This week I participated in a two-day strategic planning retreat with directors of all of the rape crisis centers in Kentucky. We started the retreat by envisioning where we saw our work two years from now, and worked backwards to identify action steps on how to get there. My agency invested two full days of my time - just so I could hit the pause button, walk away from my daily job duties, and set aside time to plan out a future course for my organization. Any of you who have been a part of this process know that strategic planning can be highly effective in helping an organization focus its energy, set goals, and adjust its responses to a changing environment. So it occurred to me that if this process is useful enough to help companies and organizations set goals, stay on course, so they can act with the end in mind.....shouldn't we as individuals do the same? Sure we do our ritual new year's resolutions - but they are only a year out, and most of us have no realistic workable plan on how we are going to achieve those goals, nor do we plan for crises or make concessions for the possibility that those goals might evolve over time. That's it. Today, I am calling our lovely local bed breakfast, located about 15 miles away from civilization, http://snughollow.com/. I am booking a suite for my husband and I. We will not bring our iPhones, iPads, or laptops and we will spend 24-hours focusing our energy on how it is we want to spend our remaining days here on earth. Our agenda will look something like this:
Arrival and gourmet, vegetarian dinner by award-winning cookbook author an innkeeper, Barbara Napier. (Gotta nourish our bodies before awakening our souls!)
Sunrise stroll , breakfast picnic, and meditation on the grounds (Framing Question: What if we had no limits?)
Vision Board Exercise (Framing Question: What is our purpose?)
Exercise: Strategic Planning (Framing Question: What is our North Star?) Where do we see ourselves in ten years (as individuals and as a family unit) - work backwards from there. What steps do we have take to get there?
Reflection and commitments. We'd want to close out with one final meal by that awesome innkeeper, before we hit the road and re-enter real life. You know, the one we never make time for dreaming.
Bam. 24-hours. Unplugged. And you now control your own destiny. 15-pound weight-loss New Year's resolutions seem slightly ridiculous now, don't they? Join me? Commit to reflection. Make time for silence. Book your workshop for one (or two) today.
Photo Credit: snughollow.com