For many of us, 2016 was a doozy, but we here at Brit + Co are ready to hit refresh in 2017! Follow our Hit Refresh series through January for new ideas, hacks and skills that will help you achieve (and maintain!) those New Year’s resolutions.

A lot of the time, New Year’s resolutions get abandoned — particularly ones that involve fad diets and workout routines. They’re usually pretty major changes that are drastically different from how you normally live your life, and it’s really tough to do a complete 180 in the way you eat or exercise starting immediately on January 1. Once you get off track, it’s easy to feel defeated and get down on yourself, which in turn makes it harder to feel motivated to get back out there and keep working on your goal.

According to Lorna Jane Clarkson, compassion toward yourself is the key to getting where you want to be. As someone who created a wildly successful activewear business (Lorna Jane — you may have heard of it) and lifestyle brand, she knows a few things about achieving major goals, especially since she started her company out of her home while working as a fitness instructor. Her motto in life is “Move Nourish Believe,” and for achieving your biggest goals she says believing is the most important part. Here, find her insight on how — with the right frame of mind — the sky’s the limit.


1. No goal is unattainable. It’s all about how you approach it. “Goals are never unrealistic,” Lorna Jane explains. “They just take patience and hard work.” Like most good things in life, right?! If you’re tackling something big — like, say, running a marathon — she says it’s a good idea to mentally break it down into smaller goals. What training plan will you follow? How many miles will you run each week? Where will you run? The research and planning of how you’re going to get to your goal is actually a mini-goal in itself. So don’t be afraid to tackle that big challenge you’ve been thinking about for a while. Just know that you may have to take some small steps to get there.

2. Self-care is essential. You can’t make your intention a reality without also being gentle with yourself. A lot of people think that the best way to make yourself achieve something is to work as hard as you possibly can, regardless of the toll it takes mentally. According to Lorna Jane, the opposite is actually true. “Every goal needs to start with believing in yourself. Taking care of yourself and loving yourself is the driving force behind that. You must practice self-care to achieve your goals. It’s as simple as that!” It’s true that if you feel confident, it’s going to be a whole lot easier to get where you want to go. If things get rough, do your favorite self-care activity, whether it’s watching a funny movie, meditating or going for a long walk. Give yourself time to reset and relax, and then get back to all the awesome work you’re doing.

3. Writing down your goals actually works. You’ve probably heard the advice to write down what you want to realize. It may seem cheesy or unnecessary, but the mental process of putting your wishes for yourself down on paper is highly effective. Another benefit? “You’ll be able to track your progress and see your hard work pay off,” Lorna Jane says. Looking back on months of food journals or workout logs will make you feel totally badass and accomplished when you’re feeling like you want to quit.

4. Remember that the New Year isn’t the only time you can set a goal. “I truly believe that arriving at one goal is the starting point for the next goal,” shares Lorna Jane. So once you achieve one of your objectives, you can move on to another one quite naturally — and you don’t need to wait until next year for that to happen! “The start of a new year is the perfect opportunity to start fresh and create some ‘reach for the stars’-type goals,” she says. “Just remember: You don’t have to wait for a new month or a new year to start fresh with your big ideas. As far as I’m concerned, there is no better time to move forward in life than right now, no matter the time of year.”

How have you achieved your health and fitness New Year’s resolutions? What strategies did you use? Tell us @BritandCo!

(Photos via Lorna Jane Clarkson)