Do you need a carrot or a stick?

carrot imageHave you set goals this month for 2014 and you’re already starting to waver?

The 3rd week in January tends to be the time when people start to slip back into their previous ways, and this can be about not having the right motivation.

So which approach would work best for you? … The carrot or stick?

Although perhaps it depends on what kind of stick! … bigstock-Single-dry-tree-branch--isola-32101715



Look at the following statements, and see which group mostly rings true for you …

Group A

  • You think about your goal in terms of what you want to achieve
  • You’re good at managing priorities when it comes to your goal
  • You feel excited and energised by the goal
  • You like the idea of breaking your goal down into manageable chunks
  • You benefit from being reminded of your goal – either from others or reminding yourself!
  • You enjoy being rewarded for progress made

Group B

  • You think about your goal in terms of what you want to avoid
  • When you think about your goal – it’s usually about a problem you’ll be solving
  • You’re energised by deadlines
  • You like the idea of the added pressure or challenge that comes with working on the goal
  • You get a boost from reminding yourself of the consequences of not achieving your goal (or not completing tasks needed to achieve the goal)
  • You tend to be good at trouble shooting

So which group describes you most? You may have already guessed …

Group A = The Carrot

Group B = The Stick

If you’re a bit of each, you’ll need to adopt elements of both styles of motivation to keep you going (as detailed below)!

If you’re Group A:

  1. Remember to give yourself rewards – they don’t have to cost anything!
  2. Recognise all progress made towards your goal
  3. Keep reminding yourself of what it is you’re aiming to achieve from goal completion & the benefits you’ll get from this

If you’re Group B:

  1. Set yourself deadlines for tasks related to goal completion
  2. Recognise which problem it is that you are solving
  3. Remind yourself what could go wrong if you don’t achieve this goal

So which are you? And have you other strategies that work to increase your motivation levels?

(Feel free to leave your comments below!)

Posted by Debbie Inglis

This entry was posted in Goal-setting, Motivation and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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