Showing posts with label Genealogy Resolutions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Genealogy Resolutions. Show all posts

December 26, 2013

New Year's Genealogy Resolutions for 2014

New Year's Genealogy Resolutions for 2014
Yep, it's that time again! Last year I reviewed my 2012 genealogy goals and decided I needed to set less lofty standards for myself! So I ended up with one goal in 2013 - to complete unfinished projects.

I listed 4 projects I wanted to clear off my desk and my mind. Here they are along with my review of how I did:

2013 Genealogy Goals - How Did I Do?

Number one: I completed a genealogical mystery novel after two years of hard work. After 7 edits, I sent it to my beta readers and they returned their manuscripts this summer with suggestions for improvement. Based on comments I only need to rework the first two chapters and it's done! That's going to be number one on my list in 2013.

Unfortunately this did not happen. I could make all kinds of excuses - I've had a bout of ill health that has been my top priority since March 1st (and still is) but the bottom line is my final edit is not done

Number two will be the book I started a year ago on Children's Genealogy Games & Activities. It is so close to completion that I am ashamed of myself for not finishing it months ago.

I  worked on this throughout October and November but it's not ready for publication.

Number three is a Family Genealogy book I intended to give to my new sister-in-law at her wedding to my brother.  I hate to say how long it's been sitting in Shutterfly, almost ready to publish. And now her sister wants to purchase two copies of it, sight unseen. That should be motivation for me to complete it!

Success! Done and given to my sister-in-law PLUS a second one on her family genealogy

Number four is the next volume of my book on the Peer Family of North America. I have done all the research and need only to compile it into the various volumes then self-publish them.

Partial Success. The next two volumes are completed and are in the final editing stage.

So I had some success but could not accomplish all my goals. With my various health issues and workload, it was just too much. That's difficult for a high-achiever like me to admit. I'm the student who was never happy with "just" an A. It had to be A+ or it felt like I had not tried my best.

For the coming year I have decided I will have to be content with carrying on with the uncompleted 2013 genealogy goals. One step at a time. Hope that my health issues will lessen or be resolved, and plug away at one project at a time. I think basically I can sum my goal(s) up with this sentence:


I plan to start in on one project and stick with it until it's completed. Easier said than done for someone like me! I tend so jump around from project to project. As one becomes tedious or begins to bore me, I work on another one for awhile. But I am convinced I have to change that for 2014.
Wish me luck!

Credits: "2014 New Year Fireworks" by Stuart Miles on

December 29, 2011

2012 New Year's Genealogy Resolutions

Every year I set my genealogy resolutions. Jan. 2011 Resolutions consisted of one goal - seemingly a simple goal. That goal was to stay focused on one genealogy project at a time.

I didn't meet it. In fact I didn't even come close. I tried. Believe me I tried. But if there's one thing  I learned from this "failure" it's that I am an impulsive genealogist.

Getting Side-Tracked 

I get side-tracked easily. Repetition bores me, so a project that begins as a fun genealogy project quickly becomes a tedious task for me.  I love the challenge of the hunt! I grit my teeth when I reach hour 3 or 4 of entering the information that I found in my research.

I can happily spend 10 hours researching and not notice the passage of time. But show me the results of my 10 hours of research and tell me it's time to enter all that data, and the moaning and groaning and whining begins.

So much tedious time-consuming W O R K when I  could be having F U N doing more research, finding out more about these new ancestors!

A Typical Example

Let's look at a few examples - I started a project to look through Poor Law Union correspondence and extract the names of poor people being sent from England to Canada in the mid 1800s. Then I did some research in census records to find more information on these individuals. It was so much fun. What wasn't fun was organizing it and creating the webpages to put it all online! I did finally finish it but only through sheer will power and a lot of stern scolding from myself to myself.

While working on the Poor Law Union records, I began concentrating on putting all my old cemetery photos into videos for Olive Tree Genealogy YouTube Channel. I love doing that. But that's my problem - creating Cemetery Walks became my "break" from the Poor Law Union records.

Poor Law Union boring me today?  - no problem, set it aside and work on the Cemetery Walk videos. Oh, that's boring me now because I am trying to find all the photos from 3 years ago? Okay take a break from that boredom and scan my family photos. Oops, two months has gone by and I haven't gotten back to the Poor Law Union records - ack!

You see my conundrum.  I jump from task to task. When task A becomes boring to me I'm off to Task B. Then C and D and....  on and on it goes! And so I end up with anywhere from 10 to a dozen genealogy projects on the go all at the same time.

Genealogy Strengths vs  Weaknesses

I've fought this all my life.  But I've finally learned something very important! I need to work WITH my strengths, not against them!  Instead of trying to become what I'm not, I need to focus on what I am.  That way I can improve in my strength areas instead of fighting my own nature all the time.

What are my strengths? I'm a very thorough and focused researcher. I'm good at finding information then taking taking that newly-found fact, analyzing it and figuring out what it means in the overall picture, and where to look for the next clue or fact. I also work well with a deadline.

What are my weaknesses? I'm not good at data entry. Repititous tasks bore me. I skip over tasks I find boring, setting them aside for "later". But "later" doesn't always come!

2012 Genealogy Resolutions

My 2012 New Year's Resolutions are:

1. Focus on my genealogical strengths (researching and fact-finding) and continue to build and improve on those

2. Improve on my organization of genealogical records, but not worry or stress over not entering it all in minute detail in my genealogy program

3. Set deadlines. Make one day per week the day I work on Project A and a second day of the week the day to work on Project B. No more worrying if I jump from project to project! Allow myself to jump around as much as I want but work towards deadlines for completion of Projects A, B, C etc.  I need variety but I also need the deadline to provide structure and a timeline for completion of my multitude of genealogy projects

And so I've not only come up with what I believe are more realistic 2012 Genealogy Resolutions, I've also come up with a new method of organization of my genealogy. I'll write about that next week so please do come back, read my idea and jump in with your own ideas, suggestions and thoughts!

December 31, 2010

Last Year's Genealogy Resolutions - a Big Uh-Oh!

Uh-oh. This morning I reviewed my Genealogy New Year's Resolutions from Jan 1, 2010. I didn't do very well!

Briefly, the resolutions were

1. File my genealogy papers. Oh boy. I never did get around to that.... Does it count that I filed all my PEER documents and papers so that I could organize the data to work on my books on this family? It was a pretty big job.

2. Finish books on Peer Family of North America. Another uh-oh. I did finish Volume 1 and it has been selling well! Partial kudos to me?

3. Prove my Shuart line or find supporting evidence of my theory of my Elizabeth Shuart's parents. I did find strong supporting evidence of my relationship theory! Phew!

4. Enter data same day I obtain it. Nope, didn't happen. I continue with my old habit of finding a genealogical bit of evidence, yahooing about it, then setting it aside on my cluttered desk...

5. Enter old genealogy data that I've filed away over the years. Nope - the only old genealogy data I entered was for my PEER books. Mind you that was a *huge* job! It took me over a month to complete it. Maybe that counts a wee bit?

So - those were my five genealogy goals from January 2010. I can't believe an entire year has gone by since then! And what have I been doing? It's not like I sit around all day and daydream.

I think the problem is that I'm not focused enough. I start a project full of excitement. Boredom quickly sets in and I move to another project! So the first one gets put on hold - temporarily of course.... or at least that is my intention at the time.

Out of my five rather lofty resolutions of 2010, I managed to complete one of them - and that was almost a matter of luck more than anything else! The rest were all partially completed.

Now it's time for more resolutions for 2011. I have decided to be more realistic and set one genealogy goal.

*** Stay focused! Finish one project before starting another ***

That's it. If I can stay on task and stay focused on one project at a time, I think I can complete the 2010 goals.

Sounds easy doesn't it? Not for me. I know this will be the most difficult goal I've ever set. Perhaps even more difficult than a personal goal like losing weight or exercising more!

I love genealogy. I love the research. I dislike compiling that research. I dislike entering the facts into my genealogy program. So it is easy for me to turn my attention to something more exciting or interesting and leave the first project in limbo.

It may be that I have to establish a schedule for such things as working on my Peer books or scanning family photos or creating a Family Photo Album or.... whatever genealogical tasks I'm working on. That way I will know that on certain days at specific times I am working on Genealogy Project A, not Genealogy Project B.

Wish me luck - I'm not very good at routines! I'm more of an impulse genealogist. If I feel like working on something, I do. But looking at the very long list of projects waiting for me to start or complete them I realize I'm in need of some structure.

So 2011 - bring it on! I'm ready for you. Sort of....

January 1, 2010

New Year's Genealogy Resolutions

2010 is here. Another New Year for Genealogy. Have you made any Genealogy Resolutions? I decided that this year I would set a few goals (resolutions). Hopefully I'll stick to them!

1. File my genealogy papers. This goal really is the only one I should make. Given the dozens of tubs, piles of overflowing paper copies defying garbage, and general abundance of papers, this goal will take me all 365 days! But being an optimist, I've set more goals for 2010

2. Finish my books on the Peer Family of North America. I am so close to completing Volume 1! All I need is 2, perhaps 3 weeks of uninterupted time. That's possible isn't it?

3. Prove my SHUART family connection. Find more supporting evidence or better yet - conclusive proof - that my Elizabeth Shuart is the daughter of Henry Shuart and Rachel De Grauw.

4. Enter new-found genealogy data the same day I receive it! No more reading it and setting it aside

5. Go through my filing cabinets and enter genealogy data that I received, pored over in my excitement, then promptly set aside to enter "later".

Even though this is only 5 goals/resolutions, I think it is about all I can realistically expect to complete. I'll let you know on Jan. 1, 2011 if I was successful.

Hopefully you have some well-intentioned genealogy goals too. Let's hear about them! Feel free to post a comment here on Olive Tree Genealogy blog