The Five Key Ingredients for a “Do-It-Yourself” Retreat

As I write this I’m resting my sore body after an incredible full day of hiking and climbing mountains. I’m feeling a good tired. The one where you know you did good things. Your body is tired but your mind and spirit are FREE!

Some time ago, when I developed the Alignment Equation©, I learned that spending a full day outside every week or two is a non-negotiable part of my equation. I know I need it to feel whole, to be able to perform at a high level, and, basically, to keep me happy.

Having spent the day breathing in the mountain air and spending a day connecting with friends and just putting one foot in front of the other soothes my soul like nothing else does. It gives me energy, boosts my creativity, and carries my positivity into a week of caring for my family and empowering my clients to do amazing things.

My business also needs this time, and because I am the engine behind my business, that means a combo approach of creative and energy-boosting activity for me and thoughtful, business-building processes and structure for my business. I feel so strongly about this that in addition to taking what I call regular CEO time for my business during the week, I also carve out one or two weekends a year to take myself away from my regular life to get a big boost of creativity and forward-motion for both me and my business in the form of a retreat.

These retreat weekends, whether a formal one that is led by someone else or one I design for myself, consist of a few things:

1. Time away from my regular environment

You can get creative with this. It can be as simple as going to your living room, or perhaps you are blessed to have a cabin or trailer you can escape to for a weekend. I know one woman who simply sits in her camper van in the driveway so she can create a different environment, away from her regular workday. It’s important to design a different feeling or energy for your weekend, so you don’t feel like it’s just another workday.

2Design creative and energy-boosting activities into the weekend

For me, this includes something physical – outside is pretty much essential for me. Walking, hiking, biking, yoga, running, kayaking, skiing, snowshoeing – are all things that get my heart pumping and boost my energy and creative spirit. Find out what that is for you and include some of this activity into your retreat weekend.

3. A Plan for Your Business/Personal Development

I like to have some structure and a clear intention for what I want to accomplish that weekend. It could be that you intend to get your whole website written, or perhaps you need to idealize your next five years so you know what you need to put in place now to make sure it happens.  This is where you pull out those planning tools that you know will help you get there. Whatever you do, go into the weekend with a clear intention of what you want to accomplish so you don’t fritter your time away.

4. Delicious, Restorative, Food

Yes, this deserves a category because if you don’t nourish your body you’ll be so sidetracked by your hunger that you won’t get much done. I like to ensure I have delicious food as my reward and as part of the whole experience of the weekend. On one self-designed retreat weekend, we even hired a local chef to come in and cook for us. On others, we go out to eat at a delicious restaurant nearby. Whatever you do, plan to bring delicious brain food that will nourish your body and your spirit.

5. Reward yourself

To keep yourself on track and ensure you accomplish what you set out to do, think of a reward you can treat yourself to for getting it done. It may not be enough incentive just to have the project finished. Perhaps you need to take yourself out to dinner, buy a new article of clothing or treat yourself to a massage. Think of something that’s a treat that you wouldn’t ordinarily do.

The ultimate retreat weekend, in my opinion, is when you enroll in one led by an experienced professional. The advantages to this are many: the hard work is already done, you are led through a structured process that is designed to accomplish something and move you and your business or career forward, and it’s fun to meet other people on a similar journey so you can support each other along the way.

If you’re looking for an opportunity to take time out from your busy life and carve out needed, restorative time to rejuvenate your spirit, renew your energy and gain clarity on your next best steps for your business or career, you might want to get on the waiting list for my 2022 Align Retreat. Register HERE and make the commitment to yourself and to your best next steps so that you can keep moving forward, even in the face of the ongoing challenges we are experiencing during a global health pandemic. 

Regardless if you choose an organized retreat or you organize one for yourself, your business, your life, and most of all, your spirit, will thank you for it.

To your success,