When 60 days could change your life.

View More: http://tiffanyfarley.pass.us/hannahbrencher

Dear you,

I don’t ever write about these things. If you’ve been a reader, you know. Someone will surely think my blog has been hijacked but I am over here, waving my hands in the air, and yelling, “No! It’s really me! It’s Hannah! I promise!”

This post is in lieu of the one I won’t be writing on December 26th when the trees get hauled out and the lights get packed up and everyone begins plotting what they are going to change for the year ahead.

I’ve never been a New Year’s fan. I get the point of it. I even have a tradition where one of my best friends and I pick a new coffee shop every New Year’s morning– one that is bustling with the sounds of plates clanking and kids laughing over pancakes sopping in butter– and we write letters to the person we hope will open them one year from that date. We set goals. We read the letters from the year before. We fold up the letters. We seal them. We hold them for one another until another 365 days passes through the fingertips and we kiss another year goodbye.

But something has always broken my heart a bit about New Year’s. How we celebrate so little because we’re just so fixated on starting over. The way we want to wake up in the morning and be someone different. And break all these old habits. And forget the person we were who messed up & failed their diet plan & made it to the gym until January 15th and then just gave up. And I don’t like the idea of waiting until a set moment– January 1, 2014– to change things. If there is something to be changed, shifted, or altered, then we should be starting right now. We should be starting right now.

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Yesterday morning I posted a list on Instagram. A 60 day challenge that I am setting for myself. I’ve set 6 goals. 60 is a relevant number for me because from December 1, 2014, I have 60 days until my first draft is due to my editor. I want to walk away from this process of book writing not feeling like I just survived something but that I actively made changes while in the writing process and I am walking out a different and better individual.


1. 60 minutes cardio + weights: Pretty self-explanatory. Hitting the weights hard. Getting back to a first love of working out and really working up a sweat.

2. 6 small meals a day: Paleo is back in the mix. I know the benefits of paleo and how it impacts my body but I am really curious to see how it unfolds in the amount of 60 days. I won’t be too strict but I definitely want to get into better habits when it comes to eating so that I am feeling energized by my food and not weighed down.

3. 60 minutes of email: This is only for a season of life but in the midst of book writing, I want to minimize my email time to 60 minutes a day. Email can be a bad habit for me. If I wanted to, I could live in my inbox. So the autoresponder is up and I will set a timer anytime that I dig in.

4. No social til 6pm: This is a big one. Social media is definitely a time-killer when it comes to trying to sit down and write. It’s an easy distraction. I am going to make it a point to touch any kind of social networking until 6pm on days where I am writing.

5. 60 minutes of quiet time: God. God. God. He probably should have the first one on this list but I know confidently that He kind of, sort of, governs this whole list. I want to be dedicated to quiet time. I want to stop focusing in on the mess in my head. I want to remember my place as a child of God. And I want to pray better prayers and believe for bigger things.

6. 6 glasses of water: Oof. I barely even consume two so this will definitely be a stretch for me. But hey, I have to start being better disciplined in this area sometime soon.

I want to be so clear with my intentions on posting this. I don’t tell people how to live. I don’t have any interest in trying to improve your life in 60 days. I just want to be very honest in saying that I, personally, am really hungry to get healthier and treat myself better. I am hungry for balance. I am hungry for a life that knows the distinction between work and friends. I want to figure out where my A-game is, not just in business or writing but in the everyday folds of this thang called life.  I want to feel like I’ve sunk my heels deep into a life I know I want. A life that fuels me inwardly & outwardly.

But… (there is always a but)… I am also super aware of the fact that when I try to go on journeys on my own, I often fail. And fumble. And give up. And I beat myself up when it was never supposed to be about that to begin with. This little journey of mine has nothing to do with measuring success. It has to do with trying to change something in 60 days, as I reach one of the most important deadlines of my young adult years, that will change my life for the rest of it. I can dig that. I can work for that. I can not be afraid to say I want that.

So you can be in or you can choose to be not in. You can set 6 goals or you can set 2. If you take on these goals, definitely consider custom catering them to you and your work/life. For me, social media won’t be on til 6pm. For others, it might be time to shut off at 6pm. You can make it look however you want. The goal is to celebrate change and progress instead of just thinking my life will magically change at the stroke of midnight in one month from now.

I am ecstatic about 2013. I am all sorts of over-the-moon for what progress was made. I want to spend this December being dang proud of what has gone down in the last year. I want change to be an exciting & momentous & powerhouse thing. I want to believe that I deserve this. I want to walk in 2014 already knowing I started the work it takes to be who you really have always wanted to be… inside & out.

I’ll be posting occasional updates on Instagram if you want to follow along. I’ll post things tagged as #60daystochangealife in case y’all want to set your own goals and post progress. I love a good team effort.

Ain’t nobody got time to wait for January 1. The gun just went off. I am going.



26 thoughts on “When 60 days could change your life.

    • Good luck, Sunshine! i defended my PhD about a week ago and boy was it a stressful process. You can do this. When it all gets to be just a little too much, step away and go for a walk to clear your head. Good luck!

  1. Great post, and the aspects your goals focus on (exercise, regular/healthy eating habits, limiting email time etc etc) all resonate with me, though I would need to think how I would frame them for me and my current life. What’s the book you’re writing? I loved the TED, so I’m curious if it’s on the topic of love letters to strangers. Blessings on your 60 days challenge! Hugs, Harula xxxxx

  2. The best part is that when Jan 1 comes around and everyone is setting their goals, you can look at yourself and say, “Hey, I’ve made progress on my goals! I’m excited to keep going!” Good luck, Hannah.

  3. Juliet says:

    Hello Hannah: your 60 days plan is awsome. I will be following your example. I am into exercise and I don’t eat that much, so 6 small meals a day and 6 glasses of water sounds good for me. I only come to the web for short bursts of time. I am outdoorsy.
    Congratulations on your plan, it is great and inspiring.

  4. Joan Vetter says:

    Paula, I’ve been reading Hannah’s blogs for quite a while – thought this was good, but especially her last one, which I will also send.


  5. I am a mother, daughter, granddaughter who is and has been going through a grief journey. On 1/11/11 my 22 year old daughter was killed in a car crash. On Oct. 30, 2013 my dad died unexpectantly. and in September I lost my grandmother who was 96 years of age. Last night, Nov. 30th I met up with a grief counselor and we talked at Pannera’s from 2 in the afternoon until 6:30 in the evening. And she gave me a journal, Footprints. This is what she has asked of me: Write 2 blessings/positives of the day; Write 1 memory of my daughter/dad or both; Write ‘Tomorrow I am going to… Even though these are not resolutions, I look at them as they are because they will all aid me with my grief journey.

  6. Hannah!
    I am so delighted you wrote about this. Honestly, just today as I was scanning radio stations while driving (trying to find Christmas music instead of ads for diamonds, cars, and home improvements I can’t live without during holiday entertaining), a commercial regarding new year’s resolutions came on. And I thought to myself, “why?” Why do we set aside a certain time for change, for bettering ourselves, and to really “become” who we want to be? Isn’t it much like the whole starting a diet on Monday? Since when did a designated day become necessary for improvement? Does it really even need to begin at the beginning of a day? I think not. For those who truly want to become better individuals, starting here and now is the only way to break the cycle of “tomorrows.”
    Thanks again for such thought-provoking writing.

  7. Great goals Hannah, and a great reminder to many of us that we should think about them too. I am very much into exercise but have found the more I write, the more I sit and that writing cancels out my active life a bit more than I’d like…continual re-evaluation of goals is so important to stay balanced….loved your post

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  11. BG Poole says:

    I am planning on lots of stuff for myself beginning now, one of them being health in all aspects so thanks for the wonderful plan, it always helps to know someone else is doing stuff too.

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  13. J says:

    Boy oh boy, how can i even learn to treat myself better? I took a good hard look at my life and i treat myself so horribly, and im always anticipating that others will do so

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