Monday, January 2, 2012

Motivation Monday - 2012 Goals

Most of the day I been reading posts from family researchers outlining their goals for the coming year. They have started me thinking about where I stand in my genealogy quest.

The coming year will be the third for this blog and the fourth for my genealogy adventure. Some of those days we were dealing with my father's illness and eventual death. That event has caused me to take stock of where I stand with this endeavor.

As if on cue one of my favorite genealogy bloggers wrote about setting short-term and long-term goals for 2012. Stephanie of Corn And Cotton: My Family's Story has begun a support group where we can encourage each other down this new path.

With this in mind there are several milestones I would like to reach in the coming year.

1. Organize. I have tried to file away all papers and documents to find them readily. Sometimes I am pretty consistent with this plan, others times I forget even the time of day. This morning I purchased several Tupperware containers and file folders. The plan for January is to develop an easy method to corral data.

2. Focus. I am a little embarrassed to say how easily I become distracted while researching. There are times I am not sure how I end up in the places I find myself at the end of the day. More seasoned family researchers have told me to stay on task. To follow each strand of information until you have exhausted every possible lead. I am not sure how I will accomplish this goal. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

3. Conduct oral history interviews. There are several family members who are the last of their respective lines. With my father's passing it has opened my eyes to the importance of documenting the stories of our lives. This is one goal that I really need to stop spinning my wheels and get in gear. This month I plan to research interview questions and recording equipment.

4. Connect with other researchers. Over the past several years much of my interaction with fellow researchers has been online. It is so comfortable to sit here in my sweats with my hair thrown on top of my head chatting with virtual friends. I have made some pretty amazing connections with people I even would call friends. This year I need to make the effort to attend more genealogy discussion group meetings and join the Harford County Genealogical Society. Guess I will have to change my clothes and comb my hair.

5. Give back to the community. Last year I signed up to transcribe records for the Family History website. I am ashamed to say how little was completed on that front. I need to schedule dedicated time for this project.

6. Prepare to present a workshop at the local public library. Sure hope I have not bitten off more than I can handle with this one! Our library system was selected to take part in the Smithsonian Institution's Journey Stories Exhibition. One of the programs we will be presenting is "Beginning Genealogy". A branch librarian asked if I would lead on of these sessions. Even as I write this there are butterflies banging around my stomach. This will certainly take me out of my comfort zone. This month I plan to start by asking several more knowledgeable genealogy friends for their input.

Well, there is my list. As you can see I have taken an honest assessment. All I can say is I am glad to have the support of my geneablogger friends as I travel into 2012.

Come join the fun!


  1. Looking forward to hearing of your progress. You are an inspiration to all of us! Thanks for your leadership! Happy New Year.

  2. I am so excited for you! Thank you for such kind words and for joining in the fun. I am so thankful that we have connected in the big virtual genealogy world. You, too, are one of my favorites! So, bring on 2012! We can do this together and with the support of so many great friends. And... it's time for a new hairbrush because I'm getting out there and making local connections, too. Can't wait to hear about all of your successes! :)

  3. Very good goals there. Congratulations on #6 "Prepare to present a workshop at the local public library. Sure hope I have not bitten off more than I can handle with this one!"

    It sounds like you have challenged yourself to grow a little faster by teaching. Think of it like a bodybuilder's workout; their muscles grow by 'challenging' them to lift all they comfortably can, then go just a little more.

    I have found that if I can teach someone else what I have learned, I remember the subject matter more clearly.

  4. Great goals Deb! Focusing is something we all struggle with. I don't know a genealogist who doesn't. There are times when we follow the path with no distractions and other times when all those "shiny" things make us stray. Just do the best you can.

  5. Great goals! You are not the only one who chases the 'shiny things.' We all do it! Scheduling this on your calendar will be your next challenge! Congratulations for posting your goals.

  6. I'm not sure if I've told you about Evernote before, but I think it could help you with your first goal. It's a service that allows you to create notes, which can be filed into notebooks and "stacks" (groups) of notebooks. These notes can include a combination of photos, text, PDF files, and other attachments, and can be tagged with keywords. Evernote syncs across multiple devices (PCs, tablets, smartphones, and it has a web client, too), and has an intuitive search function to aid in finding things you've previously filed away. I've been using it for almost a year now, and it's helped me do away with a lot of paperwork (though I know you like keeping a hard copy of various documentation, it wouldn't hurt to have an online backup!).

  7. Your #2 is my challenge also. It's not that I lose focus, really. The problem is I have so many lines all in one geographic area that when I begin searching a book or other set of records, I search for every surname. It's just a mess to do it that way because I lose focus. On the other hand, and in some ways, it's easier to not have to return to the same source over and over again.

    Best wishes with your January goals. You'll accomplish them, I'm sure.

  8. Oh Deb, I know just what you mean by the focus thing! Like Jen and Leslie said, you're not alone. These are wonderful goals and I'm sure you're going to have a very successful year. I particularly like your reminder to do oral history interviews-I tend to put those off. It's great that we can all support each other!

  9. Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement! Writing this post was a great way to do an honest assessment of where I am and where I want to go.

    With the continued support of my genealogy friends I sure to arrive at the goal line with time to spare!

  10. Deb, all I can say is...WE GOT THIS. I'm realizing it's no longer a 'You' or 'I'...that the community we are are a part of as users of Social Media truly doesn't allow for that. What a wonderful world we live in.
    Can I make a couple of suggestions? The first one that leapt off the page is how you physically handle your research material. I urge you to think long term...what you may see as lasting only 2, 5 or even 20 years, may last much, much longer. There are plenty of great resources out there (or, you can ask me!) for archivally storing your precious work. As for the staying on task, when I started working from home, someone suggested I get a small alarm clock (or now you can use a smartphone) and set it for 15 minute increments. At first it seems like a short amount of time, but it really does help to keep you on track.
    I've so enjoyed spending a few minutes with you in the wee hours of the morning, and I'm truly looking forward to following your progress here!