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Summer’s wrapping up, kids are going back to school, and you can’t believe the holiday items that are already showing up in stores. Yes, we’re more than halfway through the year, and that means we’re nearing resolution season. Beat the rush this year!

While everyone else is stocking up on fresh pencils, you can focus on refreshing your lifestyle. “The idea of a fresh start and doing things in a new way is familiar to us in the fall,” says Brooke Randolph, a mental health contributing expert at DietsInReview.com. “In many ways, it feels more natural to try on new habits or even a new identity at the start of the school year rather than the first of the calendar year.”

She explains that by starting today, rather than in January, you can use that new year time to re-assess what has worked and what needs fresh attention. “While you are likely to let some habits slide a bit during the holidays, it will be much easier to get things back on track in January if you have already established the habit throughout the autumn months."

Follow the back-to-school crowd’s lead and stock up on your own batch of new supplies, habits, and goals.

1. Write down your goal. Students often put their goals for the year in ink on the first day of school, and you shouldn’t be any different. Tweet it, blog it, put it on a sticky on the mirror—just put your goal somewhere with some accountability and then make it happen!

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2. Start with an early bedtime. Get to bed on time so you can be ready to face the day. Create a sleep-conducive environment with cool temperatures and no screen time. Set the alarm 15 minutes earlier than usual and give yourself time to not feel rushed in the morning. You’ll notice the better sleep improves your energy, focus, and mood.

3. Pack your lunchbox. Forget where the cool kids are going to drop 20 bucks on a greasy restaurant lunch; go to work prepared with a mid-day meal that’s actually good for you. “Lunch may be even more important [than breakfast], especially if we’re doing errands and are on the go,” says Elisa Zied, R.D., author of Nutrition at Your Fingertips.

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4. Buy new gym supplies. Start with a new outfit you feel great in, then pack up your bag with gear that supports this (re)commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Running shoes should be replaced every 300 to 500 miles. Buy at least two quality sports bras. Replace a worn out yoga mat. Renew a gym membership. Treat yourself with a few new playlist songs or workout DVDs.

5. Take a recess. Get up from your desk at least once an hour; even a five-minute walk to refill a water bottle can get your blood pumping and clear your head. Spend half your lunchtime eating and the other half moving, whether that’s a walk around the parking lot, running the stairs, or tucking in to a quiet conference room for some revitalizing yoga. Your body needs the break!

6. Sign up for extracurriculars. Break away from your usual routine and try something new (and maybe make some new friends). Try that new trampoline park, join a dodgeball or softball team, gather friends for a novelty color or mud run, or take some dance classes downtown. That kind of activity isn’t just good exercise, it’s good fun.

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By Brandi Koskie for DietsInReview.com

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