A Better Life in 5 Hours!


The Life Retreat

The word “retreat,” have you ever looked it up?  Here are three possible definitions:

  1. an act or process of withdrawing especially from what is difficult, dangerous, or disagreeable
  2. a place of privacy or safety
  3. a period of group withdrawal for prayer, meditation, study or instruction under a director

How important is your LIFE?  Think of these categories:

• Spouse/Marriage

• Health (physical, mental, emotional)

• Family/Children

• Personal Growth or Self-Development

• Service or Charity

• Finances

• Legacy

• Faith/Walk With God

• Career

• Friends

• Recreation/Fun

• Education

I am fairly confident that you have done some form of retreat, conference, or even business seminar in your life.  Why? Probably it was to gain a skill or get better at some form of discipline for your job.  Think about this . . . your life is ZOOMING by.  Right?  Have you every thought about a retreat that is with just you and God?

At Young Life camp each summer we let the campers go out one night under the stars.  Believe me or not, they will in large part come back and say it was one of the highlights for them.  Think about it . . . no cell phone, no friends, no distractions, no lights (we shut every light out in camp), and it is 100% quiet.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People at the beginning of the book states, “Begin with the end in mind.”  One of the exercises that Covey has you think about is your own funeral.  This is a good exercise in this – what do you want people to say, your family to say, your life to say?  Your funeral, in essence, starts today.

What would you do on this retreat?  Instead of 15 minutes under the stars, you would have up to 24 hours completely ON YOUR OWN.  If you can only pull away for the work day, then, imagine two full days being quiet and reflecting on your LIFE.  The people I coach have done this in a variety of ways. Some did 24 hours, some did ½ days, some went to beautiful places, and some were in an office environment.

Here are the keys to “pulling away” with your LIFE as your main agenda:

  • Get it on your calendar – today!
  • Unplug.  Yes, unplug.
  • Dream into the future!  I suggest (because my coach suggested to me) 10 years out.  What do you want your life to look like 10 years out?  What do you want your 5 year old to be like at 15?
  • Don’t be afraid to ask God, “What do you want?”  I have no idea where you are in the spiritual realm but God loves you and created you and wants the best for you!

Answer some of these questions:

  • If all else fails, you want to make sure, this priority in your life happens?
  • What is the ultimate vision for your life?
  • Where do you and when do you come feel most alive?  (Think Titanic on the bow of the ship yelling “Freedom!”)
  • If you could spend each day doing whatever you wanted, what would you want to do?

Spend time in the categories above and imagine your LIFE. What do you want to see happen in each of those categories?

I will always remember the day I went out and worked on my “Life” plan.  I went to Torrey Pines beach and sat with my black book for hours upon hours.  I thought about my LIFE?  It is amazing how often we don’t think about our overall LIFE.  I scratched a bunch of notes, dreams, and visions.  3 ½  years later, here are a couple of the items that have transpired as a result of that very first “Life Retreat.”

  • Took my family on a couple of “family only” trips.  One to Palm Desert and one to Yosemite.
  • Lost 30+ pounds.
  • Stopped drinking – for me this was huge.
  •  Had a personal trainer for 6 months.
  •  Met with a financial planner for a year and crafted finance plan and started acted on this plan.
  • Did a variety of home projects that were needed.
  • Reconnected with a bunch of old Young Life kids.
  • Finished the “Alongsider” bible study
  • Became a Life Coach – and have trained 8 others
  • Keep up on my physical health, physicals, and blood work
  • Coach the boys in sports
  • Have a team around me in my Regional Role

What about you?  Is it possible that your best LIFE is going to your job, to the world, or to just the clock that keeps on running . . .

A couple phrases I love:

“Make a plan, work a plan.”

“Fail to plan, plan to fail.”

“Do it once, do it now.”

I would love to see every single one of you (if you have not already) get out there and dream about your LIFE!  What do you want to see happen?

“And to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we can even dare to ask or to imagine!”  Ephesians 3:20

Let’s do this!


7 thoughts on “A Better Life in 5 Hours!

  1. Eric, Great blog!! I am really enjoying it!! Blogging is not easy (just ask Katie Ray), and yours is engaging, fun and very readable!

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