I’m sure you are familiar with this four letter word. Goals are things we strive towards; what we try to achieve.  In every facet of your life, you probably have a goal.  To lose weight and eat healthier. Be debt free by 2013 (sorta rhymes doesn’t it.) Obtain your Bachelors/Masters/PhD in XYZ.  Attend church every Sunday. They can be short term or long term.  It could be something you want to accomplish in a day or a lifetime.

Goals are a healthy way to challenge yourself to do something different. To do something out of your comfort zone. And its okay if you don’t achieve them.  The thing you want to do is to at least take a step toward its completion.

Like for instance, my mom who has been crocheting all of her life, set a goal for herself.  The only thing she made consistently were blankets.  As a newbie crocheter, in comparison to her, I can not see how she does it.  Blankets are long term projects which, depending on the yarn, hook size, etc., could take anywhere from a month to 10 months to complete.  So last year, she made a goal of stepping out of her comfort zone and doing other things.  Since setting that goal, she has made numerous scarves, a baby hat which she promptly gave away as we left the hospital waiting room with my uncle, a baby set which included the blanket (of course!), a bonnet (really neat, not sure how she did it), mittens, booties, and a pillow, and other projects that are still in the works.

Goals also apply to genealogy.  Usually people have a goal in mind when they begin researching or you just happen upon it because of a course you are taking or have a school assignment to complete.  So you’ve been bit by the genealogy bug and spend a great deal of time researching, looking for those sometimes illusive ancestors. But why?  What are you looking to find? Maybe you want to satisfy a curiosity or you want to put the pieces of your family together.  Or maybe you want to find your ancestors from a medical standpoint.  Once you determine why your are doing it, then its time to break the reserach down into acchievable chunks.

After you decide which line you want to trace, paternal or maternal, then you can set a short term goal. For instance, maybe you don’t know the name of your 2nd great grandmother on your grandmother’s side of the family.  Or maybe you are curious about where your grandmother went to elementary school.  Ultimately, its up to you but make sure to have fun while you do it.

I guess its time for me to share mine…its not fair to ask a question that you yourself aren’t willing to answer.  My answer to the question is to learn more about my personal history to share with my family.  That’s pretty much it. But that’s my long term goal.  My short term goals are to organize my existing research and to build upon it and create a narrative using the information.

So that’s today’s question. What are your goals as they relate to genealogy?

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