The summer wedding season 2018 is upon us, so I thought it’s about time I explain a little more about what I do & how your wedding day at Ever After will work. Every venue will work in different ways, which is why it’s important to find a venue which works for you and your day…
The Day Before
You will have access to the venue from 2pm the day before your wedding (either Friday for a Saturday wedding, or Tuesday for a Wednesday wedding… obvs!). We will have spent the morning getting the venue ready for your arrival, and once you arrive the place is yours! Make yourselves at home in the cottage, or have an explore with your spouse-to-be (why not take your photographer along too…?!).
Photo: Richard Murgatroyd
Either myself (Bethany) or Nicola will have a brief sit-down with you to go through the final running of your day, and take any bits off your hands (such as place names & favours) ready for setup the next day. Any last minute questions or worries you have can be chatted through then, so that you’ve got the rest of your afternoon & evening to relax and enjoy!
Your Wedding Day – Setup
Ever After’s team will usually arrive from 9am and start setting up for your big day! You, of course, will be relaxing, eating breakfast, having your hair & make-up done, and laughing with your bridesmaids. Lifting a finger is a no-go for the bride on the morning of the wedding; leave it to us.
Photo: Richard Murgatroyd
We’ll have everything ready at least 30 minutes, if not an hour, before guests are due to arrive.
Your Wedding Day – The Timeline of Events
Below is a link to our suggested timeline of events for the big day. This is a guideline based on the timings we believe to work the best, but as it is your day, the timings are entirely up to you.
Ever After suggested timings for your day copy
We will setup, serve, and clear away all arrival drinks. Myself and Nicola will get the ushers to guide guests to their seats for the ceremony, and co-ordinate you & your bridesmaids entrances. We’ll be there to give you 30 minute, 10 minute, and 5 minute warnings, and make sure you look absolutely perfect for your walk down the aisle.
Photo: Freckle Photography
Following your ceremony, guests will be guided down onto the lawns for the drinks reception(weather permitting). Our waitresses will again serve guests with their drinks and make sure they never have an empty glass! This is usually the best time for you & your new husband to sneak off for those all-important couple shots.
Photo: Freckle Photography
When it’s time for the wedding breakfast, our team will help get guests seated and co-ordinate your entrance to the marquee (including telling the best man or trusted usher what to say to introduce you!). The catering team will take care of you throughout the meal, whilst behind-the-scenes, myself, Nicola, and Steven will add the necessary finishing touches for your evening reception.
When it’s time for tea & coffee, the whole EA team will clear the marquee and set it up ready for the evening, before co-ordinating your cake cutting and first dance. The evening festivities will then begin and you can relax in the knowledge that your wedding day has been perfect!
Photo: Ben Selway
Where has the time gone?! It seems like an absolute age ago that I did a ginspiration blog post. There has been loads happening recently, but there are plenty of gin blogs coming your way! Today, it’s all about Manchester Gin.
A contemporary style gin using hand-foraged Orange, Lemon and the Northern favourites Dandelion & Burdock Root. It all began one cold February evening in 2013 – the typical dark and rainy night you come to expect from Manchester – when Seb and Jen first crossed paths in a basement night spot in the centre of their beloved city.
“Manchester is a city of industrial heritage and the Mancunian work ethic has been a point of pride since the industrial revolution, when the men and women in the factories that lined the city were coined “Worker Bees”. It’s since this time that Manchester adopted the bee as it’s motif, and we couldn’t make a gin without paying homage to it. Our bee is a modern interpretation of the traditional Manchester symbol, reflecting the modern style of gin we produce. Next time you’re in the city, look out for the bee on bins, signs, buildings and even in bars and restaurants.”
Jen & Seb have created 4 different gins, under the umbrella of ‘Manchester Gin’; Signature, Raspberry Infused, Wild Spirit, and Overboard. They also created a ‘Distillers Cut’ version, exclusive to Craft Gin Clubmembers as a celebration of their progression over the past 2 years. The Distillers Cut is the gin that Euan & I tried…
Along with the gin, we were given one of the new ‘up-market’ schweppes tonic bottles to try with the gin. Sorry, schweppes, but I was not a fan. I think the tonic itself was okay but it hid all the flavours of the gin. Initially, we tried the gin with a slice of apple (as recomended by Craft Gin Club) and the schweppes tonic. I found the drink completely underwhelming with no real flavour hitting me at all. Euan felt there were a fair few flavours in the gin, but nothing was overpowering enough to pick out.
That was, however, before we tried the gin with fever tree tonic & a wedge of lime. Oh, wow! A completely different drink altogether. I absolutely loved the gin this time, like seriously loved it. The bitter taste I got from the previous drink was non-existent and it was full of exciting flavours. Finished off perfectly with a sweet aftertaste. I would 100% recommend this gin, but not with the original tonic & garnish combination…
Euan said the gin had a flavoursome kick and he could easily pick out the elderberries. He agreed about the sweet aftertaste, and an initially crisp flavour.
Conclusion & Cocktails
This tasting was a really interesting (albeit unintentional) experiment. It just goes to show what a difference the choice of tonic and/or garnish can make to a gin. And something that is super important to get right! I think the schweppes tonic does have a place in the gin industry, but absolutely not for Manchester gin. I’d be interested in giving it a second chance and trying it with a more ‘traditional’ or less flavoursome gin as I think it could definitely enhance a slightly blander gin.
Craft Gin Club’s Cocktail Suggestion – Gimlet
- 35ml Manchester Gin, Distillers cut
- 35ml lime cordial
- 15ml fresh lime juice
- Twist of lime peel to garnish
Shake all three ingredients with ice and double strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with a slice of lime.
For more ginspiration, or to refresh your memory on all things ‘gin’, take a look at my previous ginspiration blog posts…
This is where the fun begins! As great as the evening might be, most couples find this the hardest part in terms of drinks. Do you charge guests for drinks? Do you provide their evening drinks for free? Or how about putting some money behind the bar and charging guests once that has run out? The options seem endless and can be a little daunting.
Luckily, we’re here to help. We’ve got evening bar packages and we also have the pop-up lounges; there’s a solution in there somewhere.
I’m going to dive straight in here as there is a lot to consider…
Bringing your own evening drinks and not charging guests – You’ve been supplying the alcohol all day, so you might decide to keep the trend going throughout the evening. You can bring whatever drinks you so choose to serve behind the bar, and let guests enjoy them for free. This is obviously an additional cost to you, and you’ll also have to pay the bar staff. But, guests get to enjoy the evening without having to worry about bringing cash.
Bringing your own drinks and asking guests for a donation (honesty bar) – This is quite a popular choice as you’re not out-and-out charging guests but you’re also not providing a whole evening of drinking for free. It can be a risk as not all guests will leave a donation, but you’ll know your guests better than me! Again, you will also have to pay the bar staff.
Ever After’s Pay Bar – If you want to charge guests for drinks (not just ask for a donation) then our pay bar option is the best one for you. Drinks, staffing and glasses are all included free of charge, and as guests are paying for their own drinks there is no cost to you at all. You can relax! There are two pricing options, the branded option and the premium option. The prices are slightly different based on the drink brands and mixers etc (e.g. Gordon’s gin and schweppes tonic vs Sipsmiths gin and fever tree tonic).
Ever After’s Free Bar – If don’t want to charge guests for their evening drinks, but you could do without the hassle of quantities and ordering and delivery and sorting out the glasses and surplus drinks the day after, we can take care of that for you. Again, there are a couple of options here…
Your guests can have free unlimited drinks all night for £28pp (branded option) or £40pp (premium option), depending on your preference. You can also choose to have between 1-6 free drinks (per person) provided by you, and then a pay bar once those have run out. There’s also the option of putting a cash sum behind the bar, and then a pay bar once that cash has run out.
Here is a link to our drinks package 2018 , which goes into more detail about all the drink options from start to finish. Again, if you have any more questions then do get in touch!
Something else to consider is hiring one or both of our pop-up lounges which include a fair bit of alcohol. The pop-up lounges would be ‘free’ to guests, which could impact your decision about what to do with the bar. Plus, they are seriously cool.
Here’s a little more about them…
Ever After pop up brochure 2018_19
Wedding breakfast drinks are normally nice and simple. You don’t want to be serving much more than wine during the meal (because there’s still a whole evening of drinking ahead), and we will always make sure there is plenty of water on the table…
Wedding Breakfast Drinks – The Options
As with arrival drinks and reception drinks, you can still bring your own wines to serve with the meal. Again, we don’t charge any corkage (and never will!). If you’d rather we sourced and provided the wines, we’ve put together an extensive wine list (courtesy of Christopher Piper Wines). As it’s quite a hefty list, I won’t write it below, but if you’d like to see it then just send myself or Nicola an email (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Ever After’s Splendid Package – Between £4.50 and £5.50pp.
Ever After’s Premium Package – £7.50pp.
Ever After’s Ultimate Package – Between £7 and £12pp.
The prices depend on the final wine choice. These packages all include 1/2 a bottle of wine per person, and we’ll provide a selection of red & white wines. Rose can be sourced upon request.
If you know you have more white wine drinkers than red (or vice versa) we can provide – for example – 60% white and 40% red, or whatever your preference is.
There are also the toasting drinks to consider. Again, you can provide your own champagne/sparkling wine or you can opt for one of our selections. We have 4 different champagne/sparkling wine options ranging from £3.50pp and £7.50pp. You know where to find me if you’d like the list!
In my last post, I talked you through arrival drinks. Now, reception drinks (or post-ceremony drinks). This part of your happens immediately after your ceremony, and it’s – personally – my favourite part of a wedding day! Guests are guided down to the lawns and/or terrace where drinks are poured waiting. They then have and hour or two to enjoy the surroundings at Ever After!
Post-ceremony drinks are also when you can start get super creative with your drinks (if you want to!). Whether you’re going for pimp-your-prosecco, fancy G&Ts, or ice baths of beer bottles & soft drinks, this is the time to do it.
As with the arrival drinks, you can of course still supply your own alcohol (F.O.C) to serve your guests. And there are also some Ever After packages to consider…
Bringing your own drinks – As I said, you’re more than welcome to do this still and there is no corkage charge.
Ever After’s Splendid Package – £8pp and includes Pimms or prosecco, bottled beer, soft drinks.
Ever After’s Premium Package – £13pp and includes a ‘pimp your prosecco cart’ or a 1-spirit cocktail (which you can choose yourself), English sparkling wine, bottled beer, soft drinks with straws.
Ever After’s Ultimate Package – £18pp and includes champagne or 2 spirit cocktails, premium bottled beer, premium soft drinks with straws.
We always encourage couples to provide a main drink which is different to the drink served at arrivals. For example, if you opted for the Splendid package and had prosecco on arrival, we would suggest you swap to pimms for the reception drinks. It mixes it up a bit and keeps guests interested!
Like I said, you can start to get quite creative with your drinks. ‘His & Hers’ cocktails are increasingly popular, as well as gin carts with premium tonics and garnishes. It’s also worth considering having a drinks dispenser of flavoured water available. We provide the water, you’ll just need to bring the garnishes (cucumber/lemon etc). Here are some suggestions…
- His & Hers cocktails; one gin-based and one rum-based, sparkling wine, bottled beer, elderflower fizz (non-alcoholic), cucumber water.
- ‘Pimp-your-prosecco’, bottled cider, raspberry lemonade (non-alcoholic), lemon water.
- Gin cart with 6 different gins and a selection of fever tree tonic waters & garnishes, prosecco, lager, pomegranate cordial (non-alcoholic), lime water.
- Pimms & garnishes, bottled cider, white wine, san pellegrino lemonade (non-alcoholic), apple water.
When it comes to your wedding day, there is a lot to think about. My best advice would be to split the day up into manageable chunks. Starting with arrival drinks, for example. In this blog post series I’m going to be talking you through the different drink options available at Ever After and suggestions about what to provide.
As you probably already know, I work full-time for the gorgeous wedding venue Ever After. I do a lot of blog posts over on EA’s website, so I thought why not bring some of them over here! So sit back and enjoy some tips & tricks about how we do things at Ever After!
If you are getting married at the venue (rather than church), then you will probably invite your guests to arrive an hour before the ceremony. You guests will then gather by the ponds (weather permitting) and enjoy a beverage (or two) before being ushered to the wedding barn to watch you get married.
An hour is not actually that long, especially when you factor in 5-10 minutes or so seated before the ceremony begins. Also, legally, there cannot be any alcohol in the ceremony space. So guests will have to finish all drinks before being seated. With that in mind, it’s worth thinking about simplistic drinks to serve at this point of the day. But, more on that later…
You may or may not be familiar with Ever After’s drinks package, new for this year. The package widens your options, and is designed so that you won’t need to source a mobile bar. You, of course, don’t have to use one of our packages and are still free to provide your own drinks (still no corkage!).
Here are your options…
Bringing your own drinks– As I said, you are still welcome to do this and there is no charge for doing so, although you will have to pay waiting staff.
Ever After’s Splendid Package– This package is £6pp and includes; prosecco or pimms with garnish & straws, bottled lager, soft drinks.
Ever After’s Premium Package – For £10pp your guests can enjoy; English sparkling wine, bottled fruit cider, bottled lager, soft drinks with straws. This is also an unlimited package (for the duration of arrival drinks).
Ever After’s Ultimate Package – Another unlimited package for £13pp, including; Gremillet NV Champagne with optional edible flowers or West Country Pimms with straws, premium bottled beer, premium soft drinks with straws.
All the Ever After packages include staff costs.
As I mentioned earlier, this part of your day is usually only 45 minutes to an hour long, so not huge amounts of time for complex drinks. Things like ‘pimp your prosecco’ stations are best saved for the reception drinks as they are time consuming and guests may end up having to leave a half-finished drink before heading into the ceremony.
For your arrival drinks, keep things simple and don’t offer too much of a choice. Complicated cocktails are wonderful for the post-ceremony drinks reception, but pre-ceremony not so much. You also don’t want to end up with half-cut guests before the ceremony has even started, so spirit based drinks are best avoided.
Some drink suggestions…
- Prosecco & bottles of beer, as well as a soft drink option (such as cucumber water).
- A glass of pimms & bottles of cider, with an elderflower fizz for the non-drinkers.
- Wine & lager, and a non-alcoholic raspberry lemonade.
- Keep things simple and just offer soft drinks; guests will have plenty of alcohol throughout the rest of the day.
And if you want to make a simple drink more interesting, you can always add garnishes such as edible flowers, fruit, or colourful straws.
Take a look at some of last year’s weddingsfor inspiration…
Welcome to my first Switzerland blog post! First up, Geneva…
You may or may not know that in 2015 Euan & I spent 3 months exploring Australia and New Zealand (it was incredible). In New Zealand, we hired a car and just drove around the coastline of the South Island, stopping a various points along the way. It was the most wonderful experience, and ever since we’ve been itching to do something similar. Obviously since 2015 our lives have changed a lot, and taking 3 months ‘off’ again isn’t really a possibility. But that’s not to say we can’t experience something similar!
So, we decided to plan a trip to Switzerland. Switzerland, aesthetically, is quite like NZ so it seemed like the perfect place. Plus we have both always wanted to go. And we weren’t disappointed…
First Stop, Geneva – Day 1
Our starting point was French-speaking Geneva. Our first day was a bit of a rocky one… I won’t go into too much detail just yet, but – to sum up – if you are planning on hiring a car in Switzerland, make sure you own a credit card.
The whole trip revolved around the fact we would be driving from place to place, so having a hire car was our number 1 priority. When we went to collect our car we were asked for a credit card. As most UK residents would, I assumed this also meant debit card so willingly handed over my Visa-Debit. It, however, was not acceptable, neither was our pre-paid Swiss franc mastercard. We were told that without a physical credit card in my name, we would not be able to have our hire car. I don’t own a credit card and neither does Euan. Basically, disaster-mode had set in.
To cut a (very, very) long story short, we hopped over to the French side of Geneva airport (handy) and hired another car from a different company at a great, and unavoidable, additional expense. We were also unable to drop this new hire car in our original end location (Zurich), we had to drop it back to Geneva. This meant changing our flight, cancelling our non-refundable hotel room in Zurich, and booking another hotel in Geneva… Anyway, we managed to solve the problem and we.had.a.car! Our main priority was sorted and we were back on track for our holiday.
Because of this, we were both a little shaken up but we managed to get ourselves into Geneva’s city centre and we sat by the lake with a coffee. After some choice words about the situation, we vowed to put it behind us and just enjoy the incredible holiday ahead of us.
We had an afternoon stroll around the city and started to make plans for our second day in Geneva, before heading to our accommodation.
Geneva Day 2
A new day, a fresh perspective. By mid-morning we were back in central Geneva and had our exploring hats on. First up, we went visited the Cathedral and climbed to the North Tower which provided us with incredible panoramic views of the city. We also got to walk through the clock-tower which was very hunchback-of-Notre-Dame-esque.
I absolutely fell in love with Geneva’s old town. Narrow streets and tall buildings with beautiful shuttered windows… Perfection! There was a definite Parisian vibe in Geneva (being surrounded by France and all), but I also got a little Venice vibe too which made me all nostalgic!
There are hundreds of incredible designer shops in Geneva (we popped our heads in a few, oops!), and it was exciting to explore them. But the old town was 100% more ‘us’ and it was very romantic to just roam around the super peaceful streets.
I have to confess that we did actually go to an Italian restaurant for lunch and had our go-to Italian favourites… There was a whole week ahead of us to try Swiss cuisine…
My top tips for Geneva are…
- Grab a take-away coffee and sit on a bench in front of the lake. It’s beautiful from any direction and just a perfect spot to take it all in (and people watch, hehe).
- Spend more time in the ‘old town’ than in the main city. The centre of Geneva is much like any big city, but the old town has a certain charm that you’ll only understand if you visit!
- Visit the Cathedral and climb up to the top of the North Tower. The views were gorgeous and the Cathedral was stunning. Even if that’s not normally your kind of thing I would still suggest giving it a go! (I’m a culture nerd, by the way).
- Bring lots of money, and then bring some more. Without even looking in the designer shops, Geneva will cost you a lot of money. We were insanely prepared for the amount of money Switzerland was going to cost us, like literally everyone had told us how expensive it was. But we were still surprised by the cost of things. Honestly there is no such thing as taking ‘too much’ money on holiday to Switzerland.
Somehow, 2018 so far has been a completely crazy busy year where I also feel like nothing has happened. Does anyone else feel like that? I think it’s one of those times where because so much is happening continuously, your brain adjusts to the ‘busy-ness’, and gets used to it. Therefore, you feel like nothing is happening. Even though you’re surrounded by stuff happening, like, constantly. Does that make sense? Probably not, knowing me.
2018 So Far
In January, I took on loads more work. I’ve at least tripled my work load, and it’s great. I love to be busy and there is nothing I hate more than being bored/having nothing to do. Seriously, no thank you! I’d rather work 7-days a week than work for 5 and be bored for 2. My increased workload is probably why I feel like nothing has happened this year, because it’s mostly work. When, actually, loads has happened.
Because I’ve got a lot more work on, I’ve not had as much time to dedicate to blogging & vlogging. This has been a real shame, but I wanted to allow myself time to adjust to having tons more work. Mostly my work is from home and therefore self-motivated, which works incredibly well for me, but it can also be hard. Since January, I’ve been working on my routine and getting used to my new work schedule. Plus, I’ve got other personal development projects on the side which I also need to find time for.
Now, though, I’ve sorted a routine and I’m ready to get back to the ‘work things’ I love doing but haven’t had time for (i.e. my blog and my youtube videos). I’ve already got some projects lined up to conquer this year, plus there is – of course – the summer wedding season, which is just around the corner!(!!!!).
The Rest of 2018
I’m a very methodical person and I like to have everything meticulously planned. Of course, this doesn’t always work out, but I do still think it’s a good foundation to have. I like to chop whole years up into manageable sections (metaphorically, duh), which is why my current job is fantastic for my character. Because the first 4 months and last 3 months of the year are dedicated to smaller elopement weddings, it means the big (stressful) wedding season spans across the middle 5 months. This automatically gives me 3 sections to work with. Obviously, this ‘section’ malarky won’t work for everyone, but I personally find it really beneficial.
As I said, since January I’ve been getting used to my new 2018 routine and setting myself small daily/weekly goals which have really helped. At the beginning of March, I vowed to myself my next goal would be to up my visits to the gym. It took a week and a half but I finally managed it. My goals for the rest of March and the whole of April (i.e. the time left before the 2018 summer wedding season) are to…
- Visit Switzerland for the first time!
- Finish the course I’m currently doing.
- Start blogging more. I’m aiming for a blog post to go up every 3 days.
- Start making videos again. I’d like to do one a week, but we will see. I don’t want to be making videos because I feel I ‘have’ to. I only want to make them when I feel I have something I’d like to share/discuss etc.
- Keep up with the gym-going.
When the summer season hits, things get a little craaazy (which is the main reason I want to have finished my course by then). I’ll endeavour to keep up with the blogging & videos, but not be too hard on myself if I don’t always manage it. The gym & the water, however, I’m going to be more strict about. Other things I’ll be focussing on during the summer season (un-work related)…
- Turning 23 and not getting upset about it. I mean, I’ll definitely be turning 23 but we’ll see about the upset bit… #byebyeearly20s
- Making the most of any weekends where I don’t have weddings. Last summer was insanely crazy and I only had 2/3 weekends off in the 5 months. This year, though, the weddings are spaced out more evenly and for May & June I have quite a few more weekends off than last year! #hellobeachdays
- Attending friends’ weddings! (As a guest!)
- Enjoying not having to pay the heating bill (it’s the little things).
- Going on mini-breaks to Bath & Edinburgh.
- Hosting at least one drinks party with friends.
- Growing in confidence at work (okay, soz, one work thing!).
And, finally, I have two goals for after the wedding season (so far; this list will most definitely increase throughout the year)…
- Starting a new business finance course.
- Visiting somewhere else new/going on holiday (not sure when/where though!).
I love hearing about other peoples goals/ambitions/hopes for the year ahead, so please do get in touch if you’ve got anything you want to share!
I am far from a whisky fan. In fact, I can’t even stand to smell the stuff. Luckily, though, Euan (clue is in the name) is – by genetics – a whisky fan. Being Scottish and all. Whether it’s actually in their blood, or whether it’s because they feel they have to like whisky, we’ll never know. (Except that it’s the latter…). Annnyway, because of our gin tasting sessions, the Ever After gin lounge gets a lot of attention. But, Ever After also has a whisky lounge, and there hasn’t been a whole lot on the whisky side of things. So, it’s time I gave you some whisky tasting notes!
While Euan had the task of whisky tasting last week (I say task, I mean pleasure), I did some research. He tried two Scottish whiskies; Laphroaig Lore and Glenmorangie Spios, and I filled my brain with info.
ABOUT LAPHROAIG LORE SCOTCH WHISKY
Laphroaig Lore whisky is made on Islay, the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, since 1815. There are (apparently) very unique elements that make Laphroaig the whisky it is. The Kilbride Stream, hand-cut peat, floor malted barley, cold-smoking kilns, mash tuns, copper alchemy and the subtlety of oak aging. Each and every stage crucial in producing the most richly flavored of all Scotch whiskies.
They have a fantastic website with loads of info about their process and history. Take a look!
EUAN’S LAPHROAIG LORE TASTING NOTES
On the nose: Rich and smokey with a slight sweetness that is probably vanilla. “An alcoholic bonfire of flavours” (Euan’s words, not mine…).
Taste: A very rich flavour. Initially spicy with a blast of peaty-ness, but moves towards a sweeter taste.
Finish: Quite a dry finish with a spicy yet sweet lingering aftertaste.
Colour: Rusty gold/dark honey.
ABOUT GLENMORANGIE SPIOS SINGLE MALT SCOTTISH WHISKY
Glenmorangie was created in 1843 in the Scottish highlands. The distillery is home to the tallest stills in Scotland at 8 metres high. This means that only the very lightest and purest vapours make it to the top, therefore giving a smoother, more elegant whisky (or so I am told).
A trend in whisky making at the moment is blending the traditional scotch whiskies with other types of whisky – American for example – and, in the case of Glenfiddich, even IPA beers. Fun fact: Glenmorangie Spìos is the first Glenmorangie whisky ever to be fully matured in American ex-rye whisky casks…
You can learn more about this history and distilling process on their website.
Let’s see what Euan thought.
EUAN’S GLENMORANGIE SPIOS TASTING NOTES
On the nose: Toffee flavours with hints of vanilla and spice.
Taste: Another rich flavour with medium sweetness due to a fruity taste, picking up on hints of cherry.
Finish: The rich taste lingers to the end, with a spicy oak finish.
Colour: Light gold.
Hopefully you’ve learnt something from all this whisky stuff! Now, take a tour of Ever After’s whisky & cigar lounge… And if you’re more into the gin, check out my last gin blog post.
I started this year with a fresh mind and healthier attitude than ever before. I am determined to make every day great (but to also not be too hard on myself if I don’t quite manage it). Goal setting is something I’ve actually learned through my job, and it applies to your work and your personal life.
I’ve always found setting myself goals easy. I do it all the time. But actually managing, evaluating, and measuring these goals is another thing entirely. It’s all very well setting yourself a goal, anyone can do that. But how do you know when you’ve reached your goal? Or what if you’re falling behind? Is your goal actually realistic and achievable?
Sit down with a notebook and pen. Pick a goal (or several) and write it down. Then, get specific. Why have you set yourself this goal? What does this goal involve? Who does this goal involve? Ask yourself in-depth questions, and really pull apart exactly what this goal of yours is.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll have an even clearer idea about where you want to get to and why. You can then set yourself a time limit, evaluate the achievability of the goal, and decide how you are going to measure your progress.
Don’t just stop with one goal either. Keep going! Every time you think of something you’d like to achieve, write it down. Even if you don’t do the evaluation malarkey straight away, at least it’s there in black and white for you to come back to. I would definitely forget most of my goals if I didn’t write them down. They come and go in waves, and sometimes you have a random urge to achieve something that’s completely unrelated to your current life and ventures. Ask yourself why you had that sudden urge to achieve that certain thing. It is amazing how much more you can learn about yourself from just taking the time to think.
Measuring the goal
Set yourself benchmarks for checking in on your progress. The benchmarks will be different for each goal. I’ve set myself some goals which require daily and weekly checks, and others which are a matter of months (and even years!). Setting yourself these time frames means you are constantly keeping on top of what you want to achieve. If something needs to be evaluated weekly, but you don’t look back over it for 4 months, then you may not have progressed at all and simply wasted 4 months!
This section will make the most sense when you’ve finished the first. So get cracking mate-y!
Making a change, one step at a time
I’ve found that a lot of people coast through life without a great deal of direction. This is especially apparent with people in their 20’s who aren’t really sure what they want to do with their lives. That’s normal, and the whole point of being young is discovering stuff. But you also want all your years (whether you’ve got 80 left or 10 left) to count. These goals don’t have to be drastic life-changing things. They can be the smallest and most insignificant of things. But they are still important. For example, one of my goals is to drink 2 litres of water a day. I still went through the motions of evaluating this goal, even though it seemed stupid at first. And it was so helpful.
Use these goal setting techniques to better yourself and your life. The only person getting in the way of what you want to achieve is you. And the more you tell yourself that isn’t the case then the more you’ll end up going nowhere. Change doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen with minimal effort.
Keep focused. Stay motivated. You’ll get there.
Whilst we’re on these motivational and personal lines, have a read of my happiness blog post (if you missed it).