Taking a Personal Retreat

Do you ever feel like you just need to get away and recharge? Me too! In fact, this year one of my goals is to take at least two personal retreats per year. This is simply time away from the busyness of my everyday life and responsibilities to connect with God, invest in myself, and make necessary life and business adjustments.

I think at least one personal retreat per year for women in business is essential. If this is a new experience to you, here are a few steps I follow when taking a personal retreat:

Get Ready

Before your personal retreat begins, you want to make sure you’re ready for the time away. For me, this includes:

  • Scheduling time away! This is the first and most important step. If you don’t schedule it, then it will probably never happen.
  • Reserving a retreat center {or you could use a hotel or friends home}.
  • Arranging meals. This year, I am grateful to have Kimberly Kate cater delicious, healthy meals so I didn’t have to worry about shopping or cooking.
  • Planning for success. Before I leave for the retreat, I like to identify my goals. What would make this retreat a success? What are specific things that I’d like to accomplish? For instance, at my last retreat I knew that self-care was really important. At other times I may be more focused on planning and goal setting, personal growth, professional development, or just connecting to God. Plus, your personal retreat goals will allow you to know what you’ll need to pack.
  • Packing. I love to schedule my personal retreat within driving distance, so that I can take many of my favorite things. A few of my must-have’s include: Bible, journal, iBloom Life & Business Planner, post-it notes, lots of books, worship music, lap top, essential oils & diffuser, Epsom Salt {for a bath!}, favorite girly movies, pillows, a cozy blanket, and comfortable clothes. What are favorite things you’ll want to take?
  • Preparing to be away from home. I’m SO grateful that my hubby allows me to have the time away, so I try to make things as easy as possible for him to care for our kids– clean clothes, meals prepared, etc. What are the things you’ll need to prepare for to be away from your home and/or family?

Connect with God

A personal retreat is a perfect time to connect with God for an extended period of time. I love listening to worship music, reading my Bible, journaling, and listening as I sense God speaking to me. How do you best connect with God?

Reality Check

One of the most important times of my personal retreat is doing a reality check. A reality check allows me to really assess my life and reflect on what is going well, not going well, and identify what needs to change. It’s amazing how this simple exercise can get me re-focused on the things that matter most.

Work Your Plan

Before you left for the retreat you identified what success would look like for your personal retreat, so make sure that you carve out time to do those things you want to do. For instance, if you want to focus on professional development, then you might want to watch a particular training or read a book. Make the most of your time away by investing in what will make it feel like a success.

Invest in Yourself

A personal retreat is the perfect time to invest in yourself. Let’s face it, for those of us with young kids, just having the time away is investing in our self. I challenge you to take it a step further. Listen to what your body really needs right now. Perhaps it’s a bath, freshly painted finger nails, a walk, enjoying a girly movie, or just some extra sleep. What does your body need?

Leave with an Action Plan

Before your personal retreat ends, spend a few minutes reflecting on your experience and create an action plan for things you’ll want to implement when you get home. My plan usually comes from my Reality Check and the things I identified that weren’t working or needed to be changed.


If you feel like you need some time away to recharge, then I encourage you to schedule a personal retreat. You could go alone or with a small group of friends. You’ll be amazed at how having time away to invest in yourself can reignite your passion and all you to re-focus on your goals.

Have you taken a personal retreat? If so, I want to hear about it. Leave a comment below sharing about your experience.


  • Sandra

    February 9, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Thank you for this post. I’ve been on a couple personal retreats and at the time, I didn’t see or acknowledge them as that. My very first one was awful. I ended up getting sick with a virus within hours of checking in to my hotel room. I planned on working, but I just couldn’t focus. My second trip, to the Dominican Republic was so awesome for me. Thinking back, it was truly a “Me Time”, experience. I took the time to find the right resort with a spa and all the amenities I wanted at my disposal. I enjoy being pampered and took a full day, just for that. I spend my last day reading. Since then, my life has changed quite a bit. I’m recently married, a grandmother and 4 out of our 6 children are yound adults in college or working. My focus has been to build my health coaching and speaking business. It’s been rather difficult to really find my way. I find some solace and sense of accomplishment when I’m at the library more than at home. Needing a change of scenery surrounded by nature, God, and his beauty is what I need a prescription for. I believe some time away from my “norm” will help bring me back into focus, emotionally, spiriturally and relationally.

    Thanks for the tips you provided. That will help tremendously when I do make it a point to schedule my personal retreat.

  • Victoria Mininger

    February 9, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    I started taking personal retreats about two years ago and I wondered what took me so long. This year I want to make sure to make a plan for my retreat. Before I just went and hoped for rest and being productive. Thank you for sharing your list with us. Very helpful.

  • Kimberly Nyborg

    February 10, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    I guess I can sure pray about something like this which sounds over the top wonderful! I desperately need!

    Thank you for this wonderful suggestion Kelly

  • Pam Odd

    February 10, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    I have little ones at home (including a newborn) so this is more difficult for me at this season, but I’m still trying to be intentional about getting some personal time. Every Tuesday my husband takes over and I get a “night off.” During that time I take myself out to dinner and work on some personal growth goals. Even though it’s just a few hours away, it helps me feel more refreshed and ready to tackle what’s ahead of me the rest of the week.
    I love the idea of a personal retreat weekend though, and hope to be able to implement that in the future!

  • Alice Klitz

    February 10, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Thank you for the reminder of this! Last year I really intended to do this, but did not get it done. I have been to retreats/ conventions with others, but it is not the same. While I am intentional about daily quiet time to reflect and think, this lent season would be a great time to start a personal retreat and make this a routine!

  • Kim

    February 10, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    In recent years I have participated with a small group. I would love to get away by myself. I need to work on this. Investing in me is critical to being the best that I can be both in my personal and business life. Great outline; looking forward to working out my details.

  • Laurie

    February 11, 2015 at 8:59 am

    A personal retreat sounds MARVELOUS! Sadly, I’ve never taken one. While I can see how this would be a benefit to me, the rest of me (the frugal, family-focused) would not spend the money or take the time away. I need to move past that mindset to do what I need to improve, better, and move forward professionally.

    Thank you for this encouragement and plan. I will work on implementing this retreat thing as soon as I can!

  • aloted

    February 12, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    I plan retreats for my mums but will plan one for myself this year. Thanks

  • Betty Mullaney

    March 13, 2015 at 8:27 am

    I have been taking personal retreats for about 12 years now. I try to go twice a year but always go at least once. I go to a nearby Jesuit Retreat House. These are silence retreats. I cannot recommend them highly enough! You are completely cared for so that you can truly “retreat”. You can participate in the schedule as much or as little as you like. And most places have a suggested donation based so that you pay only what you’re able (or not at all). I have also been to the Capuchin House. Both types are all over the U.S.. Just Google Jesuit or Capuchin retreat with your state and you should find several.

  • Kathleen Smith

    February 8, 2016 at 3:25 am

    Thank you for posting this article….and at just the right time of the year. The beginning! This was such good advice that I have rescheduled my monthly plan to include the first two days and the last two days of the month for a Reflection Retreat (I am trying out several names). I will review how the month has gone and reflect, and pray and seek God’s wisdom for the month ahead. The first two days of the month with be for planning the month ahead, seeking Him first. Hooray! A four day retreat every month….now for the location. I’m thinking palm trees.

  • Michele Gingerich

    February 15, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Dear Kelly,
    I apologize for writing on a Holiday, but I lost my phone and had to get a new phone. My new # is 602-802-4874. I can’t seem to access the website stuff that came with my over the top, exceeding my wildest expectations, beyond amazing, thank you JESUS, IBLOOMPLANNER!!!!!

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