Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year Resolutions

I hate New Year's Resolutions... it seems that growing up, they were always thrust upon me by parents or teachers.... and what should they be but ... do better in school ( I was already doing very well Thank you!) , or to pick up my room more often, obey parents better,  and later, lose weight, etc. And I always failed because I was making resolutions to do things I hated in the first place, and not of my own volition, and many that would be impossible to meet.  Because I am a perfectionist, and because I can't be perfect, I procrastinate at anything I didn't like, or couldn't do perfectly! So left on my own, I wouldn't make any. But there is ALWAYS room for improvement, so I  now make smaller goals that can be achieved as a subset of a large single goal!
Even in the one thing I love, Genealogy, I hate to make the resolutions, but recognize that I need to state some goals, or I'll never accomplish much... I started doing genealogy in 1974, before the age of computers and internet, and so accumulated a lot of paper, along with tons of very interesting information.  And as most of my friends know, I am a great researcher, and can find any information you need fairly quickly!!!

I switched to computers very early on, as they were necessary in my work field, and  changed programs to get the best way to prepare pedigrees and family group sheets, rather than rewriting them.... But then the problem entered...... Given the limited time available for genealogy, did I want to spend a couple of hours entering (or now, scanning),  or doing research.... Guess what!  New research always wins!!!!!  And there are always ne lines and new cousins to locate! But now I have accumulated so much data that even with my somewhat properly organized filing, I can't always find quickly what I want.... and the amount of stuff needing to be entered is overwhelming!!!

Retiring this year, I jumped at what we all wish for, the time to do more genealogy. So guess what, the hours spent flitting form one line to the other is now amounting to perhaps an entire day of uninterrupted research,  and tons more info... some of which I know I must have already found........ sigh!

So rather than state the obvious and totally unreachable goal such as: I will scan in all the old family pictures, or that I will make sure that I file all of the accumulated paper that has recently piled up.... I will attack this the way I did any project for work, setting smaller goals that fit well within the scope of the larger project, which is of course to convert all the paper and information to electronic an then published format....  so here goes
In 2012 I resolve to:
1. Spend the first hour of the day entering data from a notebook or file  into a program, WITHOUT Opening E-mail, or surfing the web
2. Spend the next half hour scanning in  pictures, then allow myself free rein to  research....

Even if I don't fully meet them, any time I spend is getting rid of the paper and pile, and with my looking at the data as I enter it, new insights may occur!  I will keep a pad to jot that idea down, but I will not open my Internet window until that  1 1/2 hours has passed!!!

Who knows, maybe I'll actually achieve the largest old goal of all the pictures scanned this year!
Happy New Year!!!

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