Dear Cassey: I keep starting challenges, but I can never finish them.

Dear Cassey –

I have tried a large variety of workout challenges, but I just never seem to complete one. The farthest I have ever gotten is the 5th or the 6th day. Then I just can’t find it in me to continue. It’s been getting really frustrating and I can’t help but get angry over it.

Also, I don’t have a routine for individual workouts. I know that if I want to reach my goals, I must follow a schedule. But I just can’t and now I don’t understand what’s wrong with me. How can I be more consistent?


A routine – less person.

cassey ho blogilates monthly workout calendars challenges

Hey Routine-less,

Let me just start by saying I hear you. Why is it soo hard to stick to something we know is good for ourselves?! Let’s talk about it. Hopefully, everything I’ve learned over the years can help you out.

First, fitness challenges are HARD.

That’s why they’re called challenges! If they were easy to stick to and finish, everyone would do it. So even though I totally get why you’re frustrated with yourself, I promise the negative self-talk is NOT the way to change your habits. Instead, embrace the fact that it’s hard. Prepare yourself going into every challenge that there will be a point (or several) when you just don’t want to go on. Quitting will be tempting.

If you’re starting challenges and then finding that the workouts are too hard, that’s okay. We all start somewhere, right?! So modify it to fit your needs. So maybe you choose a challenge that doesn’t require you to jump into daily workouts. Or maybe you just tweak the challenge and do the workouts every other day or 2-3 times per week! Maybe you simply modify the moves within the workout to your comfort level and work your way up.

But keeping promises to yourself is important.

SOOOOO important. If you don’t keep promises to yourself, who will?!

Start with your “why”

What’s your goal when starting challenges in the first place? Really put some thought into that. If you don’t understand what you want to get out of the challenge, it’s going to be a lot easier to bail. Maybe you want to improve your mental health, or you want to see more muscle tone in your legs. Maybe you just want to make movement a staple in your daily life. Whatever your “why” may be, it’s valid and important. It will keep you going.

Understand what motivates you

It’s possible that you can’t stick with a challenge for more than a few days because there’s just no reward – YET. Once the initial excitement over a challenge goes away, you need something to keep fueling the fire. We all respond to different motivators differently, and it’s time to figure out what you respond to!

I’m a list person. So having that “workout complete” checkbox in the BODY By Blogilates app is a huuuuuuuge motivator for me. I LOVE checking that box just like I love crossing off my to-do list every day.

Maybe accountability is your thing. You could find a friend to do challenges with or even join a fitness-based group on Facebook. There’s also an amaaaazing POP community on Instagram. If you post your workout or sweaty selfie and tag #blogilates or whatever the challenge is, the POPsters will show up and cheer you on every time.

Progress is another huuuuuuge motivator. You know your big picture, end goal when you begin a challenge, but you need to break it up into smaller steps to keep you interested along the way. So, something like exercising at least 15 minutes per day. Even if you don’t want to do the planned workout, commit to going on a walk or doing yoga. Anything that gets you moving for 15 minutes! Who knows, maybe you’ll decide the scheduled workout sounds good afterall.

Other small progress goals include attempting a few reps at a heavier weight or in an advanced move. Or trying a new veggie or recipe you’ve had your eye on. Drinking more water. Replacing negative self-talk with something positive. Meditating each morning. Think small! Every achievement fuels the fire.

Make it a priority.

Listen up – You are a priority. Your goals are important. Your commitments to you are NOT less important than any other commitment you make. You can’t give your best to anyone or anything else if you’re not giving yourself your best.

Next time you decide on a challenge, or go to start a routine, put it on your calendar. It might sound silly to schedule your workout, grocery shopping, meal prep, meals, etc. at specific times, but it’s time to treat your health commitments like you would an appointment with your doctor or a meeting. Don’t miss that appointment.

Ultimately, you’re the only one who can change your habits. Yes, having a calendar of workouts to follow is helpful (and why I make them for you!), but no one will hold your hand and make you do the work. But I know you can do it. And you need to believe that you can do it too.

From this moment, no more saying “I can’t,” OKAY?! You absolutely, without a doubt CAN. You just gotta find your groove! And hopefully, some of these tips help you find it. 

PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, leave your questions below! I may answer it in an upcoming Dear Cassey post!

29 thoughts on “Dear Cassey: I keep starting challenges, but I can never finish them.”

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  1. Radhini Govender says:

    Dear Cassey,
    Please can you explain terminology like “draw your ribs down to your pelvis”, “sit tall”, “lengthen your spine”, “engage your core”?

    I have been working out (inconsistently) for years now and I hear these types of things ALL THE TIME, but what does it actually mean??? And how do you physically do it? I feel like by not understanding what these things mean and how to do it, I have incorrect form and posture, which leads to poor results and slow progress, which leads to me giving up on working out.

  2. Kelly says:

    Dear Casey, I work at a bakery and recently I’ve been having a hard time not snacking on the sweets around me. I bring food from home to have there and although I do eat it, I still find myself snacking on the sweets! Im currently trying to lose some weight and eat less sweets. Im not cutting them completely since I know it’s healthy to enjoy sweets in moderation!

    It’s also challenging since I have a past with an eating disorder and I still struggle day to day with thoughts in my head tearing me apart. It gets exhausting and as much as I use the knowledge I know and have learned from treatment, I still have a hard time.

    All in all, I was hoping you’d have advice on how to curb the cravings or what types of food to bring to work that could deter me from snacking as much.

    I hope this all made sense 😬 And thank you for being such an inspiration! I’ve been following you for almost a year and I absolutely love everything you post!

  3. m says:

    Dear Cassey, I’ve been going through a rough patch with my mental health and I want to put more focus into working out, because I know I love it a lot, the progress part and feeling light and sore parts too. With some life changes and trying to adjust to them it’s been hard to keep up with working out and consequently gained weight too.
    But this only makes me want to workout more. But I’ve noticed that I space out a lot during my workouts quite frequently and just sit with a lot of thoughts just whizzing through my mind. I just wanted to know if I could do anything about it and if you ever went through this phase. I’m a college student who just started living alone and prefers working out alone. You just make me feel good and you were my inspiration to look at working out as a passion/thing I love than just for looking “good”. I also have noticed that I do have body image issues which I’m trying to talk myself out of. Any little extent of advise would do, I know you’re busy with your life. Thank you for being the amazing creator and person that you are. When I am financially independent I plan to splurge and invest on workout wear from popflex! I’m so excited for your Tropicana collection! All the best Cassey. Love you!

  4. olivia says:

    Dear Cassey,

    I am writing you from Germany, so please excuse me, if i make many mistakes in here.

    First i want to say thank you for your work. training with you means happyness and love and strength. i can see it in every inch of your body and in your eyes and smile: you love what you do and who you are.

    it is so hard to get there. and right now, i feel so lost! i can hear so much believe in your words. i also am such a believing person…universe, god, magic… but i feel like i have lost my soulmate…and i cannot get out of this emptyness he left inside me. i fought so hard to get where i am … my personality. but now nothing is left.

    your workout is helping me, because it is time for me and it is somerhing good…but i need more. because right now i feel fun while i train, but i also use it for the pain it causes and to get a bit of control back.

    how did you get out of those deep wholes? how did you keep your believe when everything around you is breaking?
    even my body trembles and my back is hurting because i is too much for me.

    and it leads to losing the believe in me and my selflove.

    perhaps this question doesnt belong here. but i hope that you answer me … here or in a private mail.

    i love you and your positivity.

    kind regards…

    ps: please sell your beautiful Dumb-bells in germany too!!! and everything else

  5. Kalysta Fern says:

    Hey Cassey! This is a question for the column. I had just graduated college when covid hit, and my parents offered me a place to stay. With infinite free time basically infinite enforced, I started working out a lot– and by a lot, I mean, like, bike riding and hiking every day, hours of yoga, etc. Getting stronger is really fun. The problem is, I’m going to grad school this fall and, with a full course load, I know I won’t be able to maintain my current strength level, let alone keep building it. My question is, how do I healthily transition into working out less, and, if possible, stay strong? Thank you. I’m a huge fan.

  6. Charm says:

    Dear Cassey,

    I am currently trying to embark on a fitness journey. I went through different kinds of exercise and now stuck with what I feel works for me, which is a morning walk and your 28 Days Beginner Workout Program.

    However, I do have this nagging question in my mind: How do I know that my exercises/workouts are working?

    I don’t really know what to look for except looking for any body changes, or mood/energy changes, and I honestly am not really sure if that is even what I should be looking for.

    To add on, one of the reasons why I stay motivated with exercising is that I feel chubby lately, and I would like to get in shape, tone my body or slim it down, and just be confident in it. So, I would really like to know what I should be looking for to know if my exercise/workout journey is working.

    If you have any advices for my that, it would really help me stay more motivated to continue with this journey.

    Thank you so much!

    a little lost fitness beginner

    1. blogilates says:

      Stay tuned for an answer 😉

  7. Daniela says:

    Dear Cassey,
    Just wanted to comment that you inspire me a lot!

    1. blogilates says:

      Awww thank you for the love!!

  8. Celine says:

    Dear Cassey, I am 15 years old and I want to embark on a fitness journey. I feel motivated at first but it also seems overwhelming. Where to even begin? Soo basically I would like to know how to even get started and create a habit that is ever lasting and that I can truly see the desired changes. Thanks, Celine

  9. Maria says:

    Dear Cassey,

    I have started to workout with you a year ago, i know i haven t been sustainable, but i tired my best. And now i have started your hot girl summer challenge a week ago. 


    But i have a problem, i don’t like to look at myself in the mirror. I feel like it s useless for me, and everything i do it s not working, i m trying so so hard to lose weight but i haven’t seen any changes on the scale.

    I m calculating my calories every day, i m working out, but i have never seen any changes.

    If u can give me some advice, i would really appreciate!

    With love and admiration,

    a teenager girl from another country!

  10. Can I limit my food intake without being obsessive? says:

    Dear Cassey,
    I am now a healthy person. I eat lots of veggies and I workout every day. It took me a while to find foods and exercise that I enjoy but I finally got there. However, I had a lot of sweets one week and I gained 5 pounds! I’m really distraught that one week of fun set me back so much and I’m not sure how to fix it. I don’t want to obsessively limit my sweet and food intake because that has led to problems and with my bdd but at the same time I don’t want to just let myself go. How can I enjoy things like sweets occasionally without feeling bad or overdoing it? Is there a way to limit your intake without becoming obsessive? I want to focus on continuing to eat healthy and exercise without having dips on the scale so greatly effect my self esteem and I’m not sure how to get there.

  11. Courtney says:

    I am the exact same way as this person. I either start and never finish or never actually start. And I always want to but I always have things (or excuses) getting in the way. I am injured or have too much going on that already wears me out. Modifying exercises is a good point though. I usually do that when I do the workouts. I am so not up to par on your level so I usually modify them, do a couple fewer reps, take longer breaks, etc. Whatever works best for me. The point is that I am doing any of it all no matter how much or low little or how I do it. I made the effort to do something. Now if I could consistently do so with a full challenge, that’s another story. Right now my current job has me so exhausted from doing the work of like 5 people, I have no energy for anything nevermind working out haha

  12. Reema says:

    Hi Cassey
    All the questions you take up here are soo Genuine.

    I am Reema, an Artist 27 y/o , Indian , I weigh 70kgs and my height is 5’1″.
    I am Regular and Good in exercises. I go to the Gym for strength Workouts regularly. Also, I do Pilates in the Morning. Occasionally I also go for walks and Runs. And I am Good in all of them. I have Good stamina. I always complete the best in all the sessions I attend.

    But, since 2016 , I have never seen a change in the way I Look, Despite Working out hard, My weight always Increases. And I Look like a person who has never been to gym….I Look Fat from all the places.
    I have Hypothyroidism, I take regular medicines and its under control.
    But Workouts NEVER EVER EVER change anything in me. Yet I motivate myself to move on……to do all the challenges. I did soo many of your challenges. And I am Happy to complete them…They are soo difficult afterall.
    It makes me stronger for next Workouts. But it never changes the way I Look.
    Also whenever I try to change my Diet pattern…..I face a lot of Digestive issues.

    But, I dunno how long can I Just live with this….I really really reallly want to look Fit and Healthy.
    But I always Looks Chubby. It may be cute for my near & dear ones, But somewhere Deep below…..I want a change.

    You say that….Progress is the biggest motivator to move on…..And I am the one…. Working out since 4-5 years without any Progress….Always weighing more….Always gaining inches….
    What should I Do…..???

    I’m Always Chubby

    1. Aly says:

      Oh my gosh, I am in the exact same boat! I have hypothyroidism also, I’m on medication, and I completely understand and relate to everything you said. It’s SO TOUGH! I don’t know what the answer is, but I know we shouldn’t give up! Also, it’s important to learn to love your body no matter what it looks like (which is also SO HARD). I’d love to hear anyone else’s thoughts or ideas <3

  13. Dear Cassey, I want to get healthier but I have had struggles with food in the past, I used to eat almost nothing. But, I am a vegetarian and a picky eater so I find it very hard to eat “healthy” because in that sense eating “healthy” would mean just eating fruits and vegetables. But that would make my calories go very low and my body would go into “starvation mode” again. How do I eat healthy without falling back into that pattern?

  14. Guest says:

    Dear Casey
    I don’t knw if you will see this but I really hope you do. Just by chance, I saw a post online that said anorexia causes brain damage. (A lost in gray matter I think due to malnutrition?) That really really scared me, as I’ve had experiences with ED’s in the past, and no one ever told me about that consequence. Is it true? Is it permanent, or can it be reversed with recovery like other things? I know you’ve done some research on the subject, so I was really hoping you could provide some if any incite.
    This just really really scared me.


  15. Unknown says:

    hi cassey!! i love your videos they’re actually really motivating and i love and admire you!!, so i’m 14 years old and want to lose weight really badly, i always start off good and then out of nowhere stop the progress and gain weight without noticing, i tend to eat more than i think and what i had in mind but i cant resist but to eat unhealthy food, and that kind of brings me to my cravings, i crave a lot of savory things and i try to ignore it but i end up making the food and eating it, another thing i’m having issues with is how i have a lot of healthy recipes but i never make them and i have a lot of programs i’ve saved but i rarely do them, i’m hoping you would see this message and help me with my issues that i’m dealing with.


    1. Been in your shoes says:

      Hi unknown! I was in the exact same position you are in when I was your age. I just graduated highschool and have been on the journey you’re traveling for many years with many ups and downs. So let me share what I’ve learned! First, it’s absolutely ok to make mistakes and have set backs in your journey. Nobody is perfect, and we can just start all over again. For instance I just had a super busy vacation week and didn’t have time to workout everyday or meal prep. And that is OKAY, I can just start again this week. Second, I crave junk food all the time. Its not a bad thing but it’s important to not deprive your body of cravings, so don’t think you can’t have what you crave. As long as you eat that item in moderation or make a healthier version of it, it’s okay to have junk food every now and then. And like Casey mentioned if you want to do things try making a calendar. I have to write my meals for the week down and actually meal prep and make them on Sunday so I have them all ready and prepare for me throughout the week. It means I am more likely to eat them as they are all ready made and the hard work is out of the way. If it’s hard to do programs, try scheduling the workouts at a certain time of day when you know you’ll be awake and ready to do them. If you have to wake up earlier to do them but fear you won’t have enough sleep, just go to bed earlier. Totally ok to go to bed at 9 pm! (I do 😉 ). Also healthy recipes being saved is very good, you can find a lot of savory healthy recipes and alternatives to food you crave, so like I said take time before the week begins to plan your meals and workouts. You got this! Like someone told me, “You’re already making progress if you just showed up. So keep pushing yourself and you’ll get there!”

      Been in your shoes

    2. Unknown says:

      Honestly, you took the words right out of my mouth… I am 14 too, and i totally get your struggles.

  16. Cristiana says:

    Dear Cassey,
    After years of battling with hashimoto’s thyroiditis and extra pounds that never seemed to come off no matter how much I restricted myself (just to binge in a neverending cycle) or how hard I worked out, I embarked on my 90 day journey and did learn a lot about my body. While the weight is slow to come off, due to my condition, I have lost a total of 11 pounds until now , and I am inching closer to my final goal (less than 4 pounds to go!). I was wondering however how to deal with my diet once I reach that goal. I am not sure my body, with my above-mentioned condition that causes a very slow metabolism, among other things, would allow me to just add 500 calories back into my daily regime and maintain the weight. I was reading some articles about reverse dieting and was wondering what you think about it and how you worked it out when you finished your own 90 day journey.
    Thank you very much for being an endless source of fun and inspiration!

  17. Picky Eater says:

    Dear Casey,

    I find myself at a crossroads in this journey that I started wanting to feel confident and beautiful in my body. I love working out, but my relationship with food is not the best and more so since I’m a picky eater. I eat a couple of vegetables and love smoothies, but the problem comes when I don’t have time to make dinner because it was a busy day or my husband decides to close the kitchen and get food for us at home and we end up getting either pizza, Chinese or some kind of fast food. I try to portion control when we eat out but would like to cut down more on it. Also I would love to meal prep because I think it will help, but my meats by the following day taste super dry so I don’t even attempt to do it. I would like to eat more healthy so I can feel better but with being a picky eater is so hard. I think about giving up but I don’t want to. Any advice will be kindly appreciated.


    Picky Eater

  18. Guest says:

    During my periods, My cramps get real bad and I feel fatigued all the time, Should I continue the challenges during my periods too?

  19. Denise says:

    This person might have ADHD. I do and I don’t follow fitness challenges anymore cos they’re not for me. Pick something you like every day and it will come to you.

  20. Thicc Thighs says:

    Dear Cassey,
    Do you have any tips for girls who want to lose muscle intentionally? I feel like my thighs are super bulky and I really want to slim them down. I read some articles online and they suggested doing low impact cardio like long distance running and jogging, but I hate running. I would really appreciate it if you could also give some pointers regarding nutrition as well! I also just wanted to say that I love your upbeat personality so much and I have never been so happy to die(cause of death your workouts). I used to dread exercise, but now it is something I look forward to every day, and I feel amazing afterwards! Keep doing what you are doing!!

    Thicc Thighs :,)

  21. Mentally Exhausted says:

    Hi Casey
    Im 17 years old, and I went from being underweight for 3 years to finally being at a healthy weight for the past 9 months. The problem is I find myself binging a lot and then feeling guilty. Everyone thinks I’m fine because I’m at a healthy weight now, but its exhausting mentally telling myself ill make up for it the next day by eating less but then I binge. How does a person get out of an “all or nothing” mindset?

  22. Wants to be healthy says:

    Dear Cassey, I’m 15 yrs old and I want to do your 90 day journey, however I’m feel like I’m to young for this. I also get comments that I might start being focused on losing weight in a bad way. But I want to eat healthier, i mean I already eat like a ton of fruits and veggies throughout my day, but I feel like I should be doing more. Should I do this? Love, wants to be healthy

    1. berrie says:

      I’m in the same boat, I feel like I’m too young to be worrying about things like weight and stuff. It’s really discouraging to hear that wanting to lose weight will lead to bad things. But honestly, I don’t think wanting to be a healthier person is a bad thing at all, you can definitely go for the 90 day journey! Even a 30-day journey can do a lot, especially if the 90-day seems a bit overwhelming (for people like me, at least). Good luck on your fitness journey 😊

  23. anonymous says:

    Dear Cassey,
    First of all, I’m a huge fan! I love your glowing positivity and beautiful aesthetics in your workout videos. They always deliver! I was wondering if you have any advice for girls who want to DECREASE the size of their butt. I know it’s really popular to have a large behind right now, but I don’t like it on my body. I think that if there’s something you do/don’t like about your body that goes contrary to current “trends,” it’s good to work towards your own goal because then you’re really doing it for yourself and no one else. But I don’t know what kind of exercise is good for decreasing butt size. I’ve heard that cardio is good, but I don’t seem to see much of a difference. I’ve heard that cutting calories is helpful, but I can’t do this much as a teenager with a rocky history with my relationship with food. Also, it seems to slow down my metabolism to cut back much. I’m afraid of “building” or “toning” that area because I seem to bulk up instead of lean out. I want to be strong AND lean, if that’s possible. Any advice from you, Cassey, would mean a lot! Again, I’m a big fan and I really love your channel and look up to you!

    Against the Trend