How to set achievable goals!

Goal setting has been described as ‘the inner technology of success’. Establishing this list of achievable goals is to follow some basic principles so that the chance of any unrealistic goals are diminished in this process. Firstly you need to ask yourself – Is it achievable? Is it inspiring? Is it Measurable? Is it shared with others?

Goals are dreams with deadlines!

Katrina’s basic principles

1) Make sure your goals are realistic.
Goals that are high risk or that have little chance of completing leads to surrendering and then frustration…

2) Keep your goals simple.
Clear vision is the best recipe, complex tasks that aren’t clear and specific generally can’t be measured correctly…

3) The reason why you set the goal.
Why do you believe that this goal is important to the organisation? If it doesn’t measure to your expectations remove it from your list!

4) Make your goals timely.
Create a deadline to work towards each goal this will lead to a more proactive approach!

5) Publicise your goals!
The best way to achieve your goals is to publicise all your tasks at hand, its difficult to back away and it will lead to a solid commitment to complete.

Lastly… Take the bull by the horns! Be proactive! The feeling of accomplishment is very rewarding for everyone involved.

Yours in design,

iPhone 4

It’s 1:50 on a Friday. Not like any other day… except this Friday is special. Yes, it’s iPhone 4 day, and I spent my entire lunch break waiting in internet lines to get my very own. Just like everyone else it seems. As my internet froze and I’m still phone-less.

This just won’t do! These little guys know exactly what i’m talking about… I could buy an HTC Evo (it’s apparently better than the iPhone 4)… but it’s just not an iPhone 4!!

Shadowlands opens today at the Brisbane Powerhouse

Shadowlands, the controversial love affair drama of the Narnia chronicles author C.S Lewis and American poet Joy, is a moving and confronting play that has had many adaptations on theatre stages world wide. It’s also been filmed twice, for TV and the big screen. Today the Brisbane Powerhouse opens a short run of Shadowlands from: 29th July until 31 July and 4th August until 7 August.

A few years ago I had the pleasure of seeing the large scale West End theatre version of William Nicholson’s Shadowlands in London and the intensity, drama and complexities of finding love still linger in the back of my mind today. In brief, it explores the joy and grief of “experience: the most brutal of teachers”. I remember feeling saddened that C.S Lewis found Joy so late in his life (in his 50s when he was an ultimate bachelor), and was forced to explore the full breadth of emotions that falling in love entails, even when faced with the inevitable  – death. It’s a soulful play that simply cannot help but stir.

So if you fancy some intensity this winter, I suggest you check the Aussie theatre talent (Brisbane and Sydney actors) who will take to the Brisbane Powerhouse stage at New Farm. Tickets are $35 (concession $25) and can be booked online.

Hans Heyson retrospective opens at QAG this weekend!

Hans Heysen, Australia 1877—1968, Mystic Morn (detail) 1904|

This weekend, an impressive retrospective of one of Australia’s greatest artists opens at the Queensland Art Gallery. You can catch more than 100 works of Hans Heysen  (1877-1968) from 31 July until 23 October 2010 in Gallery 4. Through his art, audiences are challenged how they view the Australian landscape.

This Saturday, why not take a free tour of the exhibition with, Curator, Rebecca Andrews (Associate Curator, Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia) at 10.30am.  Or at 11.30am join Angela Goddard (Curator, Australian Art to 1970, Queensland Art Gallery) for insights into the exhibition. No need to book, simply meet at the exhibition entrance.

Yours in design,

Julia from Brio Group

RSPCA puts the ‘fun’ back into fundraising


It’s that wonderful time of year again!

The time of year cooks of all ages whip out the flour, sugar, eggs and butter and the smell of cake, butter-cream and creativity fills the air. The time of year you can eat your weight in sweet goodness and not feel guilty about your gluttony as it supports a fantastic cause!

I am of course, talking about the RSPCA’s third annual Cupcake Day.

Cupcake Day this year will be held in homes, schools and offices around the country on Monday the 16th of August. Sales of cupcakes decorated with everything from butter-cream and fondant, to chocolate, cream and whatever else the imagination desires, will benefit our little furry friends the RSPCA kindly helps each year.

This year sees an addition of great prizes to be won by fundraisers: a Kymco Scooters package is up for grabs for one lucky cupcake cook (for every $100 raised, receive an entry into the draw); those who bake and decorate the most creative cupcakes (voted for online) will win a special prize packs from the RSPCA and Cupcake Day sponsor New Idea; and of course the individual or team with the most money raised in their state will win the coveted Cupcake Day trophy!

Whether you enjoy baking or not, Cupcake Day definitely puts the “fun” back into fundraising. So do your part and show your support for a great organisation that contributes time after time to the community and all creatures great and small! Sign up to become an Everyday Hero (or just contribute to Brio Group’s Everyday Hero fundraising page!), and make sure you sink your teeth into a cupcake (or six) on the 16th of August. You’ll feel very sweet if you do!

Happy baking & donating!


The popular Art and Jewellery Market

It’s that time of the year again, the much anticipated Karuna Art and Jewellery Market. Held at 8am-3pm Saturday 7 August 2010 @ 27 Cartwright St Windsor Brisbane.

Get there early to nab yourself a masterpiece and a treasure! There are several paintings, canvases, frames, jewellery and crafts to keep you wide-eyed

The proceeds go towards Karuna – a Brisbane-based charity that strives to bring comfort, support, care and peace of mind to those who are dying, as well as their carers and families. They provide free nursing, counselling, spiritual care, grief and loss support, and equipment loans to over 500 people a year.

To read more about the Karuna Art and Jewellery Market or to find out how you can join the already 250-strong volunteers to help make Karuna successful go to:

I know I’ll be setting my alarm early on Saturday 7 August!

Yours in design,

My top 5 TIPs on giving a great speech

Here are my final 5 tips on how to make your speech fantastic.

TIP 1 – Avoid death by Powerpoint (ideally max of 8 slides – if you have to).

TIP 2 – Know how long you are speaking for and keep to that time. A good rule of thumb for knowing how long to make your presentation is to allow 150 words a minute.

TIP 3  – When addressing the audience don’t use open ended questions – such as “Do you know what I mean?”,  “Can you see my point?” as if some of your audience can’t see your point or don’t understand what you mean you have alienated them from your presentation.

TIP 4 – Structure your presentation as you would if you were simply having a chat with one person. e.g: ‘Thank you for coming…” or “I would like to help you…”  It keeps it real for your audience.

TIP 5 – Don’t drink anything milky or alcoholic a few hours before you speak. Drink room temperature water only. There is no such thing as Dutch Courage, you need to have all your wits about you before you speak. The adrenaline that runs through your body when you are nervous increases dramatically the effects of alchohol, so avoid it and you will be fine.

Most of all remember to breathe. If you are feeling nervous just before you are to go on, take long, slow, deep breaths. Imagine you are breathing into your hands that are cupping the bottom of your stomach. It really works.

Enjoy the process of giving a speech and the stories / information that you are delivering that will help people. Believe you can do it and you will. Good luck and let me know how you go.

Yours in Design


Foodies will love Regional Flavours 2010


On the eve of the MasterChef finale, why not let your taste buds go wild today (24 July) with gourmet produce and boutique wines at Regional Flavours at South Bank from 10am to 3pm.

Little Stanley, South bank will host more than 80 top food producers and wine makers from across South East Queensland. This year the event has a ‘green’ focus where you can pick up helpful tips for making environmentally conscious food choices.

Plus at the Gourmet Stage, catch Ben O’Donoghue (TV Chef and co-owner of South Bank Surf Club) and MasterChef Series 2 contestants, Sharnee and Skye. Check out the program here.

We’re getting hungry just thinking of it! So why not enjoy some Brisbane winter sun (fingers crossed) and embrace some of our spectacular regional produce.


Julia from Brio Group

The art of paper

Originating in Japan, paper art becoming an exciting medium for communication for many designers. The work of one expert in this field, Jeff Nishinaka, caught my eye and I had to share it. Nishinaka has employed paper art in advertising for a range of clients, but the biggest fan of his work is actor, Jackie Chan, who owns the largest collection of Nishanaka’s work!


Yours in design,