Quarterly Personal Retreat: My Lessons Learned

I sat down this weekend to complete my sixth Quarterly Personal Retreat (the first weekend of the Quarter was dedicated to looking at all of 2017). I realized there’s a lot I have learned along the way and I want to share those lessons with you!



If you don’t already know what I’m talking about, go back and read this blog on Quarterly Personal Retreats. Click here to read about what it is and click here to read how to do it. When you’re done, come back and join us for the rest of this post!

Lesson 1: It takes less time than you think.

In the posts featured above, I estimate you need a minimum of 4 hours to complete your Quarterly Personal Retreat (QPR). After completing my 6th iteration, I’d say that still remains true if it is your first QPR. What I’ve learned through each different QPR I’ve had is that once you have a consistent groove going with this practice, it actually only takes about 1.5-2 hours. That’s not so bad, right?

Moral of the story: 4 hours is an estimate for newbies, 1.5-2 hours is my sweet spot, but take the time to really “make it your own” and find your own amount of time that works best for you.

Lesson 2: Personalize the categories.

The original categories to reflect upon and set goals about are: Faith, Family, Friends, Finances, Fun, Fitness and Future (from the book What Really Works by Paul Batz and Tim Schmidt - you can buy the book here).

I’m still using most of the categories above… but I’ve changed and added a few to make it more applicable to my life. My new categories are:

  • Family & Friends: I combined these two because there’s a theme of “people you love” and I usually want to to do the same thing with each category “spend more quality time together”.
  • Fiancé: Dane usually showed up in multiple categories - family, fun, future, finances, etc. So I just gave him his own dang category. He is that special!
  • Mind: I had to add this category because it’s something that I knew needed to come to the forefront. Here is where I can capture things like “how stressed did I feel in the last 90 days?” or “how present was I in the last 90 days?”. It’s also a category where things like “more journaling”, meditation or digital detoxes will fall.

Lesson 3: Momentum is a real thing.

Part of why this process takes less time, and why I am able to more specifically identify categories that best fit my life, is because it’s officially part of my life. It isn’t this new thing I’m trying out, or a habit I am trying to build, it’s a recurring part of my life. Each 90 days I’m focused on my current goals but I’m also able to continuously assess what would make a goal better the next time around. Or, I can sense when my goals were imbalanced - too much focus on finances instead of fun, or fitness instead of faith. By committing to doing this every 90 days, there’s a momentum that’s building. That momentum is essentially the antidote to being stuck!

If you have completed one or more Quarterly Personal Retreats, I’d love to hear your lessons learned -- please share in the comments below!

New to Quarterly Personal Retreats and ready to try it on your own? Fill out the form below and I will send you a e-workbook to use to complete the process!

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