What really happens in the preparation and execution of a retreat? On the eve of my 11th Ultimate 48 Hour Author retreat I am here to share with you each and every night what unfolded during the day of this journey we are once again embarking on to help create this time around 16 inspirational books by an all ladies team...
This is my least favourite of the days - the Prep. Making sure I have everything packed, ticked off my checklists and organised so that it all runs like clockwork when we get there. Its also meant to be the day I am meant to take a bit of a rest before I embark on the next big 3 days of serving these amazing authors to be at our retreat. I must say, I do have my routines now worked out after 11 retreats and my stamina is a lot better. So lets unfold today as it happened.
Earlier in the week I did print of quite a bit of the bits I needed so that part was slightly prepped - forms and handouts that I usually do last minute and names on the author workbooks for retreat. I had an expo and speaking gig earlier in the week so I had to prep for all 3 at once.
This morning I did my exercise, got myself showered and ready for the day and had one qualifying chat with a potential author before my cleaners arrived for their regular 2 week proper clean of our home. The family pulled together to put everything away as we only expect them to clean and not tidy, so the house was in ship shape before they arrived. Stuart and I left the house to clear out of their way and do more prepping for retreat. Francesca who is staying with us and also crewing at retreat stayed and worked on her business.
Stuart went to collect printing, post out stuff and shop for snacks, items for our retreat exercises and alcohol for our evening drinks. He then put all the manuals together and followed up with work he had to get us prepped.
I went out in search of a solution for my photoshoot dress that we needed to amend slightly and then went to Doncaster Shoppingtown where I had a massage, cut and styled my hair and shopped for some items I needed and wanted in prep for retreat and our month long holiday in Thailand next wednesday.
After that I went to my mums so she can help me with the dress situation. It all worked out perfectly. Stuck in traffic on the way home but still made it for dinner after which I gave my 3 kids baths and showers before bed. I packed my weekend clothes bag and then Stuart and Francesca helped with the packing of the business stuff bags.
We have a checklist and I was yelling out what needed to be brought while one person packed boxes of books. products and logistical bits for the weekend. That took around 45 minutes and car was loaded.
Next came the final look at the powerpoint for the weekend. We fine tuned and added all the mock up covers for all the authors for their Meet and Greet section. It's looking super amazing. I thought after that we were ready but then realised I had follow up emails from the Expo yesterday to send out. I got distracted and the rest of my evening continued in answering and sending emails. I want to leave home tomorrow with Inbox zero and things followed up properly so that in line with our holiday to Thailand we are up to date.
So it is 11:45pm now and I am just in time finishing this blog for the day. I am super excited and now am past the day I don't like so the fun is about to start. The next big thing is to ensure everyone gets there and is collected on time from the various places we have people coming and we start on time. We have people from Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Ballarat coming to our retreat. I know it will be an unforgetable experience for all of us.