Thursday, January 5, 2012

Setting goals - looking forward to 2012

New Year's Resolutions always remind me of the many many times I tried to quit smoking or lose weight. So that term has slightly negative connotations for me.
I did eventually give up smoking (13 years ago), and have lost weight several times :-) 
– but not as a result of any New Year's Resolution.

So these aren't New Year's Resolutions. Just as other geneabloggers are doing,  I am calling this "goal-setting."

So what are my genealogical goals for 2012? I plan on just one, as I have to still juggle study, work and family commitments. I want to avoid biting off more than I can chew, and getting as stressed as I was feeling at the end of 2011.

So what is my goal? - Review and revisit my own family history
This is something that family historians should do on a regular basis anyway. Revisiting your research allows you to spot any discrepancies, highlights any gaps or weaknesses, notice clues you'd missed before.

My own research has been sitting gathering dust since I started studying five years ago. I've never had the time to revisit, choosing to use what precious time I have available to try and add to my research. This could be a false "economy" where my time is concerned. Who knows what I will spot now, especially with my current experience, and my research from the early days when I really had no idea what I was doing? My growth in experience 15 years on could help me see something I really missed, and I most probably will find errors (although hopefully they will be minor).

My filing needs sorting out. I had no idea that my research would gather so much information when I started down this road. I had promised to do this last year, but didn't get to it.

So I don't feel guilty about this taking me away from my living family, I am going to chose to think of this as professional development rather than my hobby. This may mean less time being involved in social media, or maybe mean using my time differently.

I hope to blog as I go through this process. Highlight anything I may do differently.

I'm really excited that I've been asked to give a paper at a conference in June based on my personal research. This will be my first formal paper. My speaking till now, has been more informal: basically just a presentation, talking to a Powerpoint datashow. And its always based on my professional work. So I am thrilled to be asked to talk about my own work for a change.

And of course the conference gives me even more reason to revisit and review my own family history.

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