The New Year of 2015 is upon us. Many of us (myself included) made resolutions like eating better, spending less, and exercising more. At Genealogists.com, we hope one of your resolutions is to involve us to help you work on your family history. Here are some tips and suggestions to ensure that we help you as much as possible:
- Keep your goals manageable. Don’t resolve to find all your ancestors back to the 1600s; even with professional help this would be a herculean task. Manageable possibilities include: finding the parents of a 3x great-grand father, buying and learning to use genealogy software, organizing the documents already in your possession, organizing digital and printed photographs, or having your DNA tested.
- Break your goals down into smaller steps. I have found that if I put “sew dress for niece” on my to do list it is too big, too scary, and very often not accomplished. However, if I break it into steps – get out sewing machine, wash fabric, cut out pattern, etc. – I eventually get the dress sewn.Crossing things off a list provides a sense of accomplishment; therefore, putting more things on a list provides more opportunities to get tasks accomplished. If your goal is to buy and learn to use genealogy software, first focus on buying it. Your steps for this might include identifying the various programs, visiting their websites, comparing their features and prices, seeking out blog posts and reviews, considering the support packages available, asking your friends, seeing if there are trial versions you can download and test, determining if books are available for the programs (official and unofficial), and finally buying the program.
- Chose a goal that actually interests you and that you think you can accomplish. Don’t decide that you should accomplish Aunt Sue’s long cherished desire to find her the names of her 4x great-grandparents, especially if you never really liked your Aunt Sue.
- Consider whether you might need professional help to reach your goals. Sometimes it is worth paying someone to help you. Consult with Genealogists.com or genealogy groups in your area to see what they suggest in terms of price and possibility of success. At Genealogists.com, we craft research plans to fit your goals and your budget. Get in touch with us for a quote.
We hope that 2015 is off to a great start for you.