Resolutions should be true priorities

9 years ago

I didn’t make resolutions this year because I’ve learned the hard way that even my noblest resolution sets me up to fail. I’ve never managed the 80 pound weight loss, got the house into pristine order, or filed every genealogical document floating around. These were all fine goals that fizzled miserably.

But one month into the New Year I have a list of resolutions I should have made. So here are my belated genealogical resolutions for 2016.

One, sort through my genealogical publications and donate those I never use to a library or research center. I started doing this last year.

Two, sort through the two large boxes of loose genealogical documents I have and file, shred, or recycle.

Three, make more time for genealogy and genealogical education — we never stop learning.

Four, sort through the many boxes of photos that have accumulated in 40 years of marriage. While my oldest family photos are in acid-free sheets I need to decide what to do with all the others.

Five, follow up on my DNA tests results and make contact with potential relatives.

Six, finish transcribing the Piscataquis Marriage Records. My husband and I are halfway there and we need to just complete the project.

Seven, continue learning my new genealogical software.

I figure if I don’t bother with frivolous things like eating, cleaning, paying bills, doing laundry and living a life I just might get through one or two of these resolutions.

Seriously, even if you aren’t the type to make resolutions you might want to consider picking one genealogical goal for 2016 and trying to accomplish it. Goal setting is a good thing and can help you focus your efforts.

If you wish you can write out your goal, pin it to your bulletin board or fridge and work at it as you can. Don’t expect to do everything you’d like to but set a reasonable goal such as researching a particular family line, taking one day a month to go to the library or archive, do online searching, attend a local genealogical society meeting or workshop, even catch up on your filing — the possibilities are endless. The secret is to choose something you feel is a priority or something you’ve wanted to do but never made time to finish.

As for me, my overly ambitious list will have to be trimmed and the strongest priority is learning my new software. I do hope to work my way through at least one or two of the other resolutions. But, if I don’t there will always be 2017 and you guessed it, more resolutions.

Columnist Nancy Battick of Dover-Foxcroft has researched genealogy for over 30 years. She is past president of the Maine Genealogical Society. Reader emails are welcome at Her semimonthly column is sponsored by the Aroostook County Genealogical Society which meets the fourth Monday of the month except in July and December at the Caribou Library at 6:30 p.m. Guests are always welcome. FMI contact Edwin “J” Bullard at 492-5501.