A New Year, A New Beginning

29 Dec 2012

2012 is coming to a close. It has certainly been an amazing year. At the start, I decided to make 2012 a year where I would do things for me. I would do more travelling, seeing places I hadn’t seen before. I would see more Broadway shows (as Jessica Fletcher said: “There are three things you can never get enough of, lieutenant. Chocolate, friends, and the theater.”). And I would do more with genealogy.

Back in January I started a new part of my journey when I first joined the Mocavo team. Over the course of the last twelve months we have worked to build great features and resources for genealogists.

My genealogy work was taken me across the country, to conferences in Salt Lake City, Cincinnati, and Birmingham, as well as individual engagements in interesting new places such as Wichita, Kansas. I managed to tack on some personal travel to these trips as well. This made for five additions to the number of states I have visited, bringing the total to 39.

Parish church of St. Mary Magdelene in Ecton, Northamptonshire, England.

Parish church of St. Mary Magdelene in Ecton, Northamptonshire, England.

I managed to make great inroads in my personal genealogical research as well. I managed some great work on my Franklin book during a week of research in England. Thanks to the graciousness of my friend Audrey Collins at The National Archives, I was able to visit Ecton, Northamptonshire, and see the birthplace of Josiah Franklin.

So what do you want to accomplish in 2013? The best way to make it happen is to start out the year and set some goals. Don’t call them resolutions. That word puts a lot of pressure on you. If you are someone who doesn’t react well to that pressure, you will never accomplish things. Instead, call them goals.

They don’t have to necessarily be huge things (although I am a big fan of reaching for the stars. You may end up on the moon, but that is still better than landing in the dirt!). And don’t strive for too many things. Make them realistic and attainable.

Once you have your goals for the year set out, then look at each one individually. What will you need to do to attain that specific goal? Lay out some plans for initial steps to take towards each one. Then, start taking them.

Set a reminder to yourself that once or twice a month, you will check in on each goal. What progress have you made towards it? Is this something that will happen later in the year? Perhaps you can put it aside for a month or two then. Will it happen in Feburary? Better get hopping! For even more motivation, you can team with one of your friends and check in on each other regularly.

Ecton High Street

Thatched-roof homes on High Street in Ecton.

Some of my goals this year include:

  • Adding at least five or six more states to my total visited;
  • Writing at least four articles for scholarly journals;
  • And, solidify the first five generations of the Franklin genealogy for publication.

Remember that sometimes life does get in the way, and you need to adjust your timetable.  That’s okay, as long you keep moving towards your goal. Take a moment this week to look back on all you accomplished in the past year, and decide what you accomplish in the coming year. And then you can put it into a blog post for all the world to see, and your friends to constantly remind you of during the year!

May 2013 bring you a wondrous year of fun, laughter, and accomplishments! Happy New Year!