Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year Intentions

image from

Happy New Year, everyone!

It's a new year and I've decided to freshen up the look of the blog. I like this brighter, cleaner look.

Last year turned out to be a rather difficult for me and I didn't do as much family history research as I wanted, and consequently, didn't blog nearly as much as the first year.

On Facebook, there's a meme going about that I like (but don't know who to credit), which instructs:

1) Make a list of things that make you happy,

2) Make a list of things you do every day,

3) Compare lists, and

4) Adjust accordingly.

I've done the first three steps, and I've set down a list of intentions for this year that incorporates more of what I enjoy as well some things to improve my overall health/life.

My intentions (not resolutions) for this year are to

- Spend at least two evenings a week (barring vacations/time with R) doing family history research.

- Spend at least one evening a week going through, scanning, and entering into my family history software the piles of documents, pictures and stuff my parents gave me the last time I visited (they'd just moved and had unearthed all sorts of fascinating things).

- Write more blog posts on my ancestors and their families. To that end, I intend to
           + write more small more chatty posts in addition to the occasional longer bio pieces.
           + do posts featuring the ancestor pictures I've received from all sorts of relatives (new & known) now that I've become known as our family historian.
           + stop doing the Noteworthy Reads posts, unfortunately, but they take up (a lot of) time I could be using to do more research and I'd rather do the research.
           + acknowledge that my posts will be sporadic & not feel guilty about that, so as to reduce the self-imposed stress associated with keeping up a blog which might lead to actually getting a post up!
           + oh, and, stop doing middle of the night posts, as my proofreading skills desert me after 1:30 a.m.

- Take a genealogy webinar per trimester (haven't done one yet). [And get my CLEs watched (bought a package of webinars in the year-end sales.]

- Complete the Instagram 365 project I started a month ago. I'd started a photo project a few years ago & was unable to complete it; this attempt is deliberately more casual (all shots are via my iPhone & posted on Instagram). The goal is to develop an artist's/photographer's eye through my daily use of it.

- Learn how to use the fancy camera I bought two years ago and have never taken out of the box.

- Read 2-3 books for fun a month. (yeah, I know this totally blows my bookworm image that I have to say this but things have been getting in the way & I need my reading back, while not losing research time).

- Since I'm back on the church board this year, keep up with whatever projects arise out of that.

- Eat more healthy food, cut out junk food, and go to bed by midnight. Find an exercise I might enjoy -- okay, not hate -- and do  it a 1/2 hour a day.

- Set up a budget via YNAB software, and  update it monthly (phone app allows a daily record of expenditures). [Before someone suggests another software - I've done YNAB before and I like it.]

- Stop staying at work late.
        + Work with intention & in the present moment during actual work hours. Minimize distractions.

- Limit time on social media  - and don't get on Facebook after 11:30 PM.

We'll see how this works out.  Maybe I'll do an assessment post at the end of the year. Would you like that?

Have you set any new intentions/goals/resolutions for this year? Would you share them in the comments?


  1. Happy New Year, Jo, wishing you all the best for 2016, looking forward to your blogs!

    1. Thanks, Dara! I wish you a grand year as well.

  2. Happy New Year to you, Jo and thanks for your comments on my blog. You sound like you are still planning to bite off some mighty big chunks this year. Might I mention that small chunks, little bites even, are OK, too? If you can't spend a whole evening researching, keep a list of things that should take 10 minutes or so to do, and at least get one of those done. That's progress, too! And don't forget to have fun, whatever you do!

    1. Hi Janice! Thanks for your advice but I'm not good at doing anything for only ten minutes; it always expands. But that's okay, at two evenings a week.

      That said, I'm already failing miserably at getting to bed by midnight, lol.


  3. I am a newcomer to your blog, and one of the attractions was your Noteworthy Reads posts (I came across them via one of your comments on another blog stating that their post was going to be one of your Noteworthy Reads!), so I will be sorry to see them go. I've always liked "roundup posts" from bloggers, even out of the genealogy field; it was a way to see what was out there in the blogosphere :)

    I did notice that your posts had on average 20-30 links. I can see where that would take a lot of time to research and compile all those links. A suggestion would be to just do a Top 5 or 10 for the week or month even...

    1. Hi Ellyn,

      Thanks for stopping by and letting me know what you think. It turns out I'm rather addicted to doing them, and can't let them go. I'll be putting up a post on that tomorrow.


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