30-Day Fitness Challenge (Week #3) | How to Plan Your Exercise Routine

♦ DAY 15 of the #HWHFitnessChallenge!  Log your exercise here. ♦

Friends!  We are HALFWAY through the first ever #HWHFitnessChallenge!  Isn’t that awesome?! I have to admit, this week getting in my exercise everyday was tough, but I did it!  It was the first time a little bit of doubt crept into my mind where I thought- maybe this challenge is too long, maybe I should have made it 21 days instead of 30 days.  But, then my SMARTER self reminded me, heck no!  This is a challenge and WE can do it! Now let’s learn how to plan your exercise routine!

If you’re just now learning about this challenge and want to join in, it’s not too late! Catch up on Week 1 here & Week 2 here.

Remember- everyone who completes 30 days of exercise and logs it is entered to win (one) of 3 $100 Nordstrom Gift cards! 

Please tell me in the comments how the challenge is going for you.  My mom is down 5 pounds! Woo hoo!!  I’ve heard from so many of you via DM and email that are having fantastic results too and I love hearing from you! I’m feeling more energized and leaner, although the scale isn’t budging much. I treated myself to a piña colada two weeks ago at the pool!

what to wear at the pool one shoulder bikini

One Shoulder Bikini Top • Similar Bottoms • Toddler Swimsuit

And a (couple) glasses of prosecco last week.  Those are fine, but I know I’d see even better results without them! I have been spending as much time as I can at the pool lately- Houston is so freaking hot and humid in the summer, it’s the only sure way to beat the heat!

what to wear at the pool

Lipstick “snob”Straw Hat • Mirrored SunglassesBar Necklace

I’m crazy for the shape and style of this straw hat & in comes in different sizes for a custom fit!  I’m wearing XS.   My mirrored sunnies are a great, less expensive dupe for Ray-Ban aviators! Less than half the price!


The easiest way to make sure you commit to something and actually do it, is to plan for it and write it into your schedule.  If you don’t actually put your workout time on paper just like you do with your job, dentist appointment or lunch date, you will be more likely to miss it.

For me, on Sunday nights I sit down with my planner and make my plan for the week.  The first thing I do is write in hard and fast appointments that I can’t break and must show up for.  I’ve been using this weekly planner with times in it that’s perfect for laying out one week at a time and being able to see everything at a glance. I only wish the times started earlier so I could write in those early morning workouts better.

For me, I know that Monday and Wednesday at 6am I’ll be doing a workout class at my gym, and also at 11:45 on Saturdays.  Then, I have to plan for Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.  Two or three of those days, I’ll run outside when my husband gets home from work and then I’ll schedule another workout either at home or at the gym.

For more planning tips, check out How I Plan My Day & 10 Habits for a Productive Day



Even when you’ve scheduled in your exercise, if you hesitate to “just do it”, your mind can sabotage you by telling you all kinds of lies like, you don’t need to do this today, you’re too tired, sore, busy, you’ll just do it tomorrow.  Whatever.  All lies!!

I’ve been reading The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins and it resonated with me because it works perfectly with this challenge.

The 5 Second Rule : The moment you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must count 5-4-3-2-1, then physically move or your brain will stop you.

When you count backwards, you mentally shift the gears in your mind.  The counting distracts you from your excuses and focuses your mind on moving in a new direction.  When you physically move instead of stopping to think, your physiology changes and your mind falls in line.


Use the rule to push yourself into action, regardless of how you feel.

how to plan your exercise routine mel robbins 5 second rule

You can use this rule in any area of your life, but it works particularly well with exercise, because it forces you to get up and get moving!  Mel’s psychological research shows that right before we’re about to do something that feels difficult, scary or uncertain, we hesitate.  Hesitation is the kiss of death.  That one small hesitation triggers a mental system that’s designed to stop you.  And it happens in less than 5 seconds!

If you want to improve your life, you need to get up and get moving!

So, anytime there’s something you know you should do, but you feel uncertain, afraid, or overwhelmed – take control by counting backwards 5-4-3-2-1.  That will quiet your mind.  Then, move when you get to ‘1’.


To recap, here are the challenge details:

Exercise 20 minutes every.single.day (LOG YOUR EXERCISE here

Drink 64 oz. of water a day

No fried food • No desserts • No alcohol (1 “cheat day” per week)

Meditate • Pray • Gratitude Journal

Get adequate sleep

how to plan your exercise routine 30 day fitness challenge

FREE PRINTABLE : Honey We’re Healthy 30-Day Fitness Challenge


How do I log my exercise?

Use this #HWHFitnessChallenge Form to log your exercise daily.

Simply enter your email, log your minutes for that particular day, and hit submit.  DO NOT submit minutes for days in the future.  You are not logging what you INTEND to do, you are logging what you’ve ACTUALLY DONE.

You won’t be able to see your previous days logged, but they will be tracked! 

You can click “view previous responses” for a summary of everyone’s minutes.  It’s awesome to see how many people are logging in and how many cumulative minutes we’ve been exercising.

What if I accidentally enter a day more than once?

No worries! Each day you exercise is 1 entry to win the giveaway at the end of the challenge. If you enter a day twice (or 3 or 4 times) you still only get the one entry. We will handle that on our end.


Huge thank you to fitness expert Cari Shoemate for providing this week’s personalized workout for our #HWHFitnessChallenge!

If you’re not familiar with Cari, she’s in Houston and is also a fitness model and contributor for countless fitness and lifestyle magazines.  She has been featured on TMZ.com and Dr. Phil with some of her celebrity clients and she has her own fitness dvd, Long Lean Legs. Among her many projects, she is currently a brand ambassador for Oakley, runs Houston’s popular Bombshell Bootcamp and trains both NBA and NFL cheerleaders.

You can find her on Instagram and on her blog, Cari-Fit.com.

You don’t have to do this particular workout, any workout at least 20 minutes will do! And if you don’t have a bench, step or stair, you can do the workout from Week 1 that requires no special equipment or weights.

how to plan your exercise routine 30 day fitness challenge tabata workout

FREE Printable : #HWHFitnessChallenge – 20 Minute TABATA WORKOUT

how to plan your exercise routine workout at home

how to plan your exercise routine workout at home

how to plan your exercise routine workout wear

Racerback Tank • Sneakers • Crop Leggings • Sports Bra (2 for $60)

Okay guys!  We can do this!  After this week, we only have one more week to go! 

Are you still with me?  Let me know in the comments how it’s going for you! 

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Meet Megan

Hi! I’m Megan, mom to a thoughtful teenager and spunky young girl. We call Houston home and recently moved into our dream home. I traded my lawyer hat to become a full-time blogger in 2010. I love sharing my passion for affordable fashion, home decor, organization, & fitness to help inspire you to take care of you!


  1. I have gushed a lot on Instagram this morning but thank you so much for organising this accountability challenge. As I said last week, I am maybe not taking it as seriously as others. I have been pretty good with my food and I am always excellent at drinking lots of water (it is the only healthy thing I do) and I don’t drink during the week but come Friday I need that wine! Saying that, before this challenge I certainly drank more so I have been limiting myself so I am proud of that. Anyway I have stuck to the workouts every day (even those days when I really didn’t want to) and I feel so much better. I also ache in places I didn’t know existed haha. Today’s workout will just be a 2 mile walk at lunchtime to try and loosen myself up. I am down one pound since last week meaning I have lost 5lbs in a fortnight. I am very proud of myself and I know I wouldn’t have done it without you setting this challenge! Thanks again and I look forward to seeing what this week brings. I do have a BBQ to attend on Saturday which always turns into a boozy affair so I better be extra good on the build up to it 🙂

  2. Still in it! My daughter and I excercise together. So if one of us isn’t feeling like the workout, the other says yes you do! I have become more accountable for my food choices since the challenge started and I’ve lost 2 pounds which is unheard of for me. Thanks for keeping us going! We love a challenge! ????‍♀️

  3. Sticking with the program, so far. Have managed to lose 4lb even with the odd glass of wine or 2! Might be an up hill struggle this week as heading to Belgium, the land of waffles, chocolate and beer. Will walk everywhere to make up for it?
    Taking part in a group is definitely more motivating than going solo. Thank you

    1. Oh I am so jealous you are heading to Belgium! I spent a lot of time there in my teens and early 20s and drank far too much beer and ate so much chocolate. Enjoy 🙂

      1. Have a great time in my Country Belgium !!
        And yes indeed our chocolate is hard to resist 😉
        but you will certainly be able to walk a lot from one place to another! hopefully you have a nice experience with your stay in 🙂 Belgium

  4. I just saw your site today and started challenge today . Got up and exercised, drank lemon water and healthy breakfast . Thank you for motivating me:)

  5. I love that Aileen called this an accountability challenge. That is such an accurate description! There have been days when under normal circumstances I would have skipped working out, but I have done something everyday even if it’s just a 20 minute walk or hike. I haven’t lost any weight (although our scale is broken) but I am feeling strong and just overall better about my health, so that is a plus in my books! I am planning my meals and work outs for the week this morning, and that is the key to succes for me! “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!” Bring it on week three, and let’s do this everyone!

    1. It really does hold us accountable doesn’t it. I am hoping she continues to do something similar next month as well 🙂 Knowing there is such a big group of people out there all doing similar has really made me stick to doing it. Life has got in the way so there have been days that the workout I planned has not been doable (My husband works away for 3 weeks and I have a small child I need to work round) but I have done something. If I wasn’t doing this challenge, I would have just thought “forget it” and not done anything. I am so loving this and cannot wait till next week to see how my body feels 🙂

  6. Still sticking with it! I’m not seeing a big difference on the scale like you said, but I am seeing a decrease in my hip and waist measurements! So that’s a huge win for me!! When I’m doing something like this I try to keep track of my measurements since I’m likely building muscle. This challenge has not only held me accountable to exercise, but it’s also made me think twice before I consider that ice cream or drink on the weekends! Turns out one cheat is just enough to reward myself but keep pushing!

  7. Hi! Still doing it although not everyday. I have been dealing with my dogs. Two have ear infections and one got really ill. I will try to do better this week.

  8. Hi! Been sticking with the challenge fairly well – lost 9 pounds as of this morning. But it’s been a struggle – I am severely hypoglycemic and for the first 1 1/2 weeks I have had several days where my blood sugar levels have just tanked! Crazy to admit I might need MORE sugar than I was allowing. Trying to make some adjustments (fruit wasn’t working alone) but overall, feeling better about what I am eating!

    BTW – the buffalo chicken over sweet potato? Wow.

  9. I’m doing really well on the challenge. My goal (at 66) is to be consistent with healthy habits and the challenge has helped me focus daily. I have not seen any changes on the scale but I’m sure the health benefits are happening. It’s important to remember that healthy habits are for all ages and one has to constantly be attentive and tweak methods as needed. Thanks for the challenge, motivation, and positive attitude. I’m all in!

    1. Go Debbie!! I’m with you on the scale, hasn’t really moved for me, but I’m seeing changes and feel stronger. My workouts aren’t as killer as they were in the beginning- meaning I can do them better now! I’m so happy to have you on board, thank you!

  10. I agree with Sunni regarding the buffalo chicken over sweet potato!! YUMMO!!
    I am so thankful to you Megan for organizing this for all of us. I am enjoying the weekly workouts (even though they kick my butt) and I am seeing more muscle development, but what makes me the most happy is the improvement in my posture. My posture was horrible with weak stomach muscles and core but it is improving on the daily! Yay!
    So excited to be doing this with all of you. Keep up the good work ladies! WW CAN DO IT!! :))

    1. Aren’t those workouts good?! Just goes to show what you can do at home with just your body weight! My favorite classes at the gym are usually just body weight too. I’m so happy to hear your posture is improving- that’s really important!

  11. I have to agree with the other ladies above me, thank you for organizing this! I really needed it!
    I also started weight watches about a day after the challenge started, so all in, I’m down almost 9 pounds out of the 20 I want to shed.

    We have a place at the river, so every other weekend I live in a bikini–and I want to look better while doing it! Also, just being healthy is super important.

    I live in an office for 9 hours a day, so the fitness challenge really ramped up my routine. I also invested in a fitbit, which I have been wanting for a while, but now it has become a daily challenge to get more and more steps in.

    I’ve been utilizing Youtube, and the Tone It Up workouts on there, as well as at least a mile walk in the morning, and 2 miles of run/walk in the afternoons when I get home.

    Thank you again!
    Oh! and I LOVE the pool you guys go to! I wish we had something like that here!

    1. Wow Lindsey! You’re halfway to your goal!! That’s amazing! I’m with you- sometimes you just want to feel confident in your swimsuit! We’re lucky to have that pool- it saves us in the summer since it’s so good for the kids!

  12. Twice last week, I really didn’t want to work out, but your challenge helped me power through. There weren’t any classes at the gym that worked with my schedule, so I went out and ran in my neighborhood one day and went on a bike ride with my kiddos another day. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. I’ve been the same way! If it wasn’t for this challenge, I would have definitely skipped a few days! Good for you for getting it done!

  13. Exercise is going well. Have not missed. Eating healthy every day has been more challenging for me as there are more and more events these days with not so healthy choices. Going away with high school friends to celebrated our 50th birthdays this week and I know that will be even harder for me (mostly with limiting drinks to one day).

  14. Still here, still working out. Getting extra ‘assistance’ from teething baby, who has decided that most nights he won’t go down for the night without a walk round the neighbourhood. So some days I do my workout, feel all smug, and then Baby goes ‘nope, you’re going to do some more…’

  15. I watched a documentary about elderly people who have vitality in their 90’s. One woman started running when she was 67. She is now 100 and still running! She said, you don’t do it because you want to. You do it because you have to. I always remember that when I don’t want to you exercise and am inspired.

    1. Such wise words. I always think about my wonderful Dad, whose life was cut short from cancer and at the end, he struggled so much physically. He was confined to a wheelchair and it was too painful to walk. I want to keep moving because I can and I never want to take my physical ability for granted.

  16. I’m still going strong!! Loving what this is doing for me physically and mentally! We leave for a 4-day getaway tomorrow AM and I am prepared to be as successful as possible even with the change in routine. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for organizing this!

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know! That’s serious dedication to keep going even on vacation! You can do it!

  17. Hi Megan,
    I love this challenge! I went from being a trainer for 10 years to a semi desk job and it’s killing me! I can’t seem to find the meal plan from Cari that was in the weekend edition of your newsletter. Where can I find it? Or can you re-post it?

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