When You Feel Like Giving Up, Eat A Cookie – David Goggin’s Cookie Jar Method

Stacking up on all the good things (aka peanut butter cookies) 

We have personally been going through a lot, experiencing burnout, financial insecurity, work/life inbalance, you name it. However, we looked back at all of our past struggles, and realized we got through them all. Not only that –we came out even stronger as individuals and as partners.

There is something that David Goggins (ultramarathon runner/retired Navy SEAL/motivational speaker) calls the Cookie Jar Method. To begin this method, write down your personal successes. They could be big successes (like you achieved a career or personal milestone) or they could be small successes (like you learned how to dance to Renegade.) These successes are your “cookies.” Then, if there comes a time you ever feel like you want to give up, you open up your “cookie jar” and read what you wrote down. This Youtube Video beautifully illustrated this method.

We both have our own cookie jars, which we store in writing on Evernote or Notion. Here is an example of a few of our cookies: 


  • Can open any jar that seems sealed shut
  • Scored a 98th percentile in the retake after falling short in the Dental Admissions Test
  • Quit a job that was making her unfulfilled and unhappy with life


  • Actually doing the dishes after eating dinner
  • Overcame his fear of making phone calls
  • Researching and buying a stock whose price has improved >1000%

We highly recommend writing your cookies down on your computer or in your journal. That way, you can refer to it whenever you need, and while you enter new cookies, you can visually see your cookie jar growing. Writing will also reinforce your memory and comprehension of the positive things you just wrote. Through our own experience with this method, we can confirm it really works. The short term result is that the Cookie Jar Method helps us quickly let go of a negative feeling. The long term result is that we have slowly grown to focus better on the good instead of the bad.

There is struggle in all of us, and the Cookie Jar Method will remind you that there is also success in all of us. We thought that by sharing this tool it might help someone who is fighting their own battles. 

Click here if you want to read more about David Goggins.

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