Saturday, January 01, 2011

My New Year Goals for 2011

In 2010 I never did write down my New Year Resolutions.  I was discouraged by the fact that the previous two years, 2009 and 2008, my Genealogy To-Do Lists had the same items on them .  I was not accomplishing my goals.  I just didn't have the time and energy to stick with my list.  What I needed to do was ponder on the matter.

Well it's been a year of pondering and I want 2011 to be different. My year of insight has given me some truths into myself.

I just don't have much time!  I work part-time in the morning for five hours. Then I sleep four hours in the afternoon. When I wake up I try to read emails and blog articles, by the time I finish both it seems like the day is over.  You wouldn't think reading emails and blogs would take so much time but they do. That's because I go off on researching adventures.  I will click this link here or there, winding my way through all sorts of subjects on genealogy and technology.  It seems I'm always studying and never coming to a truth in my own research, by actually doing research.  I'm reading a lot of stuff, but wasting my time by not reading the things I need to read and study.

What I learned is:

  • I sleep too much. What I wouldn't give is to have those four hours of nap time back.
  • I need to manage my time reading emails and blog articles better.
  • I'm not spending enough time doing my own research.

With my fibromyalgia I wasn’t sure I could do anything about the afternoon nap issue, until I came across something by accident. I came down with a really bad cold. After a few days I realized I needed to take something for it.  I brought out my faithful herbs - garlic and echinacea. I saw great improvement so one day I stopped taking them.  The next day I was exhausted and felt like someone had pulled my plug.  I did a little experiment and took the garlic and echinacea again.  I felt better and had more energy that day, and have been taking them every since.

Even though I had more energy I was still taking my naps. I have been experimenting training my body to not need them. This past week I only took one nap in the afternoon, and I am alive to tell about it!  I do see that I still need down time in the afternoon and sitting or lying down reading a book seems to do the trick.

Now that I have found reading time I had to prioritize on what to read and when to read it. I’m a Christian and LDS and I know the most important thing to do daily is to read my scriptures.  Have I been doing that – NO!  I tried an experiment I would start reading my scriptures.  As I did this I discovered that peace and rest was coming into my soul.  It was very healing to me physically, mentally and emotionally.  It really is best to put first things first and all other things do fall into place.

Goal #1:  Read my scriptures daily. Feed my body and soul.

It’s a natural for me when I read my scriptures to pick up the habit again of journal writing.  Writing my personal thoughts down helps me to know more about me. Who wouldn’t want a journal from one of their ancestors to learn more about them?  My journal writing gives the added benefit of my descendants understanding who I am.  I am building a legacy for my posterity.

Goal #2:  Write in my journal regularly if not daily.

I also found out I needed some modification to my email and blog reading system.  That had a simple answer:

  • I set up special email folders to sort my mail by tasks.
  • Don’t read blog articles every day, it’s less stressful and I am more productive with my reading time by skimming through the articles and marking the ones I want to get back to for later reading.

Genealogy Research:
The most frustrating thing to a genealogist is not being able to actually do genealogy.  Sometimes, we put road blocks up to sabotage ourselves from doing the things we even love.  My sabotage was sleep and waiting for the perfect organizing system.  I’ve read just about everything on the subject of organizing your genealogy and have not found my answer.  Since each person is individual in their needs, I had to find out what mine are.  I prayed long and hard for guidance and the perfect system did not drop in my lap, instead it was a first step.

Goal #3 - Build a Genealogy Inventory Database

This would be a spreadsheet of all the genealogy books and documents that I have in my possession.  There would be a column to assign accession numbers to each item. Plus columns to record if the item has been documented in my genealogy software database, been digitized, and where it is stored, etc.

I know once I build my genealogy inventory database and get it to conform just right for my needs, something will come to take its place.  First I need to understand exactly what I need, before I can go looking to see what software is out there.  Who knows maybe when it’s done I will see that the spreadsheet was all I needed after-all.

With new found time and better management of it, I have some ideas for my blog. One big frustration to me is my backlog of genealogy books I need to do reviews on. I love getting free genealogy books to review, now I need to return the favor. With more reading time available I hope to go through that pile.  That brings me to my last and final goal for the year.

Goal #4 - Read good books and write book reviews on them.

To recap my New Year Goals for 2011

1. Read my scriptures daily
2. Write in my journal regularly if not daily
3. Build a Genealogy Inventory Database
4. Read good books and write book reviews on them.

This list is do-able for me and makes me excited to welcome in a New Year. May your New Year make you happy, healthy and wise!

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day.


Tonia said...

Great goals, Renee! My college roommate had fibromyalgia and I know how much time she spent sleeping, so I can sympathize. I'm glad you've found the herbs to be helpful.

Elizabeth Thomas said...

As someone else with fibromyalgia and several other illnesses that cause pain, I totally understand your problems. I was finding so much joy and sense of accomplishment doing my blog, then total pain and fatigue hit and I gave up.I've just started feeling better and know that if I can get one thing written a day it will lift my spirits. My goals start with getting up and dressed every day. We can send each other good thought messages every day. Not everyone can understand this illness.

Just Pam said...

Thanks for sharing your struggles with reaching (or not reaching) your personal goals. I find that we share some of the same challenges and it really helps to know I am not the only one.
It is so easy to think everyone else is doing so well and that "I" am the only one not making the mark.
You have given me the little push to get going in the right direction. Good luck in 2011 and I am sure we will both have a more productive year.

Anonymous said...

Renee, interesting post and admirable goals--made me think about my 2011 goals, which alas are the same as those for 2010. You may not need to devise accession numbers. Title & author may be all you need. (I add publication date, and list relevant surnames, which makes my "books I own" much more useful to me.) Or, consider using Family History Library call numbers. Cheers, Dolly in Maryland PS: why does your comment form ask for my google account password? Surely that's an error?