A personal planning retreat is a great way to rejuvenate your life purpose and to plan for the rest of the year. It’s a focused ‘personal time’ away from the hustle and bustle of life free from the usual interruptions and distractions. You’d be surprised by how much guidance and evaluation of the retreat helps you spend valuable time. Read on for tips.
Making preparations before the retreat
If you have made arrangements for a 30-day retreat (or a week’s retreat or anything of that sort) keep realistic expectations. Don’t assume that you’ll accomplish everything on your wish list or find THE answer to that which is perplexing you. If you do (set expectations), chances are likely that may be disappointed. In addition to this,
- Go to it alone or bring a friend with whom you’ll share meals with
- Bring along something to read, write onto, or listen to.
- Avoid distractions. As much as you’d like to keep off some indulgences they do come up. Since you can’t run from them, find an environment that suppresses the same.
What to do at your retreat
The aim of your personal retreat is exploration. Answers about your life just can’t be forced. Instead, they should be coaxed out like a skillful hunter stalking prey. Take time to pray, read, write and listen. Try to evaluate what worked out for last month or last semester or last year. Learn to observe; do not criticize.
Pick 3 top goals you want to achieve. They must be consistent with your WHY. Adopt the SMART technique. SMART is the acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. In other words, your goals should be achievable within a reasonable timeline. If you’ve had failure in the past, write down ways in which that happened then embrace a new strategy to avoid repeating the same blunders.
There are threats that can derail achievement of your goals. For instance, a seed of doubt in yourself (maybe because you’ve had a history of failure) could be the threat. To avoid this, recite a ‘daily truth’ until it sticks or hire a life coach. Talking to friends about your fears can also help ease the pressure.
What next after the retreat?
1. Develop a plan for each goal. List down the steps of action, resources to be utilized and the rewards.
2. Review the plan and make changes as you see fit. A weekly and monthly review should do nicely.
3. Just do it.
How to have a personal planning retreat