Carrot vs. stick

Quick question for you today…

Which motivates you more:

Running toward something you want (a “carrot”)
Running away from something you want to escape (a “stick”)?

There is no wrong answer!

But it’s worth thinking about, because most of us choose the “carrot” approach to go after things we want.

But working to overcome things we DON’T want can also be a powerful motivator.

Not too long ago I was listening to a podcast with David Goggins, the bestselling author/motivational speaker/endurance athlete/former Navy SEAL/world record holder, etc.

He was talking about how what drives him to go after so many goals isn’t the CARROT

It’s the STICK — e.g., avoiding the consequences of NOT working toward his goals.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

He grew up overweight and out of shape — and he never wants to feel that way again
Growing up, learning was a challenge for him — and he hated how that made him feel.

So now, he uses those feelings to keep pushing himself forward.

For David, it’s not so much about the reward or chasing “good” feelings, as it is about avoiding the consequences and the bad feelings.

Do you have any “sticks” that keep moving you forward?

It’s good to think about because most of us are motivated by a mix of both.

Constantly chasing the “carrot” can cut back on your sense of urgency — and too much “stick” can lead to burnout.

The fact is, your motivation might change from day to day!

This is why it’s so important to keep working on your mindset, the same way you do all the other aspects of your fitness and health.

Rob Quimby, CPT

Owner, Fitness Lifestyle LLC



Rob is the owner and founder of Fitness Lifestyle Personal Training. He has been training for over thirty-three years; seventeen of those years as a personal trainer helping others reach their goals.


Something to look forward to…

Something to look forward to…

Can you believe we’re just about to say goodbye to 2023? I started to write you an email about setting goals for the coming year. But then I thought it would be more exciting to go even BIGGER — and set a THEME for 2024.

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