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We’re almost nine months into 2018, so nobody’s going to be surprised if, by this point, your New Year’s resolutions have fallen by the wayside. If your big New Year’s plan was to, say, eat healthier, wake up earlier, or exercise three times a week, and you’ve slid right back into your old habits, don’t worry—you can still get back on track.

September is the perfect time to set new resolutions—I’m about to explain why and share some of my best tips for making September the month that changes everything. I’ve spent more than a decade helping people lose weight and work out, and I can help motivate you to accomplish your goals too—this is what I do, after all!

September Is the New January

January 1 has some magic to it, doesn’t it? There’s something about flipping that last page on the calendar that feels like hitting the reset button on our lives. In January, anything feels possible. With a new year, we feel free to wipe away every stumble, misstep, and false start from the year before. It’s the time when we can start over and re-create ourselves.

But what we soon realize is that life gets in the way. There’s school, late nights, dinners with friends, practices, long days at work, family troubles… so much has happened between January and now.

But the truth is, September has the same resetting power as the New Year. In fact, it’s my favorite time to start. And the best part: You don’t have to wait four months to give it another go—the perfect time is now.

Imagine what you will accomplish by January if you start today. You can be down 20 pounds or ready to crush your first 5k—all while the rest of the world is waiting to get started.

The Power of the Clean Slate

September has an air of excitement. It’s almost electric—we’re recharged from summer, schools are back in full swing, and we’re ready to buckle down and get to work. Ever since we were kids, the start of fall has brought with it a chance for a new beginning. This is what makes September so amazing—it’s what researchers call a “temporal landmark,” which basically means it’s a marker, like a birthday, the first day of a new month, or the start of the school year. These all signify a transition from what was to what could be.

The beauty of these transitions is that they knock us out of our day-to-day minutiae, give us a chance to stop and catch our breath, and take a step back to look at the big picture. And when we really seize these points in time, we’re given the opportunity to start all over again on the right foot.

Resolutions With a Twist

Typically, when we make New Year’s resolutions, we focus on what we’re going to do.

But with September resolutions, we’re going to take that model and turn it on its head. Follow these three steps and you’ll have rock-solid resolutions that will last a lifetime. So open up a notepad and let’s get to work!

Let’s Start With Your Resolution

Before we jump in, let’s write down what you want to accomplish. It could be anything.

  • Wake up earlier
  • Eat better
  • Get to the gym four times a week

But let’s say our goal is: Lose 20 pounds.