All that to say, I am not a New Year's resolution kind of gal. But over the years, I have learned some easy ways to give my year intention and direction. Here is one of them:
Each year I prayerfully chose 5 subjects that I want to learn more about, that I want to become an "expert" on. And I create 5 manila file folders each labeled with the subject. These 5 subjects may be fives areas for service, or five areas of life, or five subjects in the Bible. They are five subjects that I want to purposely grow in.
And then I fill the folders. As I come across magazine articles, news clippings, Bible verses, blogs, spend time with those who are "experts" on that subject. . . as I come across anything that pertains to that subject, I stick it in the file. I jot down summaries of books I read on the subject and put them in my fat file. I put the handouts and notes from workshops and seminars I attend on the subject in my fat file. I type out quotes and put them in my file.
This idea was explained to me in one of Elizabeth George's books. She calls them 5 Fat Files and explains that the purpose of these files is to feed your mind on things of value, to purposely seek knowledge on subjects that will grow you personally so that you can then pour out to others! Elizabeth George says you limit yourself to five areas so that you know where to put the bulk of your study and reading time because we cannot be studying everything.
Ah. . that made my heart beat faster and I was sold. . so for the past 5 or so years I have kept 5 Fat Files. Some I fill for a year, some it takes me 2 years, some I lose interest and they are not fat at all, but I am intentional about filling myself up with things of value, so that I have something to give to others.
|Life Management for Busy Women|
|A Woman After God's Own Heart, Updated and Expanded Edition|
So just to stimulate your thinking, I will share some of the files I have made over the years:
Couponing (Surprised??!! This file helped me cut my grocery bill from $1000 a month to $400 a month and now I teach classes on couponing).
What the Bible Says About Money
Preschool Craft Ideas (which turned into a class I used to teach at Michaels Arts & Crafts),
How to teach kids the real meaning of Christmas (this got to be such a big folder that it is now a 3 ring binder and I even turned some of this file into blog posts like 7 Ideas to Help Make the Nativity the Center of Christmas)
How to teach the kids the real meaning of Easter (now a 3 ring binder as well and turned into a fun party we had at church for all the kids. . .we use these ideas in conjunction with an egg hunt)
Adoption Fundraising Ideas and Resources
Women who made a Difference (to share with my girls)
Freezer Cooking/Batch Cooking (now a part of a class I teach on Meal Planning and Freezer Cooking)
So what areas would you like to learn more about? What would your 5 Fat Files be for this year? I am still thinking and praying thru mine for 2013. I will be sure to share when I know for sure.
Elizabeth George offers the following as a way to determine what your five topics will be: Ask yourself, "What do I want to be known for?" and "What topics do I want my name associated with?"