Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats with Apples and Cranberries

INGREDIENTS:

  • cooking spray

  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats (*do not substitute quick-cooking steel cut or rolled oats)

  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, cored, and diced

  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries

  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)

  • 2 pinches of kosher salt

  • 4 and 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk, plus more for serving

Toppings:

  • chopped or julienned apple

  • almond slices/chopped almonds

  • dried cranberries

  • turbinado sugar/maple syrup

  • ground cinnamon

Screenshot 2019-01-20 at 5.57.27 PM.png

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Spray a 2-quart or 4-quart slow cooker insert lightly with cooking spray. If you are using a larger volume slow cooker, be sure to double the recipe quantity as this quantity will not cook properly in a 6-quart slow cooker. Slow cookers that run HOT might cause the cooking liquid to evaporate more quickly. This may result in slightly thicker skin or crust developing on the surface of the oats (see below) or sides of the insert. When in doubt, reduce the cook time and adjust as necessary.

  2. Combine the steel cut oats, diced apple, cranberries, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, and almond milk. Stir to mix thoroughly. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 hours (for firmer oats) to 8 hours (softer oats with the slightest chew), stirring once or twice if possible (if cooking overnight, you can skip this step). As the oats are cooking a thin, dark colored skin may form on top of the oats and they will look slightly dry at first glance. Don’t worry. Go ahead and stir the oats well until they are creamy and smooth, the skin will be absorbed and incorporated by stirring. If you prefer looser oats, stir in an additional half cup or so of almond milk. Serve hot and garnish with toppings as desired.

  3. Leftover oats can be stored in a container in the refrigerator. I always add a generous splash or milk or water before reheating – it loosens the oatmeal and improves the texture tremendously

Source: https://www.abeautifulplate.com/slow-cooker-steel-cut-oats/

Tactics 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 meditation and gratitude 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

Stop minimizing yourself

For one day, I’d like you to remove one word from your vocabulary. 

Only.

As an adjective, the definition is “alone of its or their kind, single or solitary.”  It's the only jazz joint in town. 

But I would add another definition. 

To minimize. 

So often I hear clients use the word to minimize themselves and their actions. “I only did 10 reps instead of 12. I only did three sets instead of four.” 

And these are not clients who are being lazy. They are not clients who are dogging it and taking the easy way out. These are usually people that are working as hard as they can - they are working 60 hour weeks, driving three kids to three different extracurricular activities and somedays it's all they can do to even walk through the doors for a workout. 

Ok, to be fair, I do it too sometimes.

I only worked out twice last week instead of three times.

Stop it, ok? For today, stop minimizing what you do.

When we use words like only or  just (click here to read my post on the word just) we minimize the work that we are doing.

We minimize ourselves and our efforts. We are, in effect, saying to ourselves that we are not enough and that what we have done is not good enough.

The word only, much like exclamation points (thanks to my college professor Dr. Minot) is unnecessary. When someone says they only did three sets, I repeat it back to them:

So you did three sets. 

I only journaled my food three days last week.

So you journaled three days, as opposed to the zero the week before. 

Language matters, ok? What we say matters and what we repeat to ourselves matters.

Let me say that again.

Language matters. 

What we say aloud to our friends, our coaches and ourselves matters. What we say in front of our children matters even more.  

I'm not saying that you shouldn't work hard. I'm not saying that you shouldn't push yourself. In fact, set three goals for the week. My stretch goal for meal prep is five days, my ideal is four, and my minimum is three days. Sure, you can push for five, but if you get three days in then you've done a damn good job for yourself. 

And don’t you dare tell me that you only did anything.

Ok?

Stack those successes on top of each other. Keep pushing forward. 

But stop minimizing yourself. You deserve more. 

Be kind,

Kim

Transformation?

According to the dictionary…

Transformation: a complete change in the appearance or character of something or someone, especially so that that thing or person is improved

Isn’t that what we’re all after?

Our brand promise has always been “a transformation you can see…and feel”

It’s not about a “new you.”

You’re great the way you are.

However, we all aim to get better, and that’s what a transformation is all about.

It’s about taking what we currently have and transforming it into something that is a little better.

1% Better, every day.

Whether that’s a physical transformation, a mental transformation, a social transformation, etc.

That’s what we promise everyone at Spurling.

A transformation you can see and feel.

It’s your transformation, how you want to feel, how you want to look, etc.

The clearer you can get on what a transformation looks like to YOU, the more direct path we can take to get you there.

And that’s why we created the 6-Week Transformation Challenge.

It’s a program designed to give you that jump-start you need in 2019, not for a “new year, new you” but a transformative you.

Better consistency….

Better workout habits…

Better nutrition habits…

Better sleep habits…

Better stress (we’ll always have some level of stress)…

In short, it’s a complete program to give you everything you need to make a transformation and make 2019 your best year yet.

I have some bad news though…

We close registration tomorrow.

So if you’re ready for a transformation you need to act now.

Click the appropriate link below to learn more and register today….

6-Week Transformation Challenge

6-Week Challenge (Current Clients)

What’s included?

  • 6 Weeks of workouts with a coach at your side every single workout showing you exactly what and how to do things, things appropriate for your fitness level and your goals

  • 6 Weeks of daily nutritional coaching and accountability so you know exactly what and how to eat

  • 6 weeks of us staying on top of your every move to hold you accountable and make sure you actually stick with it

  • 6 weeks of the most supportive community around so that you can meet people going through things just like you, and meet people that will help guide you along the way.

Just give us 6 weeks.

I don’t like to make promises I can’t keep but I promise you this.

After six weeks you’ll have a transformation you can not only see physically but one you can feel mentally, emotionally and socially.

If not? I’ll give you every single penny back.

6-Week Transformation Challenge

6-Week Challenge (Current Clients)

This is the last time you’ll hear from me about this program.

The doors close tomorrow.

We only launch it twice a year, and the next one won’t be until September so take action…today.

I can’t wait to see and hear about your transformation.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: How many times are you going to say “next time?” How many times are you going to say “next month?” Motivation starts with action. This is your time, and this is your chance. Enroll today for your 6-Week Transformation…

6-Week Transformation Challenge

6-Week Challenge (Current Clients)

PPS: Don’t believe me? Check out the dozens and dozens of success stories on our website and on the registration page. We’ve provided a transformation to hundreds of people, and now it’s your turn

6-Week Transformation Challenge

6-Week Challenge (Current Clients)

When You Plant Your Failures, You Grow Seeds of Success

“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 this 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 


Sheet Pan Baked Chicken Fajitas

INGREDIENTS

Fajitas

  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts skinless, boneless

  • 3 bell peppers red, yellow, green

  • 1 medium onion

  • 1 tsp cumin powder

  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder

  • 1 tsp garlic powder or minced garlic

  • 2 tsp paprika

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 8 flour tortillas 8 inch size

Garnishes - optional

  • lime wedges

  • fresh cilantro chopped

  • sour cream

  • avocado

Screen Shot 2019-01-11 at 9.32.50 AM.png

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Set aside a large baking sheet.

  2. On a work surface, cut chicken breasts, onions and peppers into less than 1/2 inch strips.

  3. Place chicken, peppers, onions and peppers on the baking sheet. Sprinkle cumin, chili powder, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper on top and drizzle with oil.

  4. Using tongs or two spoons, toss all ingredients on the pan to coat evenly.

  5. Bake for 15 minutes.

  6. Remove from oven, and use tongs stir chicken and vegetables. Then slide them one-quarter of the way over, to make space for tortillas.

  7. Mop up excess juices with a paper towel, and then add the tortillas to the pan. Return to the oven and bake for 5 more minutes.

  8. Remove from oven and squeeze optional fresh lime on top. Serve in tortillas with optional cilantro, sour cream and avocado. Enjoy!

What Would I Do?

Empathy.

In my opinion, it's one of the hardest skills to develop as a human. 

Some are better at it than others, but we could all practice more empathy. 

I often challenge myself and my team to put themselves in the shoes of a person who has never been to the gym before. 

The lady that walks in, knows a ton of clients, has an extroverted personality, and is confident all around is easy to work with. 

Even if she has a laundry list of injuries, that comes naturally to the coaches, the hard skills, the science. It's what they learned in school, and it's our specialty. 

What I'm talking about is someone like this...

They've seen us on Facebook. 

They haven't been to a gym since they were in high school. 

They are overweight, lack energy, lack confidence, and in general, they are just not confident with themselves. 

They probably have been following us for some time, driven by us, read our daily posts like this one, and one day, a trigger happened, that they finally decided to make the leap. 

I'm not talking the leap to join and start, I'm talking just the leap to reach out via e-mail saying they're interested. 

If you're not that person, it's hard to imagine, but reaching out just to say "I need help" is a HUGE first step. 

Once that happens, they have to commit to a time to come in and meet with us, they've never been here before so they're scared, intimidate, and not sure what to expect.

Ideally, after meeting with us for 45-60 minutes, we've calmed about half the nerves.

They still have nerves of having their first full training session, feeling stupid, looking stupid, and not knowing what to do.

Remember back to your first day?

It's scary.

Hopefully, by you reading the above you at least see that we get it.

We always challenge ourselves to put ourselves in the shoes of a person like that.

So now...

What would I do if I was that person...

If I was brand new to fitness or getting back into a routine after years...

Here are my thoughts in no particular order. 

I'd reach out to a specialist. Not some gym that just rents equipment. That's like going to the family medicine guy for a heart defect. Sure, he's no dummy, but you'll just be much better off at the cardiologist. 

I'd start small. If I was doing nothing, I'd just shoot for 7-8 workouts in the first month and then go from there. I wouldn't get caught up in the details, I'd just make sure I stepped foot in the gym 7-8 times. Ideally, I find a place where once I step foot through the door they take care of the rest. If I am on my own, I'd do 20 minutes of strength training and 20 minutes of cardio for those 7-8 workouts. 

Nutrition wise, I would eat healthy 80% of the time. If you've gone from eating like crap, eating out a lot, and not preparing your meals don't start counting calories, packing everything in Tupperware, and refusing to eat sweets. It won't work. I'd eat 3 square meals a day, mostly consisting of a good protein and some vegetables with a palm full of carbohydrates. I'd hydrate often and well. I'd have a protein shake if I was hungry in between meals, and if I wanted to have a glass of wine or go out with friends I would limit it to 1x per week. 

I'd aim for 200 hours of sleep per month. Ideally, I'm getting at least 7 hours per night, but things happen, and I'm ok if that's not every day. However, at 200 hours per month, I can't be sleeping 3 hours a night and then having to sleep 3 days straight at the end of the month to make it up :)

Goal-wise, I would set a goal during those first 30 days to come 8 times. That's it. I wouldn't obsess over the scale, I wouldn't count calories, I wouldn't worry about anything other than the above. After the first month, then we can dial in goals, but let's just build the habit of doing something new a couple times a week. 

Finally, I'd find a way to hold myself accountable. Whether that's a gym that holds me accountable, a device, an app, a gym buddy, whatever it is, I'd find something or someone to talk me off the ledge when I feel like quitting, to push me, to motivate me, and to inspire me. 

So there you have it. 

That's what I would do. 

Now...

I totally get it. 

I'm super comfortable in the gym...heck I own one so that would be a little weird if I wasn't comfortable :)

However, we totally understand the nerves of starting something new. 

Take the advice from above and always remember two of my favorite quotes:

“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.”

Enjoy the process. 

And my other one...

"Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle, or your middle to someone else's end. Don't compare the start of your second quarter of life to someone else's third quarter."

We were all there at one time. 

You're just up to bat right now :)

What're your thoughts?

If you're a beginner does this sound about right?

If you use to be there and are now more comfortable in the gym, what other advice would you have for someone?

1% Better. 

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

We're Shutting It Down...

I’ve been reaching out to you about our upcoming 6-Week Transformation Challenge.

This is a complete transformation style program with the following necessary components:

  • Proper nutritional coaching

  • Custom strength training programming

  • Interval based cardio programming

  • A complete support system with community and accountability

Is has been proven time and time again that ALL of these pieces must be in place for any weight loss program to be successful for the long-term, versus being a temporary “band aid” thing…

NOTE #1:  As of this writing, we have only 9 spots remaining (we keep it small to give the best experience)!

NOTE #2: The program start date is 1/17 (just a week away)!

If you are serious about getting a jump-start on 2019 you NEED to click below to snag one of the final spots.

We’re shutting this down soon so we can get everyone ready to go.

———>>>>> 6-Week Transformation Challenge <<<<<———

If you have ANY questions, please let us know ASAP.  We’ll get right back to you.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: Still don’t believe us? We’re keeping it simple…

1.     We agree on what your goal is

2.     You follow our proven formula to the letter

3.     You reach your goal

4.     If you don’t, we refund every penny

———>>>>> 6-Week Transformation Challenge <<<<<———

PPS: Current clients can partake in this challenge too…

  1. You get the daily accountability and nutrition coaching through our app

  2. You get bi-weekly Strategy Sessions & InBodys to keep you on track

  3. Your membership gets upgraded to Unlimited Sessions of both Small Group & Team

Upgrade and join the challenge today —->>> 6-Week Challenge (Current Clients)

This one question changed my life

I was 29 years old, and had been battling depression on and off for years, though I'd not been formally diagnosed at that point. I managed to get out of bed every day, and take a shower and brush my teeth. I didn't function at a high level, but I showed up for life. I had periods of melancholy that sometimes lasted for two weeks; sometimes for two months. All along though, I kept showing up and doing the bare minimum.

But I struggled to maintain any type of focus. At the age of 29, I'd started and left two different graduate programs in two different fields. I told myself that the reasons were external - life was getting in the way, I wasn't a good enough writer, I didn't like New Mexico (my second graduate program), yada, yada, yada. 

You tell yourself a lot of things when you're depressed.

I was, and still am, a victim of analysis paralysis, especially when I'm depressed - I will analyze something to the bones and take no action, and I will do it all day long and all decade long. Finally, while I was working with a trusted therapist, she asked me directly if I would consider taking medication for my depression. No, I said. I'm managing. 

"And how's that working for you?"

It wasn't a complicated question. I hemmed and hawed. "I'm managing," I said, again. 

"And how is that working for you?"

"It's not." 

The words came out of my mouth before I had a chance to filter them. I tried to back track but there was no point. I'd answered the question honestly. I was closing in on 30 years old and doing none of the things I wanted to be doing in my life or with my life. I had to admit that my approach wasn't working. 

And that opened the door for me to make the change I needed. In the case of treating my depression, it meant trying medication, which was a difficult process in and of itself. You try one, and four weeks later find it's not working, so you try another. Eventually I found the right one, and I believe for me, the medication helped get me to a better, more focused place.* Within six months, I'd quit my job, moved from Pennsylvania to Boston, and within a year, I'd enrolled in a graduate program that was the right fit for me. And I finished it.

This question has come up again in part of my training for my Precision Nutrition Certification, because it's so valuable. I couldn't answer this question from an intellectual perspective. I couldn't talk about what I think. I had to say what was actually happening. 

So my proposal for you today is to ask this question of yourself about an area that you're thinking about changing in your life. 

You've gone paleo.

How's that working for you?

You're on a juice cleanse.

How's that working for you?

For me this question highlighted what wasn't working for me. But it might also highlight what IS working for you.

I started eliminating screen time for two hours leading up to bed. 

How's that working for you?

Great! I find that I'm falling asleep faster than I did before that.

Maybe it's good. Maybe it's not. But either way, the question is worth asking, whether it's about nutrition, or fitness, or some other aspect of your life. 

*I could write an entire post on my battle with depression, and I know so many others who could as well. Medication works for some, not for others. My main point here is that I made the change I needed for me. 

Win The Day

This time of year there’s always a lot of talk about resolutions, goal setting, etc.

Trust me, if you know me well, I’m all for that stuff!

In fact, on Thursday at my Best Year Ever workshop that’s what I’ll be talking about.

However, we can never forget that there is something always more important than any of that.

Win the day.

Today.

Win it.

It’s great to have goals, it’s great to have ambitions, but ultimately they all require action in order for them to happen.

Quite often our goals are great, but they are too far away or too lofty for us to focus in on what exactly we need to do today.

Win the day is the a motto I try to live by, in fact, it’s just another way of saying 1% Better.

The daily strive for getting a little better and winning a day is ultimately so that you hit your goals and reach your visions, but without that daily focus, without bringing it from the “big picture” down to “What do I need to today?, that goals are often lost.

So, how do you know if you won the day?

Again, it’s just a mindset shift to help you focus on today.

If your goal is to get 15 workouts this month, winning the day is just checking the box that you got a workout in.

If your goal is to be consistent with reading, winning the day is reading 10 pages.

As you look at your goals for 2019 I suggest you break them down and set out the BIG 3 things you’re going to do each day to “win the day.”

If you get more than that accomplished, great, but we’re at least going to make sure we win the day and get those big 3 done each day.

For example for me…

-Write & read for 30 minutes every morning

-Move/Sweat for at least 30 minutes

-Connect with one client and one team member

Do I get more done? Of course…

But on a hectic day, when there’s a 2 hour delay, and now your entire routine goes out the window, I’m going to make sure I at least get those done.

Win the day.

Doing so will leave you in a more positive mindset, and ultimately increase your chances of hitting your long-term goals.

Now, go win the day!

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Focus on What You Can Control...

We’re officially one week into 2019!

How’s it going so far?

If you’re crushing it, keep up the great work.

If you waited until the first “normal” week of the year, here’s your chance.

Today, I want to help you understand the difference between process based goals and outcome based goals, because it is our belief that those that set process based goals win.

And you want to win, right?

So, let’s look at our most common goal we hear…

I want to lose weight.

How much?

40lbs.

Okay.

I want to lose 40lbs.

That’s a great example of an outcome based goal.

Not necessarily a bad goal, we just need it to be backed up by process based goals.

I want to get a new job.

Outcome-based goal,

I want to have 1 million in my bank account.

Outcome-based goal.

You get it.

We often talk about the desired outcome we want in a goal rather than the process that’s actually going to get us there.

Please understand, we can never control the outcome, we can only control the process that may lead to a certain outcome.

Now, after years of doing this stuff, we know what processes need to happen in order to hit a certain outcome, but we need to focus on the process, not the outcome.

Cool, we get it.

So, what do process-based goals look like.

Ask yourself…

What steps do I need to take to get closer to my outcome based goal.

For example, the outcome based goal of losing 40lbs.

I probably need to workout at a certain frequency.

I probably need to watch what I eat.

I also probably need to sleep and recovery.

So, examples of process-based goals may be

12 workouts in the month….

3 meals a day, no snacking….

Average 7 hours per sleep over the next 30 days.

Those are all things you have direct control over.

Each of them is a process that is going to lead to the outcome.

Same thing with that money goal.

It’s so easy to focus on that but what’s the action steps.

I need to save $x per week.

I need to spend less than $x per week.

It’s the process that predicts the outcome.

Again, it’s not BAD to have outcome based goals, we just need to make sure they’re backed up by process based goals.

What are your process based goals for 2019?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Roasted Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Quinoa and Spinach

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes

  • 6 cups of baby spinach – roughly chopped

  • 1 clove of garlic – minced

  • 1 tbs olive oil

  • 1 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa

  • 1/4 cup of pecan pieces

  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

  • 1 to 2 ounces of feta cheese – diced

  • 6 twists of black pepper from a pepper mill

  • A pinch of salt

Screen Shot 2019-01-04 at 5.36.02 PM.png


INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Slice sweet potatoes evenly in half length wise. Coat them with a little olive oil and place face down on a parchment lined baking sheet.

  3. Roast sweet potatoes for 30 to 40 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender and soft.

  4. I used pre-cooked quinoa that I had on hand. If you are making the quinoa, prepare 1/2 cup of dry quinoa as per the package instructions. I usually cook quinoa in vegetable broth or add a 1/2 a bouillon cube for extra flavor.

  5. While the sweet potatoes are roasting, add olive oil to a large sauté pan and heat over medium heat. Add garlic and half the spinach and cook until wilted and then add the rest of the spinach to the pan and cook until it’s wilted – about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

  6. Stir cooked quinoa, pecans, cranberries, black pepper and salt into spinach mixture.

  7. Gently toss feta into quinoa spinach mixture.

  8. When sweet potatoes are ready, remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Test for doneness – they should be soft and indent slightly when squeezed. If they are not done, put them back into the oven for an extra 5 or 10 minutes.

  9. Let the sweet potatoes cool slightly so they are easy to handle. With a small spoon, gently press down on the center of the sweet potatoes to create a small indentation that is the length of the sweet potato.

  10. Spoon quinoa and spinach mixture evenly over sweet potatoes and serve.

Serve: https://greenvalleykitchen.com/roasted-sweet-potatoes-stuffed-with-quinoa-and-spinach/

A few thoughts on kindness

I agonized through dinner at Appleebees, limiting my eye contact with Paul, though he didn’t seem to notice. Paul liked to talk and was content to fill both sides of a conversation while I filled my role as semi-interested date. I offered appropriate nods and the occasional “really?” as we killed time before the movie. 

It was February 1997, and despite Paul’s penchant for chatting, it was me who had something to say. 

I liked Paul, and we’d been dating for a few months. I didn’t date anyone in high school and Paul was my first real boyfriend. He was a thoughtful guy, serious about his faith, serious about his studies and he opened doors and pulled out chairs for me. But for a variety of reasons, it wasn’t working out. So for the three weeks leading up to this date, I’d been agonizing over how to break up with him. 

After putting it off for all of dinner and the entire showing of “Dante’s Peak,” I finally told him in the car on the way home. (There’s a point to this story, but a secondary point could be made for just getting something over with to save that ulcer growing in your stomach). 

After 45 minutes in the car I walked into my apartment where my roommates had waited up for me because there was no such thing as texting. 

“Well?” Asked Melissa. 

I closed the door and slid down to the floor. 

“Uh…we’re taking a break for 30 days,” I mumbled. 

“Kimmie!” She shouted. “What are you doing?!!”

I sat on the floor of the apartment for awhile longer before finally dragging myself to bed. I was 27 kinds of miserable over the next month. At the time, all I could think was that I wanted to be nice. I was in agony over the idea that I had, in any way, hurt someone’s feelings. But my effort to be nice and protect Paul’s feelings only made it worse. For both of us.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that the kindest thing I could have done in that situation was to be clear. Brene Brown says in her most recent book that “clear is kind.” In retrospect, I was as unkind to Paul as I could have been in that situation. And I had plenty more times that followed where my desire to be “nice” and “polite” led to similar results. 

As I start my year off in earnest today, my goal is to make kindness more than just rhetoric at the bottom of my emails and on t-shirts that I sell.

Because kindness is an active behavior, not just a concept of being pleasant.

But how do we take kindness from mere rhetoric to a change in cultural attitudes? Well, I don’t know, but I think of kindness a bit like keeping a gratitude journal - the more I can keep gratitude top of mind in my thoughts, the more gratitude will translate into my actions.

So it goes with kindness I think. When kindness is shared, it grows. 

Last week when I was home in Pennsylvania, I went to the new Starbucks in town. I ordered my coffee and was told that it was taken care of, because someone had left a gift card to pay for the next person’s coffee. I was so touched by this unexpected kindness that I added money to the card for the next person. 

Imagine if that had carried on throughout the day? 

Imagine a day full of everyone buying everyone else’s coffee?

The individual choices we make make can have a wider impact in the world. It is my challenge to myself to commit one act of kindness every day. Even though I sign every email to “be kind,” I think we need more than the occasional reminder to help people find hope and optimism in the very negative and divisive times we live in. 

These acts of kindness don’t have to be extreme.

Let someone go in front of you next time you’re in line. Hold the door for a person coming behind you, even if that person is more than a few steps away. Fill a gift card for the local coffee shop. Choose one Facebook friend per day and write a short message - no more than one paragraph - of appreciation. If you’re looking for more ideas, google random acts of kindness.

To be clear (see what I did there?) it’s not like I’m some master of being kind. I have plenty of short comings and get more than a little caught up in my own little world. But I’m going to keep trying to get a little better at these acts of kindness every day.

Together, if we remember to not just “be” kind, but to act kindly, I believe we can change the culture. 

Coach Kim

It's Been One Heck of A Ride...

Seven years ago today I sat in a freezing 1930’s warehouse building by myself.

Seven years ago today I opened Spurling Fitness, what was then called Spurling Training Systems.

I had the heat set at 55 because I had no clue how I was going to pay for heat, let alone the rent the following month.

On that freezing January day, I had a couple new members sign-up, and things were good.

Every time I walk through our doors now I try to remember back to those cold days of shivering in the office by myself because I only had 2-3 sessions per day, each filled with 1-2 people.

To say it’s been a heck of a ride is an understatement…

2012 was the year of survival.

Try to figure out how I can get enough money in to keep the lights on.

I did all the coaching myself, with a little help from my college friend, Shawn, who I’m sure some of you remember.

He would do some of the early morning sessions so I could sleep in a little in prep for the 16 hour days ahead.

I survived it, had about 50 clients at year end, some of which are still with us today, and was able to survive living off of a tray of Hannaford Sushi and some protein shakes.

2013 was a breakthrough year.

Two things really changed the trajectory of our “business” in 2013.

I actually ran it like a business.

One thing I never compromised on from day one is coaching.

From day one, every person that walked through the doors was under the supervision of a coach.

However, that was a completely new business model to the fitness industry, let alone Maine.

In 2013 I met two people who had been in the industry for decades and I was humble enough to ask for help.

One of them, Pat, is still my coach today.

Today, the team knows him well, and he is pretty much a father figure to me at this point.

We talk almost weekly, I run everything I do by him, and he coaches me along the way both in business and in life.

However, in 2013 it was just a desperate call for help.

“How the heck do I do this?”

I also attended a 2-day workshop in Baltimore, Maryland in October of 2013 where I met another long-time fitness business mentor who gave me the framework to actually run a gym like a business.

I remember driving home in the pouring rain from Baltimore (I couldn’t afford a flight) and calling Josh, who was a volunteer intern at the time, saying…

“Dude, here’s what we’re going to do. This is going to change everything.”

And it did.

We honed in our coaching model, our delivery system, I figured out appropriate pricing that would actually be sustainable, and I got clear on who we wanted to help.

Which leads me to my second thing that drastically changed the business in 2013.

Josh.

Josh was an “intern” before we even had an internship.

He contacted me to see if he could start early and after the “internship” was over he asked how he could stay on.

I know he’s a quiet guy, but please let it be known that we would not be where we are today without Josh.

He and I often reminisce at the humble beginnings of volunteering his time and working two other jobs because I couldn’t pay him more than minimum wage.

Now, Josh is our Operations Manager and does all the “behind the scenes” of facility operations and coaching.

The schedule, the equipment maintenance, the coach’s development plans, the programming, everything.

He runs that side of our business, and I couldn’t be more proud, quite a different story to tell compared to the days in 2013.

In 2014 we continue to grow, more than doubling from 2013, and changing more and more lives.

One thing stayed true, which was the coaching.

We’ve evolved in how we’ve coached our clients (as we always will), but all our clients have always had a coach.

2014 was a big growth year and it was time to bring on another coach.

I remember seeing this kids name pop up on social media all the time, he was constantly posting industry articles, sharing his opinion on nutrition stuff, etc.

His name was Trent.

I messaged him on Facebook asking what he’s up to and wanted to see if he would be interested in a position.

Fortunately for all of us, he had just finished up living out in Indiana completing an internship at one of the top fitness facilities in the country.

I’ve watched Trent grow a lot, from his growth as a coach to becoming a dad, to recently buying a house.

He’s been a steady rock on our team for going on 5 years, and he’s been an integral part of our success.

2015 was a very interesting year.

We continued to grow, and just like every year in business so far, we needed another coach.

You see, as you know, we’re not like any other gym.

Not just on the fitness and experience side, but on the staffing side.

It’s common for fitness professionals to either do this as a sidegig, or just be an independent contractor and train their own clients at another gym.

In great circumstances, they’re paid hourly or per session.

I’ve always tried to be better than great.

I wanted a full-time team of coaches, salaried, benefits, a team that was not motivated just for the money, and it didn’t matter if there was one person on the floor or ten people on the floor, they’re going to change someone’s life.

That certainly came with it’s own challenge, but that is what makes our team so unique today, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I get comments everyday about how awesome our team is, I never take them for granted, and part of that is treating them well so they can ultimately retire as a team member of Spurling.

Back in 2015 we hired Chris.

Chris was just about to get married to Sarah and was looking to get out of a situation I talked about above (health club personal trainer) and we were lucky enough to scoop him up.

He’s been a integral part to our coaching team, and it’s been so fun to watch him grow as a coach, grow as a husband to Sarah, and see him do some incredible things both as a coach (he founded our 5k for example), and as a friend, like buying a house with Sarah.

In 2015 we also moved to our current location.

That was a big move for us, physically, mentally, emotionally, financially.

I thought all our clients were going to leave.

I was buying a piece of commercial real estate at 26 years old.

I was going crazy.

But as you know if you’ve been with me since that transition, it was probably one of the best moves we made.

It allowed us to have a more professional look, it allowed us to be closer and more convenient for our clients, and it really planted our seed for the future.

I can easily say it was one of the best moves we made to make a bigger impact on our community.

2016 was another year of growth and it was time for another coach.

At this point my business responsibilities were growing and I needed to play more of a leadership role and not coach clients anymore.

Back in 2015 a someone met me at our pub table, the same black one we still have in the gym, and I could tell she was special.

She wasn’t your “normal” female fitness trainer that was all about fitting into a bikini, I could tell she “got it.”

She was going to help us get closer to our mission.

Fortunate for her, she took an internship down in Massachusetts at one of the best facilities in the country.

Lucky for us, after her internship was done, and fast forward to 2016, we had the ability to grab her and take her “off the market.”

That’s Kim if you couldn’t tell.

To say she has made a positive change in our business would be an understatement.

She took a gym that was being run by a “bunch of boys” and helped us turn it into one of the most respected training gyms in the country.

She taught us empathy and coached us in developing the “soft skills” of this industry.

She’s a staple on our team know and I can’t imagine our business without her.

2017 was a very transitional year.

We made some major mistakes and major commitments.

The biggest commitment was committing to our vision of 2020, a vision we’re now in the final year of completing before we set Vision 2025 in place.

In that vision we agreed we would cap our membership with our Tribe of 400.

We didn’t like the volume game the industry was playing, and we’re all introverts so we don’t like big crowds :)

We got really clear that in our facility we’re only going to serve 400 clients, allowing the experience to be superb.

We also got really clear that we’re not going to expand to more gyms, but instead, expand to other services in our local community.

So, instead of going wide in the fitness industry like is common, we have chosen to go deep within our community, building other brands that compliment our fitness offerings, a lot of which you’ll finally be able to “see” in 2019 and 2020.

We also went through two coaches that were awesome people, just not good fits for our Spurling Team.

I’m happy to say that I’m still in touch with both of them and they are doing awesome :)

With the hiccups of that, came the awesomeness of Mel and Judy.

Mel comes to us with a hospitality background.

So it’s no surprise to me when I hear (almost daily) how friendly she is and how much she genuinely cares for our clients.

What most people don’t realize is she is not our “front desk” person.

She’s a part of the leadership team with Josh and I, and while Josh takes care of the coaching operations, Mel runs everything to do with the customer experience.

That’s no small task in our business, as it’s ALL about the customer experience.

She drives the smiles and solutions to our business, and she’s the perfect fit for it.

I admire her detail oriented work, yet the ability to put that aside and be super friendly to every person that walks though the door, all while balancing two incredible kids at home.

And then Judy came along.

At this point, we didn’t need another full-time coach, but needed someone to coach some additional session during “peak” times.

Judy was a client who became a coach.

She has been awesome because she brings a ton of experience from the industry, and fills a nice role in our team.

I’m confident you’ll be seeing more of Judy in 2019 ;)

And finally, this past year, 2018.

We brought on a former intern who has become our little brother.

Jer Bear.

Jeremy is one of the most energetic and enthusiastic coaches I have ever met.

At first, I was very nervous, but he has demonstrated that his authenticity balances so nicely with the rest of our team who is a bit more “mellow” and he brings the energy, which is so important in our space.

Now we just need to work on his singing ;)

In all seriousness, I have the great fortune of talking to a lot of business owners, and gym owners specifically.

When I tell them that Jeremy is only 22 years old, they always remind about how special that is.

The bulk of this was focused on our team, and I am confident we would not be here today without them.

They are what make Spurling so much better than just a gym.

However, I never forget that none of us would be here today, none of us would have the roof over our head, the food on our plates, or the experiences in our back pocket without our clients.

Asking for help takes guts, and trusting someone is hard.

But that’s what a client does.

They ask for help, and then put their trust in us that we’re going to inspire positive change in them.

I’m proud to say we’ve been able to do that with thousand of people at this point.

That’s our mission.

To inspire positive change and cultivate relationships.

Jeff, I still remember you walking in on day one and paying for a whole year.

Anne, I remember our 1:1 sessions back in the day.

Lynette, I still love that you come at 8am and those mornings at the old spot with Shawn and the “Wells” ladies were some of my best.

Kortney, thank you for being our “mayor” and knowing everyone, and spreading the love to so many people.

Stephanie, I showed your video to our team at our annual meeting and we all held back tears. We love working with you and your positive messages are what help us get through the long days.

I’d be here til next January, but I could go one by one through every single client.

Whether you joined in 2012, or you’re joining this afternoon, you helped shape who we are today, and for that, I am forever grateful.

None of what you see is possible without your support, and I know I can speak for our entire team and just say…

Thank you.

Thank you for an incredible 7 years, thank you for making it so fun, so challenging, and so emotional that I’m fighting back tears as I type this.

I couldn’t not end this without thanking my wife, Megan.

She sees my “daily grind” the most, she puts up with my ambitions, and is the one I vent to when things are not going right.

In 2012 we lived together, then we dated (a story for another day), in 2016 we got married, and in 2017 we had Kaden.

She’s been with me every step of the way, and her love and support is how I get through the tough days.

As for me, I’m happy.

I have crappy days like all of you, but I’m in the love with the climb, I’m in the love with the journey.

I feel bad for anyone that doesn’t’ wake up with purpose.

Every time I hear someone say “I’m bored” I cringe.

Because of what we’ve created, happily, I’ll never be bored for the rest of my life.

Everyday I wake up inspired to tackle another project, to make our business better, to make the people in it better, and to inspire positive change in the world.

That is a mission that will never be over, and it’s why I’m so passionate about what I get to do.

I’ll leave you with one wish…

Please don’t think of me as Doug the gym owner.

The gym is just the first of many spaces I’ve created that inspires positive change in people.

I love our gym, I think about it more than anything, but it’s a vehicle that allows us to build a community, to build relationships, and to inspire positive change in people.

It’s, as the team knows it, “one branch” on our tree that is the Spurling Community.

My vision is to build other spaces that inspire positive change in other areas of your life, and compliment the great fitness service that we deliver.

I want to leave a legacy of changing the world, changing our community, and inspiring positive change in every person that steps foot in our door.

That is why I’ll never be bored, and that is why I have to stop it here for today.

I could go on and on, but there is work to be done, there is still negativity in our world, there are still people who need help in our community, and someone reading this needs us, they need you, and I see it as my duty to do anything I can to help.

Thank you, again, for seven awesome years.

I’m looking forward to the next seven of every day getting….

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

5 Step Process To Change in 2019

Happy New Year!

I’m looking forward to a big 2019 together.

As you think about all the changes you want to make in 2019, I want to give you a simple framework to follow for each goal. 

This could be finally doing something for fitness, achieving a financial outcome, or changing a behavior that affects your relationship or family life. 

1. Recognize The Need to Change: I've always said that being self-aware is one of highest skills we can learn as humans. Being self-aware of what motivates us, how we come across to people, and just generally being aware of how everything effects us and how we affect others. That being said, if you're looking to change you first need to recognize that you need to change. 

2. What Does Success Look Like: If you could wave a magic wand and you're living the perfect version of what you want to change is, what does that look like. Write down a clear picture of what success looks like so that you have a visual target to go after. 

3. The One Thing: What is one thing you can do today to start moving towards that picture you painted above. The biggest hurdle people face in change is they try to conquer it all, get overwhelmed, and end up not doing anything to help them progress closer to what success looks like to them. The one thing. It could be filling out an inquiry form on a gym's website, it could be setting up the bank account that you're going to automatically transfer savings too, or it could be going into your schedule and blocking off from 6 pm on so that you can be home with your family. The one thing is important not because of what it is, it's going to be tied to your goal, it's important because it's only one thing. 

4. Set Mini Milestones: Depending on what you're trying to change, it's going to be a long-term journey filled with ups and downs. In order to keep you motivated and on track it's important to break it down to mini milestones. For example, on your journey of losing 50lbs, maybe it's showing up at the gym 10x this month. 

**Important to note here is the need for process-based goals or milestones. Notice the difference between a goal of losing 10 pounds (outcome) versus getting 100 workouts in the next six months (process). Process based goals are 100% in your control and they lead to the outcome that you want. Don’t just focus on the outcome based goal, more importantly, determine the process based goal that is going to lead to the desired outcome.

5. Show up daily: 1% Better. I have yet to find anyone that shows up daily and does not see progress in whatever they're working on changing and improving. It doesn't matter if it's fitness, business, or life, it's about showing up daily and doing the best you can with the cards you're dealt that day. There is no magic pill, there is no shortcut, there is no secret, it's just showing up consistently, day after day, month after month, year after year. That's the secret. 

Change is hard. 

Follow these five steps and hopefully, it gives you some guidance as you go through the journey and make 2019 your best year yet. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling


19 Tips To Make 2019 Your Best Year Ever

The next time you’ll be reading something from me will be in 2019.

Can you believe that?

2018 was one for the record books in so many ways.

Personally it was a banner year….

It was my first full “calendar” year as a dad.

I’m learning everyday, but feeling more and more confident.

Megan and I got to do some amazing things together.

As some of you know, being married to an entrepreneur is no joke.

There are no days off, my mind is always running, and I give her anxiety with the amount of ideas and stretch goals I present to her.

But we’ve grown a lot together this year, had the great fortune of going on some amazing trips together, and become closer because of Kaden.

With the low of losing my dad in October and now having lost both parents before turning 30 came the high of Megan’s family moving to Maine.

Both her parents and her sister and brother-in-law built houses in town and are know just a short five minute drive away.

Her parents have become my parents, and her sister and brother-in-law have become my brother and sister, so this move was huge for our entire family.

Professionally, it was a big year as well.

Spurling Fitness is as powerful as ever.

It’s fueled by the best fitness family around, and a really tight community of members that has grown another 20% this year.

They’ve pushed each other, held each other accountable, made friends, built relationships, volunteered their time for charity, and everything else that a community does together.

It’s led by a rockstar team, some of which hit their 5 year anniversary (Josh), and some of which started roughly 5 months ago (Jeremy).

With six awesome coaches and Mel leading the front of the house 2019 is sure to be another strong year.

Outside of leading the team at Spurling Fitness I’ve been able to expand the Spurling Community and prepare for some big moves in 2019 including…

The expansion of our coaching and consulting offerings for local small businesses and health and fitness businesses. Taking what we’ve used to build our Spurling Community and helping others build efficient and profitable businesses that make a bigger impact in their community.

The growth of our charitable work including a community 5k that donated almost $5,000 to a local non-profit, a $1,000 scholarship to a local high school student, thousands of dollars donated to local charity, hundreds of pounds of clothes donated to local shelters, and so much more I’m probably forgetting.

And finally, the clarity and initial steps towards our next brand under the Spurling Community which will help inspire positive change and cultivate relationships in our community through other wellness-based offerings (Massage, PT, Yoga, Counseling, etc), but also give us the space to fulfill our vision to teach and educate more through speaker series, seminars, workshops, and courses for the public.

As much as that is a highlight reel for 2018, like all of you, it was also filled with some lows.

Countless days filled with stress and anxiety, the loss of my dad, the never ending feeling of it never being good enough, and the constant question of “am I doing the right thing"?” still gives me nightmares, but that’s okay.

If I’ve learned anything, it’s that you learn the most from your low moments, and without those moments in life, you don’t get to experience the incredible highs.

I learned a lot this year, so here are 19 tips to make 2019 your best year ever.

  1. Be present: I write this as number one for the simple fact that it’s my everyday reminder. We only have today. We can dream about the future, but we only have this moment, right now, and it can be taken away from us at any moment.

  2. Stretch yourself: If you were to tell me seven years ago I’d be where I am today I would have said “no freaking way!” However, none it came from being conservative. None of it came without an extreme amount of stretch and sacrifice.

  3. Happiness is about the journey: There is no destination. I am at my happiest when I am working on something that can never be “done.” I can never stop developing as husband or father. I can never stop developing as leader. I will never inspire positive change in everybody. However, it’s that “never ends” feeling that makes the journey so fun. It’s about the journey not the destination.

  4. What problem do you want? We’ll always have problems. More money, more time, more anything. It doesn’t remove all our problems, it just gives us another problem. In 2019, you’ll have problems, but it’s about choosing what problems you want.

  5. Process based goals: As you look to set goals in 2019 set process-based goals not outcome based goals. For example, don’t set the goal of losing 10 pounds (outcome), set the goal of getting in 10 workouts per month (process). You can control the process, you can never control the outcome.

  6. Reading for the win. I don’t care if you read a physical book, listen to it, whatever. Reading everyday, in my humble opinion, is a non-negotiable. It develops you, it challenges you to think differently, it builds a habit. There is only one negative to reading which is all that you’re not learning by not reading.

  7. It’s all connected. This is one of my missions in life is to better educate the community that it’s all connected. Everything. We can’t try and isolate one thing. We can’t try to fix one thing while ignoring the rest. From a small example like if your knee hurts, we can’t just look at the knee, it’s probably being caused by something above or below. To a big example like your whole wellness. If you hate your job it’s going to impact your fitness. If you’re stressed it’s going to impact your nutrition. If your finances are not in order it’s going to impact every other area of life. If you want to truly develop (physically, emotionally, financially, etc) as a person we need to realize that it’s all connected.

  8. Find a coach. In every area of life that’s excelling I have a coach, and if I’m being honest, in the areas that are lacking, I don’t have a coach. Everyone needs a coach. You’re not better than anyone. We all need a coach. If you want to get better at fitness and nutrition, get a coach. If you want to get your business in order, get a coach. If you need help with your marriage, get a coach. We all need more coaches in our life.

  9. You get paid for done. Not thinking, not brainstorming, but straight up action. It amazes me, and I’m guilty of it myself, how long we let things sit on our plates. If you look at it, that act of finishing it, is really not that big, but we never get it done. The people that implement the fastest win.

  10. Have a really clear vision. I spent two days in Michigan this year learning about visioning and I’m just cracking the surface. However, I do know one thing about visioning. It works. Write down (they key) where you want to be, visualize it, and then set your goals to get you there. Most of us set goals but we don’t know where we want to be. Figure out the vision first then work backwards.

  11. Write everything down. Your brain is best at creating ideas, it’s terrible at storing ideas. Your vision? Write it down. Your goals? Write it down. An idea you have? Write it down. Did you workout yesterday? Write it down. Your business operations? Write it down. Everything should be on paper. The physical act of writing it will allow you to comprehend better, and more importantly, you’ll have something to reference back to. Stop keeping stuff in your head.

  12. More Kindness. It’s our core value at Spurling, and I’m at my best when I am kind. The world needs more kindness. We need more kindness. There is no negative to being more kind.

  13. More Play. It’s another core value at Spurling, and I am at my best when it feels like play. Playing with my son, having fun with my family, making games out of work. We all need to put our head down and work sometimes, but if you’re not having fun, what’s the point?

  14. Be curious. Another value at Spurling. immerse yourself in anything you want to learn, go all in, get curious. Do you want to learn more about a person or a thing? Ask questions. Are you furious at someone or something? Get curious. We could all benefit from being more curious.

  15. Have some values. As you grow the opportunities become more and more, you can become stretched thin. Know your values, know what you stand for. Your values become your guardrails so you know what to say yes to, and more importantly, you know what to say no to.

  16. “I can’t.” You can, you just may not want to put in the work, and that’s okay, but you can if you want to. If you truly want something bad enough you’ll find a way. Try to say “I can’t” a little less in 2019.

  17. I wish. That's the biggest phrase I work to avoid. I wish I went on that trip. I wish I tried that adventure. I wish I made that career jump. When I'm 95 years old and sitting in a rocking chair I can only ask for one thing...no regrets. I did everything I could to make an impact and leave a legacy. I don't want to say "I wish." Here’s to no regrets in 2019…

  18. Stop comparing. We all have our own visions, our own goals, our own things that make us happy. Some want a big house to host family dinners, some want a tiny home. Some want to travel the world and some want to be a homebody. Some want to have 6-pack, others just want to be healthy. You’ll have your best year ever if you stop comparing yourself to others.

  19. 1% Better. This is the motto I live by. Every day I try to be a better person, a better husband, a better father, a better business owner, and a better leader. 1% better every day. It's keeps me hungry yet humble. It's everything. 2019 will have highs, and it will have lows, but ultimately it will be your best year yet if you just try to get a little better everyday, realize that success is never a straight line, and that you determine what success looks like.

Cheers to the last year of this great decade!

I’m excited to learn, grow, and be humbled alongside you.

Taking the time to read what I write means you said no to something else, and for that I’m honored.

I hope I have made a small positive change in your life, for that, is my mission.

Happy New Year!

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling


Do You Want A Rewind?

How would you like to move, look, and feel 10 years younger?

More energy, sleep better, look and feel better…

All of it.

Now, there’s no magic pill that can help you do that (although the internet will tell you there is), but the only proven way to look and feel younger is by focusing on a very specific process.

  1. Use nutrition as “medicine” to fuel your body

  2. Add strength training to increase bone density and muscle mass

  3. Include interval training to burn fat and keep the metabolism going

  4. Plug in a support system or community to hold you accountable

Now, if you’re already a part of the Spurling Family you know that those four things are basically the recipe to our program.

However, whether you’re a member or not yet a member, keep reading as I have something special for you today….

We’ve taken that 4-step proven process and bundled it up into a program that we’re rolling out in January…

6 Week “Rewind” Transformation Challenge and it starts January 21st.

New to Spurling? Click Here To Learn More About The 6 Week “Rewind”

Current Spurling Family Member? Click here to get all the added bonuses in 2019

If you would like to work with us to put a plan in place to “rewind” the clock and feel and look like you did ten years ago, you need to take a look at this program.

In short, the 6-Week “Rewind” Transformation Challenge is the quickest and easiest way to jump-start your metabolism and safely lose weight.

Here’s exactly what’s included in the 6-Week “Rewind” Transformation Challenge:

  • Unlimited Strength Training Sessions for 6 weeks with our coaches

  • Unlimited Metabolic Training Sessions for 6 weeks with our coaches

  • 6 weeks of daily nutrition guidelines telling you exactly how and what to eat

  • 6 weeks of the best accountability and motivation around

  • A sense of community-we have the best fitness family around

  • A proven plan that works-we’ve helped hundreds of people just like you

Are you a current Spurling Family Member wanting to join in on this 6-week fun?

  • Your membership will get upgraded to our “premium” level so you’ll get unlimited sessions for the 6 weeks

  • You’ll get daily nutrition guidelines telling you exactly what and how to eat, checking in with you daily

  • You’ll meet with a coach every other week to stay accountable, take some measurements, and guarantee results.

We will provide you everything you need to go on your own memory lane and move, feel, and look 10 years younger.

We’re starting the 6 Week “Rewind” Transformation Challenge on January 21st.

If you’re even vaguely interested just click the appropriate link below and we’ll reach out to answer questions.

New to Spurling? Click Here To Learn More About The 6 Week “Rewind”

Current Spurling Family Member? Click here to get all the added bonuses in 2019

So…are you in?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: Make this year the one that you actually “rewind” your personal clock…

New to Spurling? Click Here To Learn More About The 6 Week “Rewind”

Current Spurling Family Member? Click here to get all the added bonuses in 2019

Veggie Shepherd's Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped

  • 1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt

  • 1 tablespoon pure butter

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 (12 ounce package) veggie soy crumbles (such as those from MorningStar Farms or Boca)

  • 1/3 cup ketchup

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 1 1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots

  • 1 cup vegetable broth, low-sodium

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Screen Shot 2018-12-27 at 4.13.58 PM.png

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Lay the cauliflower on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Roast for 15-20 minutes until cauliflower is tender, but not mushy.

  3. Transfer cauliflower to the bowl of a food processor and add the yogurt and butter. Season with salt and pepper, and process until smooth and creamy.

  4. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add the olive oil. Add the veggie crumbles and cook until browned. Add the onion, carrots, and peas and stir until well combined. Combine the veggie broth with the cornstarch and stir until dissolved. Add this and the ketchup to the veggie mixture and stir.

  5. Spread the vegetable mixture in a 8x8 casserole dish or divide into individual ramekins. Top with the pureed cauliflower and spread it on top.

  6. Bake for 25 minutes until heated throughout. To brown the top, turn the broiler on high and broil until the top is browned to your liking. Alternatively, if you have a kitchen torch, you can use that to brown the top. Serve hot.

Source: https://skinnyms.com/veggie-shepherds-pie-5/

4 Step Process To Crushing Your 2019 Goals

In two weeks I’ll be hosting my “Best Year Ever” workshop where I’ll help you craft your vision, change your mindset, and lay the foundation for making 2019 your best year yet.

With the New Year coming we typically just think about goal setting.

However, goals are just strategies to tactics that are moving you closer to your vision.

Your vision is a point in time in the future, it’s where you want to go.

You first have to determine that before you set goals, otherwise, you’re just setting goals with no clear direction on where you want to end up.

Make sense.

I’ll be covering all of that “vision stuff” in the workshop, but today I wanted to share something I probably won’t have time to cover in the workshop which is a cool 4 step process to set a goal.

So, once you have your vision and you know what success looks like, it’s time to set some goals.

This process is called 4DX: 4 Disciplines of Execution. If you Google it, you can pick up the book. It’s designed for business goal setting, but as always, it’s really all the same.

The first part is the WIG. 

Wildly Important Goal. 

90 days from now what does life look like?

You can do this for each category of life, but for brevity, let's stick with fitness. 

Maybe your WIG is you want to be able to do your first chin-up!

Sweet. 

The goal of the WIG is for it be your sole focus, your top of mind thing, for the next 90 days. 

So you have your WIG? 

Good, write it down at the top of a piece of paper. 

Seriously. 

You've heard me say it before, if you don't write it down it won't happen. 

Once you have your wig, you're going to come up with 2-4 lead measures. 

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

Basically, if you execute these 2-4 things, there's a very strong chance the WIG is going to get accomplished. 

So if our WIG is to do my first chin-up my lead measures may be:

1. Strength training program focused on that goal. 

2. Dialed in nutrition to help with leanness (less bodyweight to pull = easier the chin-up is)

3. Good sleep so that I'm recovered, lower stress, and feeling good.

So if I execute those 3 lead measures there's a very strong chance the WIG will happen.

From there each lead measure needs a cadence of accountability.

How are you going to hold yourself accountable to each lead measure?

For the strength training program maybe you're going to join an awesome gym that will customize the plan for you around the chin-up, like Spurling :)

For the nutrition, maybe you're going to journal on My Fitness Pal.

Again, just ideas, but the idea is that for each lead measure you have something set in place that is going to hold you accountable to those 3 lead measures.

So...

You have your WIG...

You have your 2-4 lead measures...

You have your cadences of accountability for the lead measures...

Finally, you have a scoreboard. 

Every sporting event has a winner and loser, right?

Why?

Because of a scoreboard. 

You're going to take those 3 lead measures, and create a monthly scoreboard with them so you know each month, within the 90 days, if you're winning or losing. 

Now, just like a sports team, you don't win every game, it's ok to lose here and there, it's not a failure, but it's guardrails to keep you on track. 

Got it?

So a scoreboard with the above lead measures may look like...

10 Workouts in a Month

22 out of 30 Days Journaled in My Fitness Pal.

200 Hours of Sleep In the Month.

Those 3 things are your monthly scoreboard for your WIG. 

Hit them and you win! 

So that's 4DX

1. WIG

2. Lead Measures

3. Cadence Of Accountability 

4. Scoreboard. 

The cool thing is you can do this for any goal, not just a fitness one. 

See how it’s much more than just telling yourself “I want to do one chin-up?”

Map it out for me and let me know what you think...

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Every little bit counts

I was well into my 20’s before I realized that Santa wrapped presents for other kids.

Seriously.

Every Christmas morning I’d wake up with my brothers, and we’d race out to the living room of my parents tiny ranch house to see what Santa had left us. You could generally tell by the piles of gifts which presents Santa had left for whom. Anything baseball related was mine, and anything else I didn’t care about it.

Especially the Barbies that were left for me in an effort to sway my interests. 

I never thought twice about the lack of wrapping until a friend and I were discussing this after I graduated from college.

You mean your parents actually wrapped the presents from Santa? I asked, flabbergasted. Really?

You mean your parents didn’t? She asked, equally incredulous. 

One day a few years ago I asked my mom about not wrapping gifts for us. “It was a way to save money,” she said. “Every little bit counts.”

I’ve said before that my dad lost his job in the steel mills when I was a kid, and there were some years where things were lean. We tease my mom about her frugality now. She buys slightly expired bread “it’s still good,” she says; never buys anything without a coupon, and will drive an extra five miles out of the way to save 3 cents a gallon on gas. Without my mom’s efforts, I’m not sure where we would have been back then, or even now.

My mom doesn’t like us spending her money on her either. In fact, her favorite gift from me is the slightly cracked pot of flowers I picked up in the middle of the road one day 20 years ago.

Seriously. I think they were funeral flowers that fell out of a delivery truck. And she was like OMG! Best. Gift. Ever. (She doesn’t believe me now when I try to pass off that the new sweater I bought her came from the side of the street. But I try.)

Every little bit counts. 

I think about this now, when I’m looking for ways to save money. I think about it when I make the decision to walk up the flights of stairs at the Portland Jetport instead of taking the escalator. I think of this when I get up in the morning and struggle to write 100 crappy words, which is my commitment to myself every day. I think about this when I opt to skip the Christmas cookies for breakfast when I know I don’t really want them.

Mostly, I try to take inventory of what’s really important - because after all, that’s what my mom was doing. Our birthday gifts were always wrapped, after all (usually with leftover paper from the previous person’s birthday), and I never felt like we were deprived of anything growing up.

So this holiday season, I take my mom’s words and actions to heart, as much as I can. In trying to make positive change in my life, wherever and whenever I can, I try to remember that every little bit counts.