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!

Goal Setting

goal setting lila bailey blog

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).

The Perfect Post Does Not Exist

the perfect post lila bailey blog

I’ve had a serious amount of writer’s block recently. I’ve been working super hard on blogs for work and completely neglected my own blog. I’d like to say that it’s because I’ve been incredibly busy, but that’s not necessarily true. The truth is that I’ve put a stupid amount of pressure on myself to create the perfect post. Hey, guess what? It doesn’t exist.

Most of wedding blogs are about beautiful images of beautiful weddings which, of course, are always favourable. And I get to write loads of them for work (you can check them out here). This blog, however, was not created for that. I’m not a photographer, florist, or venue, who needs stunning images to showcase their work. My blog is about advice, experiences, and ‘real talk’. Weddings mainly, but ‘life’ stuff too.

I like writing my mind (because I have a lot to say, soz). And I love having a platform to share my world of weddings with anyone who is interested. Stunning images are always fabulous, and I try to make my instagram page the home to all things pretty. Here, though, I’m expressing and sharing. In the hope that one or two of you might take something away from my words (advice? Not sure I can quite call it that).

About 20 minutes ago I re-read a few of my blog posts and reminded myself how much I enjoyed writing them, and asked myself why I’m not writing for myself every single day. Committing to a daily blog is probably slightly too ambitious (a girl can dream) but my epiphany has happened. Expect to hear from me a lot more (again, soz).

So, here is the perfect imperfect blog post, to explain how the perfect post does not exist… Does that even make any sense? Not really… Hence the imperfect.

 

 

Happiness

happiness blog post lila bailey

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!

 

 

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Christmas Soirée Shenanigans

merry christmas lila bailey blog post

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Christmas Soirée Shenanigans

TODAY IS THE DAY! Merry Christmas everyone! Without a doubt the happiest day of the year. Hopefully Father Christmas brought y’all everything you hoped for and your Christmas dinner is in plentiful supply. On this festive day, I thought I’d share a few photos from our Christmas party last week because, well, why not!

Christmas is the perfect excuse for a party with friends. I love having everyone together, getting a little bit (too) merry, and enjoying some festive cheer. It’s become a mini-tradition now that every year we host a Christmas soirée a week or so before Christmas, and it gives me and my girlfriends an excuse to exchange gifts and kick-start the Christmas spirit. This year we went all-out with our outfits (again, why not!) and dressed up in full festive glamour (so much mention of festive!!!). Euan even cracked out his fabulous(?) Christmas shirt and I just had to wear my stripy elf socks…

merry christmas lila bailey blog post

merry christmas lila bailey blog post

merry christmas lila bailey blog post

merry christmas lila bailey blog

merry christmas lila bailey blog post

merry christmas lila bailey blog post

merry christmas lila bailey blog post

A very Merry Christmas!

Venice; post wedding season getaway…

lila bailey venice blog academia bridge

Venice; post wedding season getaway

 

Any of you who follow Lila Bailey on social media will know that Mr Lila Bailey (otherwise known as Euan) and myself recently recuperated in Venice for a few days, after a very hectic summer! Euan runs a popular restaurant in the heart of Tavistock and was rushed off his feet this summer, and I, of course, was super busy with all my weddings down at Ever After. So, some R&R was certainly required!

venice blog lila bailey

 

A touch of rest & relaxation…

For most people, rest and relaxation consists of sitting by the pool, drinking margaritas and soaking up some non-english (aka real) sun. This is not, however, what Euan and I define as R&R. Instead, we spent our 5 venetian days exploring the tiny streets of Venice (and getting extremely lost), doing all the necessary sight-seeing (St Marks Square, the Rialto Bridge, etc), visiting their incredible churches, and sampling the finest Italian cuisine (and by cuisine, I also mean wine…). It was sublime.

venice blog lila bailey

venice blog lila bailey side street

venice blog lila bailey bethany in st marks square

venice blog lila bailey

venice blog lila bailey euan on rialto bridge

venice blog lila bailey church

venice blog lila bailey euan with wine

Burano

We also hopped on a boat and sailed off to Burano, one of the islands off mainland Venice (which is famous for it’s handmade lace, not to be confused with Murano which is famous for it’s hand-blown glass). Although the lace is stunning, Burano’s real charm are the immaculately kept and vibrantly painted colourful houses which the island is made up of. The history of the colourful houses originated from the island being home to many fishermen who would paint their houses in different colours so to recognise which one is theirs upon returning from their fishing voyage…

venice blog lila bailey burano colourful houses

But whatever the reason for the colours, we certainly loved the island and would happily move there tomorrow!

venice blog lila bailey bethany on bridge in burano

venice blog lila bailey euan exploring

venice blog lila bailey bethany amongst houses

Just one cornetto…

Oh yes, you guessed it! We of course went on a gondola (I mean, we could go to Venice and not!). We weren’t serenaded, but it was the most wonderful experience and totally worth the money!

vencie blog lila bailey gondola

lila bailey venice blog gondola

venice blog lila bailey gondola ride

lila bailey venice blog gondola ride

(Selfie with our gondola man!).

To finish

There were so many highlights to our Venetian holiday, and I could absolutely sit here for hours rambling on and sharing many of the 350 photos I took (yep, 350 photos in 5 days!) but I will leave it there for now and just share a couple more (well, I just had to). This city is by far one of my favourites, and I would urge you to visit it as soon as you can! If you’re up for and adventurous honeymoon destination with stunning food and perfect wine, then Venezia is the place for you!

lila bailey venice blog academia bridge

vencie blog lila bailey academai bridge nighttime

venice blog lila bailey

venice blog lila baiely

 

It’s not just red wine we like… Read about our previous gin blog here. And if you don’t already, be sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

A Day at Talland Bay

What a beautiful afternoon it is here in Tavistock! I hope the sun stays, but the forecast isn’t looking so good for this week…

Anyway, on Thursday I was lucky enough to spend my day at the gorgeous Talland Bay, which is in between Looe and Polperro in Cornwall. The sun was out that day too, and the views were just stunning. Hopefully I will be down there again over the next couple of weeks.

 

B x