It has been several months since I’ve managed to post on this blog. I have plans for several new series topics so stay tuned. In the meantime, here is a quick update on what I’ve been up to.
I have been asked to give a lot of NEW lectures this year, which means I have a lot of work to do to get prepared. So I’ve been working on all of the leg work required to create an entirely new lecture for many lectures! This is a blessing but it has taken time away from blogging, but will no doubt give me ideas on blog topics to share with you later.
My 90 year old grandmother came to visit for 2 weeks last month. This too was a blessing, but one that kept me from my typical work schedule. (This is not a complaint at all, just letting you know that what’s happening in the “real world” is often much more important than what is happening in my computer world.) We had a great time visiting, touring Austin and surrounding areas, and trying to come up with things that a 90 year old may not have done yet. (We took my grandma to a Roller Derby. There was a fist fight, just like in hockey. That did the job!)
I have recently been appointed the Education Chair for the Austin Genealogical Society and have had a great time developing and teaching Saturday classes for the group. I have also been asked to speak at local societies and so my speaking schedule is picking up since moving to Texas about 1.5 years ago.
Not to mention all of the other projects I do such as writing articles, curriculum and Quick Guides.
I haven’t even mentioned that my 15 year old son has gotten his learner’s license and we take drives on the weekends. He has gotten better each time and so I no longer feel like I might die each time we go out, only sometimes, typically when he drifts across the shoulder line because he is not sure how big the car is or when he takes a 90-degree corner without slowing down enough. And my daughter was in basketball and the school musical and in band…
The list could go on and on. But I wanted to let you know, I’m still here, still working, and am hoping to be back on a regular blogging schedule soon.
Another year gone… How did that happen? They say time flies when you are having fun. I find it flies when you are busy. And 2014 sure was busy for me, many life changes and major projects happened for me. Now, looking forward to 2015 here is what I have planned:
Since I just recently moved to Texas, a state I know very little about and have almost no genealogical connections with, I plan on adopting a Texas ancestor or two and working on their family histories just so I can see first hand how Texas genealogy works. For fun, my husband and I walk cemeteries along with the Find A Grave app on our phones and photograph tombstones. We did this recently and I found some precious, hand-carved stones in a not very well-kept cemetery and I plan on looking those folks up, just to see who they were. Perhaps they will have their stories written. (Watch for blog posts on this one, I expect it to be fun!)
In line with the previous goal, I plan on finding and exploring the repositories here in the Austin area that are unfamiliar to me. I know of several but have only visited them virtually. For example, the actualPerry Castaneda Map Collection is only 29 minutes from my new home. I have visited the map collection many times online, but imagine visiting in person!
Make new genealogical friends. I plan on doing this by joining some new local societies. Some of my best friends are genealogists. And I’m sad I had to leave some of them when we moved, and I miss the opportunity to meet them for coffee and chat about our research.
Begin speaking locally be the end of 2015. I imagine I will make connections by joining societies and will likely be able to garner a few speaking “gigs” in the area.
Continue my genealogical education. I already have several opportunities in line for this. More and more online opportunities are happening every year making it much easier for those of use who can only travel so much per year, to still have contact with the wider genealogical community.
Write articles. I let this one “slide” last year. Well, maybe it got put on the back burner because of my portfolio. But I love to write and I want to get back to writing articles.
While working on my list of goals, an excellent post was published on the Evernote Blog by Michael Hyatt detailing an amazingly simple way to use Evernote to create your list of goals, detail why you want to achieve them, and track them. You can read the blog post here.
I think I’ll keep my goals “light” for this year and see what happens in my new surroundings. I am finding it difficult to make too many plans in this new location. I’m not entirely sure what is available, what needs there are in the community, who is “out there” already doing genealogical “things” and whether they want help or a different perspective. I am going to take this year to get used to my new location and make new connections. Then I can probably make better plans.
Perhaps I will do a six-month renewal of goals. Who knows?
At the start of 2014 I posted my goals for the year. They were pretty simple:
1. Get my BCG portfolio turned in (My deadline is December 15, 2014!)
2. Write at least 3 major articles (These are aside from those that may appear in my home society’s quarterly.)
3. Gain 1 new client per month
4. Speak/teach at least 12 times this year
I only fully accomplished one of those goals: the first one, turn in my portfolio. And in hindsight, I think that’s ok. The portfolio process is huge. I am not sure that anyone can quite describe how big it truly is. It is like when we got pregnant with our first child. People said “Oh your life will never be the same.” Or “you will never really have time to yourself for the next 18 years.” (Really helpful, by the way.) We quickly found out that they were right, but I truly think there’s no way to know just how right they were BEFORE we had babies. There are just no words to describe the enormity of it. I feel that same way about the portfolio, well almost. People told me it would be a challenge, but I didn’t understand really, just how much of a challenge, until I did it. Just like babies.
As for the other goals. Here is what I actually did:
I gained 2 new clients, for small projects, which is ok because of goal number one.
I gave 7 lectures in 2014. I had at least 5 more scheduled but since we ended up moving to Texas in September, I had to cancel those.
I also moved my entire household (well the movers did most of it), husband, children, pets, belongings, and so on, from Colorado to Texas. And just to give you a little context, I had only been to Texas a total of 2 times before we decided to move! That alone has “challenge” written all over it. Just getting to the grocery store was a “challenge” for the first few weeks. Not to mention finding new doctors, dentists, boy and girl scout troops, school, favorite coffee shops (still haven’t found it), favorite breakfast spot (still working on that one too), and of course a new genealogical society to call home.
Even though on “paper” it looks like I didn’t do much this year, believe me, it has been a whirlwind!
As we look ahead to the new year, we tend to plan for new adventures, things we’d like to improve, goals we’d like to reach and a year better than the last. While we can’t plan for what we can’t control, we can make goals for what we can.
This is my 2014 “wish list” for myself, genealogically speaking:
Get my BCG portfolio turned in (My deadline is December 15, 2014!)
Write at least 3 major articles (These are aside from those that may appear in my home society’s quarterly.)
Gain 1 new client per month
Speak/teach at least 12 times this year
Ok, that list feels short to me. But look at number 1! I’m going to keep the list short because that first one is a doozy! I really should just make that one item the only goal I expect from myself this year, but I am an overachiever so of course I put more items on my list.
Good luck to you and I hope you take some time to make a few goals for yourself this year.
We can plan and plan, but life always has a plan of its own. Sometimes things come up that take you off course of your own goals, and sometimes that is for the better. When you look back at the things you accomplish, you may notice that sometimes things happen that you hadn’t planned on, opportunities “knocked” and you opened the door.
Here are some things that I accomplished this year that I hadn’t planned on:
Continuing Education Program – I had the opportunity to develop and teach a 4-week beginning genealogy class through my local community college.
FGS committee – I was asked to participate on a committee with FGS. It was a lot of fun and great to meet and work with some genealogists that I really admire and respect.
Gold Star – I had the surprise and pleasure of earning a gold star from Elizabeth Shown Mills’ Advanced Methods course at IGHR.
Legacy Quick Guides – I had the opportunity to write five legacy quick guides, which was an amazing experience. They are:
Sometimes the goals you don’t plan turn out to be some of the best accomplishments you didn’t plan for. Take a look back over your year and see what you’ve done you didn’t plan on. You might be pleasantly surprised.
December… this is a month of mixed emotions for me. I love the holiday decorations, the sparkly lights, trees, snowflakes, and especially snowmen (they’re cute). But it also involves a lot of busy-ness, places to go, kids’ programs and parties to navigate, gifts to buy, wrap and deliver. Stores are crowded. It’s not my favorite time to be out and about. And it can be so cold, and it’s always dark, and I really just feel like hibernating until March.
Despite that, I love that a new year is looming, it’s a feeling of a fresh start, a chance to do some things differently and make new goals. It’s an arbitrary date, January 1, you can “turn a new leaf” anytime during the year, but there’s something about the changing of the calendar that just gets me excited for new things. Last year I made public my goals for 2013. I’m going to take some time to review how I did and examine things I did that were not on the list. It is easy to get caught up in day-to-day mini-roadblocks that I forget to look at the bigger picture and see that I actually did get stuff done.
This series of posts will look at my 2013 goals in more detail and will end with my goals for 2014. I encourage everyone to take some time to do this for themselves, several times throughout the year even, in order to gain some perspective. I hope you join me in this activity to see where you stand with your goals.
As the new year is progressing, I have taken some time to address what my genealogical goals for 2013 are. I have broken them down into long term and short term goals. Some are things I’ve been meaning to do, just haven’t had time while others are events I plan on attending or studies I hope to pursue.
Long Term Goals:
Organize my office (this is more of an ongoing, every day resolution, but still, I need to keep it visually handy.
“Process” my binders. This is in relation to my organization system according to family groups. I recently changed it a little bit and so all of my families need to be caught up.
Finish and submit my BCG application by December. (I went “on the clock” at the end of December 2012.)
Short Term Goals:
Revise and post my mission statement on my website.
Attend GRIP and IGHR provided I get into the desired courses.
Add “Mentoring” to my business plan.
Attend more online webinars, explore and read more blogs, read the books and magazines I’ve gathered.
Create some new programs. I’ve been a little stagnant lately and have not created any new programs to present to local societies.
Do more work for my society’s Quarterly.
That’s what I’ve got for today. This list always changes throughout the year but this feels like all of the goals I have been thinking about since the New Year began. I hope you all have your lists and are working toward your goals!