Tactic vs Strategy

Watching a good chess player at work is all about strategy. 

The best team on the field or court very rarely wins because of one specific play, but because of the overall strategy, they came prepared with. 

Our lives, and especially fitness, are filled with tactics, but not enough strategy. 

"Use this belt, let it jiggle your fat, and it will magically make your waist smaller."

"Do this one specific exercise to tighten and tone your arms."

"Eat this superfood to boost your metabolism overnight."

Just like in business, tactics without strategy never works. 

The media does a great job at filling our minds with all different kinds of tactics to lose weight, tone up, boost your metabolism, and have more energy...

But what's the strategy?

Throw them all together and hope one of them sticks?

You get my point. 

There is not one specific exercise that is best...

There is not one specific food that is best...

There are just strategies that work.

For example...

My strategy is to workout 200 times this year through fun and engaging strength based workouts. 

I want to eat "clean" 80% of the time, but not let it cripple me to the point of not enjoying life. 

I practice daily mindfulness to keep most of my thoughts positive and have a 1% Better approach to fitness and life, which is this...

We only have good days and great days, and as long as I gave it my all today I know I'm better than yesterday but not as good as tomorrow. 

I can then fill that overall strategy in with specific tactics. 

I have a bookmark that I use for my daily reading, it has 200 boxes on it. 

I place an "X" after every workout, that holds me accountable to getting my 200 workouts in. 

I'm not saying tactics are not important. 

However, we don't want to stack a bunch of random tactics on top of a non-existent strategy. 

Have a strong strategy as your foundation, use that as your guardrails to keep you focused and on track, and don't get caught up in the fancy quick-fix tactics, you and I both know they never last. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling


Hello from beautiful Charleston, South Carolina.

Megan, Kaden, and I got a super cute little Airbnb on the water and we’re recharging the batteries for the next week.

Like many of you I have one speed, fast.

I talk fast, I eat fast, I work fast.

Not necessarily the greatest thing, but I’ve learned that’s part of who I am.

I take the one percent better approach and apply it to 100 Day Sprints, so that at the end of it maybe I’m 100% Better ;)

I’ve written about the 100 Day Sprint before.

Basically it’s some ambitious goals, projects, to dos, and growths you want to make in 100 days, and then you rest.

For me, it fits my personality.

If you think of a year being 365 days, I aim to have three 100 day sprints (300 days), and recharge for the other 65 days.

For me, that’s a good ratio.

For some, they need it be more of a traditional 5:2 ratio (Mon-Fri work, recharge on the weekends).

I’ve never really liked to “normalcy” of that.

I like to wake up at 4:30am and just go until I can’t possible go anymore, usually that means 8:30pm.

And I love it.

No complaints.

That also, as we all know, is not sustainable.

I have a pretty good pulse for when I know I’m reaching my limits, and I use travel to renew.

I travel a fair amount for work, but Megan and I always aim to schedule a more relaxing family trip at least once every 100 days.

I know that the travel creates some urgency in that 100 day sprint to get things done, and doesn’t allow me to “push past it."

For me, it’s just about getting out of my normal environment, seeing somewhere new, it allows me to turn things down a lot (I can never shut off completely), and really slow down the pace.

It renews me.

And that’s really the lesson here.

What renews you?

You’re balancing your family, your career, your relationships, and it all seems like it’s pulling you in a million directions.

How do you rest?

More importantly, how do you renew?

Good sleep is good rest, and that’s super important, but throughout each day, week, month, and year we need to find things that renew us.

Resting is great, but renewing is more important.

The difference?

Rest is doing nothing, sleeping, laying around, napping, etc.

Renewing is doing activities that bring you energy, that recharge your batteries, that relight the spark.

The goal is to find mini ones every day and then have larger ones throughout the year.

For example, I try to sweat every single day because I know I feel renewed.

I try to meditate, journal, and read every single day as it gives me energy for the day.

And for me, my hobby, traveling, is renewing.

For others, it’s stressful and not fun, for me, I love the energy somewhere new gives me, and I often can really slow down and get some quality renewal time in.

We know that in order to take care of those around us we have to be at our best. 

I know that if I want to be a good leader for the team, I have to be at my best. 

The coaches know that if they want to put on the best "show" for the clients, they first have to be at their best. 

You know that in order to take care of your family, you have to make sure you're taking care of first. 


How do you do that?

Find things the renew you. 

1% better. 

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Stop going against the grain

As most of you know, Doug and I started a podcast, and on Monday, we recorded episode two. If you’re wondering, I made Doug laugh aloud once, which is one of my secondary goals while we record. 


In the show, Doug and I both talk a little about our respective processes of writing a book. Doug’s book launched last week, and mine will be released in late spring.

If you were to ask any author what the best advice is for writing a book, most of them would say the same thing:


Write, write, write. 

Which is absolutely true. You can’t create something if you don’t find the discipline to sit down to do it. In Doug’s case, he worked writing into his morning routine. He made an appointment with his laptop every day and he kept it. That’s how he has been able to write a new blog post almost every day of the week for the past few years. 

I’m writing this, per my usual, at 10:30 on Tuesday night.

My process for writing a book has been much different. I sit down to write, get antsy, stand up, pet the dog, pour more coffee, scratch my armpits, shave my legs, pluck my whiskers, turn my hat on backwards, flip over the vinyl record, write three words, stand up, vacuum the office…..

Hell, I once tied myself to a chair with panty hose in order to keep myself put. But it just put a knot in the panty hose and freaked my roommates out.  

Ultimately, what allowed me to finish my book was external accountability. I found someone to meet with once a week and that meeting kept me accountable to the process. But I had certain pieces of the book that I would finish during the week, without necessarily following a set schedule. I couldn’t keep a daily appointment, but I could keep weekly accountability…..to someone else. And that made a big difference.

Somewhere along the way, I realized that I needed to work with my personality, instead of constantly trying to be something I’m not. I am never going to be Type A. I am never going to use a checklist. I am never going to be a linear thinker. I’m never going to be a morning person.

For a long time, I felt bad about many of my natural tendencies - sure I was creative, but I was messy, disorganized and scattered. I tried using a planner for a hot minute, tried to train myself to become a morning person, tied myself to a chair with panty hose - but in the end, I’ve had the most success when I’ve worked with who I already am. 

When I stop trying to force myself to be someone I’m not, good things happen. 

When I work with my personality instead of against it, I can find the slightly better version of myself that I’m looking for. 

Most days, that’s all any of us can ask for. But we can stop feeling bad about all of the things that we’re not, and all of the characteristics that we think will make us a better version of ourselves.

The best thing you can do, is do you, whatever that looks like.

Faucets & Drains...

We all have those people in our lives…

You know who I’m talking about.

They just drain the energy right out of you.

They constantly complain, take a lot of your energy to keep going, and are a real drag.

On the flip side, we have faucets.

Faucets are people with an endless amount of potential, forward motion, and possibility.

They are the source provider of the energy.

It is possible to turn a drain into a faucet.

It’s mostly choice.

It’s mindset.

How you look at things…

Are you an energy drag, or are you filled with forward motion and positivity?

Life is filled with enough drains, be a faucet.

I heard this analogy from the great writer, Seth Godin.

I love it.

Most of this stuff comes down to choice.

In her book Mindset, Carol Dweck introduces the concept of a growth mindset and a fixed mindset.

If someone has a growth mindset they believe they can achieve anything, when they get frustrated they persevere through, when they fail they learn, and they love a good challenge.

In comparison, someone with a fixed mindset believes they are either good at something or not, they give up when they’re frustrated, they think they’re no good when they fail, and they don’t like to be challenged.

To continue with the above example, your drains are fixed mindset people, and your faucets are growth mindset people.

In health and fitness it’s important to have a growth mindset, and either be a faucet, or surround yourself with them.

It’s going to be challenging (I’m not talking about the workouts, I’m talking about the long-term journey of just showing up), you’re probably going to fail at some point, and like bathing, you’re going to need motivation and accountability daily.

If you approach it with a growth mindset that excites you, and you know you can overcome it.

That’s why we’re such big proponents of having coaches with you at every workout, and as support throughout the entire journey.

A coach has a growth mindset, they can see the transformation before it even happens, and they can be your “faucet” of energy.

Keep going.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling


It's a big day.

Tonight is the launch and signing party of my new book, One Percent Better.

I'd love if you could stop by, will I see you there?

What's the book about?

In this day and age, we crave instant gratification.

We think there is a magic pill we can take for fast results, or that there must be a shortcut we’re missing in or health, business, or life.

Life is not about the home runs. It's about showing up every single day and hitting singles.

That is one percent better.

We’re not looking for the quick-fix.

We’re waking up every single day aiming to be the best version of ourselves; aiming to be a little better than yesterday.

Over the last decade I've inspired hundreds of people through the one percent better way of living.

Why did I write the book?

Whether it’s in the gym with fitness clients, in leading our team, or in consulting small business owners, I found myself sharing some core lessons repeatedly.

These lessons have a huge impact, it didn’t matter whether you applied them to fitness, finance, family, or any other aspect of your life, they inspired positive change in all aspects of life.

The magic of a book is it lasts forever.

This book is not designed to be read from front to back in a couple days.

It’s meant to act a “resource” and read a lesson here and there.

Keep it on your nightstand or in your office, and when you feel like you need a spark, read a lesson.

Read one lesson a day and get one percent better.

Tonight, I’ll be sharing a little bit more of my story, some lessons from the book, and giving everyone a free copy of the book as a thank you for attending.

I’ll even sign it :)

It would mean the world to me if you could make it.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: If you’re coming, please do me a favor and RSVP by clicking the link below…

The Sacred Paws

I’m typing this at 10:49 on Tuesday night – by the time you read it, I’ll be slipping back in to my Pittsburgh dialect as I head home for a quick trip to see family.

Yinz guys wanna go dahntahn and drink some Iron?

That’s Pittsburghese for “would you like to grab a beer?”

Today, like many other days for me, has been straight out. From 9:30 am to 9:30 pm I have filled almost every minute of my day with something. And as much as I hate that it’s true - when I have days like those, everyone knows it because I’m a WYSIWYG - what you see is what you get.

It’s an area of growth for me, that I wear my heart out on my sleeve pretty much 24/7. Sometimes it serves me well, but I wouldn’t last a hot minute in a poker game.

When I don’t take a minute to stop and, I don’t know, take a drink on days like these, it’s not pretty.

It’s easy for me jam pack my days now because I love what I do. Between my own writing (now that Doug has a book, I need to write one :-), coaching, learning, doing podcasts and everything else, there is so much to do.

Often, it’s like I’m drinking out of a firehose – now that I found my career my mind is bursting with ideas and because my life is organized chaos, I’m constantly bouncing around from one thing to another throughout my day. Last week I said I wasn’t a checklist person, but I’m not a linear thinker either. My brain looks more like a million post it notes stuck all around a room.

I can get myself pretty out of balance in my days, despite loving what I do.

Tonight when I walked through the door, threw myself onto the comfy dining room chair and sat staring up at the ceiling, my 11 year old basset hound Rooney lumbered in from the living room and say staring at me patiently. I leaned over and picked him up, as I like to do, and he settled into my lap. I nuzzled into his head and smelled the familiar corn chip smell of his that I’ve come to love, and I used him as my weighted blanket. He breathes deeply, I breathe deeply. We both sigh contentedly.

And I was reminded of what Buddhists call the sacred pause.

But in this case, it’s the sacred paws.

It’s one of the things I love so much about dogs, and Rooney in particular. He lays down in the sun, stretches out in front of the heater, and stretches and groans long and loud when he wakes up from a nap. His presence is often my reminder to stop what I’m doing, bend over and scratch his ears, or pick him up, put him in my lap and just be with him.

Seeing him, being with him, is always my reminder to pause. It’s my reminder to stop mindlessly, breathlessly pin-balling myself from moment to moment and losing myself not in my tasks but to my tasks.

I’m grateful tonight (now it’s 11:27), for Rooney – with his long floppy ears, sad droopy eyes, and easy-going presence to remind me of the sacred paws.

Today, as you go about your day - find a moment - close your eyes in the sun - turn up a song on the radio - watch your goldfish swim in his tank - and pause.

{Introducing } The One Percent Better Show

We Started A Podcast! :)

For years, every time I would film a video or do Facebook Live for clients they would tell me...

"Doug, it's good, but I need to put my phone down and listen while I get other stuff done (cook dinner, fold laundry, drive)."

So, we figured what better way to spread our positive messages than through the Podcasting platform. Plus, I brought on my teammate and friend,  Kim Lloyd to join me as a co-host.

The Spurling Community currently consists of 3 main "branches"

1.  Spurling Fitness, our mothership, the gym we change lives in everyday

2. A coaching and education platform that we run for business professionals where we host workshops, events, and offer consulting services.

3. Our charitable foundation work through things like the Spurling Charity 5k, our scholarship, and we're even planning a mission trip :)

Although I do aim to clarify the three overtime, the fact of the matter is they are all integrated, and all share a common message.

One Percent Better.

Getting a little better every day, whether that's a health and fitness change, a better business owner, a better member of the community, or just trying to be a nicer human being :)

Well, The One Percent Better SHOW, will be our universal platform to talk about all of that magical stuff.

I'm excited.

Each episode is going to focus on one of the seven dimensions of wellness…

Physical change, emotional change, spiritual change, social change, intellectual change, vocational change, or financial change.

We’ll bring on guest speakers, do some live “coaching calls” with clients, and do everything we can to spread the positivity of the one percent better message.

I'm a fan of "shipping it" so we didn't wait for the perfect technology, the perfect sound, the perfect logo, but hey, it's episode one.

You can view it on iTunes here--->>>> The One Percent Better Show

Give it a listen and let us know what you think.

If you have ideas for future episodes just reply and let us know.

If you have a minute, we’d love for you to subscribe and leave a review on iTunes.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

4 Walls To A Life Well Lived

It was cold.

He was motionless.

Just that morning I was talking to him about how he likes his coffee.


John had died.

He was the 7th or 8th person I had to “wash up” to get ready for family visits since working there.

I worked in nursing homes and hospitals before getting into the fitness space, and I mostly dealt with Alzheimers & Dementia patients down in Massachusetts, with a brief time up in Bangor working with people who had suffered Traumatic Brain Injuries.

The short of it is, I worked with people who had just nearly faced death or those who were about to face death.

Humbling to say the least.

What does it mean to be you?

Ten years from now is the world better because of you?

What does it mean to have a life well lived?

In my short time on earth, I’ve summarized it to these 4 things…

1. Awareness: Know who you are

This is the first wall that must be built and is the most important. 


The ability to know who you are, what makes you tick, what your values are, what makes you happy, etc. 

This wall, like the others, is never ending, but it must be started. 

Self-awareness is one of the largest skills we can develop if we want to live a more fulfilling and happier life.

It takes time but can be done through meditation, journaling, and just really taking the time to ask yourself deep questions about what's important to you, what's your character, and what are your motives and desires. 

2. Vision: Knowing what you want

Although I think self-awareness is the most important, this one is my favorite. 

Your vision. 

Why do you exist?

What are you trying to accomplish in your short time here?

Where do you want to go?

What do you want to do?

Ten years from now we’re sitting together over a glass of wine, what did it mean to be you?

What difference did you make in the world?

Or did we just go through the motions, complaining about whatever we saw on our News Feed that morning?

The answers to those questions and more are all a part of your vision. 

Just like it's important for a company to have a strong vision, I think it's vital for each of us to have a really clear vision. 

A vision creates two things:

Clarity and Drive. 

With a clear vision, you'll have an enormous amount of drive towards something that is bigger than yourself. 

3. Achievement: Know how to get it.

So the first two walls are the most important, but they're kind of "fluffy." 

They're not concrete and may be difficult to put on a paper, but the achievement is very tactical. 

Achievement is where you start learning how to go after your vision.


A Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement. 

1% Better. 

Become a lifelong learner. 

Find something in your vision, learn it, and be the best at it. 

What are you the best in the world at?

There's an extreme amount of fulfillment in learning how to do something. 

We had to learn how to walk, we had to learn how to read, we had to learn how to be a good spouse, a good parent, etc. 

It's the things that we must learn that keep us fulfilled and happy. 

So whether it's learning a new career, learning how to be a dad, or learning how to squat properly, achievement is an essential part of a well-lived life. 

4. Fulfillment: Know how to enjoy it

Alright, let's back up for a second. 

You know who you are, self-awareness.

You know where you want to go, vision.

You know how to do it, achievement. 

Now it's time to enjoy it. 

Fulfillment is about finding the things that are a part of your vision, that you learn how to do, and now need to find a way to enjoy it. 

Let's talk through a couple examples.

When I first started the business I had to learn how to do it, the specific skills like finances, marketing, leadership, etc. 

Now, in order to truly live our vision, I had to learn how to enjoy it. 

That meant finding the things that I really enjoy doing the most.

Another easy example...being a dad. 

Right now I'm building the wall of achievement. 

I'm learning the skills, and eventually, once the skills are developed, I'll learn fulfillment, the aspects of being a dad that is most rewarding, which comes from a continuous improvement of my self-awareness. 

Living in the moment and enjoy everything that is so fulfilling to us.

I always go back to my days in the nursing home.

They taught me a lot.

But most importantly…

The challenged me to constantly ask the question…

What does it mean to be me, and what does it mean to have a life well lived?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

I Wish It Were That Easy...

I stepped on the scale this morning…


Same exact weight that I kicked off 2019 at.

Under my fitness goals I really have two primary ones in 2019…

Hit 250 workouts for the year.

Get under 20% body fat again…because, you know, dad bod.

I’m on track, in fact, a little ahead of my workout frequency goal of 250 workouts.

But the scale has not budged.

If I’m being honest with myself I know exactly why…

I haven’t really changed my nutrition habits.

At least not enough to justify the change I’m looking for.

I cut down my coffee consumption, going from a a full pot to half a pot (yes, I measure coffee by the pot not the cup), based on my funky heart palpitations I was having.

So, that’s good.

I’m sleeping way better, and my energy is good.

But, the scale has not moved.

Which tells my one thing…

I need to change my nutrition, reduce my calories.

I share this with you today for a few reasons…

One, I think sometimes clients think because of our profession, we never struggle, we’re always consistent, and we’re just crushing this whole health and fitness thing.

That’s simply not the case, we struggle with it just like any other human being does.

I would say the only difference is we know why things are not working, but that still doesn’t change our behavior.

We all need coaching, accountability, and a supportive community, I don’t think anyone is above that.

Two, it’s a great lesson that we can be kicking butt in the gym and be super consistent with our workouts, but if we’re looking to make some significant body fat percentage changes, the nutrition has to change.

Plus, it has to change more than we think.

I can look back at this year so far and say “I eat pretty healthy.”

But the numbers don’t lie.

Clearly, I was taking in too much, or at least too much to see any fat loss.

So, sure, I may think I’m eating healthy, but the fact is, I’m eating too much, too big of a portions, etc.

I share this because we often hear clients frustrated with results after being really consistent with their workouts (this is the first step), but we don’t realize just how much we have to change our nutrition behaviors to see a change we’re after.

I’m just excited that I’m hitting my workout frequency, and I’ll chuck that up as a win, especially with everything going on and all my travel, that is a win.

But, if I want to see the real change I’m looking for the nutrition must change.

Hopefully this lesson resonates with you.

I do think if you’re just starting out, and you’re not getting 8-10 workouts in per month at minimum, you should make that a habit first.

The biggest mistake we can make is try to change everything at once.

So, if you’re just starting out, build the habit of workout frequency first.

If you’re consistent with your workouts and looking to see more change, we need to mess with your nutrition.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Do You Have These Two?

Some of you know I had a humbling moment on Sunday…

I came in to the gym, had a quick 45 minutes to get my sweat on, didn’t warm-up, and pulled my back pretty bad because of it.

For the first half of the week I was walking around with the “shopping cart” walk, bent over, shuffling, you get the picture.

Luckily today, I’m feeling great thanks to some initiative on my part, some PT friends, and a couple muscle relaxers :)

However, I think it’s times like this I’m always reminded of two great traits we can posses as humans.

Hunger and Humility.

And no, I’m not talking about hungry in terms of eating :)

We have to have an extreme amount of humility that we always have more to learn, that there is always things we can be doing better, that we don’t know everything, and be able to see things from the other side.

Humbleness comes in many forms…

Getting an acute injury like I had can be very humbling and reminded me of the importance of warming up and caring for my body more, it’s not indestructible.

Humbleness is admitting you need help…

Whether that’s help in fitness like hiring a coach, or help in other areas of your life.

Becoming a parent can be very humbling :)

It’s putting your benefits aside for the benefits of others…

It’s realizing that you don’t know everything, and your view point is only one view point, and it may not necessarily be the right one.

On the flip side, I feel very strongly we need to be hungry.

I attribute most of what I’ve been able to accomplish in my young 29 years to just wanting it more than others, doing the work that others aren’t willing to do, moving faster, and just being hungrier.

When the back pull came, it would have been easy to just say “I have to rest” and throw in the towel.

As I balanced the humility, I pulled out the hungriness and did everything I could to get better as quickly as I could, moving, stretching, getting treatment, non-stop, until it was better.

As always, we can take this core lesson into any aspect of life.

If you really want to make a change with your health and fitness you have to balance the humility of realizing you may need some help, with the hungriness of taking 100% responsibility for your actions, be willing to make the changes and putting in the work that others are not, and be hungry.

If you’re dealing with an injury, it can be very humbling, but pull that hunger out and take the initiative to keep moving forward, smartly of course, under supervision, but very rarely is the answer “do nothing.”

If you’re not happy with your current health, be humble enough to ask for help, but be hungry and take ownership of what actions you need to do to make the necessary change.

If you’re not happy with where you’re at in your career, your life, be humble, realize you may not have the answers, but be hungry and realize that no one is going to help you more than yourself.

If you want something in life, whether that’s a change in your physical self, your emotional self, your social/family/relationship life, your financial situation, you have to take ownership of it, be humble that you may need help, but be hungry enough to make a change that others just are not willing to make.

The worst thing we can do in any situation is just sit back, throw in the towel, and react to what comes.

Be hungry.

Be humble.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling


I read a post yesterday from a life-long fitness guru who talked about finally realizing one day that he didn’t have to spend every waking moment trying to “move the needle forward.”

Here’s the thing: I spend a lot of time reading posts from other professionals lamenting that I didn’t discover my calling sooner. But when I read this post, about how obsessed he was with checklists, I was actually relieved. Because quite frankly, I couldn’t be more different than the person he was describing in the first few paragraphs.

I don’t have a checklist.

I’ve never really had a checklist. 

I’m not going to be retired on a beach in San Diego when I’m 50. 

But you know what I have done?

Said yes to lots of little side adventures. 

I’ve joined a sorority because someone asked me too.

I took up the sport of lacrosse in college (and later for a scholarship) because someone invited me and I was bored with softball.

I left that sorority and joined a convent as a novice nun because that’s where my heart took me.

Then I took a low-paying job as a newspaper reporter and combined that with a job as a resident director at a small college because hell, how else do you make low paying jobs work? 

I haven’t made a ton of money in my lifetime, but the one thing I’ve never done is live by a checklist. 

And because I never had a checklist, I never said no to adventure.

So I’ve been a college teacher, lived in New Mexico and Colorado, taught Sunday Schools and hiked every inch of Rocky Mountain National Park. I can’t say that I was married at 26 or owned a house by 30.

But I said yes to opportunities when they presented themselves.

This fitness professional spent a lot of time talking about his ability to accept adventure now, and I think that’s awesome. But the one thing that is easy for me to do these days is judge myself for not making more money, saving more money, or “moving the needle forward” every day of my life.

It’s so easy to shame myself for what I haven’t done.

But I need to remember what I have done. 

And so do you. 

Everything you have said yes to is a life lesson. Everything you have said no to is a life lesson. There are people out there who live their lives by checklists, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But here’s the thing - there’s nothing wrong with living your life without a checklist. With living your life adventure by adventure.

It’s always easy to say that the grass is greener on the other side. 

Well, at 42 years old, I can say that no matter how green your grass is, I’ve had an adventure trying to make mine grow. 

And you know what? 

I can live with that. 

What Will You Be Able To Do?

Right now I’m typing this as I hunch over my kitchen island, cringing in back pain.

Being tall has it’s advantages, but one of the downsides is because your trunk is twice the length of the average human, your spine is usually more at risk for injury.

It also doesn’t help when you don’t warm-up and just “bust out a few sets” to rush back home to the family.

I came in on Sunday for a quick workout, was rushed, didn’t warm-up, and pulled my back on a squat.

It’s happened before, I’ll be fine, but this weeks goals in the gym shifted to…

What do I need to do so that I can move and feel better?

Rolling, stretching, upper body, cardio only, etc.

Sitting around is the worst thing I can do.

As always, it made me think of a great lesson.

Actually two lessons…

One, never skip your warm-up :)

Two, what do you want to be able to do?

We all have these vanity goals of looking better (lose weight, achieve a certain body fat, etc), but what do those goals allow us to do?

Why do you want to lose those 20lbs?

No seriously.


Do you actually even know why or do you just want to look and feel better?

There's nothing wrong with that, but the clearer you get with your goals the higher success you will have with them. 

For most of us, it's not the 20lbs (just using that number for the sake of example), it's what the 20lbs allows us to do. 

I want to weigh 152lbs. 


It's a number. 

You don't want to weigh 152lbs. 

You want to fit into your jeans, feel confident around your husband, be able to climb the stairs without getting out of breath, be around and healthy with your grandkids, look good in that bathing suit for your trip, etc, etc, etc.

Does it really matter if you are 152lbs or 162lbs if you can achieve all of that?

You'll hear us preach until the cows come home that the scale is just a measurement of gravity. 

It never tells us the full picture. 

Sure, most of us have some excess weight that we need to shed off, but if you want to have long-term success, you can't focus on the number on the scale but instead focus on what you want behind that number, what you'll be able to do. 

Now, I'm not saying I don't want you to lose the weight if that’s your goal.

Of course I do. 

If you're carrying too much weight we need to work on getting it off. 

But don't dial it down to a specific number on the scale. 

Dial it down to a feeling, a look, or an ability to do things you can't do right now. 

That's ultimately may come down to hitting a certain number on the scale, but it most likely is not the number you think it is. 

I'm going to challenge you again...

Why do you want to lose those 20lbs?

It's not hitting a number on the scale, it's deeper than that. 

Because what happens when you see the number you want?

You smile, pat yourself on the back, and go back to your day. 

What we really want is to be able to do certain things (fit in jeans, have confidence around spouse, gain energy, sleep better, keep up with kids, go on that trip/hike, be injury free, feel comfortable in a bathing suit, etc) that we currently cannot do. 

Focus on what you want to be able to do and use that as your measurement of success, not the number on the scale. 

Because let's face it...if you can do all of the things you want to do, feel the way you want to feel, and have the look you want, does it really matter if you weigh 185lbs or 179lbs?

My final two thoughts...

1. We challenge you not to focus on the scale, not because we don't want to see change, but we know in order to have long-term success you have to have other ways to measure success because you'll go crazy if that's all you focus on :)

2. The number one thing we need to remember is our actions (changes) need to match our desires. If you're not getting results, we can beat around the bush 1000 ways and get into the weeds, but it ultimately comes back to this. The more change you want to see, the more changes you're going to have to make. And from our experience (ourselves included), our desired result is not backed up by the amount of change that is necessary. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Plant Your Failures...

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” -Napoleon Hill

One of my favorite people, and my favorite quotes...Napolean crushes it with that quote. 

I talk a lot about mindset because I think everything starts there. 

There is only so much you can control in life, but do you know the one thing you can always control?

How you react to something. 

We can’t always control what happens to us, but we certainly can control how we react to it.

That usually comes back to your mindset about it. 

Failure is a common word in society, especially in the health and fitness space. 

"I failed to eat healthy this weekend."

"I failed to show up to the gym."

"I failed to reach my goal."

For years, we've been taught that failure is a bad thing. 

Everything we're taught in school, everything we're taught growing up is that failure is a weakness. 

You are in the wrong if you fail. 

But isn't that when we learn the most?

If you plant your failures, they become the seeds to your success. 

One of the largest areas we can all improve upon is to not look at failure as a negative thing, but instead to look at it as a learning lesson, a chance to make a change and do it better next time. 

When we fail, we are proving that we are living life and taking chances. 

You can't be afraid to fail. 

Failure is not a negative thing. 

Albert Einstein once said, "Failure is success in progress."

Imagine how many of his ideas failed?

Without those, without learning from those failures, none of his brilliant ideas would have come to life. 

Whether you failed to show up at the gym last month...

Or you failed to eat healthy this weekend...

None of that matters. 

Use those as learning lessons, use those as opportunities to make a change, to get better. 

Don't be afraid to fail, because failure is quite often the seeds to our success.

Failure means you're trying. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling 

4 Disciplines To Execution

I did a presentation on visioning and goal setting at a local corporation early this week and one of the key exercises I shared with them was breaking down your goals using the 4DX (4 Disciplines to Execution) model.

As we look to conquer our goals in 2019 there's often one area that we often fall short in. 


The intent is usually not the problem. 

We always set goals that we intend to hit, but what happens?

We don't make progress, get frustrated, have no accountability, and next thing we know we're watching the ball drop for 2020 and nothing has changed. 

So how do you execute on goals?

It takes 4 disciplines  

The first discipline is the WIG




What's the ONE THING that you are after? 

What's the target that you're moving towards?

Pick one thing, and that's what everything else revolves around. 

Pick your WIG.

The second discipline is to track lead measures. 

Lead measures are things that predict if the WIG is going to happen. 

For example...

A lead measure could be journaling your food.

A lead measure could be getting in 10 workouts this month.

A lead measure could be getting 200 hours of sleep per month. 

It's things that you track and measure that predict whether or not the WIG will be accomplished. 

You know if you do those lead measures, there's a high chance the WIG will be achieved. 

Pick 3 lead measures. 

The third discipline is to have a cadence of accountability.

So you know your WIG and you know your 3 lead measures. 

Now you have to stay accountable to them. 

How are you going to do that?

Are you going to check in with a coach?

Are you going to go to the gym with a buddy?

We all need accountability. 

What's your cadence for holding yourself accountable to that WIG and those 3 lead measures? 

Finally, the fourth discipline of execution is keeping a scorecard. 

At every sporting eventl, there will be a winner and a loser. 

Because they keep score, we know that. 

Quite often we never think it's good enough because we don't set a scorecard of what winning looks like.

20lbs becomes 30lbs.

If you don't keep a scorecard and celebrate all the wins, you'll never be happy with where you're at. 

So, for this WIG, what would be a win?

Is it that you hit 10 workouts?

Are you going to keep a card that you place a “check” every time you workout?

Great, if you hit 9, move on to next month, if you hit 10, celebrate that win!

Whatever it is, have a scorecard so you can celebrate the wins. 

I love the simplicity of this system. 

1. WIG

2. Lead Measures

3. Cadence of Accountability

4. Scorecard

Execute these 4 disciplines and the needle will move. 

Literally and figuratively. :)

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

What's The Difference?

If you played sports growing up, you'll always remember your favorite coach.

Even if you weren't active you know the impact that a coach has on someone. 

That's why we have always called our team members COACHES, not trainers.

Trainers are people who just got some weekend certification, love to exercise, thought they'd hang out in a gym all day, and count your reps or scream into a headset. 

They deliver workouts. 

And for some people, that's cool. 

I think the biggest difference between a coach and a trainer, ignoring backgrounds, degrees, etc is this.... 

A coach delivers an experience that truly changes your life.  

Sure there is a time and a place to modify technique, pick the right exercises, and count some reps. 

However, what about those discussions when you're having a bad day?

What about that external reach out via a Facebook message or e-mail to see how you're doing?

A coach looks at the total picture, delivers a complete experience, and truly makes a difference in your life. 

We have an incredible team of coaches, not trainers, and we deliver a coaching program. 

I always tell people...

If you're looking to just join a gym, we're probably not the right fit for you. 

You can pay to rent equipment anywhere. 

If you're looking to just do some squats, push-ups, and planks, you can do that anywhere. 

The magic is in the coaching experience. 

That's something that can't be duplicated, and it's the coaching, accountability, and a strong community that goes behind everything we do that makes it such an incredible experience

So why is this important to you?

Well one, I want my readers to be super educated. 

Whether it's here or somewhere else, I want you to know the difference between a gym and a coaching program.

Two, I want to give huge props to my team because they're the best team around and don't like being called trainers :) 

And finally, this is usually the time of year where people seem to get frustrated that they have not made any progress on their New Year goals. 

And I can guarantee you one thing...

If you don't have coaching and accountability behind what you're doing, in some way or another, you will not achieve your goals. 

It may be blunt, it may sting a little, but it's the truth. 

That's true for all of us. 

Even us coaches have coaches. 

Just remember this...

The magic is not in whether you do a kettlebell squat or a bodyweight squat...

The magic is not in whether you do a push-up or a dumbbell press...

The magic is not in whether you follow this diet or that diet...

The magic is the coaching, consistency, community, and culture behind it. 

Let me know if you agree.

If not, that's super cool, I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

I'll be back tomorrow to wrap up the week.

1% Better. 

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

To be brave again

“I want to be brave again.”

These words, when she spoke them aloud, stopped me in my tracks. 

To her mind, this client was speaking about her own goal, about looking for the courage to return to doing the things she loves after suffering an injury. But without realizing it, she was really speaking for every single one of us. 

To be brave again.

I know the feeling of hesitation after suffering an injury. A few years ago I tore up my shoulder doing a particular exercise. And I have yet to return to that exercise, because even the thought of it causes me some anxiety. Any of us who have dealt with injury knows the feeling.  

But I also think of how much bravery and courage our day to day life asks of us. Sure there’s the big stuff - being brave enough to speak and stand up for our beliefs - brave enough to leave a miserable job when you don’t know what will come next. Brave enough to end a relationship that is unhealthy for you. 

But there’s the other stuff too. It requires bravery to wear the clothes we want to wear. For years, I dressed the way other people told me I should dress, because I was afraid of the judgement that would follow. It took me a long time to feel comfortable enough in my own skin to wear what I wanted to wear because I liked it.

It took time for me to be brave enough.

It takes bravery to allow ourselves to be photographed when we’re riddled with shame and self-loathing about our appearance. 

It takes bravery to change our hair, to ask someone out to dinner, to publicly admit we love John Denver (there, I said it, ok?), to try a new activity, or put our art and creativity out there. Brene Brown says it best when she she defines “daring greatly” as the courage to be vulnerable, to show up and be seen, to ask for what you need, to talk about how you’re feeling, to have the hard conversations.” 

To be brave. 

I don’t know what it will take for this client to feel brave again, about returning to her activities. I don’t know what it will take for you, sitting there reading this, to feel brave enough to maybe walk through our doors for the first time. Or make whatever change it is you’ve been thinking about making. 

I think it starts with creating a safe space. Safe for sharing, safe for feeling, safe for authenticity, safe for you to be unapologetically, unabashedly you, whoever that is.

And that is the space that we continue to try to create and hold sacred for each other. As best as we can. 

I think, I hope, that the more we can cherish one another with kindness and compassion, that we can help each other be brave.

Which One Are You?

There are really only two approaches to the journey. 

Quite often we hear goals like wanting to lose 20lbs in the next six weeks. 

And that's a great goal...

But, as we always talk about, what happens after that?

Do you go so hard that you just bounce back to your old behaviors and gain all the weight back?

It's probably happened to most of us at some point. 

Throughout this journey of a healthier (and happier) you there are really on two tracks...

All or nothing


1% better. 

Which one are you?

We will always push you for the 1% better journey. 

The idea that each day you try to get a little better. 

This is a journey, it goes on forever, and you must choose behaviors (nutrition choices, fitness choices, lifestyle choices, etc) that you can sustain the rest of your life. 

As we always preach, consistency will always win. 

Ask yourself the question…

“Do I see myself doing this thing (fitness, nutrition, lifestyle choice) 12 months from now?”

If the answer is no, there’s a strong chance you’re just looking for the quick fix.

You will have hurdles, you will have setbacks, but with the 1% better mentality, you take it one day at a time, and get back on the saddle. 

The all or nothing mentality plays to the human need for instant gratification. 

That's why this whole thing is hard. 

There is no instant gratification. 

You’re putting in work for something that you may not “see” for weeks, months, or years.

You’re creating a vision, a point in the future, you’re not getting a tangible product like a car, a house, or an electronic device.

That’s why it’s so hard.

The all or nothing approach may get results fast (lose 15lbs in a month), but it usually involves behaviors that can't be sustained for the long-term. 

Thus, we're sitting here 12 months from now and the person with the all or nothing mentality may have seen results in the beginning, but shortly into the process they inevitably hit a speed bump, get off track, and never get back on again. 

That's why we'll always push for 1% better. 

Sure, you may not see instant results, you may not see amazing results in the first month, but 12 months from now, 12 years from now, you'll be ahead. 

The daily consistency, the daily wins, always win in the end.

Play the long game. 

1% Better. 

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Got A Problem?

If you're on a journey to a healthier and happier you, you know the road is not smooth. 

It's bumpy as heck. 

You start getting some momentum, lose focus for a little while, get busy, and the longer you're "off track" the harder it is to get back on. 

That's why we preach slow and steady consistency, not beating yourself up if you miss a week here and there, because, in the long-term, it's more about just showing up consistently. 

Ok, we get that. 

But, I'm on this road to a healthier and happier me, and I still have "problems."

And that's the problem!

We think that once we get going, once we hit a certain goal, once we accomplish something all our problems go away. 

In his book "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK", Mark Manson talks about how life is all about trading problems for better problems, but it's also an understanding that we'll always have problems. 

Let's think about it...

When you first start a fitness journey you're scared, you're intimidated, and you're not in the shape you want to be in. 

That's a problem that you're looking to solve. 

So, let's assume things go great, you find a gym you're no longer scared of, you're into a routine, and you're getting results. 

And guess what?

A new problem emerges...

You now have to balance how do I fit these three hours at the gym into my hectic life. 

Who and what do I say no to at home or at work in order to take a priority of ME for a couple hours?

Still a problem, but a better problem. 

Let's keep rolling...

You're crushing it, you've found balance in your schedule and you're getting all kinds of results. 

Another problem emerges.

You may have to go buy an entirely new wardrobe, you may have a non-supportive spouse or some jealous friends that make fun of you every time you try to eat healthy. 

Again, a better problem, but still a problem. 

The problems I solve today running a business with eight employees, hundreds of clients, consulting on the side, a kid, a wife, and all the other factors that play into it are completely different (and better) than the problems I had to solve seven years ago when it was a one-man operation and I just started dating Megan. 

But they’re still problems...

This is a great reminder, and something Mark preaches in his book, that we will never eliminate problems in our life. If you set yourself up with that expectation you're going to fail. 

The goal is that you continue to grow and develop, in all aspects of life, so that you trade bad problems for better problems. 

But they'll always be problems....

And that's ok. 

That's what makes it fun. 

We are internally motivated to solve problems. 

As much as we dream of everything being perfect and going smoothly 110% of the time, we crave the ability to fix stuff that's broken, we crave problems. 

We just hope we're trading good problems for great problems. 

I'll end with my favorite quote from the book...

"There is a simple realization from which all personal improvement and growth emerges. This is the realization that we, individually, are responsible for everything in our lives, no matter the external circumstances. We don’t always control what happens to us. But we always control how we interpret what happens to us, as well as how we respond...

Life is essentially an endless series of problems. The solution to one problem is merely the creation of another....

Don’t hope for a life without problems. There’s no such thing. Instead, hope for a life full of good problems."

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Two Lenses To Look Through...

I remember in college looking through a microscope…

I hated it.

My big head seemed like it could never get close enough, and I couldn’t get the eye squint just right to see anything.

But I microscope is an important tool.

A lens to look at things in detail.

However, we also can’t forget about the telescope.

I never have a memory as a kid of having a telescope and setting it up to lookout my bedroom window at all the stars, I’m sure I’ll do it with Kaden one day.

But a telescope serves a different purpose…

It’s looking out, it’s looking forward.

Two lenses, microscope and telescope.

We need both.

There are times in life, in fitness, in business that we need to look at things in depth, in detail.

Maybe that is looking at my daily to do list, looking at how many grams of protein I got in today, looking into how many calories I consumed, or what exercises I should do today.

It’s the detail, it’s the picking apart stuff.

In my humble opinion, that is only 50% of the equation, it’s only balanced out with the telescope lens.

We need to spend some time thinking about why we’re doing what we’re doing…

We need to get really clear on what we want success to look like in 12 months…

We need to look at how what we’re doing now is impacting the future…

It can be daunting to monitor your calories or track your workouts (microscope)…

But you always know it’s worth it because those are just baby steps and details that bring you closer to the never ending pursuit of happiness, hitting your goals, fulfillment, and a healthier life (telescope).

We need both lenses.

They balance each other out.

Always look at which lens you’re looking through and decide which one you maybe need to spend some more time on.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

What Does 1% Better Really Mean?

I remember when Kaden first started learning how to walk it was of the coolest things to watch.

If you’re a parent you know what I’m talking about.

One day they can pull themselves up and stand next to the couch…

The next day they only hold on with one hand…

Next thing you know they are standing, but their legs look they just ran a marathon, shaking and unsteady.

Then, in what seemed like a matter of a week, everyday Kaden took another step, fell, got back up, took a step, but everyday he got better.

Gradually taking more steps day by the day, you pick your head up and he’s walking, now running all over the place.

That is one of my best examples of one percent better.

You read it every day.

You see it in our facility, on our website, I end every e-mail with it, and we say it a lot. 

1% Better. 

But what does it actually mean?

I think it starts with why. 

Why does Spurling exist?

Spurling exists to impact, empower, and change lives through strong coaching, continual accountability, a family-like community, and a desire to get 1% better each and every day.

That's our mission. 

That's why we do what we do every day. 

You’ll also notice that it says nothing about fitness.

It just talks about impacting, empowering, and changing peoples lives through coaching, accountability, and a strong community.

Now, we built the one percent better motto and the strength of the Spurling brand with fitness, but that’s really just the “tool” we use to impact, empower, and change lives.

As you’ll see, it’s much bigger than that, it’s about positive change as a whole.

Speaking of fitness and getting better…

In an industry that has no regulations and "weekend trainers" giving you information, it can be tough to know what's right. 

You get thrown lines like...

"Lose 20lbs in 20 days."

"Take this pill to speed up your metabolism."

"Eat this food to shrink your belly fat."

"Do this one exercise to tighten your tummy in ten days."

Those are all great examples of nothing but good marketing trying to promise you a quick-fix. 

And you know what happens...

You try it, maybe you see results for a week or two, maybe a month, and then you gain it all back, plus more!

Am I right?

1% better is the opposite approach. 

It's about slowly chipping away at things. 

Realizing this is a journey and a marathon, not a sprint. 

There is no end. There is no destination. There is no break or pause. 

It's falling in love with the process. 

1% better every day. 

Just a little better than yesterday. 

It could be that you got one more hour of sleep.

It could be that you got one extra round in on your circuit... 

Or maybe it's one more serving of vegetables...

One more hour spent with family. 

It's small behavioral changes that don't seem like much but have both a compounding and sustainable effect. 

Not only do you get better results in the long-term, the results you do get, you actually keep!

Now, that makes perfect sense with fitness.

However, isn’t personal development and “getting better” a life-long, all encompassing journey?

Of course I want you get healthier and improve your fitness…

How about becoming a better husband, wife, mother, or father?


How about becoming better with your finances, and have that slow and steady daily chip away approach that we talk about with fitness, with your finances?


What about changing your mindset, developing a growth mindset not a fixed mindset, and working on your emotional and spiritual improvements?


Developing in your career or building a business. It’s all about the daily improvements, there is no such thing as an “overnight success.”

One percent better is a way of living, it’s about personal development in all areas of life; physical, emotional, spiritual, vocational, financial, social, and intellectual, the seven dimensions of wellness.

That’s not meant to overwhelm you.

It’s meant to excite you, to show you the possibility that there is so much positive change we can make.

In any change, it’s about one percent better, waking up and saying how I can be a little better than yesterday.

Just take one action. 

We know that motivation is not something that you just wake up with. 

Motivation comes from action. 

You start doing something small, the momentum builds, and motivation is built through the action. 

That one thing, 1%, could be the thing that kick-starts everything. 

Does one percent better have a single definition?

I don't think so. 

I think each of us has our own definition of it. 

Our story. 

Ultimately one percent better is here with the goal that this stuff can be fun and enjoyable if you make it part of your day and surround yourself with the right people that will motivate and inspire you to be a little better every day. 

1% Better. 

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: I love the one percent better way of living so much, and have seen the positive impact it can make so many times, that I wrote a book about it. One Percent Better; 50 powerful lessons that will change your business...and change your life. If you’re reading this that means you’ve supported me in some form, and I love for you to join me for the launch of my book at a signing party on March 14th, at 6:30pm, held at the mothership, Spurling Fitness. As a thank you for attending, I’ll give you a free copy of the book. If you can make it, please RSVP today so I know how many books to order…and how much food :)

Click here to RSVP --->>> One Percent Better Book Launch