My First Personal Quarterly Offsite – 5 Valuable Lessons Learned

I recently had my first ever Personal Quarterly Offsite and it was both rewarding as well as challenging. I’d like to share some of the things I learned and what I will do differently next time.

You may be wondering…what is a Personal Quarterly Offsite?

It can also be called a mini-break, a short getaway or a personal retreat. The idea is to go away from your normal environment (your home and work) and take some time out to reflect on your life. As a business owner, I’ve known about the importance of getting away from my business however I just hadn’t made it a priority.

A few months ago, I listened to an interview Michael Hyatt, author of Platform and founder of Platform University did with Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism. During that interview, Greg stressed the importance of taking a Personal Quarterly Offsite so I made a decision it was something I absolutely had to do.

I booked a room for a couple of nights at a resort in a tranquil location, an hour and a half from my home, and drove there late on a Friday afternoon. I took most of Saturday to reflect and capture my thoughts, while allowing myself to experience the beauty and stillness of being in a natural environment.

Why is it important to have a Personal Quarterly Offsite?

Taking time out regularly to reflect is one of the most beneficial things we can do for ourselves especially since we are living such busy lives. Even just taking a day out for reflection is a good start. Anywhere from one to three days is a good period of time to stop and assess what we are doing.

A Personal Quarterly Offsite is important because:

  • It allows us to get away from the busyness and noise in our everyday lives.
  • It forces us to stop and think about what is really important to us.
  • It provides us the opportunity to make adjustments or changes to what we are doing at present.
  • It gives our mind and body a little break from being on-the-go all the time.
  • It makes us align things we do everyday to the bigger and more important things we want from our lives.

5 Lessons I Learned From My Personal Quarterly Offsite

  1. It was long overdue. I hadn’t realised how much I had been caught up in my day-to-day activities and allowed myself to get so busy with things that really won’t matter at the end of my life. It was an opportunity to let go of a few things so that I can focus on what is most important to me right now.
  2. My needs are important and I shouldn’t feel guilty for doing something just for myself. I think one of the reasons I had been putting this off is because I didn’t want to upset those who would be affected by my decision. At the end of the day, I will be the best I can be if I am doing the things that support me being the best I can be like exercising regularly, eating well, getting enough rest, maintaining a healthy attitude and taking the necessary actions to move me closer to my goals.
  3. The quieter my mind, the greater clarity I will have. Although I meditate daily, I found the experience of getting away from my normal environment much more beneficial because I didn’t have to “get back to being busy” again after a typical meditation session. Giving myself the gift of not having to do anything for a couple of days was huge as I received new insights for projects I am currently working on.
  4. Continue to say “no” often, including saying “no” to myself. One of the most valuable things I have learned is how to say no without feeling guilty so I feel quite comfortable with it. The new insight I received is to start saying no to myself. This means I will say no to new projects or new opportunities if they are not aligned with my highest intentions and visions. I have been guilty of being attracted to new projects but have let myself down by either not finishing them or letting them drag on unnecessarily.
  5. Continue to be my true self without compromising my values. I know things are not right with me when I am not being authentic and trying to please others by compromising what is important to me. One of the insights I received was I should share what is going on for me without trying to keep an appearance that everything is “fine.” Whenever I am not feeling my true self, I will welcome it and address it rather than pretend everything is okay.

Things I Will Consider Doing Differently Next Time

  1. Choose a better location. Although I was in a natural environment, away from the usual city noise and atmosphere, I really did not feel comfortable at the resort. I will pay more attention to the quality of the room I will be staying in because I know the more comfortable I am, the more creative I will be.
  2. Have better food options. The resort provided a buffet breakfast however they didn’t necessarily have a lot of healthy options. Since I had booked the resort literally the day before, I didn’t give myself enough time to explore healthier food options. The lesson for me was to give myself plenty of time prior to going away to select a place that will best serve my needs.
  3. Do not skip my routines. I thought because I was going away, I could give myself a break from sone of my routines, especially exercising. That had the opposite effect as I felt out of sync for a good part of my time away. Therefore next time, I will ensure that I continue my normal routines so I stay in my usual rhythm and flow.
  4. Avoid putting pressure on myself to relax. As I had worked the whole day on the Friday and drove for an hour and a half at the end of the day, by the time I had gotten into my room, I felt this pressure to actually relax. That was counterproductive because the harder I tried to wind down and relax, the more unsettled I was. So the lesson for me is to experience what I am going through fully without resisting it and allow it to dissipate naturally.
  5. Consider adding an extra day, if possible. Getting away on a Friday evening and returning early afternoon on a Sunday felt a little rushed so maybe next time, I may add a third night. While it is not necessary, it will be interesting to try it out to see if it makes a difference or not.

Overall, I was extremely pleased with my first ever Personal Quarterly Offsite. I know I will reap the actual benefits of it in the days and weeks ahead, plus it has given me a clear incentive to make more progress in my projects before my next trip.

If you haven’t allowed yourself to take some time out from your busy life, I highly encourage you to consider having a Personal Quarterly Offsite. You could start off with taking one day out to reflect on what you have been doing, where you want to go and what your focus will be over the next 90 days to help you get there.

Action Step: Pick one day within the next three months as a day for reflection, relaxation and rejuvenation.

Question: What is one thing you currently do to reflect on what you are doing in life and whether you’re heading towards where you want to go?

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