FOR THOSE of you who read my column you will have heard of Junior Chamber International (JCI). I may have mentioned it once or twice!
I joined JCI when the Donegal branch opened in January of this year and it was one of the best things I have ever done.
Throughout the year I have done various things that I know I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do without the help of my local branch.
One of the best things we did during a training weekend in Roscrea was to write a letter to ourselves, (sounds weird but read on, it gets better) we wrote down all the things we wanted to achieve over the coming twelve months.
This could vary from buying a car or house to changing career. I had big plans for the year ahead and wrote it all down while thinking this letter would never be seen again.
After we had completed our lists we were given an envelope and asked to address it to ourselves. We were then informed that our trainers would post our letters out to us one year to the day of us writing our list.
It was up to us to make sure that we went through with all plans made that day. Months went by and I forgot about my letter for a while until one day I was sitting thinking about things and the list popped into my head.
I mentally went though what I had written and realised that I had done what I had set out to do. I had reached almost all of my goals.
I felt really proud because as I mentioned I had actually forgotten about the letter for a while which meant I had done these things because they were genuinely important to me.
Like most people I had a tendency to make elaborate plans for the future, plans so unrealistic that I couldn’t help but fail. I am learning to set myself smaller, obtainable goals.
This was the inspiration behind my ‘Month of Mini Challenges’ for November idea. I mentioned in last week’s column that I was trying to curtail my complaining habit.
I am pleased to say I have decided to extend the challenge to include this week too as I enjoyed the feeling of holding back when I felt the need to bitch and moan.
Don’t get me wrong, there were one or two occasions when I struggled but that’s okay! I’m not trying to be perfect here, I just want to make more of an effort with the little things, after all, the President of JCI Donegal can’t be seen to be a miserable old thing now can she!
Oh, did I forget to mention that I have been elected as local President for 2015? I am such a scatter brain;) In all seriousness though, I am delighted with my new role.
I also feel it necessary to admit how terrified I am! I am taking on a huge responsibility and taking over from someone who did an excellent job throughout the year.
I am feeling the pressure and part of me is scared that I will mess everything up and undo all the good work that our Immediate Past President Emma Boylan has done.
But, I know that these feelings will lessen in intensity over time. The only way to overcome fear is to face it as they say!
JCI uses different slogans each year and one of them is ‘Learn By Doing’. Three little words that make so much sense. I love that I have the support and backing from everyone ranging from local level to National and even International.
If I picked up the phone to one of our German delegates and asked for their help or guidance with a particular task I know they would do their best to help any way they could and that is what JCI is all about.
Speaking of Germany(I am on fire with these story links) I am travelling to Leipzig this Sunday (by the time you read this I will have arrived).
The JCI World Congress takes place from the 24th-30th of November and I am SO EXCITED. I don’t know if I have mentioned this yet but there is something you need to know about me. I LOOOOVE Christmas. I have been obsessed with this time of year since I was a child.
I listen to Christmas music in June and I won’t apologise for it.
Leipzig hosts one of the largest Christmas markets in Germany with 250 stalls. Just writing this article has made me so excited I could burst into song at any moment (I’m humming ‘Deck The Halls’ as I type) I will be writing next week’s column from Germany and promise to include lots of festive pictures to make you jealous.
It won’t all be fun and games however, I will have an action packed week attending numerous JCI events some of which require unusual costumes.
For our opening night we are expected to dress in our countries colours and as I write this I have yet to purchase a single Irish looking piece of clothing. I have left everything until the last hour, nothing new there then.
Over 5,000 JCI delegates from all over the world will descend on Leipzig on the 24th and I cannot wait to see what happens!
Keep an eye on my Facebook page and read next week’s column to see how my adventure pans out but for now, au revoir (The Germans are going to hate me). If you would like to join JCI please feel free to get in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org
Nikki Bradley is the founder of Fighting Fit For Ewing’s, a campaign to promote awareness of Ewing’s Sarcoma. Nikki is sponsored by All Sports in Donegal Town. Support her campaign by giving ‘Fighting Fit For Ewing’s’ a LIKE on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @nikkibradley59