The Importance of Planning Retreats



I was recently asked by a group of advisors for my input on the importance of taking time away from the business to plan and work on the business.  My response was that I believed that taking intentional time away from life and business to plan your life and business is the most impactful thing that can be done to drive real success.

“Be careful not to climb the ladder so fast that when you get to the top you realize that it is leaning up against the wrong building.”

As usual, I can’t remember where this quote came from (not me) but it illustrates the importance of planning.  We live faster and faster lives that distract us from being careful on where we are headed.  You will also find that as you become more and more successful that it will be easier and easier to get distracted from living the life you really want.

Taking time away from the normal distractions of life and work to think big and creatively will yield some of your greatest ideas and change your life’s direction for the better. 

Your mother and I have done an annual planning retreat each year of our marriage right after I do an annual business planning retreat.  This usually consists of me getting away for two nights at some sort of cheap lodging on the coast or in the mountains, and then your mother (and you this year!) joining me for two more nights.

During these times it is very important to not do “work” or “tasks” in the traditional sense.  This is time to reflect on the year you’ve just come through and look forward to the year, and years, ahead.  Relax.  Read.  Pray.  Drink coffee by the ocean.  Go for a walk in the fresh air.  Use this time to think big and think differently.  Are you where you want to be in the different areas of your life (husband, father, intellectually, financially, physically, spiritually, etc.)?

Reject the false badge of honor that people wear known as “busyness”.  Don’t play the victim but rather take action on creating the life you have been called to. 

I may need to write an entire letter on the trap of busyness and how it is a prideful and self-sabotaging way to live.  Avoiding this trap requires the realization that you will never be caught up on all the demands on your time.  You must make time to step away and evaluate the path you are on without the normal daily distractions.

One great idea that comes to you on a retreat could change the entire trajectory of your life and the lives of those you love and serve.  This cannot be taken lightly.  Many great ideas compounded over a lifetime of this intentional time away will lead you to a far different place than if you simply let life happen to you.  Don’t let the years go by without ensuring you are choosing which building your ladder is leaning up against.

With Love,