I love the idea of setting myself Genealogy Goals each year, realistic ones, not pie in the sky things, but real achievable targets. This helps maintain focus and prioritise what you are working on. A few years ago I completely fell of the rails and totally lost focus and I put that down to not having a plan in place, for what I wanted to achieve that year. So I vowed then, ‘Never Again’.
This year will see the return of a few missed goals from last year, it’s important to keep these in focus for next year and a few new ideas and goals. It will be interesting to see how some of the newer ideas develop, these are not necessarily big undertakings but more of a different approach.
I am going to start off with my blog, I am still overwhelmed that people actually follow my blog and read what I write, I find that incredibly humbling and I an eternally grateful for each and everyone of you, for stopping by and I appreciate all your lovely comments as well. Thank you all so much.
I have a number of long term goals with both my research and my blog that I want to pursue in 2021, which will mean that I will end up blogging less, but hopefully the blogs will be of a higher standard. Quality over quantity and a ‘Less is More’ approach. I also want to look into guest blogging on other websites and inviting people to write a guest blog on here. So if you are reading this and it sounds appealing then why not drop me a message.
I still dearly want to re-visit Dublin and take a trip to Gallipoli, so both these will certainly be on my list again for 2021. I am not building my hopes up, this will be out of my control, but if not, then they will simply go back on the list again for next year. These things are out of my control and I can’t waste energy worrying about something I can’t influence.
Last year I made a massive massive breakthrough with a needle in a haystack DNA discovery and that has made me hungry for more ‘Brickwall’ success.
I have one major Brickwall that has been sitting there from the very beginning of my Family History journey and has been nagging at my conscience for around 20 years. Where does my 4 x Great-Grandfather on my Direct male line, originate from? I have tried Autosomal DNA and Y-DNA testing to try and help solve this, so I am under no illusions as to the enormity of the task. The intention is to peel everything back to the beginning and piece together every aspect, with a fresh set of eyes, which is one of the longer term projects that I have mentioned above. Even if this does not reveal any new clues, it’s important that I re-visit this work, as we should all re-visit our work from time to time.
I have absolutely loved listening to podcasts in 2020 and have a number of ones that I listen to on a regular basis. I even took part in one myself in 2020, with Family Tree Magazine. I really want to explore this avenue a lot more. That and also zoom chats, these have kind of been ‘forced’ on a lot of us because of the situation we found ourselves in last year, but there are so many opportunities to explore in this area. I have no hard and fast goal here, it’s a bit ‘woolly’, but I just want to get involved a lot more, how that takes shape, only time will tell. Maybe my own youtube channel, maybe not, but you never know!
My DNA work became derailed last year, I started the year off ok, but became side tracked with a number of different projects that took up a lot of time and set me off in different directions, that left me very little time to invest in my DNA studies. I have found with DNA work that you need both focus and time, without both of those things, it’s easy to ‘drop the ball’, so I took a step back in the last part of 2020 for that reason. I am hoping that with a clearer workload that I can find time to at least get my DNA back on track.
I also want to update some of my older blogs, bring them up to date. Some of them are 3 years old now and times have changed and things have moved on, so I will refresh some of the older blogs, give them a bit of a face lift.
I always set myself the target of joining 2 Family History Societies associated with my current researches and there is nothing to make me change from that goal again.
I definitely need to make some more progress on my Photo project, it started off well then stalled in the middle of last year. I am not setting myself an unachievable target of completing them all next year, but if I can make steady progress I will be satisfied.
I still have a number of my 2 x Great Grand parents biographies to finish. I have completed 10 of the 16, so it would be nice to see if we can finish that this year as well.
The next goal will be out of my control to a certain extent, but if we see a return to a more normal life again in 2021, attending Family History Shows and events will be high up my priority list. As the saying goes, you don’t realise how much you miss something until it’s taken away. Although we have adapted as a community, with lots of zoom presentations going on, you just cant beat meeting old friends, face to face and catching up, so here’s hoping that we can see each other again at both Family Tree Live and RootsTechLondon!
One last goal for 2021 is to try and become more tech savvy and maximise my exposure to social media platforms, this year I’m going to give Pinterest another go, so if you are a frequent user, feel free to look me up and see what I’m up to.
Of course writing my ‘Dear Paul’ column for Family Tree Magazine will continue this year, it’s something that I am both proud to be involved with and feel very passionately about. I will also continue my #AncestryHour duties on Tuesday nights at 7pm, this interactive fast paced chat is something that I dearly love and have met so many new genealogy friends this way. I will also continue as a moderator on the Family Tree Forum website, a small and friendly Genealogy Forum that I have been a member of since 2008.
So it looks like another busy year ahead, lets hope 2021 brings us back together again as a community, I am looking forward to new and different challenges in 2021, but just as importantly I am looking forward to having some fun and the opportunity to meet up with some of you again!