“This semester I’m going to go to bed earlier, work out at least three times a week, and eat more salad.” I know I’m not the only one that makes these promises to myself. Yet, without fail when I go back to school after a long break, I’m too used to staying up late, sleeping in, and lounging around to start my resolutions right away.

It’s natural to want to take complete advantage of winter and summer vacation. My last few weeks or days before I go back to school, I want sleep as late as I can because I know I won’t be able to once classes start—but this is where I set myself up for failure. If I am ever going to go to sleep early or go to the gym this fall, I know that I need to start waking up and working out now, while I’m completely stress free without homework and studying. If I use these last few weeks of summer to my advantage, I can get myself into some great habits before I get back to school. That way, I don’t start piling on the excuses… “It’s only the first week back, I need to spend all my time with my friends who I haven’t seen,” “I have too much homework to cook anything healthy,” “I’m too behind to stop working and go to sleep now.”

I won’t be setting my alarm for 7 am—let’s be serious—but if I can get myself up at 10 am instead of 12 pm, maybe even work myself up to 9 or 9:30, waking up for an 8:30 class when school starts won’t be nearly as much of a struggle.

It’s a lot to ask of your body to suddenly form new sleep habits, especially ones good enough to get you through a long day of classes. It’s also really unrealistic to think that if you’ve been laying out at the beach the whole summer that you’ll hit the treadmill four nights a week when you get back to school. Right now is the time to figure out what you want to accomplish and get started on it. Chances are, if you’ve managed to work out throughout the summer, you’ll be so used to this routine that there’s no way you’ll let school get in the way of sticking with it. The start of the semester may be rapidly approaching, but it’s not too late to get a good habit formed.

Amanda Gallucci is a junior at Providence College in Rhode Island, studying English and Business. She is actively involved in Dance Club, Social Justice Advocacy, Student Alumni Association and is a member of NSCS. She hopes to one day land a marketing position in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @agalluch.