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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Year in Review: Looking Back and Moving Forward

Is it just me, or did 2014 zoom right on by? In just a few hours, it will be 2015, and it is time to review where I have been, and turn my energy and outlook to where I hope to go in the coming year.



Last year, I did not blog about specific goals.  Instead, I wrote that I wanted to embrace a theme of “Focus and Selectivity” for 2014.  [See “2013 Year in Review: Lucky or Unlucky?”]. 

So…How did I do? 

2014 seemed like such a whirlwind.  On the plus side, I was always busy and never without an abundance of work; on the minus side—I was always busy and often overworked.  Being self-employed presents unique challenges including self-discipline, time management, self-motivation, and more. There is also a huge degree of uncertainty—worrying about getting the next writing or teaching assignment, or speaking engagement, meeting enrollment minimums for courses, selling books and other products to make sure there is a steady stream of royalties/income.

I left my 2014 goals general on purpose: They can be summarized as follows: Focus more on my writing, spend time with the people I love, and try to enjoy more of the good things in life. I did well in the writing area. I have not counted them, but I wrote a substantial number of magazine articles.  I published my own QuickSheet on Scrivener, and wrote a guide on Teaching College and Online Education Programs for GenBiz Solutions™.  I also wrote two new courses for the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Lecturing was another way I spent my time in 2014. I presented at numerous genealogy conferences that took me to Salt Lake City, Richmond, San Antonio, Burbank, as well as other locations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin, and I taught at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. I presented more webinars than I ever have, and also presented for Family Tree University’s two virtual conferences. 

In addition, I continued my partnership with Thomas MacEntee, presenting several genealogy Boot Camps on topics such as Blogging, Self-Publishing, and Evernote for Genealogy. I was also an instructor for his new Genealogy Intensive initiative. The first offering of my course, “The Write Stuff: Build Your Family Writing Skills,” (Fall 2014), sold out in 3 days! [Note: I am starting a new session of this Writing Intensive on Monday, 5 January 2015—there are just a few seats left for anyone who would like to improve their family history writing skills.  Click here to register].

As for the personal goals, I did make time for family and friends, but it didn’t seem to be enough.  I need to work on doing better in this area.

So, yes…it has been quite a year, and I am only now able to catch my breath—for a day or so before I start work on 2015 projects.  Did I accomplish everything I set out to in 2014? No.  I wanted to blog more, wanted to publish a kindle version of my book Three Slovak Women, and still haven’t finished a lingering nonfiction book project (I took baby steps in 2014, but need to take the BIG steps in 2015 to finally get it done). I plan to ramp up my writing in 2015—articles, books, guides, blog posts…you name it.  And, venture more into self-publishing. As a genealogist, I will also be participating in the Genealogy Do-Over starting 2 January 2015 (see my post “Embracing My Mistakes: Why I Am Participating in the "Genealogy Do-Over" in 2015”].

My Theme for 2015

For 2015, I have settled on the theme of MOVE/MOVEMENT.  I feel a huge need to move more, both in my personal and professional life. I have divided the “Movement” theme into four categories:

Physical – More exercise.  I love to walk, so I plan on doing more of it in 2015. Besides the health benefits, walking helps me to clear my head and think through ideas.

Mental  – I must move out of the space of negative thinking, and of listening to a lot of the “noise” that is out there in the world and on social media. 

Location – One of my hopes is to relocate somewhere other than where I currently reside. I have one specific locality in mind, but am leaving my options open.

Productivity – I must move to a place of more fulfilling work for better and more consistent pay. One of the keys to doing this is to thinking less like a creative and more like an entrepreneur.

Thank you 2014, it has been an interesting year, but I am ready to MOVE on to 2015!


Copyright, 2014, Lisa A. Alzo
All Rights Reserved

1 comment:

Colleen G. Brown Pasquale said...

Lisa, sounds like you had a VERY busy 2014! Hope you accomplish all you want in our new year.