Posted in Lifestyle

Bradstone Manor – What am I up to Blog Post Series

Aaaand, finally! Bradstone Manor… A new project with a new venue, and it’s very exciting!

You can find my previous posts in this series here, here, here, and here.

Bradstone Manor blog what am i up to blog post series lila bailey

Bradstone Manor – The Venue

Bradstone Manor is tucked away in the Devon countryside and is absolutely stunning. Pure tranquility some might say! The wedding space itself is a beautiful barn with two floors, a bar area, and separate kitchen space. An incredibly unique venue that you can really make your own.

Bradstone Manor blog what am i up to blog post series lila bailey

With a church situated within metres, it’s the perfect place for a gorgeous country wedding. And if a church ceremony isn’t your jam, there are plenty of places nearby for registrar ceremonies. Or how about a non-legal ceremony in the courtyard instead?

There is also accommodation onsite in the form of the Gatehouse… Amaaaaaazing!

You can find out more by visiting their website.

Bradstone Manor blog what am i up to blog post series lila bailey

Where do I come in?

Okay, so the venue is run by Romilly & Mark who live at Bradstone Manor, but they don’t have a background in weddings… So that’s where I come in!

With the venue hire, couples get me as their wedding co-ordinator. This basically means I’m there from an hour or so before guest arrival, until after the first dance in the evening. I’ll be keeping an eye, making sure everything is running smoothly (and on time!), as well as greeting suppliers, liaising with the caterers, and any other on-the-day bits which need sorting (there’s always something).

If couples want a bit more from me, such as help with set-up or clear-down, or perhaps even supplier sourcing & management, I’ve put together a brochure exclusively for Bradstone Manor couples. We’ve got two couples booked in already which is brilliant!

I’m super excited about working with Bradstone Manor for many reasons, but as my other work is not based around wedding co-ordination – more admin etc – it’s lovely to be doing it here.

Bradstone Manor blog what am i up to blog post series lila bailey

And…

So that’s what I’m up to! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the different areas of the wedding industry I’m exploring at the moment.

Keep your eyes peeled for an exciting blog post series, coming in April!

Posted in Lifestyle, The Empty Box Company

The Empty Box Company | What am I up to Blog Series

Harking back to my post earlier this week, I’m now onto what I do at The Empty Box Company (catch up with my previous two posts here and here).

The Empty Box Company is my family’s business which has been running for 30 years (older than me!). With it being the family business, I’ve – obviously – always been involved. But as I’ve got older (and into the wedding industry) I’ve helped out more & more, particularly on the marketing and social media side of things.

the empty box company what am i up to blog post series lila bailey blog

The Empty Box Company

The company itself predominately makes wedding dress boxes to protect and preserve your wedding dress after the ‘big day’. Because of this, it’s really not surprising I’ve chosen a career in the wedding industry – I’ve grown up in it! And it will always hold a special place in my heart.

The Empty Box Company also makes all sorts of other boxes (empty ones, obvs). Including home storage boxes, hat boxes, and keepsake boxes (and many more!). Starting in Surrey, and expanding 10 years ago when we moved to Devon, we now have two workshops. One in Surrey and one in Devon!

You can find out more about the company on the website.

the empty box company what am i up to blog post series lila bailey blog

Where do I come in?

As I said, I’ve always been involved (hard not to be). But about 5 years ago now I helped exhibit at the first ever London Bridal Show, which is also when I realised I just had to be in the wedding industry. So my own journey working for different companies within the wedding industry began!

It was also when social media really started to reach businesses properly. It’s hard to believe that it was only 5 years ago that the big Instagram boom started to happen, but it was! I setup an Instagram account for The Empty Box Company (Facebook had been around a while) and went from there.

I also started to get more involved with the marketing side of things, and contributed to projects with a fresh eye. 2 years ago we decided to hold an open workshop event for the first time, and (as I was studying weddings & events at the time) it was my job to assist with the organisation of the event.

I’m now doing a lot of PR work, as well as writing blog posts and creating social media content (such as videos, Facebook groups, and -yep – more Instagram posts), plus we’re holding another open workshop event in April which I’m in charge of promoting and executing.

the empty box company what am i up to blog post series lila bailey blog

Why the family business?

Anyone who’s grown up with their parent’s running their own business will understand how much their business can end up meaning to you. The Empty Box Company has been the foundation for my whole life as I know it. I felt the stress in the earlier days when my parents were working incredibly hard to make a living, and I’ve seen first-hand how hard work really does pay off. Like with The Bishop’s Palace, it really does get in your blood. And for me I actually consider it to be my blood. My parents built the company from nothing, with a bizarre idea that no-one else believed in, and it would’ve been so easy for them to give up and get ‘normal’ jobs. But they didn’t. And from that they have created something wonderful which I cherish so much.

I could honestly type for hours about the company and what it means to me, but I won’t! Instead, give us a follow on Instagram (@theemptyboxcompany – because who doesn’t love pictures of beautiful boxes, right?!) and think of us for any and all box-related needs!

the empty box company what am i up to blog post series lila bailey blog
Posted in Lifestyle, The Bishop's Palace

The Bishop’s Palace – What am I up to Blog Series

So following on from my post about my interview at The Bishop’s Palace (and subsequently getting the job!) here is more about the Palace itself and the work I do!

the bishop's palace blog post what am i up to  lila bailey blog

The Bishop’s Palace

Aka the most wonderful place in all of the lands – plural. I’m not joking, The Bishop’s Palace is genuinely magical. I’m not sure if it’s the gorgeous towering medieval buildings, the incredibly beautiful gardens, the community spirit, or all 3! But I L-O-V-E it there. On one of my first days, a colleague said to me ‘it really gets in your blood’ and that has since resonated so much with me. It’s true – it honestly does get in your blood.

The Bishop’s Palace is run by a trust, meaning it’s a non-profit organisation. Any money they do make goes straight back into the trust to preserve the buildings & gardens and make it increasingly desirable and accessible to be enjoyed by all. And it’s so amazing to work for a company who runs on that basis. Plus, I have a huge number of amazing colleagues across many different departments, and we’re all left to get on with our work to the best of our abilities. No micro-management or lack of belief in our abilities (which, as you may know, is something I have had the displeasure of experiencing previously).

Obviously, people have to make money. But I feel that when making money out of people’s weddings becomes the focus of the business you may as well be working for an enormous corporate chain. Turning every wedding into a business development opportunity, for me, loses all meaning of what the wedding industry is about. And, as a bride-to-be I have actually rejected suppliers for my own wedding on that basis. Anyway, slightly off topic there. But my point is that at The Bishop’s Palace, your wedding is contributing to the preservation of an 800 year-old site, and I think it’s magical!

the bishop's palace blog post what am i up to  lila bailey blog

What I do

Now onto the fun stuff, what do I do all day? Well, as the Wedding & Venue Manager, I’m the face of the wedding and private hire department at The Bishop’s Palace. I deal with all incoming enquiries, and have a system in place for following up with enquiries and generating show-rounds. I’m also the person who conducts all of the show-rounds and (hopefully!) turns them into bookings.

A lot of my time is spent on the business development side of things. My first couple of months were spent focussing on a small re-brand of the wedding department to bring it up to a higher standard. I’ve also been accumulating previous wedding images, and over the next few weeks I’ll be submitting those to various blogs & magazines to get featured. I’ve created a specific ‘wedding’ Instagram for The Bishop’s Palace (@bishopspalaceweddings – go & give it a follow!) to keep the wedding department separate from the huge amounts of other things that go on at the Palace.

the bishop's palace blog post what am i up to  lila bailey blog

As the manager, I’m also responsible for all wedding & events staff. Making sure they’re working the hours they need to, approving holiday, managing office hours vs function hours, and keeping everyone happy! We have a weekly team meeting in which I have to give a brief overview of private events that are happening at the Palace, and once a month we have a management & trustee meeting for which I have to prepare a management report and be present at and contribute to the meeting (which usually lasts most of the morning).

Alongside all of that, there are various meetings with other team members (chefs for example) and meeting with local suppliers to build professional relationships. The list goes on! But that’s the bulk of it. And I couldn’t be anymore thrilled that this is my life!

the bishop's palace blog post what am i up to  lila bailey blog

The Travel

I’ve had a lot of questions about how I’m finding the travelling, how long does it take, etc. To be honest, it’s really not that bad. It takes me 2 hours almost on the dot and it’s a really easy & pleasant drive. I’m only there 2 days a week (usually Mondays & Thursdays), so only doing the journey twice which makes it very do-able. I think if it was 3 days or more I would definitely struggle, but it’s not, so, yay!

During the drive I mostly listen to podcasts which is actually a wonderful use of my time. The times of day that I’m travelling are also, in my opinion, ‘lost’ times of day anyway. In the morning, I would just be in bed for a bit longer and have more time to get ready. And between 5pm-7pm all I’d do is probably cook dinner and maybe do some chores or go to the gym. Euan has dinner covered on those evenings and chores & gym can be done on another day!

And that, is that!

So, there you have it! That’s what I get up to on most Mondays & Thursdays. If you want to know anything else, just drop me a line. And please do consider The Bishop’s Palace as your wedding venue if you’re getting married!

Photography by Simon Biffen

Posted in Lifestyle, The Bishop's Palace

The Bishop’s Palace Interview – What am I up to?

In my last post, I outlined the main things I’m up to at the moment. And, as promised, here is the first of the more detailed posts! Starting with my interview at The Bishop’s Palace.

So, The Bishop’s Palace… How did it start? Well, quite by chance the job came across my radar. I’d always loved the area (Wells) as my Auntie had lived there for many years, plus it’s close to our fave UK city (Bath), so – on a whim – I applied and thought nothing else of it. A few weeks later I had an email inviting me to interview – I was so shocked but also incredibly thrilled!

The Interview

The interview prep was quite intense, and I worked very hard on making sure I knew what I was going to say. I had to prepare a show-round of the Palace (having never been there before!), to be followed by a formal interview and short written test. Safe to say I was pretty nervous! I spoke to my Auntie who gave me some inside knowledge on Wells and what she knew of The Bishop’s Palace, which helped me feel more equipped for the interview.

For me, the most important part of this was the experience. I’d never had an interview as formal as this so I really wanted to make the most of it from a personal development point of view.

So, the interview happened and I thought it went the best it could have done. But I didn’t at all think I would get the job. Alas, I did! And what a beyond wonderful feeling that was. To have had an interview of that level and to have been their preferred candidate honestly felt surreal.

Going Forward

They wanted me to start at the beginning of January, and by this point it was early December so decisions had to be made quickly. Ordinarily, I like to take my time over big decisions, but sometimes you do just have to make snap judgements and go with it.

My situation at that point was safe and easy. I knew what I was doing in my current job, the business was less than 10 minutes away, and I did the majority of my work from home. However, there was something inside me that deep down knew it was time to move on. I had learnt a huge amount but it was getting to that point where I was starting to outgrow the job. At times I felt like a baby bird who had her wings but wasn’t allowed to fly. And I decided it was time to fly.

More in my Next Post…

I think that’s enough from me for one post! In my next post I’ll explain more about The Bishop’s Palace itself and the work I do there.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to keep up with my Instagram!

Posted in Lifestyle

What am I up to? | Blog Post Series

2019 has been a whirlwind so far (in the most amazing way). So, what am I up to? Now there is a question!

For those of you who follow me on social media, you’ve probably got a pretty good idea already. And I’ve outlined what I do on my Weddings page. But I thought I’d do a little blog post series going into a bit more detail about what I’m actually up to for anyone who might be interested!

*I’ve been meaning to do this post since January… It’s now March. But that’s okay, right?*

What am I up to? A brief Overview

Back in December, I wrote a post about my new venture at The Bishop’s Palace (which you can find here). I’ve been there for 2 months now and totally loving it! Although only part-time so it takes a little longer to learn everyone’s names and where everything is… BUT I think I’m just about there now. Keep your eyes peeled for my next post going into more detail about what I do at The Bishop’s Palace…

Okay, so that’s that. What else? Well, since 2016 I’ve gradually become more involved in my family business, The Empty Box Company, and now that I have more time on my hands I’ve really been able to take my focus here to a new level. But more on that later this week…

There’s more? Oh yes! I’m also the freelance wedding co-ordinator at the stunning rural wedding venue, Bradstone Manor. A gorgeous barn available to hire for your wedding day, and you get me too – yay! Again, keep a look out for my post on this over the next few days.

And – finally – I’ve got a few collaboration projects in the pipeline (across Instagram, Youtube, and my blog) which is super exciting. I adore working with brands and there will be a new post up soon. In the meantime, you can have a read of my collaboration page for more info.

Watch This Space…

Over the next few days I’ll go into more detail about what I’m up to, but thought a brief overview was a good place to start!

And if you don’t already, give me a follow on Instagram @lilabaileyweddings.

Posted in Lifestyle, The Bishop's Palace

New Adventures – The Bishop’s Palace

Photos from The Bishop’s Palace website

New Adventures

As most of you will know, for the past 2 years I’ve been working for a beautiful wedding venue on the edge of Dartmoor – Ever After. You’ll have seen from Instagram how stunning the venue is and how much I have enjoyed my time there. I’ve seen the business grow amazingly over the past 2 years, and I know it will only continue to grow, so it’s wonderful to have been a part of it. I wish Nicola & Steven and all the staff & suppliers I have worked with every success for the future! 

But now is the time for new adventures, perfectly placed alongside a new year as I start my new position at The Bishop’s Palace at the beginning of January. I’m going to be their Weddings & Venue Manager, which is a huge step up for me and an incredible opportunity. I’m totally thrilled and very very excited to get stuck in! It’s a chance for me to really prove myself and spread my wings. 


About The Bishop’s Palace

My new adventures are going to happen in the medieval city of Wells, which is where The Bishop’s Palace can be found. It has been home to the Bishops of Bath & Wells for over 800 years (wow!) and the current Bishop resides there now.


Parts of the palace, and the 14 acres of gardens are open to the public (plus their award-winning cuisine in the cafe!) and the place as a whole is run by the Palace Trust; an independent charitable organisation (a little bit like the National Trust, but on a smaller scale). You can hire The Bishop’s Palace for many things (including film sets – let’s hope I’m involved in a few of them!), but I’ll mainly be focussing on the hire for weddings. 

You can find out more about The Bishop’s Palace by visiting their website

Photo from The Bishop’s Palace website

New Adventures in Wells?

So yes, my new job is in Wells (which is near Bath & Bristol), but we won’t be moving anywhere yet. This position is part-time, which means I’ll only be commuting for a couple of days a week, and my hours are flexible so I can dictate the days & times I’m travelling. 

I’ve also got some other exciting projects on the horizon, which have only really fallen into place over the past couple of weeks. It’s funny how things work out! It’s a huge leap of faith, but I’ve figured you don’t get anywhere in life without taking a few risks!

So, that’s that. 2019 is going to be full of new adventures, exciting projects, and big dreams. But for now, I’m off for the Christmas break. Someone pass me a mulled wine! 

All photos are from The Bishop’s Palace website. For something a little more wedding related, take a look at my previous post.

Posted in Lifestyle

Being Engaged and all it entails…

Being engaged is one of the most magical & special periods of life. The endless words of happiness and excitement from family & friends. And the promise of a beautiful wedding and an even more beautiful future with the one you love. But, it’s not always just a love bubble or clouds of happiness. How do I know? Because I’m right here with you.

I’ve been engaged for almost 2 months and it has been absolutely wonderful, for the most part. We’ve had our friends over to celebrate, special dinners with family, and loads of exciting conversations. On the flip side, though, there has been a lot of stress and many arguments…

We’re in those early stages of being engaged where you get the ‘big’ things decided, whilst leaving the details for later. Often this is the hardest part of the engagement because even the most decisive people will come up against decisions that they just don’t know how to make. And whatever you do, someone will always be offended.

The Guest List

Oh yes, the guest list. Anyone who is or has been engaged will no doubt be squirming reading that word. I’m squirming writing it! Before I got engaged I seriously underestimated the guest list problem. Like, seriously. Both myself & Euan couldn’t understand why people found it so difficult. That was, of course, until we were doing it for ourselves. I’m going to be honest here, we still currently have absolutely no idea what to do. Yep, the people who thought they’d know within the first day exactly who they’d invite and how many people they’d have, have no idea what to do.

There are a number of politics involved with wedding guests and unfortunately (even though we’d quite like to) we can’t avoid that. And we’ve just got to come to terms with it. Something we’ve found to have a huge impact on the guest list is the fact that we’re having the wedding at my parents house and they are therefore ‘hosting’ the wedding. The advantage of an unconnected-to-your-family venue is that the venue is hosting the wedding, therefore the discretion is yours. Whilst we are so lucky my parents have the space to host our wedding, it does mean that the venue is essentially theirs and there are a number of people who will be offended in this scenario who may not have been if we had opted for a proper wedding venue (far, far away…).

On the flip side, though, we are incredibly lucky to have so many people in our lives want to be invited. Whilst this does make guest culling hard, it’s also important we look at the positives and take it as a huge compliment. There are worse things than having too many people on your guest list, right?

Bridesmaids, Ushers, and all that stuff

Okay, this one I have to say we’ve completely tucked away in a little cupboard somewhere (for now). I know a decision has to be made at some point, but luckily we’ve left ourselves plenty of time. Do you ask your whole group of girls to be bridesmaids, or just one or two and risk offending the others? Do you pay for the usher’s suits or expect them to? Honestly? I don’t know. Neither of us know exactly who to have, or how to involve people we don’t choose. And it is really really hard! Like I said before, someone will always be offended. We’re still learning how to come to terms with that, and I daresay we’ll get there. As for the bridesmaids & ushers, I’ll keep you updated…

Being Engaged and enjoying it

Both of us have to keep reminding each other to just enjoy being engaged. Weddings are so difficult, and nothing prepares you for them (not even organising other people’s, trust me!). Whoever you are & whatever your situation, the same problems will crop up with each and every wedding and it’s about managing them the best you can. Being decisive is good, but so is being understanding and accepting. And relaxing. I’m terrible at relaxing, and so far have completely failed at having a relaxed engagement. But I’m trying, and that’s the main thing.

The guest list and the bridesmaids/ushers are (so far) the only things we’ve found difficult. So it’s not all bad! A church wedding has always been on the agenda for both of us so no qualms there. And working with the abundance of incredible suppliers that I do, choosing the photographer, florist, and videographer has been the easiest part so far! Not everyone will find the suppliers as easy as we have, but not everyone will find choosing bridesmaids & ushers as difficult as we have. Just keep focused on the reason you’re having this wedding in the first place; your marriage. Your future, your lives together, your love. Notice a pattern? You. And everything else will fall into place (well that’s my philosophy anyway, so let’s hope I’m right!).

No doubt there will be many more developments throughout this engagement, and many more excuses for some blog posts!

Posted in Lifestyle

2018… So Far and Looking Forward

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…

  1. Visit Switzerland for the first time!
  2. Finish the course I’m currently doing.
  3. Start blogging more. I’m aiming for a blog post to go up every 3 days.
  4. 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.
  5. Keep up with the gym-going.
  6. Drink.More.Water.

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)…

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Attending friends’ weddings! (As a guest!)
  4. Enjoying not having to pay the heating bill (it’s the little things).
  5. Going on mini-breaks to Bath & Edinburgh.
  6. Hosting at least one drinks party with friends.
  7. 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)…

  1. Starting a new business finance course.
  2. 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!

Posted in Lifestyle, Personal

Goal Setting

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?

 

Getting Started

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).

Posted in Lifestyle

Happiness

Yesterday I had a lot of response from something I posted on Instagram (if you missed it, click here). I had a couple of lovely ladies message me about the post, seeking inspiration from my situation. So, I thought I’d do a blog post. Just in case there are any others of you out there who might find value in my experiences.

I’m not going to bore you with the details of what – now – seems like a previous life. But I’ll outline a few facts. There aren’t any pretty pictures to go with this post (my apologies), but it’s true and real and I hope you can benefit from my words.

 

 

Happiness

 

What is happiness? Is it a state of mind? An emotion? A destination? A journey? Before my current situation, I believed happiness was an emotion. And an infrequent one at that. I don’t know whether I have always felt like that, or whether it was just over those particular couple of years. I can’t remember. But I do think that the presence of unhappiness provokes the question of happiness.

If you’ve never been unhappy, then you don’t seek happiness, because you are happy. If you are unhappy, you will be constantly trying to define and find happiness. And if you have been unhappy, and now aren’t, then you’ve probably got a pretty defined version of what you perceive happiness to be. Does that make sense?

Everyone will have a different opinion on this infamous ‘happiness’ we all seek, and that’s okay. Our experiences define our perception of the world, and that’s okay too. My experiences have certainly defined the way I see the world, and the way I perceive my version of happiness, and (despite what I felt at the time) I am grateful for all of those experiences. They have shaped me and, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I’m kinda fond of me.

 

 

Let’s get real for a second

 

I’m not going to bore you with details of my experiences, and how they shaped who I am. Those are things I hold close to me. But I am going to tell you about how I know what my version of happiness is.

In short, I’m pretty sure I was born an adult. So when I hit the adult world I was in my element. But it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. At the age of 19 I got myself what, at the time, I thought was a dream job. It was in the wedding industry, working with wedding dresses which was such a passion of mine. But the reality of the job, or more-so the establishment, was far from the dream. I’m not here to trash talk, so I’ll be concise. It was unimaginably dreadful. And I was completely miserable, to the point where I couldn’t get through an evening without crying. Not even crying about anything, just crying and I didn’t know why.

I had moments of happiness, which is why I began to see happiness as an emotion that you felt sometimes when things were better. I was kind of just coasting through my life at that time, almost numb. In January of last year I found what I genuinely can define as a dream job. We had just bought our flat, I was on a healthy salary and therefore a steady income. I worked 5 days a week, commuting around 3-4 hours a day, and did not enjoy my life one bit. My new position was a leap of faith. It was a part time position (to begin with), so financially times might be tough. But, do you know what? There is so much more to life than money. Happiness, for example.

I came home from my interview almost in tears. I couldn’t believe how lucky I felt. Inaudible squeals would be an accurate way to describe my conversation with Euan following the interview. Did I care that I’d be missing out on the money I’d become used to earning? Nope. I can’t describe the euphoria I felt that day, matched with the euphoria I felt when I handed my notice in. My notice period brought darker days, but there was a light at the end of the tunnel and I knew I could get through it.

Happiness is something I know I now have, I guess like some kind of Phoenix rising out of the ashes. It took the darkest parts of my life, both recently and years ago during my teenage struggles, for me to know what it feels like to be happy. I’m not talking about being happy like on the morning of your birthday, or when you get a PB on a 5K run. I’m talking about genuine all-consuming happiness. A separate feeling to the emotion of happy. And, something I didn’t believe in until now.

Will I be in this happiness bubble from now until forever? Probably not. Not like in Sims 2 when a sim fulfilling their lifetime want means happiness for the rest of their lives. I wish. But (real) life doesn’t work like that. What I can take away from my current situation is knowing what it feels like to experience happiness, knowing that it’s always the aim, and knowing that even in the darkest of places there is always hope to come out the other side, happier than ever.

 

 

Advice to you

If you are in a job which makes you miserable, or a relationship which is toxic or holds you back. Get. Out. Life is too short to remain miserable. There is so much out there. So many opportunities, so many places to see, so much to experience. If you are not the best version of yourself, then you need to make that change. Of course it’s terrifying, and is always going to be out of your comfort zone, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Think of all the amazing people who have achieved unimaginable things. None of them would have been anything less than terrified. Imagine if they had given up because they didn’t think they could do it, or they were scared of taking that leap. The world would be a very different place indeed.

If I can do it, then you can do it too. Make 2018 your year!

 

For something a little lighter, have a look at my previous two blog posts!