New Year, New Projects, New Opportunities

Let our New Year’s resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word. ~Goran Persson

2016, A Year in Review

2016 was an interesting year. As a country, we elected a new president and lost many iconic celebrities and historical figures who passed away such as NASA astronaut John Glenn, television star Alan Thicke, singer/songwriter Prince, America’s mom Florence Henderson, boxer Muhammad Ali and the last being Star Wars Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher.

Was 2016 a good year for you? What happened with you or your family in 2016? Did you welcome a new child into your family? Did you adopt a new pet? Change jobs? Did you accomplish all of your resolutions you set for last year?

Are You Ready for the New Year 2017?

What are your resolutions for 2017? Lose weight? Buy a new house or car? Get a new job? While these are all achievable personal goals, what about other resolutions for yourself, your family or the community you live in?

Here are some ideas that you may want to consider for the New Year 2017.

  1. Don’t be afraid of new technology! Learn a new computer program or skill that can help you in many aspects of your life. It can help you at work, genealogy research or just help you organize your life overall. Learn Microsoft PowerPoint® so you can make a presentation for your next family get together or reunion. Use Microsoft Excel® to create a datasheet that can be used for organizing family information such as addresses, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
  2. Take a trip to visit your ancestors. Learn how to use Google Earth™ or Google Maps™ to look up addresses found in city directories or census records. This article from About Parenting explains how to use Google Maps to map your ancestors and what you can do the information. With the knowledge of where your ancestors lived with the assistance of these programs, you can take this trip to your ancestors virtually or make it a weekend road trip with your family.
  3. Improve family connections. Do you have a sibling, parent, cousin, etc., that you don’t have the greatest relationship with but you wish you did? Start the conversation to resolve any differences and make an effort to find a resolution. Life is short, don’t let someone pass and hang on to possible regrets.
  4. Take a genealogy course or seminar to improve your research and discover new techniques. There are many online genealogy courses through various organizations that you can take to increase your genealogy knowledge. Genealogy courses offered through Boston University can provide you with a genealogy certification so you could provide services for others. Your local community center might also offer an evening course taught by a local professional as well.
  5. Break through the brick walls in your family. With genealogy, you’re never truly finished researching your family history. Set yourself a goal for 2017 to find missing information that you’ve been looking for. Think outside the box and look at what might be considered unconventional resources to find the information you’re looking for.
  6. When is the last time you had a family reunion? Years, decades, never? Maybe it’s time to start planning a family reunion for the summer or fall? Take the winter months to contact family members, gather addresses, coordinate a meeting spot at a park or banquet room and set a date. Use those new computer skills to create a family presentation using PowerPoint or a family book. Use that datasheet in Excel to create a mail merge for address labels, invitations and other things to help keep the planning organized. For more help, here’s an article from Family Tree Magazine on how to organize and plan a successful family reunion.
  7. Are you a member of a genealogical society, historical society or some other preservation group? If not, look into a local organization to see if they have activities that interest you. You might be able to participate in a preservation project that they have going on to restore a historical building or cemetery. Who knows what you might learn or who you’ll meet. Making new friends is always fun!

Make 2017 great and use your time and resources wisely. Learn new things. Spend time with friends and family to grow and nurture relationships.

What is your plan for 2017? Tell us about it in the comments!