In my last years of teaching, our career and technical education instructors were learning to use ‘Smart Goals’ for their program improvement plans. A ‘Smart Goal‘ is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based.
Unfortunately, I haven’t applied my knowledge of ‘Smart Goals’ to my genealogy. If someone asked me what my goal has been for the past couple of years, my answer would be find the parents of my ancestor, James Crawford. This goal is specific. It is measurable in that I either find them or I don’t. Since James Crawford is one of my brick walls, I would say it is a relevant goal. After about 40 years of genealogy research, much of it spent figuring out my Crawford lineage, I’m beginning to wonder if this goal is attainable. And it definitely isn’t time based.
Even though I haven’t met that goal, I feel like I have made progress. I definitely know more about the Crawford and related families that were in early Garrard County, Kentucky. However, this progress is difficult to measure. My RootsMagic and Ancestry Tree statistics do show growth, but not specifically toward this goal.
|Ancestry Tree: People||13907||17659|
|Ancestry Tree: Photos||7986||13198|
|Ancestry Tree: Records||8657||12269|
Since I tend to post my findings on my blog, the number of posts should reflect my progress. In 2019, I published 265 posts. In 2020, I only published 60 posts. I think that decline in posts reflects the loss of focus the pandemic brought to my research and especially to my blogging.
To help me get back on track, I’ve started working on some specific, measurable and attainable goals:
- Continue posting narrative reports for my 2nd great grandparents with the goal of posting one a month
- Clean up sources
- Verify that sentences read correctly
- Continue documenting DNA ThruLines for my 3rd great grandparents and document any new ThruLines for grandparents thru 2nd great grandparents
- Continue updating descendancy research for these ancestors
- Post a descendancy list report
- Begin documenting Crawford families in Montgomery County, Virginia from its formation to at least 1820 using resources available on the web and posting my findings
- land records
- tax records
- vital records
- Learn to use RootsMagic 8
- Continue working with a small file on the preview program
- Report issues as I encounter them
- As new updates are released, re-test previously reported issues
- Figure out a ‘citation naming’ protocol to use when I transfer my genealogy file
- participate in the Facebook group and any applicable forum
Instead of adding more goals, I’m going to stop here in hopes that I can attain these goals.