Saturday, 10 January 2015

Sail away, sail away...

Helloooo! Happy New Year. This year is shaping up to be a corker - lot's of exciting stuff happening. (see newsletter). 

I know, I know - it's been such a long time between posts! As usual, I've been doing the whole 'superwoman' thing and have been spreading myself waaaay too thin :)

I'm in the process of consolidating some of my social media and communications - the best place to see what's happening and all my other news is in my newsletter below. The link below will take you to the newsletter...

http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs125/1110588871581/archive/1119703188317.html



Monday, 17 March 2014

The Importance of Measuring Soft Outcomes

More and more, the community services sector is beginning to understand that developing effective strategies for capturing and showcasing information about the work they do in the community is no longer a ‘luxury’, but a necessity. Understanding how to measure what your program, project or organisation is achieving, above and beyond standard ‘outputs’, is becoming critical to longevity.

As a sector, it’s time to raise the bar in terms of the type of information we are gathering, so that we can move beyond the often-held perception that the majority of the work being done by community services organisations is not significant, because it can’t be measured. The positive changes we see in the lives of our clients are wonderful…but…we have to be able to quantify them, above and beyond ‘traditional’ methods, like case studies. Case studies have their place, but they should ideally sit alongside statistics. We need to be able to clearly show that the work we are doing with clients and other stakeholders is changing lives and communities!

Even though you might have to gather some standard information that is mandated to you by your funding body (or sponsors etc), it’s also essential to place a high level of importance on the seemingly indefinable outcomes that you see in your clients’ lives. The good news is that it’s a lot easier than it seems. Inspire Inq’s Measuring Soft Outcomes training has been developed to show you how to:

- Define what you want to know about your clients or ‘target group’
- Work out who your audiences are and what information you want to share with them
- Decide how, when and where you are going to capture the information you need
- Know what to do with the information once you have it
- Develop a strategy for all of the above
- Work out the best way to showcase the information you’ve captured
It’s time to prove that your programs and projects are more than just the number of clients you work with!

See more about Inspire Inq’s Measuring Soft Outcomes training: www.inspireinq.com.au

Sessions coming up soon in: Inala Region & Brisbane,
with more sessions being held throughout Qld & Northern NSW throughout the year.


Friday, 22 November 2013

Self-Care Workshops...more have been added!

Just wanted to mention that because of the demand, I'm now offering up the fantastic  Productivity, Planning  & Stress Relief workshop  (which I mentioned in the last post)  in a number of areas Logan, Moreton Bay & Northern NSW

It’s focussed on helping you to build a strategy for self-care. Like all of my other training, it is ‘to the point’ and practical, though with a clear understanding of the humour and kindness that we all need in our day-to-day lives! 

Check out my website for more details ~ and if you live close enough to one of the workshop locations, I hope to see your smiling face there!

Have a great weekend!


Monday, 11 November 2013

Looking after yourself…it’s all in the planning


"In dealing with those who are undergoing great suffering, if you feel “burnout” setting in, 
if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, 
to withdraw and restore yourself. The point is to have a long-term perspective." 
~ Dalai Lama

Wise words, as always, from the Dalai Lama. Have you ever noticed how much he smiles and jokes around? Seeing him speak always reminds me to lighten up a bit – there is such restoration in laughter.

It can be really difficult to remember to care for ourselves consistently and to place a high enough priority on self-care. For those of us who have worked in the community services sector, or in jobs where we are caring for others, there are added levels of stress and strain that come with the job. Unfortunately, those stressors often go unaddressed or are put to the side, because their importance is undervalued and because we’re all just so busy!

But the risk of burnout and other serious physical and mental health-related issues is really high if we don’t prioritise taking some time out to plan how to integrate self-care into our work and home lives. Like anything else you want to achieve in your life, ‘self-care’ and ‘work-life balance’ require planning. It’s so much more than doing those things we all know we need to do, like eating well, exercising, meditating etc etc. I’ve learnt that if I create a plan and do a few little things consistently, then I’m much more likely to keep a bit of balance in my life and ‘allow’ myself to take the time I need to refresh and restore myself.

A couple of years ago - prior to starting my business - I was working in the youth homelessness sector, which I loved. But it was ‘brutal’ in terms of the emotional stress it had on my life. So - after having been to a few self-care workshops that I found to be too unfocussed and wishy-washy for my liking, I began talking to people in the sector to see what it was that they felt they needed in a self-care workshop. Like me, most of them felt like they needed some really clear strategies to put into place – something that would be a nice balance between practical and ‘heart-level’ stuff. 

Over the last 2 years I’ve created, run, then refined a workshop called ‘Productivity, Planning & Stress Relief’, which I just loveI’m holding a session in Logan (Brisbane) soon, so if you want to start building up your ‘stress immunity’ and resilience for next year, I’d love to see you there!

Here are just a few things I do as a part of my own plan that might resonate with you…

SELF-NURTURING ACTIONS
~          Play some music you haven’t listened to before.
~          Bake bread or cookies.
~          Light a candle – or lots of candles!
THE POWER OF WORDS
~          Write a letter to yourself from the point of view of your ‘ancient’ (100 year old) self. What would your 'ancient self' say to you right now?
~          Write a thank-you notes to someone who has touched your life and inspired you.
PLAYFUL ACTIVITIES
~          Play a game of cards or another game with your kids or friends.
FUN PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES
~          Throw a ball or Frisbee for a while (bounce it up against a wall if you’re on your own).
~          Throw rocks in the water.
~          Squeeze or pound clay (great stress release).
CREATING OPPORTUNITIES TO LAUGH
~          Your friends or family will always be there to make you laugh if you ask them…try saying “I need to have a giggle…tell me something funny”.
~          Watch a funny movie or TV show.
~          Goof around with children.

Daily habits 1/3/10/20 minutes
       1 minute – smile for one minute with your eyes closed
       3 minutes – close your eyes and think about how great your day is going to be, and be grateful before you even start the day
       10 minutes – write in your gratitude journal, or at the very least think about 3 things you are grateful for right now…get past the obvious
       20 minutes – meditate or go for a walk. Concentrate on gratitude and cheerfulness.

Planning, Productivity & Stress Relief Workshop
Wednesday 11th December, 2013
Logan ~ Brisbane
Details and registration form ~ www.inspireinq.com.au

And in the meantime...enjoy this absolutely gorgeous video of a bubba laughing at the most simple of things. What a great reminder!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

An amazing woman and business...

Just wanted to share this amazing woman’s work with you – I came across her online and downloaded her free Blogging Biz Star Workbook, which is just fantastic. I've been so inspired by the work she does, that I've become an affiliate of hers - I'm that impressed with her! She’s offering up the most generous, powerful, inspired & transformational training resources - as a part of the Amazing Biz + Life Academy - for half price until the end of the month, so I really felt compelled to share it far and wide.

“Leonie Dawson is a mentor to women wanting to create + grow massively successful and heart-centered creative + soulful businesses. She is also an author, retreat leader, visual artist, mama and guide for the tens of thousands who receive her free “AMAZING BIZ + AMAZING LIFE” eZine each week. Leonie has taught alongside such luminaries as Arielle Ford, Julia Cameron, Gay Hendricks and SARK. Leonie has coached tens of thousands of women to create their own incredible lives and businesses”.

What really touched me about Leonie is her wonderful mix of humour, kindness, business savvy and honesty that she exudes with every email and interaction. If you’re a woman in business or you run a blog, I think this offer is incredible and well worth it. Hoping to be able to afford to do it myself before the price doubles! 

Let me know what you think…


Wednesday, 11 September 2013

What babies can teach us...


Over the last year, I've spent a lot of time around babies, which is one of the things in life that truly brings me joy (throw a dog into the mix and I'm in heaven!). I reckon I've learnt a lot about life from babies, and I was pondering why it is that I like to spend time hangin' with them, and what lessons they have for us. 

So I created a bit of a list and thought I'd share it with you, 'cause I think we could probably all do with remembering some of this stuff from time to time:

~    cry as often as you want to - its cleansing
~    be silly - the world is a funny place
~    laugh at yourself and your own jokes - who cares what anyone thinks???
~    it’s ok to get angry - just let it go as soon as its over
~    cuddles make everything better - don't be afraid to ask for one when you need it
~    most things are better when you've had some sleep - being tired makes things seem so much worse than they are!
~     letting other people care for you is not wrong or embarrassing - we all need a little help sometimes
~    be delighted by the little things - if you pay attention, the whole world is pretty incredible

If you can, spend some time just hanging out with a baby (or animal) soon - it will bring out the best in you and lower your stress levels! 

Have a great week, and don't forget to jump onto my new website to check it out & enter my competition to win a $50 Booktopia book voucher! 


Monday, 15 April 2013

Things I've learnt (or perhaps re-learnt!) in the last couple of weeks...


This post is a shout out to all of the people who have helped me out recently, in many ways. 

Have a wonderful week...

With much love x


Monday, 11 March 2013

'30 Days' almost at an end...


I’ve been having such a great time doing the ’30 Days of Inspiration’ project (see my last post below). It’s been a stressful and ultra-busy couple of months, so the ‘forced’ focus of attention on finding something in each day that is beautiful, inspiring or uplifting, has been so wonderful. There have been days when I could barely bring myself to bother to post the picture on Facebook, but seeing the positive effect it was having on me, my son gently encouraged me when I was struggling. So…what have I gotten from it? A few things:
  • a daily reminder to actively look for the beauty that is always surrounding me, but which I can sometimes bypass
  • a renewed love of photography, when I had lost a bit of interest because I don’t have a good camera.  Amazing what an iPhone can do!!!
  • a gentle nudge every day to remember that it’s often easier to focus on the difficulties, when simply shifting your attention to something that makes you smile can completely change your outlook

I was hoping to post photos here once a week, but as you can probably tell by the tone of this blog, that became an insurmountable task! So, I’ve picked a couple of my faves for your viewing pleasure  ; )
If you are a Facebooker – you can check out the whole series here http://www.facebook.com/pages/Inspire-Inq/314003818616905

If you’d like to stay up to date with what’s happening at Inspire Inq, please ‘like’ the FB page ~ it has a lot a benefits for a small business (which is why you see so many of those ‘my wife will let me buy a motorbike if I get 1 million likes’ type of posts…it’s simply people trying to build their business profile. I prefer to go about it with a wee bit more integrity haha)

Photo: 30 Days of Inspiration ~ Day # 17

This playground is a kids wonderland - so gorgeous! There are even tiny, skinny little paths that weave throughout...
30 Days of Inspiration ~ Day # 17
This playground is a kids wonderland - so gorgeous! There are even tiny, skinny little paths that weave throughout...

Photo: 30 Days of Inspiration ~ Day #4

Ok..a bit of a silly one today, but no less inspiring (to me)! A while back, a dear friend of mine gave me a little plastic Steve Irwin figurine, because she knows how much I adored him, and she says I remind her of him with my "never-ending enthusiasm" (not so sure I agree with her about that!! hehehe). 

Anyhoo...I hung him from a piece of wire from my rear view mirror, and I always have a little giggle to myself when I look at him ~ I imagine him going "YEAH". Always manages to put me in a great mood :)
30 Days of Inspiration ~ Day #4
Ok..a bit of a silly one today, but no less inspiring (to me)! A while back, a dear friend of mine gave me a little plastic Steve Irwin figurine, because she knows how much I adored him, and she says I remind her of him with my "never-ending enthusiasm" (not so sure I agree with her about that!! hehehe). 
Anyhoo...I hung him from a piece of wire from my rear view mirror, and I always have a little giggle to myself when I look at him ~ I imagine him going "YEAH". Always manages to put me in a great mood :)
30 Days of Inspiration ~ Day #11
Amazing, wacky little pods. Isn't nature just awe inspiring?

Photo: 30 Days of Inspiration ~ Day #9

I'm so glad I'm doing this 30 days...reminds me to stay focussed on the simple things. 

Who remembers floating leaves down the gutters in the rain? I was out walking in the rain, and just as I was thinking "grrrr...go away rain", I looked down at the gutter, had a 'flashback' and picked up a leaf & sent it on it's way down the hill. So awesome :)))
30 Days of Inspiration ~ Day #9
I'm so glad I'm doing this 30 days...reminds me to stay focussed on the simple things. 
Who remembers floating leaves down the gutter in the rain? I was out walking in the rain, and just as I was thinking "grrrr...go away rain", I looked down at the gutter, had a 'flashback' and picked up a leaf & sent it on it's way down the hill. So awesome :)))

30 Days of Inspiration ~ Day #25
Ahhh, the pure beauty of a flower. So simple, yet so complex.

Hope you have an amazing week and that you find a little inspiration in your day!


Monday, 11 February 2013

30 Days of Inspiration...


Well…I have to say that 2013 hasn’t started off exactly as I’d hoped. I was all geared up for an amazing year that would shine as a beacon of positivity for me and everyone around me. On the second day (literally) of the new year, things took a decidedly unpleasant turn. Without going into details, things got very rocky for me and my quirky little family (I’m not in a relationship with my son’s Dad, but he lives beside us in a granny flat ~ and we’re very proud of how hard we’ve worked to maintain a loving & stable home for our son). Anyway, let’s put it down to ‘alpha male’ rumblings between my son and his Dad, and leave it at that! It’s very, very unusual for this type of thing to happen between us, so it shook us up a bit and has resulted in a change of living arrangements.

All is well now, though we’re in the process of moving (*breath*). Needless to say, all of this, along with running my own business, has not contributed to my lovely vision for the year!!! But…I’m quite sure that it’s all unfolding as it should and leading to bigger and better things, and this gives me some added motivation to continue to throw myself into the year with gusto  :)

Anyway…I have been lacking a bit of inspiration, I suspect mostly through sheer exhaustion! And given that I’m in the business of inspiration, I decided to look around and find a way to re-ignite the spark. This led me to a great ‘Ted Talk’ by Matt Cutts, who is an Engineer with Google. The upshot of the talk was that if you want to do something new, try it for 30 days so you get inspired to do & experience more. It really got me thinking, and I decided to give it a shot.

I’m a little bit obsessed with the idea that it is the ‘small things’ in our lives that can bring so much joy. So I’ve decided to photograph some of those little things – every day for 30 days. What I’m aiming for is 3 things: a daily reminder to look for those ‘small things’  and to feel gratitude for them; to bring a greater sense of joy into every day; and to just chill-out a wee bit!

So…I’ll be sharing the pics on Facebook every day, so you can check them out there. If you don’t do Facebook, just let me know, and perhaps I can share them on this blog. I’ll share the first one here today…

Here we go ~

30 Days of Inspiration ~ Day #1.

Roses given to me by my Son’s Dad, because “You’re my friend, and I love you, and I thought they would brighten you up a bit”. Awww.


Finally, I want to say a HUGE thank you to all of you who have contacted me to gently nudge me into getting back on board with my blogs. When you write blogs, unless people are subscribed (which they often aren’t) you don’t really know who is reading. So, it’s amazing when you contact me and tell me that you love my blogs ~ it inspires me to stick with it. xoxo

Oh..and if you haven’t done so already, please subscribe to this blog and ‘like’Inspire Inq on Facebook if you can – it makes a huge difference to me on many levels to have your support. 

Here’s to the rest of 2013 being fabulous…


Friday, 28 December 2012

Blogging update...

Wow...what a year! And, unbelievably, it's almost at an end. I've been MIA from my blogs for a while, after taking a little of my own advice about 'balance'. Towards the end of the year, things really seemed to speed up and Inspire Inq is really starting to blossom (which is, of course, wonderful!), so my blogs had to take a bit of a back seat for a while. 


But...I've had a few people nagging me (in the nicest possible way) so I'm popping my head up for a minute to let  you all know that I'll be back on track very soon with more regular posts. I'm having a wee break right now, and will be back on board on the 7th of January, so stay tuned (and thanks for your patience xo).

Finally...I wanted to leave you with this totally fabulous quote from one of my favourite movie's...

Hope your Christmas break and New Year is full of laughter, love and kindness...