How to Implement Your New Genealogy Goal | The Armchair Genealogist
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How to Implement Your New Genealogy Goal

I’m going to bet you have one or two new genealogy goals for 2017.  With new goals come new habits. Often to achieve our new goals requires us to change or implement new practices into our daily routine. Maybe you are determined to keep a better research log or start one. Maybe you’re going to organize your research, perhaps you’re going to start writing your family history stories, or you’ve committed to a better routine of scanning and filing your research or catching up on the backlog of scanning that is waiting for you. Perhaps you’re a family history blogger determined to blog on a more regular basis. Also, many programs are happening in the genealogy world that you might like to participate in. Things like,
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks
Genealogy Do Over
Starting Out or Starting Over
Family History Writing Challenge
They all require you finding some time in your already busy life to fit in these new activities. They are all great initiatives with so many positive rewards. But putting them in place and sticking to them can be a task.
Regardless of the new 2017 goal, you have professed to, chances are you’re going to need some help to make it happen. New habits are hard. Saying it just doesn’t make it so.
I’ve come up with a list of tips to help you make your new habits happen.
1. Write it Down – This is the biggest and most important step. Write down what you want your new habit or goal to be. Hang it in multiple places where you will see it often, on the fridge, the bathroom mirror, beside your computer.  Writing down your new goal or habit will help make it clear and more focused and top of mind.  
2. Commit to Thirty Days – The experts tell us it takes about 3-4 weeks to make a new practice part of your regular routine. If you can make it through the initial phase, it becomes easier to sustain after that. A month is a good amount of time to commit to a change since it easily fits in your calendar. That’s why we use the month of February to develop our writing habits in the Family History Writing Challenge.

 Make it Daily – Consistency is important if you want to make a habit stick. If you want to start scanning, or updating your research notes, or writing it’s important to make it a regular practice. Giving yourself a designated time each day to help form the habit. Activities that you only do once every couple of weeks become tough to lock in as habits and they may take a little longer to take hold.  
4. Don’t Do It All at Once – Don’t try to execute a dozen new genealogy habits in your life in one day. Don’t take on too much. Start with one new habit, get it in place and working for you before you add another. Dedicate each month of 2017 to implementing a new practice into your life. If you want to re-organize your research notes, start their, 30 minutes a day. When that habit is locked in place, then move on to adding a routine of scanning to your habits. It is easy to get over-motivated at the beginning of a new year and take on too much.
5. Schedule It –Add your new habit to your calendar each day. This signals you that this is a priority in your life. It should sit in your calendar alongside that dentist appointment and the lunch date with your friend. If you don’t make it important enough to earn a place on your calendar, it becomes very easy to dismiss. 
6.  Be Consistent – The more consistent you can be with your habit the easier it will be to accomplish. If you want to start writing, try sitting down at the same time in the same location for your thirty days. The time of day, the place and environment around you can become cues signalling your mind that it is time.
7. Find a Friend – Find someone who will help you in motivating this new habit and keep you going when you feel like quitting or find something better or more exciting to do with that time, a writing buddy or scanning partner who has your back when you feeling like giving up.  
8. Find a Trigger – A trigger is a ritual you use right before executing your habit. Pouring yourself a favourite coffee or tea and sitting down with a favourite pen, a beautiful journal could be the trigger you need to update your research log.
9. Eliminate the Time Wasters – Eliminate those mindless and pointless activities in your life to make room for your new habit. No excuses “I don’t have time.” There is plenty of time for new habits. Television, social media, surfing the net, can all free up a significant amount of time.
10. Try and Try Again – If changing your habits doesn’t work the first time don’t give up. It is not uncommon for it to take several attempts to put a new habit in place. Keep trying. You’ll get there.
11. Visualize the Outcome– Visualize what your research will look like when your pictures and documents are all scanned and neatly organized.  Imagine your beautiful research log, a collection of written stories beautifully printed and ready to share with your family. See it, envision it, create a visualization board, keep it front and centre and you will make it happen.
It's not enough to have a goal. You also must have realistic habits that help you to reach your goals. 
There you have it, productivity, goal setting and habit tips to help you make 2017 an epic research year.