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Setting Goals

It’s the new year and time for resolutions. Right? Or, if you are like me, you’ve given up on resolutions. I gave up on ‘New Years Resolutions’ quite a while ago. Like many people, one of the reasons I quit making resolutions was because I didn’t keep them. However, looking back, I think another reason is that we perceive a ‘New Year’s Resolution’ as a declaration to change something about our lives.

Instead of making resolutions to ‘change,’ I want to set goals for things I want to accomplish – particularly with my genealogy research. Before writing goals for 2020, I thought I’d look back at my previous goals to see how well I’ve done. 
And guess what – I would receive a failing grade for goal setting in 2019 because I can’t find any goals for 2019. However, I did find that I wrote goals for 2018

  • Get my tree indexed on Ancestry!
  • Reduce number of shaky leaves on Ancestry
  • Use RootsMagic’s link to FamilySearch to add sources for my direct line ancestors
  • Connect with cousins on Facebook by sharing family photos
  • Blog about my ancestors 
  • SCAN — I still have some photo albums to scan
  • Clean up files (sadly I have duplicates of some photos and others that need re-scanned)
  • DNA — update my spreadsheet of matches
  • Finish doing visual phasing with my brother’s DNA results and then hopefully add a cousin or two 
  • Attend a genealogy conference 
  • Participate in genealogy study groups and round-tables

With two years to accomplish these goals, one would hope that I could report progress. Even though I can report progress on some goals, I don’t have any data to support progress on others and I’ve abandoned other goals.
In terms of progress, I can claim success for the following goals:

  • My Heartland Genealogy tree on Ancestry is indexed and TreeShare with RootsMagic is working great.
  • I have attended the Topeka Genealogical Society’s conference
  • Weather and schedule permitting, I have participated in the DNA Study Group and Brick Wall Study group sponsored by the Topeka Genealogy Society.
  • Until recently taking a detour to work with Ancestry hints, I have been frequently blogging about my findings

Even though I think I’ve been successful with some of the other goals, I have no data to support my feeling of success. For example, I have no idea how many shaky leaves I had at the beginning of 2018, or the number of hints worked. 
In terms of adding sources to FamilySearch, I know I have added some sources. Even though I’m not responsible for adding all of the sources to the individuals in my tree, my tree is gradually turning ‘orange’ to reflect 10 or more sources for each ancestor.


Because of the overwhelming amount of data, I’ve abandoned the DNA related goals. Instead, I’m using the Notes and color coding capabilities for my Ancestry matches to try and keep up with all of this data. 
I do have data to show growth in my RootsMagic database over the past year.

Even though my goals shifted over the past two years, I’m glad I listed them. So, looking ahead, I would like to continue

  • Researching both ancestors and their descendants
  • Blogging
  • Attending the study groups sponsored by the Topeka Genealogical Society 
  • Utilizing webinars and YouTube videos to improve my skill set

My dream goal for this year would be a research trip to Eastern Kentucky University and the Lancaster area of Kentucky.
Hopefully, in a year, I can look back and say that I’ve had a successful year and learned a lot.