Friday, December 31, 2010

My New Year's Resolutions - Happy 2011!

Over the past three days I shared my thoughts about my first few months of blogging, what I got right and what I got wrong in 2010.  As far as blogging goes, what I learned over the past few months is that regular and consistent blogging takes time and effort but I think the rewards are worth it. To those of you who enjoy family history and/or genealogy, consider starting (or restarting) a blog as a way to share your research, your methodology, and perhaps share any tips or hints you have learned over the years with the rest of us.

As this year comes to a close I am glad that I took the plunge and started blogging (it was one of my 2010 resolutions). Now as I look forward to welcoming 2011, it is time to think about my resolutions or goals for the coming year.

As important as thoughtfully making resolutions is taking the necessary action to keep them. Publishing my resolutions is an attempt to “put it out there” and hopefully nudge me to keep at it throughout the year! Once I made my list of resolutions (a whopping 12!) I decided that I needed to focus on being realistic and not get overwhelmed or set myself up for failure. I like the idea of focusing my attention on a few goals at a time. Rather than a lengthy list of New Years' resolutions that go by the wayside within a few weeks or a few months, I decided to make up quarterly resolutions.

In that spirit and fortified with some New Year's bubbly, here are my goals for the first quarter of 2011 ~

I resolve to make an appointment with myself – same day, same time – each week to file (both paper and computer) so that I am organized and orderly in 2011 – Saturday morning from 7:00 – 8:30 am – usually this is before everyone else is up and about and before all those other to-do’s start happening.

I resolve to work smarter, not harder, in 2011 – This is by far the more complex goal but I think it will make my life easier in the long run:
  • Plan - Make a series of research plans and focus on those plans and possible document sources to acquire the necessary information – in this regard use the research guidance tab in my Legacy program and use my GenSmarts program.
  • Document - Use a research log each and every day for the first quarter of 2011 (an FHL instructor mentioned this last year at a class on organization and research methods - I really planned to do it in 2010 but did not follow through – this is the year!). After the first quarter I will reassess but I am hoping by then using a research log will be second nature and I will have a format that works perfectly for me!
  • Source - Enter the source citation at the beginning of my review of any item (film, book, newspaper, etc.).
  • Location - Enter the repository at the beginning of my review of any item.
  • Quality Control - Check any photographs, scans, or photocopies before I finish with the source and certainly before I leave a repository to make sure I have not cut off page numbers, or failed to enter necessary information on my research log! (Similar to the maxim “measure twice, cut once” – I don’t want to redo my research.)
  • Data Entry – Put it all together by entering it into my Legacy program, my Excel worksheets, my Creative Memories Memory Manager program and filing as appropriate.
  • Protect – Backup my computer on a regular basis – I have no interest in reinventing the genealogy wheel!
Most importantly, I resolve to keep a positive attitude, be ready to learn and ready to help others both in my genealogy life and my real life.

Well ~ that is a start ~ each of these goals will be continuing throughout the year. I will need to break these resolutions/goals down into manageable parts (more on that in another post) but I truly think I can do it – why not aim high!

So, do you have any resolutions or goals for the new year ~ why not publish them and we can motivate each other to focus, focus, focus.

Happy New Year to you and yours.  May 2011 bring all of us the World over that which we most need ~ ~ ~ Peace, Hope, Love & Joy.



  1. Love reading your list, thanks for sharing!
    I was wondering is the research log part of your software or a printed form?
    I'm thinking of doing the same thing.

  2. I use the research log that is in my genealogy software program (Legacy Family Tree) - I adapted it to be a template on my computer and I also print out (in landscape) sheets to use when I am at the library/archives. I plan to post about research logs next week. Thanks for your comments and Happy New Year.


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