Create Your Own Get Your Sh*T Together Weekend Retreat

Friday 17 March 2017

Happy Friday everyone! How are you? How has your week bin? Have you enjoyed that touch of spring that's been teasing us all week? Why did that sound weirdly sexual? Anyway moving on...

Today I wanted to share with you my tips for creating a 'Get Your Sh*t Together Weekend Retreat.' I try not to cuss on my blog but nothing else sounded quite as catchy, and lets face it, getting your sh*t together isn't always pretty!

I had a weekend like this a few weeks ago and I honestly can not over stress just how well this sorted me out for everything I have had on this last month (and still do). Because sometimes what we really need is to not run forward at a hundred miles per hour, but take some time and space to really focus in on all the things we have going on. I went into this weekend, thinking that I'd accomplish all the things on my to do list, but in the end it was much more about working out why these things were on my list (what purpose were they serving) and how would I approach them (so that they would best serve that purpose). I often find that the tasks on my to do list aren't actually that difficult, yet I still find myself feeling too overwhelmed to actually get on with them.

Basically the idea of this weekend is to focus on your building blocks, so that come Monday morning you have a solid foundation and are ready to tackle EVERYTHING.

Now the following is an outline of what worked for me in my specific situation, and you might find you need to substitute certain things in or out, much like I probably will the next time I plan one of these weekends for myself. But I think this is a pretty good template to work from...


Obviously the first thing you will need to do for this is too clear your schedule. I found myself with a whole weekend at my disposal. No plans, and no company, just me myself and in my little flat. Obviously not everybody can do this, but I would recommend you find yourself as big a chunk of time as possible, and you make sure you have your own space, whether that's kicking people out of the house entirely or out of a single room. This weekend is about YOU, what you need, and want, and think. Not what other people think about what's going on, or what they think you should be doing.

The other thing you should do in advance is prepare any worksheets, or reading or resources you might want to do. You know that super helpful worksheet that came with that really inspiring newsletter weeks ago, that you meant to do but never got around to? Go print it off. Actually print it! For me, I printed off basically Erica Midkiff's entire resource library, but for you it might be a workbook that helps you work out your brand, or a blog post with a simple DIY in it. This weekend is about spending some time working on you (have I said that enough) and a big part of that is productive self care... the type of thing that moves you forward but that also feels really damm good to do.


Friday night is all about easing in to the weekend. When you leave work, go for a walk, or drive down to the shop, buy in some nice dinner and breakfast items, make sure you're well stocked on tea bags and coffee. Heck even treat yourself! I knew I wanted to spring clean my bedroom so bought myself some new bedding for this. Doing this will switch you off, and get you thinking about the upcoming weekend, and what you want to focus on. For me that was, tidying things up, both in my flat, and in my freelance projects. 

Once your home Friday evening is still very much preparation time, if you haven't already get your resources together, and then the only task I want you to focus on on Friday night is getting everything out of your head and on to paper, in it's very simplest form. Not a to do list, but a mind map. I got a huge piece of paper and some felt tip pens, and I broke my mind map down into sections: house ; blog ; work ; freelance project ; self care ; other. Then I simply wrote down everything that was in my head in regards to these sections everything from paint nails (self care) to draft script (freelance project) to washing up (tidy house. Everything that was in my head, went on to this piece of paper regardless of how basic a task they might seem. This piece of paper is what kept me focused all weekend. When I was beginning to drift and could feel myself getting bored or angsty I went back to my paper. I looked at everything that was on there, and chose to do the task that felt most appealing to me at that time.  

This is pretty much all I did Friday night. I set myself up in my living room in a calm enviroment, lavendar oil in my diffuser, lamp on, cosy blankets, and I emptied my mind. And then I watched a film, from beginning to end with no distractions. No phone in hand, no note book and no guilt that I should be doing something else. I enjoyed my pizza, and I got a really good nights sleep.


The most important thing to do on Saturday? Is start your day in your ideal way. For me this means a delicous breakfast (pastry or pancakes, always with raspberries), a pot of coffee, in bed as I catch up with my favourite bloggers and youtubers. This is my happy place especially if the sun is streaming in and the windows are open. Your ideal start might be getting up and going for a run or taking a really long bath. Whatever puts you in a calm and happy state of mind. 

Once you're ready (and don't feel the need to rush) take a look at your giant piece of paper from last night. You might feel instantly drawn towards one task, but my advice would be to pick something that is practical, that once you've finished you can not only feel a sense of achievement but see it. For me this was tidy my bedroom, even though it was a mammoth task and it took me several hours, once I completed it, I felt amazing. I could see the difference I made when I put my mind to it, and my bedroom was a completely different place. Not only that but doing something physical left my brain free to wander and work things out at it's own pace. I simply kept my notebook to hand and wrote down any ideas that came to me to come back to later!  I don't know about you, but I definitely think there is something about tidy house tidy mind! And after I was done I rewarded myself with a break and did something from the 'self care' section of my mind map.

Like I said this weekend isn't about going full throttle it's about taking time and working through things properly and at your own pace.

Once I'd done this I went back to my list, and chose the next task I felt most drawn too. After all the working my brain had done while I was tidying, I decided to spend sometime working on my freelance projects. You might decide to spend some time looking at your career, or your blog, but instead of doing the first 'to do' that comes to mind, I stopped looked at the project as a whole and worked it out as a whole. Look at the bigger picture. Work out the priorities and your action plan going forward.

If something your trying to work out is bigger than one project, maybe your career or why you blog, then I would suggest doing some Intentional Writing, which I wrote about in this post, but in a nutshell is writing down a stream of consciousness for a set amount of time, either in response to a prompt, or just freestyling. 

You might feel tempted when you have any time to yourself to tackle as many to-do's as possible, but sometimes, 'getting stuff done' and 'getting your shit together' are the complete opposite. Sometimes mindlessly doing things because you think you have to is actually making things worse. Writing a blog post because your content calendar tells you too, even though you've forgotten why you blog, is only going to leave you feeling more disconnected. Applying to a job in finance, because that's what you're trained in, and you want a new job, might get you a change of job, but it might not change how you feel. 

The most important thing you can do this weekend is stop and think. There is still time to do all the things you need to do, and you'll do them much quicker and better if you know why you are doing them.

I worked out action plans for both my freelance projects that afternoon, and while technically it didn't get me any further with what needed doing, it was by far the best use of my time. I was no longer overwhelmed by them, I was no longer writing from a place of panic, but from a place of passion - and every single word was better for it. 

That night, for me looked simmilar to Friday. I wound down, looked at the self care part of my mind map, did a facemask, read a huge pile of magazines I'd found in the pit of doom that my bedroom had been just 8 hours earlier. And then it was another relatively early night for me.


Sunday starts in a similarly blissful way, followed again by looking at your mind map and ticking off the things you feel most drawn to. I had a dance party for one instead of house work, I made more progress on my freelance projects. Now I had a plan it was so much easier to make real progress. I went and did a food shop for the week. I did some more intentional writing, typed up a blog post. And as Sunday evening came around, I felt so accomplished and rested and ready for the week ahead and then, and this is the really important bit of Sunday, I planned for the week ahead.

I wanted this feeling to stay, this feeling of being rested and capable. So I gave my self some simple to-dos for each evening after work, not just work based tasks, but self care ones too. I put a whole evening aside with the sole intention of reading my book, I planned out what I wanted to wear to my meetings, I set myself up with the intention of having a really good week, and I didn't have a shred of Monday morning dread.

And it worked, that feeling stayed with me all through Monday to Friday. I was focused and whenever I started to feel anxious or overwhelmed or even just 'too busy' I stopped and I remembered my building blocks, and took 5 minutes to plan my next move.

Now several weeks on, I can feel I'm in need of another weekend like this. Because getting your shit together is never a finished project. Our building blocks are constantly changing, maybe only in the smallest ways, but like with any big building, the smallest crack can lead to the biggest damage.

It's so important that we look up from our to do list, and take in the bigger picture. To check in that we're we are heading is where we want to go. It's something I've said a million times on this blog before, but is something I seem to constantly forget with my own life. Weekends like this keep me sane, and hopefully this framework can help you too.

If you try this please let me know, what it looked like for you, and how it looked! I'm planning another weekend like this for next week (the 25th/26th) so if anybody would like to join me please let me know, and we can check in with one another on social media, act as sounding boards, or just cheer eachother on!

Enjoy your weekend everyone x

ps. Would you like me to start creating worksheets around clearing your mind? Or working out what your building blocks should be? Let me know! It's something I've been thinking about recently!

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