Quarterly Personal Retreats: An Interview with Kim Williams Graber

What is your name?

Kim Williams Graber

Where do you live?

I live in Hastings, MN with my husband, Tim and my two sons, Brett (18) and Brady (9).

What do you do?

I am a supervisor at a large financial company.

What is your go-to life quote?

I love the woman I have become, because I fought hard to become her.

You implemented a practice in 2017 that has had big impact on your life. Tell us about that!  

In May 2017, I implemented a day dedicated to reflection, goal setting, and me.  I embraced Kelsey’s concept of scheduling a Quarterly Personal Retreat.  It is a day of solitude.  No other people, no phones, no TV, no computer, no work.  Just me, a rainbow of colored flair pens, a notebook, and post-it notes.  Kelsey challenged me to envision myself one year from my first retreat.  Where do I see myself, what would I be doing, what would I be planning for, and what did I want to accomplish?  That was a huge challenge for me.  I never allowed myself to look that far ahead.  I could barely handle looking at the next week. Then Kelsey went a step further and challenged me to look two years from then and ask the same questions.

How did you know you wanted to do this?

I don’t know that I would say I “wanted” to do my first Quarterly Personal Retreat, but I decided that if I was going to fully embrace the life coaching experience, I better get on board with it.  I am so glad that I did.

What has been your biggest learning so far?

I have learned that if I do not take care of myself, I cannot possibly take care of my family. My Quarterly Personal Retreats have taught me that even when I set goals that I cannot image actually happening, I can break them down into smaller, more actionable steps that are possible.  They have also taught me to pause and reflect on everything that I have accomplished since my last retreat.  


What has been your experience with more frequent reflection?

As I was nearing the end of my first quarter, I was preparing for a coaching session with Kelsey and was feeling like a failure for being behind on one of those large goals.  I had a goal of losing a significant amount of weight.  I remember thinking that I was not even close to where I wanted to be by May 2018.  However, when I took time to reflect on everything that happened in my life the previous three months, I realized that I was not far off of my goal for the quarter.   I just needed to take the time to reflect on how far I had come and reset my expectations.  Well, that and letting Kelsey in on my goal and having her keep me accountable for that goal.

What is your motivation for continuing to complete Quarterly Personal Retreats?  

As odd as it may sound, my family is my motivation for continuing my Quarterly Personal Retreats.  A QPR is a day that I schedule, yes, schedule for myself and I do not allow anything else to be scheduled over that time.  It may seem selfish to some people when I say my family is my motivation and yet I take a day away from my family to have my retreats.  However, I look at my retreats as an investment in myself that keeps me focused on what it important to me and my family.

What advice do you have for other women who aren't currently having their own QPR’s?  

My advice to anyone who is not currently scheduling their own QPR is not to be afraid of them.  I remember reading Kelsey’s blog posts about the concept and thinking there was no way I could do that.  A full day focused on me?  There was no way I would need a full day to reflect on what I had accomplished or for goal setting.  Who has that many goals?  As I said earlier, I was glad that I actually embraced the idea.  My list of goals for where I saw myself in May of 2018 had six items that I thought it would be a stretch to reach all of them by that date.  Well, thanks to my coaching calls with Kelsey and my continued embrace of the retreats, I was able to cross of three of those goals already.  I actually completed them back in October, almost 6 months sooner than I thought.  Taking the time for myself once a quarter has allowed me to find a work life balance that I have not had for 10 years.

What else do you want people to know about quarterly goal setting?

Goal setting is not the same for everyone.  Goals are not always something that will need to take a year to finish.  Goal setting is a powerful tool to allow women to look back at the last year and say, “Look at everything that I have accomplished”.  It is time to build their self-confidence, empower themselves to reach for what they want, just make themselves feel full of pride.

Learn more about Quarterly Personal Retreats and how you can implement them in your life by clicking here!