Enjoying a beautiful spring day, my husband and I set out on a hike. Planning ahead, my husband had calculated the length of our hike to be about 6 miles. I packed our day packs with the needed supplies so we could enjoy the day and stop for small breaks and a refreshing lunch.
It was a crystal clear day, not a cloud in sight, as we hiked along the mountain ridge where we could see down both sides of the mountain. Not being in the best of shape, I knew that 6 miles would be a good hike for me and would take a few hours to complete.
Up and down, up and down—the trail seemed to go on forever. I kept thinking to myself, “Why haven’t I seen any mile markers?” I had no idea how far we had come and how much farther we had to hike. My husband reassured me that the lake was the halfway point between the two canyons, and there we would know how far we’d come.
To my joy, several hours later we saw the lake. But to my chagrin, the sign said it would be 7 miles to the end of the trail! Or to turn around and head back the way we’d come would mean hiking 6½ miles. We decided to trudge along the 7 miles to the end. It also meant that we had to keep a faster pace to reach our car safely before dark. Hiking 13 miles was a physical stretch for both of us, and we had sore muscles for days.
Edward Whymper, an English illustrator, climber, and explorer, said, “Do nothing in haste, look well to each step, and from the beginning think what may be the end.” Indexing a large project is comparable to setting out on a long hike that might take several days, months, or even years to complete. At first it might be daunting, but when taken in small batches it is easier to tackle.
It’s important along your journey to set goals to help track your progress. The FamilySearch indexing tool will help you set goals with a timed deadline to keep you on track, help you monitor your progress, and let you celebrate your achievements. Every time you submit a batch, FamilySearch automatically recalculates the number of names required daily to reach your goal. If you see yourself falling behind, you can do an extra batch or two, and then you’ll be back on schedule to complete your goal.
In addition to motivating individuals, setting goals can likewise motivate groups who are working on the same project. By having goals, your group administrator can tally the totals for the group and recognize people who are making an extra effort to contribute to the project. The group administrator can also use the reports to identify anyone who might need some additional training.
Indexing is a journey. Just as I kept looking for the mile markers along our trail, setting short goals with a timed deadline will keep you on track. By doing just one name at a time, each of us can reach the top of our “mountain” and enjoy the benefit of seeing our work published so that it can be researched by others.