Broken any New Year’s resolutions yet?
No, no. I’m not talking about 2007’s. Those were shattered long ago. I’m thinking about 2008.
From my perspective, you have a much better chance of living up to those elusive personal pledges if you hit the ground running. They say that it takes about 30 days of regular participation in an activity to make it a habit. Start soon and those 2008 goals will be habits by the time the new year rolls around.
I’m thinking specifically of family history goals. The holidays can be a bit hectic in the personal history business. Honoring a loved one with the gift of family history is a priceless gift, but often it’s an afterthought, selected after other more traditional gift ideas have been discarded. I suspect many New Year’s resolutions are done in similar fashion: at the last-minute.
So why not take time now to put together a list of personal history goals that are achievable and in line with your own values, hopes and beliefs. List what you want to do, detail how you want to do it and assign realistic deadlines. Move your family history aspirations from your wish list to your I’m-doing-it list.
If you have any World War II veterans in your family, and it is estimated that four of five American families include at least one veteran, you might want to make that a priority. An estimated 1,000 WWII vets are dying every day.
If you don’t feel you have the time or expertise to conduct such a project, get help. The Association of Personal Historians, a trade group I’m proud to be a member of, maintains a directory of its members. You may be able to find a personal historian in your area.