Thursday, January 01, 2009

Resolutions


res o lu tion (noun)
A resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.
The act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.
The mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.
A solution, accommodation, or settling of a problem, controversy, etc. [1]

On my computer desk is a small slip of paper with the following words:

record
cite
archive and preserve
organize
blog and write

These were my resolutions for 2008. How did I do?

Record: Getting my information into my database has always been a challenge, not because it's difficult to do (RootsMagic makes it easy), but because this is where I tend to be most lazy. Same story with recording when and where I've researched, on- or offline. I've found Google Notebook to be a great place to record my online researches; better for me, even, than using my Online Research Log. I did do better on in this area than I have in any previous years. My grade: C

Cite: I did better in this area, too, with my Evidence Explained and RootsMagic Source Wizard. Still room for improvement, though. My grade: C+

Archive and Preserve: We rented a safe deposit box at our financial institution and we signed up for Carbonite. I also found a photographer's supply store that sells cotton gloves here in town, and I purchased a couple of pairs to use for handling photos and antique items. There's still many documents and items I need to dig up around the house and put in the safe deposit box. My grade: A-

Organize: I started out the year trying to use the binder system, which was too slow and expensive to do it the way I felt it should be done. Then I sought to improve my file folder system. I am now convinced paperless is the way to go and found a great system by Barbara Nuehring that will work well for me. Despite my late start, I've made headway. Grade: B

Blog and Write: I certainly blogged a lot last year, and one of my posts made it into print. However, I had hoped to submit some articles to genealogy magazines and I didn't even get them written. I also didn't work on my website or do much on my other blogs. I should have been more specific in my goals. Grade: B-

My 2009 Resolutions

I have some specific goals for the coming year:

1. I have two specific tasks in mind that I would like to launch from this blog. One is a new column that I would like to see all genea-bloggers participate in, similar to Tombstone Tuesday or Wordless Wednesday. Another is a Challenge I came up with during the last couple of weeks which I came very close to launching today, but reconsidered when I figured that as I return to work next week after my surgery recovery, I may find I don't have the energy or time to devote to it. I will look at the spring or summer for the right opportunity to share it with you. It's on a large scale along the lines of the Genea-Blogger Games, but is not at all similar in topic. I will share both of these specific tasks in the future (stay tuned!).

2. I plan to write posts featuring the postcards of my children's father's great-grandmother, similar to what Pam Warren is doing with Belle's Box. I also want to get my mother's letters written from Alaska to her parents in Michigan from 1966 - 1978 scanned, transcribed and posted to a private blog.

3. Speaking of this blog, I am looking to improve the visual look of it. It's much too cluttered for my minimalist taste. The problem has come when I've looked at other designs and realized that I will lose coding for a lot of my widgets if I change over. I just need some time to work on this.

4. Another blogging goal is to phase out AnceStories2 and add posts more frequently to my Atlas Project, personal, and Graveyard Rabbit blogs, while continuing to contribute to the EWGS and Bootcamp for Facebook blogs.

5. I need to update all the pages on my AnceStories website, especially adding links to this blog.

6. I plan to hire two professional genealogists; one to hopefully knock down our MIDKIFF brick wall and another to look up my Great-grandfather YORK's military records.

7. I want to work on three brick walls this year: Berber (DeJONG) VALK (find birth information and parents' names); Jeremiah F. YORK (use land records to get evidence that he is the son of Stephen YORK and Amy FRANKLIN); and Levi McCLELLAN and wife Clarissa CLEVELAND (I'd like to determine their parents' names). I also want to see if I can find more vintage photographs from my mother-in-law's lines.

8. I'd like to get all the items my uncle sent me from my maternal grandparents' estate scanned.

There are certainly a lot of details here, and I don't expect to get A's in every area. In addition, it promises to be a busy year: my daughter graduates high school in June; and our local society is gearing up to host the Washington State Genealogical Society's State Conference in Spokane in September, with Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak as our featured speaker. But again, I will print these resolutions out and hang them near my computer to remind me of them.

Source: 1. resolution. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/resolution (accessed: January 01, 2009).
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