How to Plan Your Personal Retreat

Table of Contents


There are so many retreats to help you learn new things or to practice old things. Retreats are a great place to meet like-minded people who can inspire you. I have met lovely people at retreats with whom I still exchange ideas or follow them on their social media. The main thing is that a retreat is a place to focus on a specific item for a limited amount of time. Ideally, you should leave feeling more knowledgeable and ready work on those topics on your own. I have always left my retreats feeling like I wish they had lasted longer and that I had eaten a little too much. But I always left happy.

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Personal Retreats

Personal retreats are something that you plan to work on your own. They are designed to ignore all your other daily tasks such as laundry, cooking, and other distracting things. You can have a personal retreat at home, and they will work out very well as long as you stick to your schedule. You can go somewhere beautiful and follow a schedule. I do both, but I prefer the ones on location. A personal retreat at a place other than my home will give me fewer distractions.

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Planning a Retreat on Location

1 Choose your main topic.

2 Make a detailed list of all the things that you need to do for that subject. Spend a few days writing and reviewing your plan. Create topics and sub-topics. Write what you need to work on for each thing.

3 Choose a hotel or a rental that will be comfortable and feel cozy.

4 Research the area. Find places to visit, a restaurant, or a unique park to visit during one of your breaks. They need to be near your retreat. You don’t want to spend too much time away from your tasks. It’s just a break!

5 Organise all your meals before you go. If you are staying at a hotel, you can eat there, and if you are renting a place, you might want to take prepared food or find a restaurant that will deliver. Either way, don’t spend time figuring out where to eat. This should be resolved before you go.

6 Decide how long you want your retreat to last.

7 Book your location.

8 Create Your Retreat Schedule

9 Look at your long list of retreat topics and edit

10 Choose 6 main topics and their sub-topics

11 Edit and choose 2 main topics and a few sub-topics

Planning your Schedule

Day 1

Arrival late morning



1 1/2 hours topic A

Break 15 minutes

1 hours sub-topic 1

Break 15 minutes

1 hours sub-topic 2

Break 15 minutes

1-hour Review and tweak

Exercise at the gym or in the room, include an outdoor walk


Relax. Watch a movie or do something that doesn’t relate to your work.

Day 2 

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Morning exercises



1 1/2 hours topic B

Break 15 minutes

1-hour sub-topic 1

1-hour sub-topic 2

Break and lunch 2 hours (Visit a place or go for a long walk.) It’s essential to have one long break during the two days. It will shift your mood, which will not seem like a few days with two many tasks.


1 hours topic C

Break 15 minutes

1-hour Review and tweak



Day 3

Morning exercises


1 1/2 hour review Topics A, B, and C

a) Write how you implement these things

b) Schedule in your planner so that these things will be part of future routine or work when you arrive home.

c) Write a list of things to do on a future retreat.

d) Write a few paragraphs about how you thought the retreat worked out and what you would add or change on your next retreat.

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End of retreat

Don’t forget to give yourself a gift bag like they do in retreats!

You may find that two days are too short for a good retreat. The next time that I do one, it will do it for three nights and four days. I want to have a little extra free time to enjoy the location and more time to work.

I am planning two retreats for this year: A photography+video retreat and a writing one. I don’t know where I will go because of the pandemic so I just may have to do this at home but, I am already planning them.


Links for you

My retreat to São Lourenço do Barrocal

The São Lourenço do Barrocal Hotel

Marguerite Beaty, Blogger, Photographer & Artist

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