Hello Mornings! The Maximize Your Mornings Challenge: Week Three

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Note from Kat: Once again, the illustrious Michelle is here to walk us through the Maximize Your Mornings Challenge. Click here for all the info on the MYM Challenge.

Also, I made a nifty HelloMornings button.

Just copy this code to add it to your site:


Week Two Recap

Well, here we are at Week 3 of this challenge! Right about now is when it starts to get tough for me. The initial momentum of, “Hey, this is fun!” wears off a bit and reality kicks in.

If you are feeling that way, keep in mind you are just shy of the point where this new “skill” starts to become a habit. Don’t give up!

How did this the week go?

Step 3: Develop An Exercise Plan

(You know the drill – check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.)

Read pages 10-15 of the eBook. They go something like this:

  • Pick a Workout — What type of exercise would you enjoy? Mix up the cardio and strength training.
  • Make it Fun – In order to develop a fitness habit, choose a workout that’s simple and fun. Once the habit is in place, you can concentrate on getting those abs of steel!
  • Have a “Habit Workout” — What’s something quick you could do when you wake up late? Kat does 10 pushups, 30 bicycle crunches, and 10 squats. Be creative!
  • Keep a Routine — Figure out a way to do something every day!
  • Set a Goal — Post a simple goal that you’ll be proud to accomplish.
  • Choose a Workout Soundtrack — What songs make you want to run outside and start chest-bumping your neighbors?

Action Steps

Pages 23-24 of the eBook will walk you through creating your Exercise Plan:

1. List all the ways you could possibly exercise.

2. Specifically plan your workout — What, Where, When?

3. Create Your Habit — What is 1 thing you’ll do everyday?

4. Set a Goal — Why are you exercising?

What’s your action plan for the week?

What workout will you try? What’s your back-up routine? Share your answers!

Group Support

Don’t forget that Kat (@inspired2action) and I (@michellebygrace) are on Twitter each morning, along with a bunch of other gals, sipping our morning beverage of choice and tweeting #hellomornings!

If you have any tips for starting a morning routine, why not jump over to the Inspired to Action blogfrog community and join in the discussions!

Link Up

Each week you can link a relevant post from your own blog! Simply type your information and link to the specific post in the boxes below.


Are you ready? Let’s get physical!

Michelle’s a crazy-dancing, Jesus-loving, undomesticated transplant in Amish country. A teacher & perpetual student, she enjoys biting off more than she can chew & sharing the juicy bits at So, I married a Mennonite…. When she’s not goofing around on Twitter, you can find her perfecting her cushion-fort technique and practicing her dinosaur roars.

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  • Avatar Christin says:

    Awesome! I may need to post next week just to be accountable. Exercise is HARD for me – esp. in the mornings. I want to run, but it’s seriously not safe in the morning, lol. Evenings are better. BUT, I do have a stationery bike downstairs I can ride on. Perhaps I’ll craft a post on it for tomorrow to get me moving! Still need to read the pages and set some goals. 🙂

  • Avatar Cherie says:

    I started Zumba about 4 weeks ago and I am really enjoying it. Let me tell you, that is saying a lot, because I hate exercise! But this has been fun….and I’ve lost 5 pounds!

    • Avatar Trina says:

      That’s awesome, Cherie! One of my best friends absolutely swears by Zumba. It’s great that you’re having fun with exercise!

    • Avatar m :) says:

      That’s great, Cherie! The funnest workout I ever did was called Body & Soul – we did choreographed aerobics and strength training to new Christian music. Glad you found something you enjoy!

  • Avatar Trina says:

    I just can’t seem to get the exercise to fit into my mornings before I head to work. Well, I probably could, but that might mean waking up at 4:30, and I’m not up for that! So I’ve started doing a half hour of pilates in my office during lunch.

    It’s really improved my days and my productiveness. I’ve felt better and haven’t been as worn out when I get home.

    • Avatar Kat says:

      Great solution! The morning time doesn’t need to be our main workout time, I just like to fit something in to make sure I am in the habit of exercising and to help wake me up. I often do my main workout later in the day too.

  • Avatar Kate says:

    THIS is where things get difficult. I’ve been trying to figure out where to exercise and in what time – I get up at 0630 (now), leave for work at 0730 and don’t get home until about 1800-1830 (6:00-ish p.m. for non-military timers). Time crunch! I’d like to start C25K, but the only place to run at home is alongside a state highway (wide shoulders). I could run at work, but my hours are variable – how can I do that and still get home in time to cook supper? Ugh!

    Over it, around it, under it or through it…

  • Avatar Kristin says:

    I’m still really, really struggling with this challenge. I think more than anything I need to revise my expectations of what “maximizing my morning” will look like for me. Initially I assumed that I could get up and have an hour to an hour and a half all to myself. But my nursing infant is not cooperating. She keeps waking at unexpected times, disrupting my beautiful little plans. My solution is to be more flexbile and remember that 5 minutes in the word, 5 minutes of prayer, 5 minutes of exercise…etc. is better than nothing. Truly, it is. Right now, for this season in my life, 5 minutes at a time may have to be “good enough.”

    Annnnnnnd…let’s not forget the all-important bed-time (mine) factor. This is unbelievably hard to do!

    Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to adding exercise to my scrabbled-together routiune. 🙂


  • Avatar Kelly says:

    My husband came across your blog a while back and has been trying to get me to read it for a few weeks now. This morning was the first time I have visited. And this challenge is precisely what I am needing right now. I wish I had given in to his coaxing from the beginning; I would have been able to start the challenge along with everyone else. But I still plan to do it – I’ll just be behind everyone. I’m planning to ask a friend who has 2 kids – roughly the same ages as mine – to do this with me.

    I have a 2-year-old whose sleeping schedule is very regular, but my 6-week-old has neither a regular bedtime nor a regular wake-up time yet. And I’m definitely a person afraid to set goals for fear that I won’t achieve them, and therefore, be a failure. But the alternative – my current situation – I suppose is not much better than failure status. I’m coasting. I feel like every area of my life – especially the ones that matter most to me – is lacking. I need motivation, true accountability, and action. Hopefully this will be a good tool.

  • I am definitely enjoying working out in the morning. Still trying to tweak it to fit just right. I usually do 20 minutes of cardio using HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). This gets a REALLY good workout in, without taking all morning to do it.

    Kat, I’m so glad you shared that the morning workout does not have to be your main workout of the day. I think even in a time crunch it is great to do something, even if it is just a few jumping jacks and a stretch. It helps get everything going.

    I’ve noticed I eat much better when I work out in the AM too. Not sure why, it just happens that way. Maybe I don’t want to undo all the hard work by consuming junk food 🙂

    Thanks Kat and Michelle for all of your encouragement.

  • […] Step Three: Develop an Exercise Plan This is what we’re working on this upcoming week. Wish me luck!! I got back on Sparkpeople recently, and am looking forward to using the fitness plan that they have on there. I’ll have to work on the details over the weekend, but figure I would post this for everyone to see, and then I will have to follow through. =) […]

  • Avatar Joyce says:

    I used Sparkpeople.com in the past. It was mostly for nutrition tracking before, but they also have fitness tracking, and can make a fitness plan according to how many minutes you want, etc.

  • Avatar Rachel says:

    I just found this and think it is a wonderful thing however my girls are up by 5:30 and I don’t think I can get myself up at 5:00. It would be so awesome to be happy in the morning. Does anyone else have early risers? Any suggestions? Maybe I could try every other day.

  • Avatar Patti says:

    Errg, this one is so hard for me. I had really been feeling pleased with the idea that I was GOING TO work on this but here we are and I am not feeling so pleased. I am a terrible procrastinator.

    So my plan is 1) to get back to going to bed at a reasonable hour so that when I get up early I don’t fall asleep during my quiet time and 2) walk a mile after breakfast and morning chores, and before school starts (we homeschool), with my kids running/walking/playing outside too. I live in the country and know how long my driveway is and how many loops make a mile, so I can exercise, and keep the kids safe. I still haven’t settled on the back-up exercise plan (I love this idea – brilliant and realistic) but I HAVE to start exercising so I am posting to keep myself accountable.

    I guess I won’t be very peppy in the morning given that it is now 1:20am. Clearly #1 is going to be as important as #2. Oy.