My goals for this year are nothing compared to rest of the folks who submitted for the latest Carnival of Genealogy. There are some seriously motivated and/or delusional folks out there. ;) (I'm also noticing a trend that a lot of us have filing issues.)
To be fair to myself, I did sort of underplay my goal for a surname project. Soon, I'm going to create two checklists; one for my ancestors, one for the collateral folks. I've toyed with this before, but never made definitive lists and set out down that path. There is certain information that I'd like to have for every individual in a descendant report, such as the basic vital info, census entries, an obit, and a photo of their tombstone, assuming they're dead. Depending on the era, location and religion, I'll go further and try to fill in other blanks (e.g., baptism, confirmation, military, directories). For ancestors, I'll attempt to find everything I can, adding deeds and other assorted records to the mix. I do not plan on fully researching collateral lines. It would be monumental to exhaustively research *every* individual in my database equally. Sorry, just being realistic and honest.
(Does anyone else use checklists? I'm looking for something to inventory what I have or need to find for each individual. If so, let me know.)
The one thing that I did read about in other resolutions that I should and will do this year is helping others with lookups. I'm not going to reregister at RAOGK because I don't know that I could keep up with the requests or if I'm going to be at libraries on a regular basis, but I'm going to try and pick cases from RootsWeb mailing lists and message boards that I know I can help with. I've done this in the past and it usually works out well, similar to having others find my name at RAOGK. I've gotten a lot of help from strangers, most recently from individuals in Minnesota and Maryland and it's only fair to help others in return.
The Minnesota volunteer snapped a few photos and will later get an obituary, and in December someone went above and beyond in getting me several Maryland death certificates -- in the process saving me a nice chunk of change -- and may drive down to my area of interest to scout out a cemetery which may have changed names.