Many people come away from a personal retreat with a renewed sense of purpose and maybe a couple goals. To be successful after your retreat is going to take a bit more work. Getting a new idea is just the beginning, and to ensure your success, there are some steps to take along the way.
Personal Retreat Process
The Retreat itself is not something rushed into. The Personal Retreat, and even the business version has a notable amount of preparation. This is time well spent, as you will have a chance to reflect ahead of time on the process. You will get an understanding of the retreat day activities and increase your chances of being successful.
The retreat day itself will be packed with the steps to complete. You will take considerable time in thinking and contemplation. It is advisable to not take immediate actions, but instead take time to digest what you have found out.
All the pieces of the retreat will come together through the evaluation process you will go through. This is a methodical approach to reviewing the information and building some ideas from it. It is not unusual to have a few specific epiphanies, but after consideration, they might only support some larger idea.
This is the point at which you begin to develop SMART goals. You can refer to this post where I go into some detail on SMART goals. Through this development, you will begin the process of planning as well.
It could very well be that a fully formed goal is identified on retreat day. This methodical analysis can reveal that great-sounding goal is not actually going to deliver the satisfaction you are looking for. This is a process that is also worth taking time on. This offers the best chance to be successful after your personal retreat.
I would also note at this point that you could find several good goals in this analysis. This is a note of caution as it can be very exciting to try and tackle everything at once. Especially if you can imagine your life changed by all of them. Every goal is going to have to have a plan and plans take time to execute. Choose one or two at first. If after the planning process, you have time for more, then maybe add another and see how that goes.
Once you have some goals identified, it is time to start to build the plan to make them happen. Regardless of the size of your goals, it is valuable to break them up. Smaller ones you can break into steps. As the goals get larger, you might develop categories which include several steps.
These steps and categories will likely be identified in your SMART goal making process. After you have that, you will be able to fill in some gaps. The scope of your goal now begins to take shape. The time required, for the goal or the sections that comprise it, will gain some more clarity. This is a good time to change your expectations to be more realistic.
My approach is to start populating my calendar with blocks of time I will be working on my goals. Depending on how you find you best approach projects, you might try other solutions like the checklist, the do-one-thing approach or some other one that works best for you.
This is the point at which you might find you have too many goals, or you have room in your schedule to add another goal. The first time, work on perhaps on fewer goal that you feel you might be able to handle. Having successful goals is incredibly important and they encourage you to create more. Ensuring success by not becoming overwhelmed is important.
During the pursuit of your goal, you will want to review your progress. Sometimes that is as easy as looking at the things you have checked off your list. Other times it can be a little harder to discern where you are at with your goal. Obstacles that you could not foresee can force you to change your plans. You may have to approach a step differently than you originally expected.
By checking in, you take a little time to review your plans and see the progress made. You might also identify that a change made to your plans will now impact other steps. Use this check in time to adjust your plans. You may have to add a step, or you might see a step is no longer necessary.
Another check in you might consider is to check in with an accountability partner. We all encounter difficulty in our projects, and we also want to celebrate small wins. When the challenges stack up, we could use some encouraging words. Especially from someone who is invested in your success.
The perfect situation might be to find someone who is also pursuing some goals along the same timeline. Each of you share not just the goals, but what you hope to achieve with them. Share your excitement and your purpose for doing them. Knowing this can be helpful in the event one of you is feeling down or uninspired. Reminding them about how they felt when they shared the goal can get through a rough patch.
Goals complete? Life changed? Fantastic! Time to get the next retreat on the calendar! No, this is not a one-and-done deal. Just like checking in on your goals, you now need to regularly check in on you. The only constant in life is change. Change is opportunity. By keeping our heads down and not checking in we miss the opportunities change brings.
The next retreat may not be as comprehensive, but it is no less valid. I have had half-day retreats that have given me great value. Once I had a business going, I would do my personal retreat and business retreat together. I bring the results of the previous retreat, the goals I have completed and even the ones I did not. All this provides a great picture of myself and the next best place to take my life! Come back to this post if you want to review how to be successful after your retreat!
I hope you enjoyed this article on How to be Successful after your Retreat. If you have any questions, would like some tips on finding a good accountability partner, or just want to say hi, please reach out to me!