Picture this. You’re headed out of town for the holidays, your flight’s tomorrow morning, and you’re determined to get in a workout before leaving.

The only caveat here is that you’ll need to wake up earlier than usual to make it happen. Like, three hours earlier. Also, waking up three minutes earlier for you is like awakening a bear from hibernation. But whatever, you go to bed confident. Because the magic of Christmas, amirite?

Fast forward to the next morning. Alarm goes off. And… of course you’re tired. But you’re fiercely motivated, so you crawl out of bed on a mission.

Now, timeout. As much as I’d like to continue visualizing the pre-flight Christmas miracle I’ll be attempting next week, the purpose of this message is to better understand (and then employ) the motivation framing that works best for you.

If your motivation typically aligns more so towards what you want – “I want to accomplish my goal of completing an early workout so I can feel good about myself and/or more relaxed on my trip” – you’re a towards motivated person. You’re motivated by the things that you would like to have, like to talk about what you want more than what you don’t want, and in an analogy of a horse being persuaded by a carrot ahead versus a stick from behind, would be more influenced by the carrot.

If your motivation typically aligns more so away from what you want – “I don’t want to feel bad about myself on the flight home, knowing I could have woken up but decided to sleep in,” or “I don’t want to get out of shape” – you’re an away motivated person. You’re motivated by your fears, want to avoid failure and risks, and in the analogy above, would be more influenced by the stick.

But what if I think I’m towards motivated *and* away motivated? You could be! This is a spectrum, after all.

Three important takeaways:

  1. No one is strictly towards or away motivated, but we do have a preference — in general, and depending on the context.
  2. Your preference aside, identifying the motivation preference of others can help you become a more effective communicator.
  3. People usually indicate their motivation preference with what they say after the word “because”. Pay attention…

One final note: You know what’s cooler than thinking about motivation? DOING.



Kimmy Moss


12/17/19 WOD

AMRAP 9 (Nasal Breathing Only)

Run 200m

12 DB Step Ups – Left

12 DB Step Ups – Right

-Rest 3 min-

AMRAP 9 (Nasal Breathing Only)

3 Pull Ups

6 Push Ups

9 Squats


Then, every :30 for 8 minutes:

1 Power Clean (AHAP)