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I recently got away for 48 hours all by myself and basically hit the reset button on life. I planned for our new homeschool year.I made charts for my blogging time and charts for my household cleaning time. Here is what I learned about how to organize an afford and effective planning retreat.
10 tips for organizing a planning retreat
1. Get support
When the idea for a planning retreat popped into my mind the first thing I did was check with my husband to see if it was okay. His support made it happen.
2. Find funds and make a budget
How much can you afford to spend? If the answer is none, perhaps your could, sell a few items on Craigslist or eBay or on a Facebook buy and sell page. Check out my Selling Saturdays page for more ideas on how to create cash selling what you already own.
3. Get out of town
Do not stay in your home town. You might find your children begging to visit you so they can swim in the pool. Your spouse might get shall we say fancy ideas about how to use the evening hours. When you go out to grab a bite to eat you will run a greater risk of running into that certain someone who always loves to chat your ear off and never seems to let you get the words “I got to go” out.
I stayed in a city that was 45 minutes away from my own. Just far enough away to put a stop to the distractions listed above but close enough to not waste too much time traveling.
4. Book your hotel using Hotwire or another discount hotel service
I have had great success using Hotwire over the years so I have stuck with it as my number one go to for inexpensive hotel prices. It is a bit nerve racking not knowing where you are going to end up but I always read the types of hotel chains that go with each star rating and pick one that matches the hotels we tend to stay at. So far I have always been happy and I have always saved money. This time I saved $30 a night over listed rates for my hotel.
5. Find out what your hotel room has to store and cook food
It is usually a given that a hotel will serve you a free breakfast, leaving you snacks, lunch and dinner to plan.
Most hotels come with a mini fridge and a microwave. If your budget is tight you could plan a meal plan around these. You could pre-cook a few meals at home and bring them to heat up for lunch and dinner. You could pack fruit and homemade energy bars, cookies or banana bread as snacks. You could bring along bottled water or juice to drink.
If your budget allows your could also eat out for lunch and dinner and just pack snacks along so you are not out away from planning central too long.
6. Make a to do list
Without a to do list you are going to get distracted and end up watching a marathon of HGTV instead of getting your planning done.
7. Decide on a balance of planning and zoning out
48 hrs is too long to focus every hour on planning out life. You need a plan of when you will plan and when you will let your mind rest a while.
I decided to workout for 30 minutes in the morning and then take a short lunch break and dinner break and treat myself to some cable TV time after 8pm.
8. Make a list of needed supplies
Take some time before you leave to think of all the things you will need to effectively create planning charts.
I brought our printer, my lap top, our school binder, my home binder, my fitness binder, my blogging binder, some of my children’s school books, a hole punch, page protectors, a laminator, laminator sheets, glue, tape, highlighters, flash cards, bible, and a portable work table.
9. Ask people to pray for you
I asked a handful of people to cover me in prayer during my time away. While I was away prayers were made that I would plan our school days and my blogging hours effectively.
10. Avoid distractions
Cover the TV with a sheet if you need too. Turn your phone off ,if there is a real emergency those you love can contact you through the front desk. Abstain from social media. Don’t bring that novel that you told yourself you would just read at night if you know you will get tempted by it all day.
If you must set a time when you can check in with family as well as social media. Stick to the time and then get back to planning.
Above all else enjoy the time to plan out goals, passions, and dreams.
For a list of 52 different websites, apps, and stores our thrifty family uses to help us keep our expenses low, click here to visit our Thrifty Tools Resource Page.
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