Strategic Sabbatical

is a personalized, one-week transformational experience designed to de-chaos your nervous system, induce clarity, trigger creative flow and result in breakthroughs, action and momentum on the projects you care about the most.

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Letter From Tara

Tara Nicholle Nelson


No one starts out wanting to “work a job”. We start out wanting to thrive, to create beautiful, transformational things, and to unlimit our careers and our lives. And then we “succeed,” landing great roles at great companies. Launching cool products and campaigns, and maybe even scoring an exit or two.

But somewhere along the way, we forget these fundamental truths:

  • The possibilities for your life – and for your life’s work – are endless.
  • You are limitless.
  • Your career, your ideas, your dream projects, your life’s work: they are your ministry. They hold the potential to transform your life and the lives of your customers, employees, even your family.

These things are easy to forget and hard to live out, given all the limiting factors we face: time, money, our “great” jobs, and other obligations.

The truth is that there is an endless reservoir of creative power, innovation, energy and enthusiasm for your life’s transformational work that lies beneath these roadblocks and limitations, beneath the chaos of your everyday urgencies.

When you unlock it, everything changes. It transforms the way you experience and show up in the world and in your life. You deliver your gifts into the world with ease, joy, focus and urgency – releasing what you once saw as limits and creating a life you love to live.

My life experience has been a series of personal disruption campaigns through which I evolved from lawyer to real estate broker to television spokesperson to tech company operator and, most recently, VP of marketing for the world’s largest fitness app. Read more about my ever-onward, ever-upward career twists and turns, here.

But my life experience has also taught me that the most sure and powerful way to make this particular sort of life-transforming advance is to retreat: serenely, but also systematically, strategically, and with a structure optimized for the transformation I’m want to experience.

The Strategic Sabbatical is a carefully crafted, optimized version of the personal retreats I’ve used over the years to launch my career pivots, major projects and other life transformations.

It is a one-week experience that presses pause on all that is urgent and unimportant, and de-chaoses your nervous system. It identifies and pivots the beliefs and behaviors that have been limiting your life and your life’s work, triggers you into a state of creative flow and kickstarts grounding daily routines that drive productivity and prosperity.

You’ll leave with clear direction, an action plan and measurable momentum on the career, business or innovative/creative project you’ve been dreaming about or pining away for.

Strategic Sabbatical is the time, structure and place for you to pause, pivot, and proceed with the new practices, resources, team and capabilities you’ll need to move from idea to reality.

When, Where, What + How Much

October 31st – Kickoff dinner with Tara in Oakland, California
November 1-3 – [Homework, with Tara’s direction] (Integrity Cleanse and Nervous System Tune-Down)
November 3rd – [Arrive by 3 pm] – November 7th [leave at 11am] Onsite at Campovida

Campovida is a family-owned and operated certified organic farm and working vineyard. Ecologically, spiritually, and aesthetically, it is a place like no other. It provides spaces of stillness, solitude, and togetherness that allow us to drop in deeply and be fully present in our moments.

Here, time stands still for those important conversations to happen. For your important work to get started in earnest. It’s time.

There are no phones, and the clocks are tucked discreetly in the drawer. There is wifi, and there is cell reception. (Nobody has to know that last bit, except me and you.)

Strategic Sabbatical is a one-week experience designed to de-chaos your nervous system, induce clarity and creative flow and trigger breakthroughs, action and momentum on the projects you care about the most.

Deliverables include:

  • serious stimulation
  • unlocked confidence and recharged enthusiasm and joy
  • clear direction for the next season of your career and life
  • clear next steps and a personal action, resource and capabilities plan
  • released creativity and innovation
  • unparalleled momentum on your project, transition or startup.

It is ideal for people who want to transform their lives along one of three tracks:

  • Career transition or lifestyle design
  • Writing or business project [startup, new book, etc.]
  • Stuck, unclear or business problem solving

The Strategic Sabbatical includes:

  • 1:1 assessment and coaching prep session with Tara
  • Group dinner and Sabbatical kickoff Friday night in Oakland
  • Homework in Bay Area Sat-Monday night
  • Meals and accomodations at Campovida Tuesday 11/3 through Saturday morning, 11/7

At Campovida:

  • Yoga and meditation sessions
  • Structured daily program including
  • Morning grounding and flow-generating practices (group)
  • WOD [Wisdom of the Day] group sessions and conversations
    • Tara’s Model of Transformation and process
    • Crafting and clarifying your objective, vision, mission, purpose and decision rules about what work to do (and not do), what jobs to take (and not take), what projects to invest in (and not to invest in), what people and organizations to align with (and which to run from).
    • Creating flow state and daily routine practices that yield a generative life. Unlocking energy and time. Developing the skillset of self-activation.
    • Releasing locks, patterns and stuck points. Generating transformational habits you can use for a lifetime and default behaviors of action and course-correction.
    • Identifying what you do – and don’t – need for your transformational project to succeed: resources, capabilities, team. Leadership musts
    • Developing a plan of personal transformation, action, resources and  capabilities. Identifying and deactivating derailers. Harnessing the power of time, momentum and accountability.
  • One-on-one sessions with Tara and either a business/marketing or creativity specialist specific to your challenge or project
  • Several hours of structured individual project work every day
  • Leave with a concrete, written plan of action on your project, including resources and capabilities
  • Saturday AM Group Action Session – get momentum on your plan by starting it before you leave
  • One, hourlong 1:1 follow up sesh with Tara


  • You work in tech or have at one point in time.
  • You are great at a large number of things. You could really do anything. Sometimes you actually try to do everything.
  • You study things.
  • People consider you “very successful” but you are not convinced you’re doing the work you want to do – or the work you were put on the planet to do.
  • You are generally happy and optimistic about life, but not sure exactly what to do next.
  • You have a brilliant book, project or startup idea you have never done anything with.
  • You enjoy reading wisdom literature like The Four Hour Body, The Four Agreements, Mastery, or other personal development material.
  • You have been paleo. Or vegan. Or both.
  • You’ve never really been satisfied. Maybe ever.
  • You are a leader.

  • You believe life is a series of projects or campaigns to improve your health, your wellness, your performance, your career, your personal finances – or all of the above.

  • You agree that habits are changeable, with some effort.


Tara’s life story, according to the Huffington Post

Tara-Nicholle Nelson is the VP, Marketing for MyFitnessPal and Under Armour Connected Fitness. Over 120 million people worldwide use Under Armour Connected Fitness apps to get an around-the-clock view of their food and fitness activities.

In Tara’s first year on the job, MyFitnessPal grew from 45 million to 90 million users, and went from raising an $18 million Series A to acquisition by Under Armour for $475 million.

Tara’s teams cover growth, engagement, communications, media relations, content marketing, social media and user insights programs across the digital health and fitness brands MyFitnessPal, MapMyFitness, Endomondo, and

Read Tara’s Life Story

Connect with Tara on LinkedIn


BiblioTherapy for Getting Unstuck


Drop a note to [info at Strategic Sabbatical dot com] to set up a quick 1:1 phone call.