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Genealogy Resolutions Part 1: Just What Do You Want To Accomplish This Year???
By Melody Lassalle

Everyone knows of the resolutions that are given life on New Year's Day. Grandiose personality and physical changes that get dropped by the end of the month. We are well intentioned, but lacking in motivation and perseverance.

As a genealogist, my resolutions usually run along the line of "what would I like to do with my family tree this year"? Although they're just as challenging as other resolutions, they are alot more fun than the life changing ones!

The beginning of the year is a great time to take a look at your family tree, make some assessments, and set goals. When's the last time you've even touched your research binders? Is there a colony of spiders or other creatures setting up residence within the pages? Maybe it's time to get back into your favorite hobby and see what you can do with it. New Year resolutions may be just the thing you need!

The first thing to do is to make a list of your genealogy goals. What do you want to do with your research in 2003? These can be simple, easy to do things like "update my cousin address book" or they can be major projects like "complete research in the town of Achada". Whatever your goals may be, it makes it easier if you can see them on paper.

Your goals shouldn't be to conquer every road block and get your genealogy back to Adam and Eve. They should be things that can be accomplished--or, at least, things that can be broken down into easier to achieve items. Once you've compiled a list, you can then think more in terms of what steps you can take to achieve them.

Let's take a look at my resolutions/goals for 2003:
1. Get all my family group sheets printed or written and put them in my binders.
2. Input all the data I've collected and scribbled on my family group sheets.
3. Write a book about my great grandfather, Theodoro Pacheco.
4. Work on getting my Irish ancestors back to County Roscommon.

Now, that's a tall order! Unless I am "super researcher", I couldn't possible accomplish all this in one year. Heck, I'd be lucky just to get one item done! I'm going to use a different approach though. Instead of trying to complete all these major achievements this year, I will resolve to make progress on all of them. The main thing is that I work on something instead of reviewing my list throughout the year to find I've done nothing. In part two, we'll discuss ways to break down these resolutions and actually get some work done!

© 2002 Melody Lassalle

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