The cookie jar method
Let’s be real for a second, life is full of struggles, long work hours, hard gym sessions and everything else that life throws at you! You begin to feel like you’re falling behind and motivation begins to dwindle. this is one of the reasons we begin to procrastinate and shy away from adversity, remember your brain is programmed to keep you safe and alive, it’s not made for improvement and happiness!
Usually when we get to this point our brain tells us to stop, "you can’t handle this" or "do it tomorrow", like that will be any better. Even when your mind is telling you to give up, you still have extra fuel in the tank, we’ve already spoken about the four ways in which you can be motivated but this blog is about how you can tap into your extra motivation using the cookie jar method.
Before we divulge into what the cookie jar method is let’s first look at where it came from.
This concept came from a guy called David Goggins who is now an elite athlete who has competed in over 60 ultra marathons, triathlons and ultra triathlons, setting new records left right and center. He’s also a former Guinness world record holder for the most amount of pull ups in 24 hours (he actually did a whopping 4030 in 17 hours) not to mention he’s an ex navy seal and worked in the United States air force, so if you’re being honest, you wouldn’t want to mess with him, he’s a tough guy.
Do you know what one of the toughest guys on the planet and your grandma have in common? They both have a cookie jar. Now your grandma’s might be in a secret cupboard or on the top shelf out of reach but Goggins cookie jar is metaphorical, It's in his mind.
David Goggins cookie jar started when he was trying to raise money for Special operations warrior foundation who raise money for college scholarships and grants for children who’s parents had died in combat, after he lost many friends in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. To do this he was going to participate in badwater-135 which Is known to be one of the hardest ultramarathon’s ever but, to enter this footrace there are many requirements such as completing multiple 100 mile races, to put that into perspective that’s 4 marathons put together, so to enter badwater Goggins signed up for a 24 hour straight race. Goggins did look fit from all of his SEALs training but he was no runner, he hadn’t run 6 months prior to the event.
So the race began, after a few miles Goggins felt fine and had no problems, at 25 miles he began to question whether he was capable of finishing, doubt started into his head and he began to tire even he still had about three marathons to go, at 50 miles his body began to severely hurt, yet still he pushed on, not fast or with style but he was still fighting. At 70 miles he couldn’t take another step, his body began to shut down due to the exhaustion of every single mile, so he sat down to rest. With bloody urine and diarrhea he found himself asking why, why am I still doing this to myself? He then remembered that this wasn’t the first time he had been in a situation where the odds was against him, where he was faced with a humanly impossible task but made it possible, this gave Goggins an extra spurt of motivation, although it was only slight it was enough to make him start walking again, step by step all while remembering the adversities he had overcome he finally finished the race! I don’t advise pushing yourself to the limits to where your body starts shutting down, especially with no training but it does show you the true power of the cookie jar.
David Goggins writes this in his book: Can’t hurt me
“Remembering what you’ve been through and how that has strengthened your mindset can lift you out of a negative brain loop and help you bypass those weak, one-second impulses to give in.”
What is the cookie jar method
The cookie jar method is storing all of the things you’ve endured, overcome and achieved in a cookie jar, for the times where you feel like giving up. this can be in your mind or a real cookie jar. It’s about remembering the times that obstacles have been put in your way and you could of gave up but didn’t, the times where you never gave up and finally achieved something. You broke a bad habit, you overcame depression or you worked through a really hard task. Whatever the case may be and whatever you’ve overcome this should go in your cookie jar for when things get tough.
It’s important to never dwell on these accomplishments as the cookie jar should only be used is when you need that extra BOOST when things are getting hard, it’s not a treat that you keep snacking on.
How to make a cookie jar
Now, you might not be interested in running an ultramarathon however, I do believe you would like to be able to keep on going when things get tough. That might mean being able to keep studying when you’re finding the work really boring, it might mean being able to work on your side hustle even when you get tired or it might help you keep reading this blog because you know the previous ones have helped you in the past! Whatever the case may be your brain at some point is going to tell you to give up, so you’re going to have to make your own cookie jar.
- The jar: To start you need a cookie jar, now if it’s for when you are struggling to get work done at home you can buy an actual cookie as this will be more useful but, if it’s for running like David Goggins or going to the gym, you don’t want to be carrying around a huge glass jar so you should make an imaginary one in your head, try and make it as detailed as possible because you want it to be as easy to think of when you’re struggling with something.
- Get set: Grab a pen and a piece of paper or prepare your mind.
- Making the cookies: Write down or make mental notes of things you’ve endured, overcome and accomplished, no matter how big or small it might be to someone else isn’t important, this is your cookie jar! As long as you feel like you achieved something, that’s good enough. Anything that you’ve done or resisted doing, write it down.
- Baking the cookies: Make as many notes as you like - I’ll bet there’s a lot more you’ve achieved than you might initially think, just be honest and gives yourself some deserved props. What challenges or hardships have you overcome? When were you knocked down but found a way to get back up? Remember, while a physical cookie jar can be filled we can always get more jars. There’s no such thing as being too badass or doing too many awesome things.
- Fill to the brim: Once you’re done, or at least done for now, put all the cookies in your jars and store them away for the tough times ahead, when you’re really struggling, pull one out and take a bite out of that badass chocolate chip bit!
This method is one part of David Goggins book you can’t hurt me which you can purchase here.
Not only does this book discuss this method in more detail it also has many more chapters on things such as the 40% rule and the accountability mirror. If you would like this and buy it through the links provided I will make a small commission which will be no extra cost to you. This money will help me keep providing you with that extra BOOST! Thankyou in advance – Jake.
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