It’s that time of year again, time to dust off the previous year’s resolutions and revise them to reflect one’s goals for the coming year. This year, instead of making a to-do list I’m making a five-year plan incorporating long-term goals in a way that, I hope, will help me become a better and more productive researcher.
My five-year plan includes:
- Educational programs I hope to attend.
- Book-length transcription projects I would like to work on.
- An outline of projects to complete so that I can apply for certification through the Board for Certification of Genealogists.
- Other projects that will help me become a better researcher and a better professional, like updating my records and resources web site (an ongoing project), writing popular and scholarly articles, and developing lectures on topics of local interest.
- Personal goals.
I’ve divided the above between the next five years, and further subdivided those into what I hope to accomplish each month.
Making concrete goals and having a plan for fulfilling them is an important part of the growth process. I find, increasingly, that merely making of list of items I need to work on doesn’t get me any closer to meeting the long-term goals I’ve set for myself. Hence, the five-year detailed plan.
While I am setting concrete monthly, weekly, and daily goals (especially important for lengthy transcription projects), I realize that I have to remain flexible. As my friend Johnny Parisi says, it’s written on paper, not in stone. However, knowing that I have two and a half years to finish the certification process or otherwise qualify for Elizabeth Shown Mills’ Course 4: Advanced Methodology and Evidence Analysis (given annually at Samford University’s Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research) in June 2014 is a great motivator. In turn, I know that in order to be the best genealogy professional I can be, my ultimate goal, I will need to attend that course and others.
Happy New Year to all my friends and fellow researchers. May 2012 be a happy, productive, and profitable year for you all.