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Lorna Jane Clarkson: How I approach my New Year’s resolutions

The dynamic force behind the namesake fashion label shares her tips on goal-setting, healthy habits and what she’ll be doing differently in 2024.

“There is no force equal to that of a determined woman,” Lorna Jane’s Founder tells The CEO Magazine with the same level of conviction as a life coach.

The former fitness instructor has been advocating an active lifestyle since as long as she can remember, so much so that she decided to build this philosophy into her activewear apparel.

“The only thing I have really changed since I was in my twenties is that I now do more resistance-based training than cardio,” she admits.

A trailblazer at heart, it’s unsurprising that Clarkson waves her own flag when it comes to taking care of the biggest assets that keep the business ticking: her mind and body.

“The only thing I have really changed since I was in my twenties is that I now do more resistance-based training than cardio.”

“I have always done my own thing when it comes to almost all aspects of my life, including my health and fitness routines,” she says. “I have no doubt that my consistency with my own personal health and wellbeing has been one of the key ingredients in my ability to run my business successfully for 35 years.”

It turns out that 48 percent of people based in the United States are looking to improve their fitness in 2024, according to a recent survey conducted by Forbes Health. However, 62 percent of the respondents admitted that they felt pressured to come up with a New Year’s resolution.

Something to keep in mind is that when the fun factor is missing, you’re less likely to enjoy and therefore persevere with your new habit, regardless of the future benefits you’re working towards. Whether you love music or gardening, pairing this with a habit is the key to making it stick, says Ayelet Fishbach, a leading researcher on motivation and decision-making.

Here, Clarkson shares the goals she’ll be setting this year and her approach to upholding them.

Lorna Jane Clarkson

Rule 1: Ensure your goals are specific and measurable

Clarkson believes that vague statements such as wanting to ‘become healthier’ or ‘getting fitter’ can set you up for failure. Instead, her advice is to ensure your resolutions are detailed, attainable and quantifiable.

“This year, I aim to reduce my coffee intake to one cup a day (as I’ve slipped into having a second cup mid-morning lately!) and increase my strength training sessions from two to three per week,” she says.

This is similar to the approach advocated by Atomic Habits author James Clear, who compares small habits to compound interest in terms of their impact over time. The caveat, he says, is that you must be willing to stick with these habits for years to reap the full benefits.

Rule 2: Know your ‘why’

Clarkson’s health and fitness regime is simple. “I exercise every day, I eat well – steering clear of overly processed foods, and I drink a lot of water,” she says. “I manage my stress with regular yoga, meditation and long technology-free walks, and make sure I get plenty of sleep.”

However, it’s the way she frames her habits as an essential part of her life that makes all the difference and boosts her motivation.

“I look at my health and fitness routine as a non-negotiable part of my day because I consider it an investment in myself – for both my business and life in general,” she explains.

Rule 3: Be consistent

Being consistent over a long period of time with exercising in the morning means that Clarkson has a well-established habit in place that a bit of over-indulgence can’t take away.

“I’ve been doing it for so long now that I actually don’t feel like myself if I don’t do it,” she admits. “With health and fitness it’s all about consistency. It’s about deciding on a routine that works for you and sticking to it!”

Lorna Jane Clarkson

Rule 4: Be accountable

Should you share your goals with your friends, a family member or your pet?

Social support should come in the form of someone who wants to see you grow and succeed – and importantly, someone who’s not afraid to let you know when your actions and words are at odds.

“I’m really vocal about my resolutions because I find that telling the people around me what my goals are holds me more accountable,” Clarkson says.

Rule 5: Surround yourself with positive people

As a self-proclaimed ‘positive person’ Clarkson knows that sustaining this momentum doesn’t just depend on her, but the people she spends time with.

“Even the best of us can’t be positive all of the time, so one of the things that I try to do is surround myself with more positive-thinking people and reduce my exposure to those that tend to be more negative – sounds pretty simple, but it really works.”

It’s a mindset that is very much in step with Oprah Winfrey’s personal philosophy: “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.”

Rule 6: Celebrate progress

When asked what she would do differently if she had the chance to turn back the clock, Clarkson says that pausing to celebrate small milestones is very much underrated, yet holds the key to longevity.

“It’s so important that we take the time at all of the different stages in business and in life, to appreciate the progress we have made and not just keep striving for the final goal,” Clarkson says.

Rule 7: Believe in yourself

It’s sometimes difficult to fathom how something as simple has self-belief can be the decisive factor that determines the extent of your impact and the risks you’re willing to take as an entrepreneur. For Clarkson, it’s a skill that can be cultivated.

“Self-belief is one of the most powerful traits you can develop in yourself,” she explains. “It impacts every decision you make and can impact all other aspects of your life, including your health, your fitness and your success in life.”

Lorna Jane Clarkson

After more than three decades as a pioneer in fashion, it can be tempting to just keep going, but Clarkson is determined to dedicate some time this year to retrospection – digging up the brand’s tangible impact on the evolution of fashion and how far it’s come.

“I’m looking forward to stepping back into the archives and celebrating all of the milestones and achievements we have made along the way,” she says.

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