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My Goals for 2018

By Aaron Tanner

· 2018,New Years,Resolution,Goals,Planning

I hope that everyone had a great New Years. My New Year's Eve was spent at a friend's house playing games, watching the ball drop from New York City and staying up past Midnight.

Like many people, there are some character development issues I want to work on for 2018. I prefer not calling them New Year's Resolutions as people often give up quickly on them after a few days. Instead, these are long-term goals that I want to work on throughout the year as I realize these changes will not happen within the first few days of January.

The big thing I want to work on is being less pessimistic and thinking more positively. This issue can be tough for those with Aspergers due to many of them being diagnosed with depression and the many negative things that have occurred in their lives due to poor communication and executive functioning skills.

One thing that can help people on the spectrum think more positively is to engage in positive self-talk. For example, I can dwell on the fact that I do not have a lot of money or I can appreciate what money I have with the hours I have worked with my regular part-time job and side hustle writing. It may take me longer to be independent than the average person, but I am more independent than I was a decade ago.

Speaking of negativity, one thing that would help is spending less time on my smartphone and Facebook and more time doing things that do not involve releasing so much dopamine, which can affect one's mood. I realize that as a social rule, one is not supposed to tell everyone what they are giving up for Lent. However, I am seriously considering giving up Facebook for Lent to focus on more spiritual things and other self-improvement techniques.

Like most people, I want to be healthier. I was doing great until Thanksgiving when the business and delicious treats of the holidays distracted me from my goal of being in shape. I need to get back into the routine of working out and eating healthier. Although I do need to lose some weight, the primary purpose of getting in shape and changing my diet, so I feel less anxious and depressed. One has to be careful what kinds of food and drink one puts in their body as those decisions can affect one's mood.

I would like to continue writing for Alabama Living. If I can, I would like to find another magazine to write for to expand my freelance writing business. Plus, writing helps keep my mind sharp, which leaves me less time to be anxious and depressed, and I earn extra money.

Thanks to working hard and saving my money in 2017, I hope to go on more day trips and try to go on a couple of short, overnight trips as a way of being more independent in 2018. I have a friend at church who moved to Alabama from Arizona a year ago and has never been to Chattanooga, Tennessee. I may try to see if he wants to go to Ruby Falls and Rock City since he enjoys outdoor activities.

For an overnight vacation, I have talked with another group of friends about going to Atlanta to see a Braves baseball game at their new stadium on the northwest side of the metro area and then visit the College Football Hall of Fame the next morning.

Unlike a New Year's Resolution, there will be times where I will get off track with these goals. What I learned in my social skills classes is that I have to learn to be flexible and to get back up when I fail a particular day to meet those goals.

Unlike a New Year's Resolution, there will be times where I will get off track with these goals. What I learned in my social skills classes is that I have to learn to be flexible and to get back up when I fail a particular day to meet those goals.

Although I sometimes have difficulty going with the flow, I would say I am much better than I used to be. Plus, making goals and sticking with them allows me to continue working on my executive functioning skills, which many with Aspergers struggle.

I hope that everyone has a great 2018 and if you have any goals for the new year that you would like to share, comment in the section below.

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