Read Part 1 of this series here.
I know it sounds extravagant, out of reach or even impossible for you, but today I want to encourage you to plan a weekly retreat.
Why Take a Weekly Retreat
Why do people love the New Year so much? Because it’s a fresh start. A chance to let go of last years mistakes and cling to next years dreams.
Imagine how it would affect your attitude and outlook if you had that fresh start every week?Â
That’s what a weekly retreat does for me.
No matter how rough last week was, Saturday morning I let go and move on. I plan for the next week, fully aware that I have a blank canvas in front of me.
I use my retreat time to catch up and even get ahead. Ideally, my week doesn’t happen to me, I happen to it.
I LOVE this time. This is my lifeblood. An opportunity to step back, review what I did last week and what I’ll do next week. An extended period of peace and quiet when I can focus, plan and brainstorm. A chance for me to make sure my busyness is headed in the right direction.
The best thing about a weekly retreat is that when you’re refreshed and prepared for the coming week, you AND your family benefit.
What To Do During Your Weekly Retreat
Here are some things you can do during your weekly time:
1. Pray and journal
2. Menu Plan
3. Create shopping list
4. Calendar review for the week
5. Organize to-do list â€” Select projects and tasks for the week.
6. Inbox zero â€” processing and reply to emails and try to your email inbox to zero.
7. Sort and process papers from the week.
8. Write letters – your weekly retreat is the perfect time to do some good old fashioned letter writing.
9. Organize photos
10. Enjoy the bliss of drinking your coffee while it’s still hot, actually having time to taste your food and savoring the silence.
11. Something from your list of 5 things that refresh you.
Basically, this is the time to get things done that require concentration and focus or things that truly refresh you.
My weekly retreat usually involves tea, weekly planning and lots of writing.
Where To Have Your Weekly Retreat
Finding a retreat location can be a challenge, especially if your retreat time starts early in the morning or if you are on a tight budget. Here are some ideas:
1. Coffee Shop – These are great because they are likely to be open whenever you want to have your retreat. And if you get hungry or thirsty, they have everything you need.
2. Bookstore – who doesn’t love to just BE in a bookstore? Bookstores are great for your weekly retreat because you have lots of reading material right at your fingertips.
3. Library – another great spot. The bonus is that its much quieter at the library than at a coffee shop.
4. A friend’s house – ask a friend if you can commandeer a room for the morning. When your friend has her retreat, offer a room in your home.
5. A lobby – if there is a large hotel, office building or college campus in your town they might have a nice lobby where you could spend your time.
6. Whatever works – your car at the park, your closet in your room, your garage, the kids playhouse. Anywhere you can focus and relax.
For me, it really helps to leave my house. I can focus better if I don’t hear the
chaosÂ sweet voices of my kids.
Figure out what works best for you.
How To Get Your Own Weekly Retreat
1. His & Hers Weekly Retreats – I have an amazing husband. He sacrifices sleeping in on Saturdays to take care of the kids so I can get away.
We also swap at some point during the weekend so he gets some time away to refresh as well.
It benefits him because our home runs more smoothly and I spent less time during the week locked in the bathroom while the kids watch Chuggington Reruns because I’m so overwhelmed. Or something like that.
2. Trade – each week with another mom. One week, she watches your kids, the next week, you watch her kids.
3. Nap time – If you’re already quite busy, or prefer not to take time away from your family due to an already busy schedule, you could have your retreat during nap time. Just be sure to have it in a room where you won’t be distracted by dirty dishes, laundry or other chores. (I actually have a bean bag, blanket and lamp in my closet. )
4. Family â€” If you have family in town, pehaps they’d be willing to watch the kids one morning or evening each week.
5. Early Morning Cartoons â€” If there’s no one who can watch your kids, perhaps you could wake up early get breakfast all ready for the kids and queue up their favorite cartoons. You should be able to snag an hour or so this way. I promise it won’t make their eyes square.
6. School or Mother’s Day Out Program â€” if your kids are in school or mother’s day out, and you don’t have that time allotted for anything specific, that’s the perfect time to get in a little retreat.
How Long Is A Weekly Retreat?
It’s entirely up to you! Just knowing that your time is a mental restart for the coming week might be all you need to feel refreshed. So, a few minutes to review your calendar at a coffee shop or in your office would suffice.
Or perhaps you homeschool, your kids don’t nap and you work part time out of the house. You might need a more time to process the week, plan and recharge.
Many of you are somewhere in the middle and the amount of time you need is something you’ll have to determine through trial and error.
The more intentional you are about preparing and refreshing, the less time you’ll need.
Don’t Make Excuses, Make Plans
There are a thousand reasons not to have a weekly retreat, but the benefit of finding a way to steal away for that small chunk of time each week is amazing. It’s wonderful to greet Monday feeling focused, refreshed and prepared for the week to come.
Time For Action
Action Step: Talk to your spouse or a friend today about scheduling a weekly retreat time.
Community question: What would be your ideal weekly retreat spot?
And if you have any questions or tips, please feel free to share them in the comments as well.
(This post is part of WFMW.)Leave a Comment