You can’t finish a Personal Retreat until you start, and you can’t start without planning your retreat date.
When I think about the folks who are going to buy my book and start a personal retreat, I can’t help but think of the worst stumbling block. Starting.
I want to help them out and give them some words to encourage them. I know that this isn’t a process that will come naturally. I know some of it might take them out of their comfort zone. These are all challenges that make sense to me.
Maybe after a while of consideration you think it’s not really that bad. This dead-end job could be worse. The abusive boss doesn’t make you work overtime at least. There’s always next month – this month is too busy. Maybe you’ll feel more insightful next summer.
I want to help you find the happiness you’re missing right now. I need you to commit to that first step. I’m going to tell you a few things you’ll need to know before planning the date, and then we’ll pick that date.
How many weddings do you know that have been rescheduled? How about retirement parties? Baby showers? Family vacations? It doesn’t happen that often does it? Some of these things happen just once in a lifetime. We plan for them, and we look forward to them. That date on the calendar has a big red circle around it. You simply can’t miss it.
What if I told you that your Personal Retreat may just be that once in a lifetime event? It could be the springboard to a new career. You might start a new business. It might even lead to a promotion and a raise!
You have to find that commitment to this date and to stick with it. Make sure you carefully consider it, and try very hard to pick one that is going to be hard to reschedule.
- Birthdays & Anniversaries
- Busy times of the year at work
- Times of the year you are prone to allergies or illness
- At least 1 month and no more than a year away.
- Plan to use vacation time if necessary
- A weekday like Tuesday or Thursday
- At least 1 full day. From 7 AM to 9 PM at most.
Consider those rare events we mentioned. Those weddings and vacations. Your calendar wasn’t the only one with that date.
Share your retreat with a close friend or loved one. They probably already know you are struggling. They want to help you, and they know it’s something that you may have to face alone. They support you of course, and always lend an ear, but they can’t take that anguish.
It is so inspiring to hear from a troubled friend that they are getting help. I know that I feel so much happiness for them because there’s some hope. I’d do anything to help them find joy.
So, ask your friend or loved one to help you. Ask them to put the date on their calendar. Help you by asking when your Retreat is coming up and what your preparations are like. I’ll give you all the answers of course, but you need someone to help you be accountable to your date.
Finding the right location for your retreat is a pretty personal process.
I can tell you that I was certain my first retreat had to happen in the forest. I needed to find a place with no technology, no people, nothing to distract me. The peace and quiet of the outdoors would be amazing to help me concentrate and really dig into the process.
I wasn’t wrong. My first retreat was pretty amazing. I learned things about myself that I had no idea about. I was able to do the mindfulness exercises easily and a nice walk down a forest trail was relaxing and got the blood moving.
What’s funny about my second retreat is that when I went to that same forest, it was closed that day. I forgot to check the calendar and an event had blocked access. I waited in a coffee shop for the event to stop. I quickly realized that the noise and activity created a perfect environment for me to concentrate and I decided to do the Retreat there.
Some people may not have the luxury of the forest but would enjoy the quiet. You might consider some out of the way corner of a library on a weekday. Maybe you live near a city that is very busy on weekdays but has parks that are empty of people on weekends.
Obviously picking a date is going to have a lot to do with location. You can’t pick a forest during winter (I think the cold might be a bit distracting). A library might be difficult if there’s a book-signing scheduled. So consider some of these things as you are planning the date.
Your friend providing reminders is great, but you need to place some on your calendar too. I’ll share some concentration exercises with you in the book that you’ll want to plan out in the weeks before the event.
Imagine that countdown to a birthday or holiday where you’re hoping to get some incredible gift that is going to change your life. The weeks and hours you may have counted down to the end of public education. The new and surprising things you might come to expect when you get out into the big wide world. You had no idea what was in store but you knew it would change your life for the better. That’s what this date is all about!