New Resolutions: Kept or Broken?
January 17, 2010
Realistic resolutions are much easier to keep than the super goals. Sometimes I begin a year without making any, but I did this year. Thinking I made a sensible goal to concentrate on while insuring my book writing continued, I’ve already been distracted by putting up decorations, cold weather preparation, and packing for a trip to Salt Lake City. I lost track of my one and only goal, to write. I should have planned better so that I could be more successful at attaining my realistic goals.
After being off over the Christmas and New Year holidays, I could not focus in January on where to begin writing. Before I stopped in December, I should have had a ‘smart plan,’ but instead, all I had was an outline or journal of my major families in that line. A family history with only birth, marriage and death is dull. Maybe I will add to my resolution that I need to develop better habits in thought and behavior so I can continue with my initial pledge. Whatever my plan it must have room for fluctuation because of my other responsibilities.
To do this properly, I should have an organized list of things to do in order to have time to write. I did not do that. That was my first mistake. This would have given me a clearer view of where I was and what I needed to do. Such an action plan would have helped me schedule everything while leaving me a few hours to write and see what I needed to do each day, next week and next month.
Tracking the time spent on each item is important because it helps to remain focused and to use time wisely to insure I have time to work on the most important things first. Had I done this I could have achieved more and worked less.
I want to continue with my other duties and responsibilities for I enjoy those too. I also want to minimize my stress. Developing a better action plan to track my development and time spent for each duty is an achievement I must conquer before I can reach my goal.
After being remiss in preparation to achieve my one and only goal for 2010, I will have to make necessary changes in my plan of action. I will review it each day in the morning and in the evening to see what I have accomplished so far. It is necessary to know where and when to expand it so that I know exactly where I am and what needs to be done to keep me positively motivated.
Last year I did much better and published several books or booklets while meeting my December deadlines. On the first of each new month, I reviewed what I needed to do during that month and the next just to allow time for preparation of my scheduled talks. Having a specific time to read and answer emails was necessary because of the volume I get each day. Most importantly, I need to schedule time for my family and friends.
I have enjoyed the years I have searched my family history, and I do want to get it to the public, or at least to my family, so they can have the pleasure of knowing our family’s history. No matter how young I feel, I know I will not be here forever, so getting these to the press is foremost. Staying organized and motivated begins now.
FOREVER TEXAS, HISTORICAL PHOTOGRAPHS AND MORE: A reader sent me a fascinating site on Texas containing 2,930 items on the San Antonio area, including the Zintgraph, Howell, Harvey Belgin collections, an oral history collection, a general collection, and a theme exhibit. Texans and Texas researchers will enjoy this site at http://cdm9020.cdmhost.com/cdm4/browse.php.
Brenda Kellow has a bachelor's degree in history, teaches, and lectures on genealogy. Before retiring to publish her family’s histories in 2007, Brenda held certification as a Certified Genealogist and as a Certified Genealogical Instructor. Send reunions announcements, books to review, and genealogy queries to: TracingOurRoots@gmail.com.