My New Year’s Goal

The science is clear: people can and do keep New Year’s resolutions.

How is this possible? They start and follow through on a 90-day action plan.

The action plan is executed in a step-by-step fashion. Each stage of the plan must be followed in a specific order: Psych Prep Plan Perspire and Persist.

Following the steps out of order or getting stuck in a certain step–a step mismatch–makes it harder to achieve your goal.

The bulk of the action plan occurs over two months where you’re actively engaged in the new behavior.

You can read the book Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions to see how it’s possible to yes keep a New Year’s resolution.

It’s available as an e-book so you can install it on your iPad or other device.

The author reminds the reader that drawing upon outside support is crucial in making your goal happen.

My goal is to eat more healthful food six days a week.

To this end I have signed up for a meal delivery service.

I’ve ordered chicken with diced sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts, turkey with mashed turnips and broccoli, a side of sweet potato wedges, a side of broccoli, and a side of Brussels sprouts. Plus an apple muffin and chocolate avocado balls and pancakes.

I will report back in here how the food tastes. You simply heat-and-eat the food so there’s no long arduous prep time to get the meals ready.

It’s the KettleBell Kitchen service and available in the New York City area.

I will report back this weekend on my experience.

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New Law Seals Up to 2 Convictions in NY

A new law in New York seals up to 2 convictions for non-violent and non-sex offender crimes

According to the Wall Street Journal article:

The law will let New Yorkers apply to seal up to two convictions, including one felony, for crimes other than sex offenses and violent felonies, starting 10 years after their sentencing date or release from prison.

MacMillan, ThomasAuthor InformationWall Street Journal, Eastern edition; New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]06 Oct 2017: n/a.

 

 

The Time is Now

The second book I’ve written is geared to readers in the target market of neglected peers who have been traditionally told there was no hope for what you can do.

I’ve been a career services person for over nine years so far. In this time I’ve created resumes that enabled numerous people to get job interviews that led to job offers.

That’s how I know real positive change is possible. That’s how I know success is within reach.

The point is that mental health staff  are first seeing you at that moment in time when you’re young. Thus if they have no frame of reference where other people are successful, they will see you and your illness as fixed, immutable over time.

When in fact the point is you’re young, you most likely have a limited view of the world and your place in it, especially with any “self-stigma.”

At 22, at whatever age you’re diagnosed, that’s the time that your goals and dreams should be accepted and reinforced, not shut down.

Mental health staff should not use your illness and its symptoms as the proxy for your personality.

A female therapist when I was 27 told me I was too low-functioning for therapy. A female therapist when I was 46 told me I was too high-functioning for therapy.

Thus you have to beware of any mental health staff person who tells you that you’re either not capable of much or too ambitious to be a candidate for any further self- improvement.

As if there’s an end point to stop bettering yourself. There isn’t.

The point is too that if you’re not growing and changing as your life changes you’re going to remain stuck.

Your own frame of reference–about yourself, the world, and your place and others’ in it–should be changing to become more hopeful and compassionate.

Your life doesn’t end when you get a diagnosis of SZ or BP or DP or whatever you’re handed.

The people who treat you should accept and understand that positive change is possible for you at any time in your life. If not now when you’re in a plateau, this change can be possible at a later date.

Getting to where you want to be might not be quick or easy.

Yet without breaking confidentiality I can tell you in a general way that numerous peers I’ve met and helped have been severely ill and gone on to change their lives for the better.

One guy I know who’s gone global with his story heard voices for 10 years. He went on to get an MBA and become the CEO of corporations.

I’ll end here and come back with news of interest for New York residents.

New Year’s Resolutions

It can be hard to go outside in the arctic chill when you live in the Northeast. Our minus 2 degree temperature requires staying inside our apartments and houses.

I say: plan your goals today and execute them in the early spring.

Better yet use your birthday as the start-date of a goal-setting plan.

To better be able to achieve your goals read the book Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions.

The author details a proven method for making lasting changes.

It requires a 90-day commitment. This method is what successful people use to carry out New Year’s Resolutions.

I will talk more in coming blog entries about this kind of goal-setting.

For now I say: stay inside and keep warm. Only go outside in this freezing chill when you absolutely have to. Take car service instead of having to wait for a bus when you can afford to do so.

New Year New Hope

The New Year is here.

This year 2018 offers new hope for all of us to move closer to what we want to get in our lives.

My literary agent will soon pitch to editors a second nonfiction book.

Stayed tune for information about this in early February.

Over the last 3 weeks I’ve been writing fiction. I would like to publish this first novel within 3 years along with the second nonfiction book.

Three weeks ago the novel was only 60 pages and today it is 225 pages.

Yes–it’s true–I haven’t ever had writer’s block. Alas, I often get in “the flow” of inspiration. At all hours of the day and night images and sentences and dialogue come into my head quickly and freely.

It can be eleven o’clock at night and I’ll be struck with inspiration and have to get everything written on paper.

The idea of being in “the flow” state as has been described in the literature is a myth.

Getting struck by inspiration at all hours of the day and night is actually akin to being locked in a cage unable to get out.

You don’t know when this “flow” of ideas is ever going to stop.

You get your trusty pen and hardbound journal. You start writing one sentence and then another sentence. Then you’re writing other sentences and this madness doesn’t stop until three o’clock in the morning.

For someone possessed with this kind of gift “the muse” commands you to keep writing and not stopping.

You write and write at all hours of the day and night.

That is how I have come to start writing my first novel.

That is how I have come to have written a second nonfiction book.

My goal is to publish the second nonfiction book this October 2018 which is Disability Employment Awareness Month.

The book is a school and career handbook for mental health peers.

I will tell you more about this book in early February.

In the coming weeks I will talk again about setting goals and resolutions.

Happy New Year!

Weird in a World That’s Not

I want to give readers hope for choosing the road(s) you want to go down in life.

I’m reading a book: Weird in a World That’s Not: A Career Guide for Misfits, F*ckups, and Failures by Jennifer Romolini.

The author is Italian like I am.

It’s a get-ahead book for left-of-the-dial folk.

This guide is for you if like me you felt you didn’t fit in. I was miserable working in insurance office jobs in the 1990s.

Possibly you can relate: I thought that to prove I was normal I had to get a job in a corporation like other people did to make buckets of money.

That particular bucket had a hole in it–so I didn’t make any money nor did I rise up to become a corner-office superstar.

I was forced to change course–to abandon that failed career and do something else. I chose to go back to school to get a Masters In Library and Information Science.

The graduate school coursework was not hard at all (at least not for me). It was simply labor-intensive–not hard work only a lot of work.

I recommend readers consider becoming a librarian in a public library or else working in another job at a public library.

This is because it’s the perfect career for those of us who are Weird in a World That’s Not.

I simply go left when everyone else goes right. (Though I’m not a Liberal party or Democrat or Conservative or Republican party member.)

I align with the Green Party. I listen to alternative music.

I use the word “operate” to describe how a person functions.

I operate differently from how so-called normal people operate. I’m not “in it” in this lifetime for tons of money or tons of fame.

Thus I recommend you read the book Weird in a World That’s Not.

I’m proudly as left-of-the-dial as you can get. So I think I know of what I speak in recommending this Jennifer Romolini career guide.

Lastly: A librarian job has the potential to be bulletproof. Automation is taking over. Audio Engineers for TV with 4-year degrees are being replaced by machines that do the audio engineering without the need of  a human’s skill.

In this climate, work as a librarian in a public library is sweet because no robot will ever take my job away.

So this is the ideal job if like me you are hopelessly different in how you operate.

I say: be weird if you are weird.

Be proud to be yourself in a world of people who covet being normal. Others might value looking, acting, and living like everyone else on the planet.

I do not. And if you don’t relish the homogeneous  nature of how you’re supposed to live in society, I say: rebel.

Be yourself. You’ll be better off.

The Myth of Having Dangerous Gifts

It’s a myth that mental health issues are “dangerous gifts.”

Trust me there are people who love having mental health conditions.

I’m not one of them.

SZ is a burden, not a gift. It’s hell. It’s painful to bear. More than dangerous it’s simply destructive.

If I could live one minute without SZ I’d take back all the true gifts I was given–like my writing talent and anything else–for one minute of freedom.

I’d like to know what it’s like to be accepted; to be understood; to be given compassion not screw-faced looks.

I take no joy in passing as a normal person.

Meg Jay, PhD wrote a new book about people who compensate for their hardship:

Supernormal: The Untold Story of Adversity and Resilience.

You can take the quiz in the book to see if you fit the supernormal criteria.

We’re in this camp because those of us who faced hardship work longer and harder to achieve what comes easy to regular so-called “normal” people.

We’ve compensated for our early hardship by yes passing for normal when our lives were anything but ordinary.

There’s a solution to accepting and embracing a life with SZ or BP or whatever you have.

Helping others is the foolproof way I know to help yourself have a better life.

“Service above self” is the antidote to pain.

Just remember: I don’t think our pain is a dangerous gift.