In the beginning of January I took a winter retreat at Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. I’ve been wanting to do a retreat like this at the start of the year for the past several years and finally made it happen in 2023! I had big visions of dreaming, goal setting, making a plan for the year, and fitting in some relaxation too. I’ve also been trying to embrace winter more and learn to appreciate the season so I wanted my retreat to be in an idyllic winter setting.
I came across Deep Creek Lake from the advice of one of my VA clients (and friends)! I was going to Washington, DC for a work trip with that client and wanted to find somewhere that was on my way back to Columbus to break up the drive. She gave me a few suggestions and Deep Creek Lake won out, mostly due to its proximity, but I feel in love once I started researching it.
Bed and Breakfast
I found the most perfect bed and breakfast for the trip, Lake Pointe Inn. I wanted to splurge a bit here because I knew a large part of this retreat would be me on my own in my room doing lots of brainstorming and goal setting. Having a place that was peaceful, but inspiring was the goal! Lake Pointe Inn is directly on Deep Creek Lake and is also right across from Wisp Ski Resort, the perfect winter retreat! I’d also love to go back in the summer, but for the purposes of this trip it was exactly what I needed.
I was going back and forth between room choices for several days and even got some input from my friends. I decided to go with a mountain view in the Garrett Room since it was a winter trip and I loved watching people ski from my window! I’m not a skier or snowboarder, but I do love the culture/cabin vibes of a winter destination. Each room had a fireplace which was a huge selling point! My room also had a steam shower and jacuzzi tub. They also have a sauna! I started appreciating winter much more with these amenities! My room and the entire inn was the perfect spot to create space for quiet, solitude, and dreaming big.
I created a tentative schedule for my days because while I wanted to relax and let things flow, I also wanted to be intentional with my time to make the most of my retreat. My daily schedule went something like this:
- 8-9:30 AM: Quiet Time/Devotion/Prayer and Breakfast
- 9:30-11:30 AM: Goal Setting
- Lunch: 1200-1:00 PM: Lunch
- 1:00-2:30 PM: Goal Setting
- 2:30-4:00 PM: Walk/Sauna/Steam Shower
- 4:00-5:30 PM: Cocktail Hour
- 6:00 PM: Dinner
- 7:00-10:00 PM: Relax
- 10:00 PM: Bed
I mostly stuck to the schedule, but adjusted here and there depending on what I needed or wanted to do. Each day I wrapped up around 4:00 pm to enjoy the complimentary wine and snacks in front of the fire. The first two days there were hardly any guests and I had the place to myself. The last day had many more people and it was fun to chat around the fire over a glass (or two) of wine. I love hearing people’s stories and others seemed especially interested in me. People are always intrigued by a solo traveler!
I loved my stay and I almost forgot to mention the best part…homemade chocolate chip cookies each day! If you know me, you know I can’t resist a cookie, especially chocolate chip! Each morning’s breakfast was delicious too! I had breakfast brought to my room so I could get to work each day, but I loved all the options. Other guests mentioned they requested some made to order items and the kitchen was happy to oblige. Each floor also had coffee and tea along with a mini fridge full of pop and water. The staff was all incredibly accommodating and made my stay amazing. Definitely top notch service!
I came up with a few definitive goals for the year for both my personal and professional life along with ways to achieve them. I did a lot of journaling to reflect on last year and determine what went well, what needed work, and what I’d rather not do again. This year I wasn’t planning on doing a “word of the year” because honestly I was a bit over the trend. However, once I got in the thick of all of this brainstorming, one came to me. Focus.
I’m a very organized person with great attention to detail, but last year I found as my business continued to grow, I really needed to be focused on one thing at a time and minimize distractions. So with clear goals to achieve, focus is the goal!
After three nights and two days of my winter retreat at Deep Creek Lake, I headed home passionate, excited, and ready to work hard in 2023! If you’re on the fence about taking some type of retreat, I definitely recommend it! It can be great any time of year, but there is something extra special about starting your year off on a high note and having a change of scenery to get you out of your routine.
Enjoying the blog? Be sure to check out the last blog on a fun wedding I planned last summer!