I told someone I used to teach with the other day that I am an introvert. Her jaw just about hit the table. “You?!” she squealed. “No, you’re not!” It made me laugh because with all of the personal growth I have done over the years, I know myself better than ever. I can assure you, I am 100% an introvert. Now I know that I need time to retreat, recharge and reflect. That’s why I am so excited for this week’s episode, which is all about how to plan a personal growth solo retreat for yourself.
When planning a personal growth solo retreat, the first thing you need to do is determine your goals. That being said, it’s a delicate balance between determining your goals and planning every second of your time away. I get it, mama, you finally have some time to yourself and you want to make sure you accomplish all the things. Try to avoid this at all costs! Why? Because if you overplan, you may miss an opportunity to stumble on something that really lights you up.
When I planned my first solo retreat, my agenda looked like this:
And that was it! Did I end up making a book list and creating a vision board? You betcha! But those things happened more organically in the moment. Be open to where your personal growth may lead you!
When I use the word “retreat”, moms tend to shut down and think that they need to be able to get away for an extended period of time in order to do a personal growth retreat. That couldn’t be further from the truth! Yes, you are getting away but you are completely in charge of how long you are getting away for. I have had clients rent a hotel room for the night or go into their office on the weekend. During the winter, most libraries are open on the weekends, so you can rent a study room for free and camp out there.
Honestly, all you really need is some quiet space. Maybe your partner can take the kids out for the day or you can do a babysitting swap with another mom. It will be worth it!
Again, there are no hard and fast rules on this. I have found that when I give myself an entire day, I don’t tend to accomplish as much as I do if I have a shorter block of time. My personal sweet spot is 3-4 hours in the morning. This is because I do my best thinking then and I stay focused when I know time is limited.
I also try to think more big picture first and save actual planning for the end. This is because I don’t want to start with planning and then forget to leave room for dreaming!
Before I go on my personal growth retreat, I try to make sure that I have already done my annual review to some extent (more on that in episode 26) and that my husband and I have done our annual money meeting (more on that in episode 28). This helps me to understand where our family is and then I can see the space for me to grow within that. If I know that we’re trying to hit a big financial goal, this probably isn’t the best year to go to an out-of-state photography workshop. I also like to spend a bit of time chatting with my husband before I do my retreat to see if there are any topics that pop up that I want more time to explore.
You’re probably sick of hearing about the MAP Book system, and if you haven’t tried it yet, I can’t even imagine what’s stopping you! But my MAP Book is a key player on my personal growth solo retreat. I use it to sketch out ideas, make action plans, brainstorm and create timelines. I also keep a running list of ideas that I may want to consider down the road that I’m not quite ready to process yet.
Friend, your personal growth retreat is just that – it’s personal. For your first one, try not to overcomplicate it too much and see where the day takes you. You can always book another one later on in the year if you realize there was a lot you didn’t dive into.
My dream this year is to battle my seasonal affective depressive disorder and run away somewhere warm for a few days to soak in some Vitamin D and do some personal growth time. I’ll keep you updated if I decide to do it!
In your MAP Book, make a list of anything you would want to do if you had 3-5 hours on your own to further your personal growth. Is there something you would want to research? A list you would want to write? Keep a running list in your notebook. Once you have a date on the calendar for your personal growth retreat, you’ll have an agenda ready-made!
Finally, if you want to connect between episodes, be sure to give me a follow over on Instagram – @sharonlegercoaching. I would love to support you on your personal growth journey!
If so, be sure to share it with a friend – this helps busy moms like you to find me!
And finally, you can also check out these related episodes that I think you’ll be obsessed with: