046 How to have a personal planning retreat

If you’re confused or bewildered on what to do with your life, it may be time to go on a personal planning retreat. Here’s one way you can get the most from your time away.

How to have a personal planning retreat

This week’s Inspire Me quote is from Danish philosopher and theologian Soren Kierkegaard:

“There is nothing with which every man is so afraid as getting to know how enormously much he is capable of doing and becoming .”

A personal planning retreat is great way to rejuvenate your life purpose and to plan for the new year. It’s a focused personal time away from the hustle and bustle of life with it’s many interruption and distractions. In this episode, Leary and Armin talk about the value of clarity, guidance and evaluation that such retreats can bring to you life and share tips on how to get the most out of your time away.

1. Preparation (before your retreat):

  • Keep realistic expectations. If you expect to return with THE answer to what’s perplexing you, or to accomplish everything on your list, you’re likely to return disappointed.
  • Go by yourself. Or bring a friend to share meals with.
  • Take things to read, to listen to, to write with.
  • Avoid entertaining distractions. You cannot run away from bad habits but you can find an environment that makes good actions easier to do.

2. Process (at your retreat):

  • Vary your routine. Take time to read, to nap, to pray. To write, especially to write. The goal is not production but exploration. Good answers about your life can’t be forced. They must be coaxed out like a skillful hunter stalking his prey.
  • Make a list of things you want to accomplish. This is your wish list. You’ll be adding to it so don’t limit it. An item on your wish list may even be an entirely wild thing. Think about things you really want to do, not just that you should do, or even can do. Don’t limit your vision to the size of your capability. That’s never very interesting and it doesn’t honor God because it doesn’t depend on Him. Don’t put deadlines on these goals. This is just your wish list at this point in the process.
  • Evaluate what worked well for you this past year? What did you accomplish that you feel good about? What was left undone that you would like to have done? Don’t criticize, but observe.  Use this evaluation to add new goals to your list.
  • Find your why? Review your list of goals and identify the ones that are most exciting to you. For each of these, write down why they are important to you. Look for commonalities of your why. Clarify, refine and expand your goals.
  • Pick the top three goals that excite you and are consistent with your why. Rewrite these three goals until they are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
  • Evaluate each of your three goals through three lens: Past, Present, Future. Write down ways in which you’ve failed (past), the fatigue you presently face (present) and the fears you have (future). Take your time to identify any common themes you may have between these areas. These are the threats to your goals.
  • Choose one action step for each of the threats you identify. For instance, if the threat is your belief that you won’t succeed because you’ve had a history of failure, you might decide to 1) hire a coach, 2) recite daily a truth until it sticks, 3) set up an accountability with a friend, etc.

3. Practice (after your retreat):

  • In reviewing the directions you intend to take and the threats you face, see if you can name the focus of your pursuit in one word. This will help you remember the major lesson from your time away.
  • Develop a project plan for each goal. Action steps, resources, rewards.
  • Cement your plan into the habit changes you need to make as soon as you return to your regular environment.
  • Review your plan and adjust regularly. Monthly reviews and longer quarterly reviews can help keep you on track.

This week’s Challenge Me:

Just do it. Start planning a retreat for yourself. If you’ve taken personal planning retreats, leave your tips on what’s worked for you on our show notes at reinventure.me/46

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