Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in Review: Lucky or Unlucky?


Well, here we are at the end of another year. Time to review what I did (or did not) accomplish with the genealogy and writing goals I set for myself in 2013 in my "Thirteen for 13" post. Below is my "report card" for how I did with those goals, and some of my plans for 2014.


These were the goals I set in 2013. I made a bit of progress on each goal, but fell short of completely accomplishing everything on the list.  Perhaps these goals were a bit ambitious, or I set too many. Nevertheless, here's how I did....

2013 Goals

1. Ramp up my freelance career to achieve a financially profitable business, and keep a successful  balance between writing, speaking, and teaching (including more Webinars). 

I think that I successfully accomplished this goal.  It was my first full year in the world of self-employment, and there were certainly many challenges. Since I hate math, I don't have all of the financial information compiled just yet, but I kept my head above water.  I think I established a good balance between writing, teaching and speaking, including presenting more webinars than I did in 2012.

2. Publish a new book. (Note to Self:  Put fingers to keyboard!!!)  

This did not happen.  I could list a million excuses as to why not, but I won't.  All I can say is I made progress, and I am working on it.

3. Publish Kindle, iPad, and Nook versions of my Baba's Kitchen and Three Slovak Women books.  

Didn't get there...yet.  Huge learning curve with how to convert to the correct formats.  No time to spend on learning the process.  

4. Step out of my comfort zone and branch out into new writing markets (Query at least three non-genealogy publications and get the assignments).  

There's good news and bad news here. I always like to deal with "bad news" first, so here goes. I didn't get three assignments.  The good news:  I did secure one assignment for a non-genealogy magazine that I am working on. And, a bit of more good news is that I had enough genealogy writing assignments that kept me busy throughout the year, including working on a special issue of Internet Genealogy Magazine on Tracing Your Eastern European Ancestors (one of my favorite topics to write about) for which I wrote most of the articles, and assisted the editor with finding other authors.

5. Continue my search for information about my grandmother's brother who stayed in Slovakia. 

I did not have time to work on this research.

6. Find out more about another ancestor who left Slovakia for Argentina. 

I did do some searching and found a couple of "hints." Since most of my research will have to be done offline likely in the Slovak archives, there have been some delays in the process that are not under my control.

7. Find my great-grandfather's death record!  After an unsuccessful search in Slovakia this summer both at the church in his village, and nearby records offices, I have to expand my search to include other geographical locations, and investigate some theories as to what could have happened. 

Still searching! Have some other ideas on places to look.

8. Be a better time manager.  I must eliminate distractions (including social media and others) and focus on what I need to get done.  I also need to prioritize projects and choose those that will provide the maximum benefit.  

I did fairly well with this, but know I can do better in 2014!

9.  Work smarter, not harder. Find ways to streamline my work load.  This includes saying "no" even if it may upset someone, and not obsess so much about my writing in order to curtail my number of drafts and revisions (I will always strive to do my best work, but do not have to be "perfect").   

See comment on #8 above.

10. Continue purging excess clutter. Move more in the direction of paperless systems; organize my home office!  

I made great progress with this task.  Plan to continue doing more in 2014.

11. Be a better Blogger. I hope to be able to write more Blog posts for this Blog and some guest posts on other Blogs.  

Again, good news and bad news.  I haven't posted much to my personal blog (this one) or anything to The Catholic Gene (where I am a contributor). However, I did write plenty of posts for the Reel Genie Blog and the Legacy Family Tree Blog.

12. Schedule time for me. I want to eat healthier, exercise more, and get plenty of rest, as well as schedule "down" time for activities I enjoy. 

I tried with the healthy diet and exercise but can do better.  I had a bit of "down time" getting to visit with old friends during a Finger Lakes wine tour, and attended two great concerts--Train (with The Script and Gavin DeGraw) and Matchbox Twenty and Goo Goo Dolls--with my friend, Donna.

13. Eliminate any negative thoughts, energies, and activities that serve as obstacles or block me from achieving my goals.  

This goal was "easier said than done" and I must do better!

Well there, you have it.  2013 was an interesting year.  But, it's time to move on.

2014 Goals

I could easily do a list of 14 goals for 2014, but I have decided not to do this. While I do have some specific things I would like to accomplish, instead I am going to try and just let things happen too.  I feel that 2014 will be a year that brings some changes, new opportunities, and new ventures.  Many of my colleagues are choosing a word to follow/embrace as sort of a theme for 2014.  I actually have two: Focus and Selectivity. I want to focus more on my writing, focus more on spending time with the people I love, and focus more on the good things in life.  I also want to be more selective.  Selective with my time and my talent. Seeking out work that is profitable, but also fulfilling and being more selective about those people I interact with on a regular basis both online and offline.

Wishing all of my readers a safe, healthy, and happy 2014!


Copyright, 2013, Lisa A. Alzo
All Rights Reserved