Last weekend I spent Friday through Sunday alone in a beach house at Ocean City, Md. It was an incredible time of quiet reflection, prayer and preparation to launch my coaching business. I believe getting away from normal life to reflect on our calling is one of the essential things we must all do to live our calling.
Here are 7 keys that I found made it possible for me to make a personal calling retreat a reality:
- Plan ahead– I’m no natural planner. But I wanted this and knew the best way to make it a reality was to plan in advance.
- Make the retreat a reward- When I thought of the retreat, I was in the middle of developing my coaching business plan at the Free Agent Academy. I looked ahead and decided that if I could finish the program by the first weekend in April, I would take my personal retreat. It was a great motivator.
- Tell your friends– Telling others I was going to take a weekend away gave me great motivation to follow through. When I put it out there to others I received overwhelming support and encouragement from family, local friends and online friends. I want them all to know how grateful I am for all the prayers and encouragement.
- Make sure your wife can get away soon too – With 3 kids and a busy life, my wife took on lots of extra work to let me go away. Her blessing on my trip was key. So my next job is to be sure that my wife gets some time away herself also.
- Don’t let $ hold you back- My trip cost me $10 plus a tank of gas. We didn’t have the extra $ for me to take a trip but I couldn’t let it keep me from going. We had generous friends who let me stay at their empty beach house for free. I ate Raman noodles, granola bars and oatmeal. I did free stuff like walk on the beach and hang out in the room.
- Plan a few key activities and a bunch of free time- I wanted the time away to be productive but I knew a successful retreat means some unstructured, reflective time too. So while I had a few key business activities planned, I left lots of time to unwind and listen to God.
- I had to do it… You need to do it… just do it.- Your calling matters! As you find and do it, your life will be better and you will make a difference for others. So determine to find a way! Plan for a personal calling retreat. Tell people your plans. Prepare for a productive yet relaxing trip. But most of all do it.
I, for one, was incredibly blessed by the time. As I said, I believe it is one of the essential things we must do to live our calling.
Leave your thoughts or experiences below. Have you taken a personal calling retreat? How did you make it a priority? Or what will you now do to make one happen? Your experiences and news of your progress will benefit us all.