Building Towards the Future

I’ve never been a huge fan of the New Year’s Resolution game, but I’ve been thinking more lately about what I want for next year.  I am enjoying working from home now, but I want to do more with that work, and I want to do more in terms of building up myself personally and my family.  To do that, I need to do a better job of setting goals for myself, setting priorities, and finding ways to stick to both.  Sounds a lot like resolutions, doesn’t it?  But, I don’t want to set myself up for failure like so many do by being overly ambitious at the outset, because I am a person who, if I don’t see quick results, will become discouraged and can back slide into poor behaviors.  So, I asked my husband to buy me this really cool journal/agenda for next year that, not only helps you keep track of your day-to-day activities, but also helps you with goal setting, prioritizing; but, what I really liked, helps you to make prayer lists and daily gratitude lists.  Isn’t that awesome?

I need and want to do so much more with this space because genealogy means so much to me.  Next year, I plan to learn as much as I put out, and I plan to put out much more than I ever have.  My readers are going to be hearing much more frequently from me and I am going to be publishing to Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and any other social media.  However, I plan to take my genealogy in a somewhat different direction than many others.  Although I adore research (I could spend 24 hours a day on it), there are so many other genealogists out there doing great research, I feel a need for something just a bit different, a different angle of the same thing. I want to focus my interest on us today preparing our data, our keepsakes, photographs, history, etc. for our descendants.  Today we are so focused on finding our past that we are forgetting that we will have descendants of our own.  We have to learn from what we are experiencing in our own research–SAVE IT, PRESERVE IT,  PERSONALIZE IT AND PASS IT ON!!

I have many ideas on just how we can do this, but I also want to try to engage my readers on how you think this can best be done.  For those of us who have struggled to find those lost documents that would prove who our 3x great-grandfather would be, wouldn’t it be great if our 3x great-grandchildren never had to do that?  Unfortunately, families do not keep family Bibles anymore; BUT, we have photographs galore, videos, DVDs, etc.  However, these photographs, videos, and DVDs are not worth much if our great-grandchildren don’t know who those people are in them.  Someone would have to transcribe or detail somewhere who those little angles are.  Think about it…when we make those videos, we aren’t saying, “Margaret Elizabeth Hathaway, born April 2, 1982, come open your Christmas gift of 2002.”  That would be awkward, right?  But, how else will our 3x great-grandchildren know who the children are in the DVD if we don’t do this somewhere and put it with the DVD and package it together to pass it down.  These are things I think about, and the issues I want to solve.

The other thing I plan to work on in the next year on a very serious basis my genealogical education.  I plan to watch at least one web video a month.  Since I started doing this on a professional basis, but part-time, I have not had enough time to sit down and watch enough of these videos, which is a real shame because they are terrific.  No more!!  If you have time to watch any of Christa Cowan’s videos on, do so.  She is so easy to understand and is very good at what she does.

My goal for American Rhoades is to build a brand.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be huge, but it can be regional.  I love what I do and I’d like to make a career of doing what I love.  In order to do that, it means working harder to get people to this site, to build interest in genealogy and hiring me.  I want to build a product(s) beyond just me.  It is my hope that with more content and product, I can realize my goals.

Finally, my other goals are not genealogy related, but I will share anyway because they are great for anyone looking to improve their life.  I had a boss once that told me that for every hour you spend at work, you should spend an equal amount of time on your spiritual life.  Of course, for me, that means my walk with Jesus.  I have come to understand in the past year that my prayer life is very important and that I need to spend more time in prayer (although I feel like I am in a constant conversation with Jesus) and I need to do more Bible study.  So, next year I will spend at least 30 minutes on Bible study and prayer.  And lastly, my health has been so poor since I got sick in 2014, that it seems like this elephant in the room all of the time.  I am so ready for it not to be an issue any more.  If the doctors aren’t trying to shove more drugs down me, my husband is trying to shove more supplements down me.  UGH!!  I am going to take over next year.  I have already done so much to try to get better and I am beginning to feel better.  Next year will be a continuation of that theme.  Next year, 2019, is going to be about mind, body, and soul for me.  If anyone wants to join with me, I am game for a buddy or buddies.

I hope that all of you have Happy and Safe New Year’s and that you will follow American Rhoades into 2019 and be a part of our future as we move forward.

God Bless~

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