Thursday, December 30, 2010

Genealogy Goals for 2011 - Overview

Let me start by saying that I'm pretty good at planning and starting projects. The problem is I'm terrible at finishing them. There, I said it. 

No matter how committed I think I am, something more interesting comes along and my attention shifts, especially when it's things like reorganizing files and cleaning up sources or research that's going nowhere. I'll dump those kinds of projects for pretty much anything. Heck, that happened this week when I wanted to finish this series on goals but got side tracked by an email from a previously unknown cousin who knocked down a brick wall and then, after blogging about that, heard from a second previously unknown cousin related to that same line. You know I'd rather be digging into that than writing about goals but I'm trying to control myself. (This is progress.)

I probably should be making a New Year's Resolution to finish one thing before starting something else. Well, that's never going to happen so no sense even pretending this might be the year. That would be as ridiculous as saying I'm going to clean up my office and keep it that way.  Instead, I'm going to try listing my goals here and maybe I'll be shamed into finally making some progress with those projects that keep getting pushed to the back burner. (Although I've already told you I'm a failure at completing projects so how much more embarrassing can it get.)

My genealogy goals for 2011 break down into four categories - research, writing, education and maintenance. It's going to take a few posts to cover everything and I can tell you right now that it will probably look like I'm biting off more than I can chew. There's a good chance I am but I'm retired so I have the time. I just need to start making better use of that time. (Sounds like that should be another resolution if I was going to make resolutions.) Maybe having an actual list of goals will be the thing that finally gets me focused enough to make some serious progress. It can't hurt.

1st up will be research and writing goals later today.

Setting Genealogy Goals for 2011 was last week's challenge for 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy. Better late than never.

Genealogy Goals for 2011 is a series. Other posts in this series are:
Genealogy Goals for 2011 - Research and Writing
Genealogy Goals for 2011 - Education
Genealogy Goals for 2011 - Maintenance


  1. I had to laugh because your projects and research sounded like mine. I too start and get distracted. How can I stay focused when something interesting pops up while I am searching? I am on an endless loop of finding things. Maybe 2011 will be better, but I sincerely doubt it.

  2. I'm with you Linda! Those distractions always overpower me!

  3. OH Linda - you took the words right out of my mouth! I am the "Queen of New Projects" and the new ones always come when the old one is about 60% finished. I'm setting goals this year as well rather than "resolutions" - resolutions haven't worked for me in the past - and here's to hoping goals work better!

    Happy New Year!

  4. I'm right there with you Linda. I love to start new projects, but finishing them is a whole other story. I think that's one of the things I like about genealogy; it will never be finished, because there is always another ancestor to look for. That takes the pressure off. : )

    Good luck in 2011!

  5. Woohoo! Yay for this post and all the comments that followed! It's a relief to know I'm in such good company...and so many of you too! There are times for me that genealogy research becomes such an obsession that it looks more like a disease. I will quickly and easily neglect other very important (but boring) aspects of my life at the least genealogical distraction. I know I need a plan and that is what I've started working on this month and I'm writing it down for the very first time in my life! It is time to return to my secret weapon that helped me so much before and start eating this elephant one organized and determined bite at a time! (Might reveal secret weapon on my last blog of the year..if the grandkids who are staying with us this week ever give me a quiet time break for writing.) :-/

  6. We are not alone... Such a nice feeling, though it still doesn't help me navigate my way around the boxes and piles of papers. Lead on Linda. We're all dropping other projects to follow your example. ;)

    I do think you get a pass on changing your focus when a brick wall tumbles down though.

  7. Great post. Lisa's comment about the grandkids is so my challenge. I love all you have to say. Good ideas.

  8. Projects are like books - having several unfinished ones at hand makes me feel like there is always something to look forward to. (See - it's not a fault, it's a virtue!)

  9. It's good to know I'm not alone. And Greta, I feel much better now.