This year I am encouraging my coaching clients, emerging leaders in their businesses and organizations, to take a whole day over the holidays to re-charge and re-set their systems.
This is critical in a world where we have trained ourselves to mostly react to outside stimulation. The mind and body become exhausted and depleted from this constant outward focus.
December and winter are a great time to go inward. Business activity slows for many. It is cold outside. Time to come in.
Here is a step-by-step guide to creating a special re- charge day:
1. If at all possible, block out a full day on your calendar when you can be by yourself. If you have a house full of people, consider creating some space elsewhere.
Rent a hotel room. If you live in the Triangle of North Carolina, the King’s Daughter’s Inn is one of my favority places to do this work, but any space that feels special and has space for you to move around will work.
Be at home. If you stay at home, clear and claim an area where you would like to spend the day.
2. Plan your day out ahead of time. Below is a suggested schedule. Be creative with this!
3. Gather what you need ahead of time so you are not looking for things on the retreat day. Have everything laid out including your schedule the night before.
4. Enjoy your day.
No guilt! To be able to be fully present and most helpful to others, first we must be present to ourselves. This is selfish only in the best possible way. You are becoming a leader of your mind, of your being.
7:00 am – 8:00 am Wake up and go to your retreat space. Light a candle. Do some gentle stretching or yoga. For some simple instructions to do Kum Nye Yoga (recommended) check out these videos:
Opening the Heart
Loosening Up the Self Image
Opening Mind and Body
Afterwards, sit quietly. Connect to your breath and feel the sensations created in the body.
8:00 – 9:00 Make a simple breakfast you really enjoy. (If you are at the King’s Daughters Inn – enjoy their amazing spread.)
9:00- 10:00 – Spend an hour doing some inspiring reading. If you have Skillful Means books you will have many options to choose from.
You can download a professional audio book recording of Skillful Means here.
If not, pick a book that opens your mind and spirit. Read or listen slowly and let it sink in.
10:00 – 10:45 Go back to the beginning of the year and review both personal and professional accomplishments, big and small.
Let your mind see the highlights of each month, without missing important things, but also not getting stuck in any one area. Reviewing your calendar can help. Give yourself 20 minutes for this mental review. Write down each accomplishment.
Take the next 15 minutes to feel and to really appreciate all of your efforts. Note areas where you would like to improve for the future and write them down on a separate page. No need to judge yourself here. Just observe and note what you see.
10:45 – 11:00 Take a break. Perhaps a short walk. Drink some water.
11:00 – 12:00 Listen to an inspiring audio. My clients have access to a whole series of recordings.
If you don’t have recordings easily available, I recommend a recording called “Stop Burnout: Tension is Normal, Stress is Not“. It is a beautiful teaching on how to work with the inevitable tension that comes in creating positive change. You can immediately access a download here for only $7.99.
Write down anything from the audio you found helpful or important.
12:00 – 1:30 Make yourself a wonderful lunch and go on a walk in a beautiful place where you can stretch out, if possible.
1:30 – 2:30 Come back to your space. Light a candle. Pick your favorite Kum Nye exercise to do again and sit quietly on a chair or cushion. Again, connect to your breath. Feel your body.
Take some time to consider, what kind of leader do I want to be in 2020? What is one quality that is currently under-developed that I want to pay more attention to? Write this word down.
How does this apply to both your personal and your professional life? Write down some of things you might like to do differently to further express this quality in 2020 in both your work and personal life.
2:30 – 3:30 Get some paper and colored pencils or markers. Take your word and write it on a large piece of paper. Consider colors and others ways to ornament your word. Add any pictures that make you happy and represent the word.
Then post it near your desk so you will see it every day.
3:30 – 3:45 Take a break. Eat some fruit. Drink some water.
3:45 – 4:30 Take some time to review your notes from the day. Appreciate all you have accomplished in 2019 and all you desire to be and create in 2020.
Let yourself see this vision of yourself clearly – manifesting your word. What is one regular ritual you can do that will support you in manifesting this word? Write this ritual down and decide how often you will do it. What will you need to support yourself in doing this new ritual?
4:30 to 6:30 Make yourself a wonderful dinner.
7:00 – 9:00 Make time for something special to stimulate your body and mind. It could be a hot bath with nice scents. It could be a therapeutic massage. Perhaps go to a yoga class. End the evening and day with another short inspiring reading and rest well for the night.
Questions about this? Post below.
I would also love to hear how your special day goes. Share below your word and your new ritual as well.
Happy, happy New Year. To your becoming!