that over.  Whatever you want to start, choose something in line with your values.  Cronometer is in line with my values because I am big time into nutrition.  Nutrition is a worthy aim.  However, for you, it may be something like hiking down the Grand Canyon and back.  Preparing for and pulling off that trip can take some doing.
Start something new!


Dear Lord,
It is a beautiful afternoon near the end of spring, not long before the summer solstice.  I am not thrilled, enthralled, ecstatic, or overcome.  I am just square in the middle of euthymic.  I feel happy but not overjoyed.  Instead of being high, I am at the point where I can be productive and produce a blog entry in a day or two.
Can you keep me here, Lord?  I want to always be productive.  I am ready to start some new things, but I am not doing a complete revamping of my activities.  I am evolving my routines slightly to effect a few changes.  Will you be with me while I do that?
This new friend of mine could be golden.  She is a few years my junior, which breaks my habit of always seeking companionship among people older than myself.  However, she is close enough to my age to be able to relate to me, which is awesome.
Lord, will you help me straighten out the programs for my app?  I would appreciate that.
Please bless my readers with whatever new activity they want to start.  It could lead to better health, a new career, a new relationship, or more profound spirituality.  Bless them to know what activities they must do consistently to obtain their ends.
If you would like to join me on this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.  If you wish to download a FREE copy of my ebook (with no need to enter your name or email), click on the book below.

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