What decisions has this design let me to?

I want to keep running my Muddy Boots business in 2018, repeating the most successful things and dropping things that didn’t work so well. I have looked at what I can change in order to do this and have set myself smart goals, maintenance and implementation plans.

I will work on my business 3 or 4 days per week. 1 day for planning, admin and marketing and 2 or 3 days each week delivering sessions.

Alongside running my business I’d like to work for another company, school or organisation again, 1 day per week. Ideally event management or teaching art, craft or photography. Either as an after school club for a primary school or 1-1 teaching again for Autism outreach or Soft Touch. Update – I have now been contracted for 6 months to work on an Arts award project 1-1 with a teenager on the autistic spectrum for Soft Touch Arts. I will be doing this for 2 contact hours every Wednesday.

I need to put my prices up by around 15% across all activities to ensure that my business is sustainable and pays me a wage reflective of all the work that I put in. I will pay myself a minimum of £8 PH for admin time and £12 PH for contact time.

I need to spend time this year on education or further training for myself. This will likely be in the form of day courses or self-study rather than taking on a long-term commitment. I have committed to attend 6 CPD day courses and 3 networking events in 2018. Update. I will be attending the first of these in March, a two-day outdoor first aid course.

I will aim to complete my Permaculture diploma by spring 2018, freeing up time and brain-space for focus on Muddy Boots and teaching.

I need to schedule self-care time into my weeks. Yoga, mediation, exercise, time in nature and social time are important to keep me feeling happy and balanced.

Looking back to the three initial aims for this design, how successful have I been?

To reflect on my current career situation – Yes I feel I did this briefly although it was not required to be a big part of the design. It’s always useful to look back to learn from your positive and negative experiences. I have always enjoyed the jobs I’ve undertaken, but some have been more fulfilling than others. I’m pretty clear about which jobs I’m happy to repeat and which I’d rather leave in the past. It has definitely been useful to look at activities tried as part of Muddy Boots from a business point of view and access the successes and failures and which type of sessions are worth repeating in the future.

To consider how to move my career forwards positively – Yes I looked at lots of possible options and soon narrowed them down to realistic and achievable options. I have made good decisions and have ensured I have a poly income career path that gives me security for the future.

To act as a practical planning tool for my 2018 business planning for Muddy Boots. Doing this design in late 2017 and early 2018 really helped me to focus my mind on my business planning. I really reflected well and hopefully have avoided making the same mistakes again that I made last year. I’ve never been so clear about how I want my business to work financially and feel positive that I can achieve my goals for 2018.

How was it using my own design process rather than a traditional Permaculture design process? 

To address this questions, I did a quick PNI analysis.


  • It was challenging, fun, complex, freeing and useful!
  • It helped me to make more sense of permaculture design tools and use them in a way that made sense to me, rather than just blindly grabbing one and trying it on for size.
  • I used a wide range of design tools
  • I really came to understand more about my cyclical nature and how to use this to its best advantage
  • I feel I’m more likely now to continue using permaculture design processes and tools now post-diploma, as I’ve refined my usage somewhat.
  • I really got to grips with the financial side of this design, something that I’ve shied away from in the past. So that was a really useful learning experience.
  • This design was super practical for me. It was work I needed to do anyway, so by applying a permaculture design process to it and writing it up for me diploma, it served multiples purposes for me. By applying the design, I came up with a better result which should hopefully make my year ahead more enjoyable and profitable.


  • I have not really considered yet how or when I would address any tweaks. So maybe this important stage of the design process was missing.
  • This design has felt rather heavy on the written word. I’ve done lots of tables and brainstorms which, although useful for presenting ideas and information, can be rather boring to produce and to read.
  • It’s not been my most creative design, they was not any drawn elements or maps included and I really enjoy this stage of designing, so that was a shame.


  • I feel more connected than ever to the moon cycle and look up to the sky almost every evening for a bit of moon-gazing. This has got to be good for the soul and peace of mind!
  • My period has synced exactly to the moon cycle, this can only be in response to my increased awareness of both cycles. This is really exciting to me and makes me feel more in-tune with nature.
  • What was the actual design? Without a garden plan to present, non-land based designs can feel a little lost as what to present as the ‘final design’


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