I really enjoyed reading a few blog posts back in January where the blogger chose a word they hoped would represent 2014 and talked about what the word meant to them and how they would build it into their lives.

To me, September feels like a much more natural New Year than January (even though I have been out of school a good few years now!) so I thought I would like to do the same now.

my word for the new term is STRENGTHEN


So why does STRENGTHEN sum up my hopes and dreams for this year?


This is the last year that I will have any preschool children and the last year I have before I really need to get Not So Granny into a decent business that is ready to grow and can make enough money for me to justify doing it and not returning to paid employment. I want to strengthen and consolidate the business this year in the following ways:

Strengthen my brand

  • Consider each design and what it says about me as a designer. Is it what you’d expect from Not So Granny?
  • Continue working on improving my social media presence.

Strengthen my pattern sales

  • I have a lot of patterns that appeared first in magazines where the rights have now returned to me, these need to be released as individual pdfs so they can bring in (largely) passive income.
  • Ā I need to review old patterns and make sure they are up to the standard I expect now.
  • Make sure that everything I offer in the pattern shop fits with my brand as I develop it.
  • Find new markets for these pdf patterns.

Strengthen my skills

  • Build professional development time into my work schedule.
  • Spend time on hobbies such as dressmaking that inform my craft.

Strengthen my systems

  • Put in place better accounting and analysis systems that will be able to grow as my business does (envelopes of receipts and a highlighter pen on a paypal print out somehow aren’t working for me so well at tax return time and I have a lot of information I could be using to work smarter, I’m sure, if I could access it. Any recommendations for systems or software would be hugely appreciated.)


For the last few years I have worked most evenings and weekends, its not really sustainable and I have come very very close to burning out. It isn’t why I set up the business and I am determined it can’t continue this year. This year will be less about business and more about family.

Strengthen relationships

  • Spend more time being present with the children.
  • Spend more time in the evening with my husband.
  • Spend more quality time as a family.
  • Keep in better contact with extended family.


Strengthen my body

  • Make time for exercise and eating right.

Strengthen sense of self

  • Make time for doing things I enjoy.
  • Meet with friends.

Now all I have to do is listen to my own advice and carry this through! I will be printing out the word STRENGTHENĀ and posting it around the house as a reminder.

What word would you choose?


  1. says

    Awe? Your goals are exceedingly impressive and very well thought-out. All the best as you pursue them.

    (My tax file is lying on the desk before me. It’s a recycled envelope that once contained a magazine check. On the front I have written and circled “2014” and added a few pencilled notes of expenses I haven’t yet printed out receipts for. Perhaps I should set some goals as well.) :)