Jennifer Chambers

AUK15for15 / Challenge 25 for 2020

The rationale behind this crazy idea…

This year I caught myself thinking “I can’t wait for us to get to a million”. It was a flash in the pan thought that related to the Alopecia UK income [for anyone reading this who might not realise I’m also the Charity Development Manager for Alopecia UK]. In the charity sector you’re always chasing the money, you have to to be able to do anything! A fortune teller (yes I am into that kind of thing) once told me “you’ll always be chasing the pound but you’ll never have any money”. I wondered what she meant at the time but now I completely get it. I’m a charity worker. Right! Anyway, this isn’t the point. The point is I realised there was no ‘if’ in my flash in the pan thought of “I can’t wait for us to get to a million”, it was just a case of “when”. Because for some reason that’s the mentality that I have towards this job, a kind of relentless fearlessness. And it is the complete opposite to the mentality I have towards my personal life!

Work mentality goes:

If something doesn’t work out, so what, just keep going until it does. If you make a mistake, so what, don’t make the same mistake next time. You don’t get a bid, so what, submit another one. Again and again and again until you get the desired result… money, staff, increased workstreams, more people being helped, more research getting funded. Believe you can, and then do. It’s really simple, straightforward, and I think it’s really helped towards moving the charity forward.

Personal life mentality, on the other hand, goes:

No I can’t have that, no that will never happen for me, no I’ll be no good at that, I don’t deserve that… blah blah blah.

Really though, complete opposites. Like two different people. And I’ll be honest, I feel like the work one is the more successful of the two. So I had a thought followed by an absolute epiphany. The thought, “if only I could harness that work mentality towards my personal life”. The epiphany, “I know, I’ll make my personal life a work thing!” (it was a lightbulb moment folks, it really was). So that’s what I’m doing. It was my 36th birthday recently and I’ll admit, I freaked out a little bit. My first thought was just “sh*t. I’m 36” accompanied by a big sinking feeling. As a result I’m feeling like something needs to change. But in order to do it I need my work head on. So that’s what I’m doing ladies and gentlemen. In 2020 I’m going to try and turn this round and (hopefully) wake up on my 37th birthday (24th November) feeling more positive about life and feeling like I’ve finally accomplished a lot of the bits and pieces I’ve always wanted to incorporate into my life, but never actually do! I’m going to complete fifteen personal challenges and raise £2500 along the way (which gives it the work angle … I won’t be using my actual work time for this though don’t worry!). I’m hoping that my lovely family and friends will recognise what I’m trying to achieve here. I’m sure my mother will (although I think she’ll mostly be interested in number 15 *rolls eyes to self*). I aim to complete the following by my 37th birthday. I’ll explain elsewhere the rationale behind each one and where the challenge comes in on each for me and my increasingly hermit like self.

The Challenges:
1) 25 runs (being able to comfortably run 2.5 miles non-stop)
2) 25 walks (culminating in a 25 mile walk that I’ve booked on to in August)
3) 25 gym sessions
4) 25 swims
5) 25 yoga sessions
6) 25 bike rides (aiming to do 25 miles comfortably)
7) Plank (aiming to plank for 2.5 minutes by my birthday)
8) 25 minutes of meditation a week (starting in January)
9) 25 pamper activities
10) 25 blogs posts
11) 25 favourite photos printed and on the wall
12) 25 new items of clothing (I will explain all these I promise!)
13) 25 fun times with family and friends
14) 25 new experiences
15) 25…dun dun duuunn… dates. Shock horror. And probably the hardest one.

I’m sure friends and family will probably know why I’ve chosen most of these but I will explain elsewhere (my first blog post perhaps!). I will say that some of them can overlap (I might go on a new experience with a date for example!). Also, speed dating counts! When I’ve told some people about this they’ve responded with “you’re going to be busy” but actually all of the above are just things I should be doing. But I don’t. Do any of it! I’ve progressively become a work obsessed hermit over the last seven years. Hence it’s not an easy thing for me to do! But here goes!

Please do sponsor me if you can! I’d really, REALLY appreciate it! We’re a very worthy charity to give money to, I promise 😉

I also intend to organise a few mini fundraiser events to try and bump up my total. Speed dating night being one of them. Oh god.

Why 15 challenges and what’s with the number 25?

In 2020 I’ll have had alopecia for 25 years so this is me marking my anniversary. The charity, Alopecia UK, also has its 15th Birthday next year so this is me marking that milestone too and contributing towards our campaign to raise £15,000 for 15 years of Alopecia UK.

Hopefully I'll post progress on Insta (@justjen_public) & Twitter (@alopeciajen) to let you know how I'm getting on (which I actually feel is the biggest commitment as I don't do well with social media, but I'll try!).

#auk15for15
#jen2020challenge25

Thank you for taking the time to read my page.x

Jennifer Chambers