Create Freedom This Friday

This weeks focus has been on productivity. 

I hope you have enjoyed it and maybe got one little nugget out of it. 

I want to wrap up the week by sharing with you what we call a Friday Freedom Session. 

This is an exercise I use to help me shift gears from "working man" to "family man."

During the week most of us are moving a hundred miles an hour, and all of the sudden we try to shut things off and switch our focus over to the family. 

Well, that doesn't just happen magically. 

I recommend every Friday taking 30-60 minutes and doing a Freedom Session. 

It will free up your mind and help you make a smooth transition so you can focus more on what's most important, family. 

Here's what a freedom session looks like. 

Grab a notebook. 

1. 5 Positives From The Week

Write down the 5 best things that happened this week. We tend to focus on what we're not getting done, but I'm sure we can all think of 5 things that were positive. 

2. Clean Up

Do you ever have a clearer mind when your desk is clean? That's not by accident. Spend a few minutes cleaning up your desk, organizing all your papers, etc. Whatever "clean" looks like in your life, make that happen. 

3. Inbox Zero

This is huge. Go through all your e-mails and text messages and get down to inbox zero. If something needs to be saved move it to a labeled folder. The mind will be more clear if you don't have 1000 red notifications on your e-mail

4. 15 Minute Mind Sweep

Write nonstop for 15 minutes. Get everything that is in your mind onto paper. You can organize it later, but it will help clear up the anxiety and stress when you get it all on paper. 

5. Review Your Upcoming Calendar

Review next weeks calendar and make sure it looks good. Take care of any rearranging you need to do, daycare, etc. 

6. Review Your To Do List

We all should have a working to do list. Review it, see what still needs to stay on there, and get it organized for the next week. To do list are things that are single steps.

7. Review Your Project List

Not everything should live on your to-do list. If it has multiple steps it is classified as a project. Get all your projects on one list, and then extract out single steps of those and put them on your to-do list. 

8. Review Waiting For List

Your waiting for list is things that you can't move on until you get something or hear something. Maybe you're waiting for a phone call or e-mail to come back. Maybe you're waiting for a package to arrive or another co-worker to finish their part of the project. 

9. Review Someday Maybe List

This is the list of all the things you want to do but they don't really have any urgency. It's good to have on paper so that you don't forget, but you want to separate them from the urgent things like your to-do list and project list. 

10. Review Goals & Vision

We all should have goals and a vision for our life. They should also be written down. At the end of each week, I like to read my goals and vision to make sure I still like them, to make sure my actions are matching them, and to keep them top of mind. 

That's a freedom session. 

It will probably take you about 30-60 minutes but I guarantee you it will clear your head tremendously, and it will make the following week that much more productive. 

Give it a try and let me know what you think. 

Some might be thinking, isn't this a fitness post?

Yes, of course. 

But remember, it's all connected. 

If your life is chaos and you're not productive with your time it just will snowball into not getting your workouts in and making poor nutrition. 

It's all one big puzzle :)

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling



One-Pan Pesto Chicken and Veggies

One-Pan Pesto Chicken and Veggies

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


pesto chicken.jpg


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken thighs, boneless and skinless, sliced into strips
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained of oil, chopped
  • 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed, cut in half, if large
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, yellow and red, halved


  1. Heat a large skillet on medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, add sliced chicken thighs, season chicken generously with salt, add half of chopped sun-dried tomatoes - and cook everything on medium heat for 5-10 minutes, flipping a couple of times, until the chicken is completely cooked through. Remove the chicken and sun-dried from the skillet, leaving oil in.
  2. Add asparagus (ends trimmed), seasoned generously with salt, remaining half of sun-dried tomatoes, and cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the asparagus cooked through. Remove asparagus to serving plate.
  3. Add chicken back to the skillet, add pesto, stir to coat on low-medium heat until chicken is reheated, 1 or 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add halved cherry tomatoes, mix with the pesto and the chicken. Add chicken and tomatoes to the serving plate with asparagus.

Pain cracks the seed of our understanding

Pain cracks the seed of our understanding.

Someone told me that once in college when I experienced my first great loss. 

Pain cracks the seed of our understanding. 

Intellectually, I knew what she was saying, but I remember thinking that I understood plenty of things just fine and could do without the intense, soul-crushing, breath-taking pain, thank you very much. 

What she meant, of course, was that experiencing pain is what helps us empathize. I didn’t really get that at the time. But let’s be honest - there is a lot I didn’t get in college. 

Last week, as I was sitting in my in-law’s house that is built into the side of a mountain near State College, Pennsylvania, I opened my Spurling email to find a few dozen emails from you, the Spurling community - some of whom I’ve met, and many who know me through emails. I also received texts and Facebook messages and phone calls from you. (Some of you even watched my dog for me…)  

You very kindly reached out and offered kind, thoughtful, and sometimes brutally honest words. And that brutal honesty is that it hurts. Losing someone you love hurts.  

You reached out from your own painful experiences - some of you very recent - to offer comfort. 

And I don’t really have words enough to thank you for taking time out of your day to share your experience and words of comfort with me. 

I’ve flown a lot in the past month, back and forth to PA, and on one of those flights, as the plane rose above the clouds and I was blasted with sunshine, I caught myself thinking the same thing that Doug wrote about last week: I guess there’s always sunshine. We just don’t always see it.

I’ve had a tough time seeing the sunshine this past month, and I’m still struggling to see it. I lost a surrogate mother - someone who stepped up for me and loved me and accepted me at times when not everyone could. And I don’t have enough words to tell you all of the amazing things about her. It’s still too painful to think about her too much, but someday I'll tell you about her.  

But the sunshine - the blue sky, as Doug calls it - is all of you. 

I have been lifted up, loved, and cared for by an entire community of people. I don't know how I've become so lucky, but I am grateful, so very, very grateful, to be a part of this community.

You have all been my Montana blue sky - and my bright Hawaiian sunshine. 

Thank you. Thank you for reaching out to touch my hurt. 

5 Tips To Make Your Life (and fitness routine) More Productive

This weeks theme had been productivity.

Before I go into the five tips I wanted to explain why I feel productivity is important.

There's a difference between being busy with things and actually producing.

It's very easy nowadays to be busy.

You catch yourself flipping across 8 different tabs on your computer, checking your e-mail with ever notification, opening Facebook to every little red dot, but at the end of the day what have you actually produced?

It's the same thing with fitness.

It's not enough to just go through the motions of exercise and not make any changes with nutrition.

Ultimately you have to produce a result.

Being productive does not mean that you're getting MORE done, it just means that you're actually producing more than what you currently are, there's more to show.

However, all the "productivity hacks" don't mean anything if you're not happy.

And if you're trying to put a square peg into a round hole and do things you don't enjoy doing, it's never going to work.

That's where your ideal life (and body) come in.

What do you actually want?

Here are five quick tips to help keep you focused on that.

1. Focus on what you love.

In fitness and in life we're here for a short time and a good time.

If you don't enjoy your fitness routine, there are 1001 ways to lose belly fat, find something that you enjoy doing.

The same goes for life.

Surround yourself with people, things, and jobs that you enjoy being around.

Only then will you create a "productive" environment.

2. Do what's important to you.

No one but you can determine your priorities.

If the family is most important, make sure that's backed up by action like being home at a certain time or being present at night instead of on a device.

The same goes for fitness, if it's important to you, make a priority, and be okay with saying no to other things.

What you say no to is more important than what you say yes to when it comes to productivity, and life actually :)

3. Keep it simple stupid. KISS.

It's an analogy I try to live by in business, life, and fitness.

When we try to overcomplicate things that is when we get overwhelmed.

For fitness, workout a couple times a week doing something you love, get the heart rate up, burn some calories, keep your water and protein intake high, and don't consume more than you burn.

Every routine or "diet" comes back to those principles, every single one of them.

4. Action will always trump ideas.

The people that we see that have true success are action takers.

They not only learn and educate themselves, but they take daily action to move them closer to their goals.

We all know what we need to do, but it's those that take action who separate themselves from the rest.

Remember, productivity means you have to produce something.

5. 1% Better.

It's our motto, you hear it every day.

It's truly what we represent and live by.

Daily bite size chunks of getting a little better. You only have good days and great days.

Even a failure is categorized as a learning experience.

This is a marathon, not a sprint.

You're on a journey so fall in love with the process, not the end goal.

Have a growth mindset of always wanting to get better.

All of that and more encompasses 1% better.

It doesn't change overnight.

Which one of those five resonated with you the most?

I'll be back tomorrow to keeping the fire burning.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: Our membership is nearing capacity and and we'll only be taking a small amount of new people that we'll personally work with to change their life in 2018. If you want to be one of them just reply and let me know...

5 Pillars of Productivity

Yesterday I asked what your rules were?

What are the rules you follow in life that allow you to keep your guardrails up?

What do you say yes to, what do you say no to. 

These rules are what allow you to stay focus on what actually matters. 

Today, I want to share the 5 pillars of productivity. 

It's what the rules are built on. 

Whether you're looking to be more productive in fitness, work, or life in general, these five carry over to all aspects of life. 

1. Planning & Preparation

This is something that seems so obvious, but how many of us actually do that. 

This is planning the night before what is the one thing you're going to get done tomorrow. 

This is mapping out your meals on the weekend so you don't just grab something quick. 

Planning your schedule to allow for a 45 minute stop at the gym to get a workout in, and being prepared for that by having your clothes packed the night before. 

It doesn't have to be anything crazy, but all productivity starts with preparing and planning ahead of time. 

2. Professional Accountability

We all need coaches. 

I have a coach. 

My coaches have a coach. 

Steve jobs had a coach. 

Bill Gates has a coach. 

Tom Brady has a coach. 

So what makes you think you're special and don't need a coach?

If you want to get better with money hire a coach for that. 

If you want to get better at your craft hire an expert coach for that. 

If you want to get better at fitness hire a coach. 

We all need accountability, and a good coach will give that to you. 

3. Social Support

Quick story. 

In Alaska, crabbing is a huge thing. 

Imagine you walk out onto a pier and see a bucket of crabs. 

As you watch those crabs it looks like one is climbing out and ready to escape. 

You grab the fisherman and say...

"Hey, one of those crabs is escaping!"

He says...

"Oh, don't worry about it, just watch."

As you look on, just before it looks like the crab is ready to tip over the edge, get out of the bucket and back into the cold water something happens...

Another crab pulls him back into the bucket. 

Crabs will not let one escape, if one goes down, they all go down. 

That's a great analogy for a lot of our social support. 

As soon as we want to have any kind of success or want to become good at something there's always that "friend" that becomes jealous and keeps us tied down. 

If you're looking to change your behavior, in whatever facet of life, you need to make sure you have strong social support.

If you're looking to change your nutrition your family is going to have to be supportive, if not, your chance of success is slim. 

Find strong social support, people that challenge you and lift you up, not bring you down. 

4. Incentive

What's the point of all this?

What's the carrot we're chasing?

What's the point of being productive, achieving a goal, if there is no incentive at the end?

Now, as one of my famous sayings goes...

"We're not a dog, we don't need to reward ourselves with food."

It doesn't mean that when we hit a goal, or when we "behave" all week we treat ourselves with food. 

However, there needs to be an incentive. 

So maybe if you're really locked in for 90 days, and you lose 15lbs, you reward yourself with a mini vacation. 

Or, if you're trying to be productive with your money after you hit a milestone you agree to take a small percentage of it and buy that thing you've been wanting. 

Whatever it is, there has to be some form of incentive to change the behavior. 

5. Big Deadline

This one, I think, is the most important. 

There's a universal law called Parkinson's Law

Again, a law, something that is not up for negotiation, we all fight it. 

Parkinson's Law states that work expands as to fill the time allowed to complete it. 

Meaning, if you have two weeks to complete a project,  it will take you two weeks. 

If you have a week to do that same project, it will take you a week. 

Use deadlines for everything you do. 

A goal is great, but if it doesn't have a deadline it will never happen. 

Any project you decide to take on, give it a deadline. 

Anything you need to get done, give it a deadline. 

We work off of deadlines, it's how we're wired, don't fight it, just set the deadline. 

So there you have it...

The 5 Pillars of Productivity.

Which one do you need to build up?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: If you need that coaching and accountability with your fitness to finally start seeing results just reply and let us know, we're looking at taking on a few more clients before the end of the year. 











What Are Your Rules?

Let's imagine something for a minute...

Imagine if there were no rules. 

Imagine if it was okay to drive 100 mph on the highway

Imagine if you could jump from a skyscraper and not die. 

Speeding and gravity. 

There both rules. 

Rules that we have to follow. 

What are the rules in your own life? 

I consider productivity to be a strength of mine. 

However, just like anything else, it's a skill that must be practiced.

I think people forget that. 

You don't just wake up and instantly become productive. 

You must practice it, recognize the negative patterns, reinforce the positive behaviors, educate yourself on it, and continually implement it.  

Over the course of this week, I'm going to share some strategies to really increase your productivity, get more done in the day, have more time with family, and make more impact. 

It starts with your rules. 

Do you have a rule about what time you wake up?

Do you have a rule about what time you go to bed?

Do you have a rule about not checking e-mails until 10 am?

Do you have a rule that you must get at least 20 minutes of exercise every day?

How about a rule that you won't waste time on negative people or dwell about negative things?

Do you have a rule that you won't eat sweets more than once per week? 

You create your own rules. 

Think about the nutrition side. 

A vegan is someone who doesn't eat animal products. 

It's a rule. 

You can't eat steak three nights a week and be a vegan. 

Now, being vegan is a choice, but with that choice comes a set of rules we must follow. 

Being productive is a choice, but with that choice comes a set of rules you must follow. 

Just like being fit is a choice, but with that choice comes a set of rules you must follow.

I have a list of rules that I follow every day. 

You have to start with that. 

You have to put up some guardrails. 

I'll share a couple of my rules...

I get up at 4:30am.

I meditate for 10 minutes. 

I read for 30 minutes. 

I write for 30 minutes. 

I don't check social media or e-mail until those are done. 

I plan the next day the night before. 

Those are rules. 

There non-negotiable. 

Now, here's something interesting. 

I've had a rule of reading and writing every day for a couple years now. 

It's a really strong habit. 

However, once Kaden was born I realized I couldn't just wake up and read and write at my own pace. 

I began to break the rule. 

I caught myself and set a new rule. 

I get up at 4:30 am.

As I write this I've been up for over an hour and have had zero distractions because everyone in the Spurling household is still sleeping. 

It's a rule now. 

Is it always easy?

Of course not. 

But if I didn't treat it like a rule I would allow myself to hit the snooze button. 


What are your rules?

You have to set boundaries. 

You have to set guardrails.

Don't let external forces control your productivity. 

That's this weeks challenge. 

Set three rules that you're now going to live by every single day. 

As you continue to get better at this, you'll tweak the rules you do have and begin to add some others. 


What are your rules?

I'd love to hear them. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: Ultimately, the reason for good productivity is to get more done so you can make more impact on the things you do, whether that be in work, with family, or for yourself. If you're ready to become "productive" with your fitness and get a kick-start on your 2018 goals schedule a Success Session with us by clicking here. 







What's Your Vision?

It's kind of a fluffy question, but important nonetheless. 

What is your vision?

What's your purpose?

Why do you exist?

What gets you out of bed every morning?

We should be able to answer these questions about ourselves. 

One of the best questions I think about is...

What is going to be said at my funeral?

Do we really just want to go through the motions of life with no purpose, no clear vision of what we're chasing?

Of course not. 

So what the heck does this have to do with fitness?

Fitness is just a means to an end. 

Good fitness and nutrition just allow us to do certain things and feel certain ways. 

If part of our life vision is to be an impactful mentor to our kids, shouldn't we lead by example by eating healthy and exercising?

Not to mention, if we're doing those things we'll most likely be able to live a longer and stronger life to be around for them more. 

So keep that in mind as you go throughout this. 

Fitness and nutrition are really just a means to an end. 

They allow us to do more, have more energy, sleep better, recover better, feel better, live longer, live stronger, make more impact, and live our vision to it's fullest extent. 

So how do you know your vision?

The short answer...

Through a lot of self-awareness, discovery, and experience. 

Also, your vision is never set in stone. 

It's a moving target. 

I like to think of my vision as the north star. 

It's what keeps me motivated, it's what I chase every day, and it's why I exist. 

However, underneath that vision is a series of goals that I want to accomplish that will move me closer to that north star.

As you clarify your vision ask yourself these questions?

What do you want to be known for?

What kind of impact do you want to make?

What are the big scary things you want to accomplish in life?

What kind of legacy do you want to leave?

What does your ideal day, ideal body, ideal mind, ideal ____ look like?

From there, I like to break things down to a 3 year picture. 

What does life look like 3 years from now?

Really try to picture it, visualize it. 

Where are you living?

What are you doing?

What kind of money are you making?

What vacations are you going on?

What does life look like?

The three year picture is about as far out as I really try to get clear on, and even then, nothing is set in stone, things change. 

However, I at least want to be on the right track as I move closer and closer to my vision. 

From there, I'll take that 3-year picture and break it down into some one-year goals. 

These would be your 2018 goals. 

And finally, I would take all of my 2018 goals and break them down into 90 day chunks. 

So, if I wanted to lose 40lbs this year, that means 10lbs in the next 90 days. 

If I wanted to save $40,000 for my kids college fund, that's $10,000 in the next 90 days. 

You can do that for any of your goals. 

However, ultimately, the goal is a clear vision because the 3 year picture, one year goal, and 90 day goals are all just breakdowns of things that are moving you closer to your vision.

What's your vision?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: Would you be interested in a Vision & Goal Setting Workshop next month to make 2018 your best year yet? Reply and let me know....













Blue Sky...

Life can be tough sometimes. 

Things don't go our way. 

We lose a close friend or family member. 

We get frustrated with the progress we're making. 

Whatever it may be. 

Those are the clouds in our life. 

But what we tend to forget is the blue sky is always there. 

Remember, the blue sky is always there. 

You're going to have days, weeks, and times in your life where you feel like you have that black cloud hanging above you and you can't escape it. 

But remember, the blue sky is always there. 

Those clouds will pass. 

Have you ever taken off on a plane on a cloudy or stormy day, and then as soon as you elevate above the clouds you get blinded by the sun and blue sky in your window?

That's a great reminder that the blue sky is always there. 

No matter the situation, no matter how frustrated, angry, or sad you are, remember...

The blue sky is always there. 

It's the cloudy days and the rain storms where growth occurs. 

If every day was a blue sky no growth would occur. 

Think about our great green earth. 

Things live, thrive, and stay green, partly because of the water that falls from the sky, water that is formed on those dark days. 

Our biggest growth happens on those dark cloudy days. 

Think back to the times in your life when you had the most personal growth. 

The change was usually the result of something negative. 

Whether it's as large as losing a family member or a day to day struggle of finally being fed up with how your pants fit, it was those cloudy day moments that instilled action in you to then bring out the blue sky. 

No matter how many clouds, the blue sky is always there. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: I hope all of you can get a lesson out of this one, but this one was written to my dear friend and team member, Coach Kim. She lost a close family member yesterday. It would mean the world to me if you could add some blue sky to her life right now and send her a small note if she's had any positive impact on your life. Her e-mail is I know she'll appreciate it. 





The First Step...

Last night I hosted a marketing seminar at the gym for a dozen or so small business owners. 

It was awesome. 

As I type this I'm sitting in the Portland Jetport getting ready to fly to Kentucky to go coach gym owners for a week on how to run a better business. 

Whether it's seeing clients at the gym or coaching fellow business owners the first step is the same. 

Show up. 

Hear me out...

In business or in fitness we can catch ourselves looking for the quick fixes. 

The shiny object...

The new and exciting thing that looks cool to try. 

However, when this happens, we forget about the most important part. 

Showing up. 

The clients with the best success are not the ones that do the fanciest exercises or follow this unique diet, they just have extreme consistency and show up daily. 

It's the best example of 1% Better.

So as you look to finish the year strong and set some goals for 2018 remember the first step. 

Just show up. 

Show up in everything you do. 

It solves most of our problems and it's only then that we can start to help you. 

I'll be boarding shortly so I'll keep in short and sweet this morning. 

I'll be back tomorrow for more good stuff. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling 








Spurling Seven...

We tend to overcomplicate things as humans. 

We try to make things a lot harder than they actually are and that causes analysis paralysis. 

We get stuck. 

The true art is in simplifying things. 

The more you simplify things the more you execute on it and the more people understand it. 

Movement and fitness are actually quite simple. 

Although there are thousands of exercises they all fall under seven categories. 

We call them the Spurling 7 Pillars of Movement. 

1. Squat

Most people are familiar with these. 

You're bending at the knees, a little at the hips, and making the motion like you were sitting down on a chair. 

There are different ways to squat, different pieces of equipment we can hold, and that's where the customization and art of coaching come in.

When we work with a client, unless they have a knee injury, they're squatting. 

It's a foundational movement. 

For some that may be a bodyweight squat. 

For others, it may be holding a dumbbell or kettlebell. 

And for some, they are holding a bar on their back. 

But we're all going to squat. 

2. Lunge

This takes the focus and puts it on one leg. 

Your legs are split out and you're driving primarily through one leg. 

This works more the backside of the leg, compared to a squat which primarily works the quads. 

Again, the art is in choosing what level is appropriate for you. 

Some may be doing a bodyweight lunge, others may be holding a pair of kettlebells as they walk in a lunging motion down the turf. 

3. Hinge/Deadlift

This is the third pillar, and the final lower body one. 

The hinge is primarily a hip based movement. 

We're trying to keep the back neutral and move through the hips, while just barely bending the knee. 

This puts the primary focus on the hamstrings and glutes, or the posterior chain as we call it. 

These are exercises like the deadlift, single leg deadlift, and glute bridges

It's a huge pillar as most people don't know how to activate or move through their hips, and as humans, because we do everything in a forward motion we're generally pretty weak on this movement. 

4. Push

Now we're onto upper body. 

This is where things like pressing movements come in. 

Everything from a push-up to pressing dumbbells overhead. 

These movements work the chest, shoulders, and arms. 

Again, rest assured, in each of these pillars there are hundreds of exercises, and it's important that we as coaches learn where you are and what your goals are so that we can give you the appropriate level, but everything still falls into one of these pillars. 

5. Pull

This is the opposite of the push. 

This is any rowing or pull-up type motion. 

It could be a band row or something as hard as a chin up or pull up. 

These exercises primarily work the back and the arms. 

6. Core

We've all heard of this one. 

This is where we work the midsection. 

It could be things like planks or toe touches. 

However, it can also be things like stabilizing exercises like a Pallof Press. 

Farmers Carries also fall into this category. 

7. Metabolic

Sometimes we forget the heart is a muscle so we need to train it just like we train the arms, legs, and core. 

Under this category is anything done for 30 seconds or longer. 

Special note: This could even be a "strength" exercise, but if it's done for 30 seconds or more it's actually more so going to work your heart than any other muscle.


If you're doing something for 30+ seconds, you may be able to use some weight, but it's definitely not going to be as much as if I only had you do 8-12 reps of that same exercise. 

When we get moving for that long of a duration it's a cardio workout. 

Also falling into this category is any of your traditional cardio like bikes, rowers, treadmills, sled pushing, medicine ball slams, etc. 

So that's it. 

Name me any exercise and I guarantee it will fall into one of the 7 pillars. 

So, as we look at designing a well put together plan it consists of two pieces:

1. Make sure we have at least one exercise from each pillar

2. Make sure we're doing the appropriate level of exercise at each pillar. 

The second one is the key, and that's where good coaching comes in. 

I may have different goals, I may move differently, and I may have some injuries, so although we both need to be doing a push and a pull exercise, what those are may be different. 

So there you have it...

A simple, yet not so simple, explanation of the Spurling 7 Pillars of Movement. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling 

PS: If you're ready to have a coach with you at every workout to make sure you're doing things safely and appropriately click here










Freedoms vs Limitations

Negative self-talk...

It's probably the largest component to this whole "healthier me" journey but we don't spend nearly enough time on it. 

As humans, we tend to focus on what our limitations are. 

Even before we talk fitness...

Think about all the limitations we put on ourselves. 

I can only grow a certain amount professionally. 

I can only grow a certain amount financially. 

I'm limited to only doing these things. 

In fitness, we are constantly thinking about the limitations within us. 

We tend to focus on what we can't do. 

We can't lose the weight we want to....

We can't do that push-up we want to do...

We have a limited capacity, schedule, support, etc. 

All of these are, usually, justified. 

The problem, however, is that causes a negative mindset and puts limits on us. 

Why don't we instead focus on the freedoms we have?

What can we control?

What can we do?

Focus on the choices we can make. 

We can choose to wake up 15 minutes early before the kids get up to do some meditation...

We can choose to say no to that table of office goodies and instead say yes to the lunch that you packed...

We can choose to sneak in a workout or two each week...

We can choose to give it our best every day...

We can choose to think of each day as it only being a good day or great day. 

This happens when we focus on our freedoms. 

Negative self-talk is a large and complex topic. 

However, it starts with focusing on the things we can control, the things that we can change, the freedoms we have. 

Choose to focus on your freedoms over your limitations. 

I'll be back on Monday to fire up the week again. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling




It's Not All Roses...

If it were easy everyone would be walking around super lean, taking no medications, and happy as pie. 

If it were easy we wouldn't be in business because everyone would be so self-motivated they would work out on their own, get great results, keep themselves safe, and hold themselves accountable. 

But that's fairyland. 

It just doesn't exist. 

This journey you're on is not all roses.

It's not going to be easy. 

You're going to have some big wins and have some things to celebrate. 

Other days you're going to feel like giving up and throwing in the towel. 

For those who know me well, you know I love analogies. 

I have an analogy for almost anything in life. 

The fitness journey is like a rollercoaster. 

You're going to be scared when you first start. 

It's going to start with a big uphill climb to get the momentum going. 

There's going to be lots of ups and downs.

But in the end, you leave with a smile on your face and ready for more. 

Plus, isn't it the ups and downs of a rollercoaster that makes it fun?

Enjoy the ride. 

Realize you're going to have some good days and some not so good days. 

It's going to be hard, but it's in those moments that you learn what you really need to change, how you're really motivated. 

A month from now we're all going to be motivated. 

It will be a new year. 

New things, new beginnings, and new motivation. 

That's all great, we need to ride the wave and take advantage of that motivation. 

But we also need to realize that these next four weeks leading up to that time are tough for most of us. 

It's easy to go off the plan and to become inconsistent. 

But hey, it's just part of the rollercoaster, right?

Keep pushing.

Finish out 2017 strong. 

Embrace the ride. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling





The most important step is the first one

Every time I think about writing a book, I think about the weeds. 

What will I write about? 

Will the book matter to anyone?

Where will I find two hours a day? 

What if it ends up on the clearance shelf at the local bookstore as soon as it’s published?

What if it’s not published?

Welcome to my little version of analysis paralysis.  

Sound familiar? 

The prospect of walking the entire journey all at once becomes so overwhelming that you find yourself rooted to the ground, unable to take a step. 

And that’s why the first step is so important. 

Recently, I had a conversation with a client who wanted to make meditation a daily habit. So we agreed that she would show up to her meditation spot for two minutes, five days per week. 

Two minutes is barely enough time to get seated on the pillow. 

But that’s not the point. The point is showing up to the pillow every day. 

She’s taking the first step.

And that's the most important step to take. 

Do you want to go to your workplace gym every day at noon? But you don’t know what you’ll do for a workout, whether or not you’ll have time to shower, and when you’ll actually eat your lunch. 

Don’t worry about those pieces. 

Every day, walk down to the gym. 

That’s it. 

That’s all you have to do. 

Stop trying to climb the mountain in one day. 

I know, I know. I’ll try to stop climbing my mountain in one day two. 

Does It Match?

We all want results. 

I mean who doesn't want to be stronger, leaner, etc?

But do your efforts match the desired results?

Quite often, the biggest frustration from people when they tackle their fitness and nutrition is a lack of results. 

As you break it down and look at what they're doing, it's no wonder they haven't seen any results...they haven't changed anything. 

"If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got."

My mentor used to drive that quote home on a daily basis.

With every change we want to make there needs to be a certain level of sacrifice that goes into it. 

How much you want to sacrifice is up to you, but it needs to match your desired result. 

Let's run through a couple examples...

If you're 50lbs overweight, you haven't been to a gym in 10 years, and you're just looking to feel healthier, lose some weight over time, and just have more energy. 

That's the desired result. 

Now you have to make sure the change matches that. 

So you're going to have to workout. 

Every day?


But probably 8-10 times per month. 

You're going to have to change your nutrition. 

Does it have to be perfect?


But you're probably going to have to cut out most of the snacking, get in more vegetables, and drink more water. 

There's a certain level of sacrifice required to make that change. 

There may be a financial sacrifice to hire a coach. 

There may be a time sacrifice of a couple hours a week, away from the family, while you're at the gym. 

There also may be the sacrifices to make healthier choices 80% of the time when you're eating out or meeting up with friends. 

You get the point. 

Is it super drastic?

Probably not for most.

But it's a certain level of change, a certain level of commitment that matches the desired results. 

Now, let's look at another example. 

You want to be super lean. 

Flat tummy, no jiggle, very lean, and super strong, and you're currently 30lbs overweight. 

The sacrifices needed to make that desired result are going to be greater than the first example. 

You're probably going to have to bump up your workout frequency substantially. 

That means earlier mornings or later nights to sneak them in. 

You're going to have to eat clean all the time. 

In the first example, you probably are okay having a glass of wine a couple times a week, in this example, the wine would probably need to be restricted to just on holidays and birthdays, let's call is once a month. 

You're going to have to keep your calories low seven days a week. 

Again, in the first example, you can probably achieve those desired results by eating healthy 80% of time, and "treating" yourself a couple times a week. 

That's not going to happen in this example if you want the desired results. 

You get the point now. 

We all think we want six-pack abs and ripped arms, but does the desired result match that work you're willing to put in?

That's up to you. 

The end goal is to find a level of desired result that matches the level of change and sacrifices you're willing to commit to. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: If you're trying to make some changes and want the help of our coaches just click here












All About The Green...

There are just five weeks left in 2017...

I've been coming to you every Monday for the last couple weeks with a #weeklychallenge to keep you focused and motivated the rest of 2017. 

This weeks challenge is no different. 

This week is all about the greens.

We all know vegetables are good for you, but why?

Let's start with the contents of them. 

Most vegetables are low in calories and high in what we call micronutrients. 

Micronutrients are things like vitamins and minerals. 

Specifically, vegetables are very high in fiber, potassium, folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. 

All good stuff, right?

However, in our opinion, that's only half the reason why we should all get more veggies. 

Yes, the contents are good, and they have a lot of health benefits like reducing the risk for chronic disease, better skin, etc. 

But there's more than meets the eye with veggies. 

Just like everything else in life, when you say yes to something you're saying no to something else. 

So, when you say yes to vegetables, that usually means you're saying no (or less than normal) to sugary starches, sweet tooth fixes, and other high-calorie choices. 

It's not only what the vegetables contain that is beneficial, but it's what other choices are made when you're focused on a high vegetable intake. 

You tend to get filled up faster, and thus, don't crave or have room for the high-calorie choices that are not the best for your waistline. 

With all that being said...

We know getting veggies in is tough. 

Here are five simple ideas to get more in...

  • Mix them into a shake in the morning
  • Add them to your eggs in the morning
  • Bring leftovers for lunch that may include a meat, vegetable, and/or salad. 
  • Take a greens supplement-this gives you 5 servings of vegetables in a scoop (we sell the one we recommend right in our lobby)
  • Make a big salad for the week and use that as your side for your nightly dinners

Veggies are one of those bang your buck choices. 

Not only do you get lots of nutrients, but you tend to make better overall choices as a whole when a high vegetable intake is your focus. 

So this weeks challenge...

Get 20 servings of vegetables.

For some, that will be a piece of cake.

For others, adding roughly 3 servings a day will require some thoughtful decisions. 

So the bar is at 20.

If you want to go above and beyond go for it, but at least hit 20 this week. 

That's this weeks #weeklychallenge!

I'll be back tomorrow with more great stuff. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: Today is the last day to save $600 on a 2018 membership here at Spurling. Click here to grab the deal. 











You didn't blow it, ok?

Thanksgiving is four days away. But I want to tell you today, right now, that if you have a piece of pumpkin pie, you didn’t blow it. 

If you lick the batter of the pumpkin pie while you’re making the pumpkin pie, you didn’t blow it. 

If you have mashed potatoes and gravy and stuffing and several helpings of each, you didn’t blow it.

I often have clients who don't even want to meet to talk about nutrition this time of year because "I've been bad. I've been awful."

No. You haven't been bad. And you haven't been awful. 

You've been human. Human, okay? 

What you may have done though, is decided that after one or two cheat meals and a few missed days at the gym, you've completely screwed up all of your goals. 

No. No you haven't. 

The only way you blow up your nutrition or exercise routine is when you give it away. When I coached softball a few years back, our team struggled for wins and had plenty of games where the score was out of hand. And the only thing I asked of my players in those games was to give nothing away. 

You know what the hardest thing to do is in moments like those? 

Give a shit. (Sorry mom, I said shit. Again.)

It is so tough to drag the bat up to the plate and swing like you care because when you’re losing 18-0 in the third inning, even a home run is just a drop in the bucket. So what does your at-bat and your effort even mean in those situations?


You caring means everything. You caring enough to try matters. In that situation, your effort matters to your teammates, to your coach, and to you. That at-bat matters because you matter. Because we don't play sports and love sports for championships and play-off wins. We play and love sports for the moments. 

And your fitness and nutrition journey is no different.

What matters is you giving up. When you decide that because you ate something that was not on your plan, you should chuck the entire plan. When you judge yourself so hard because you “slipped up.” 

When you decide that you can’t stick to anything, that nothing will ever work, that you might as well not even try because you ate something that wasn’t on your nutrition plan. Or because you missed one workout. 

Researchers actually named this the what the hell effect. You got up and had a cookie for breakfast and decided that the day was lost. So you might as well do fast food for lunch and pizza for dinner and start again tomorrow.

 So today I challenge you. 

That eating a donut for breakfast when your in-laws brought donuts doesn’t mean your day is blown. 

That missing the gym for the past three weeks in November doesn't mean you have to wait until December. Or January. Or even Monday. 

And eating a piece of pie - even eating a whole pie - does not make you a bad person. 

Let me say that again. 

You are not a bad person if you have a meal that doesn't meet the nutrition goals you outlined with your coach. Or in your head. 

Please hear me when I tell you that you are not a bad person.  

This is my favorite quote:

"It is never too late to become what you might have been." - George Elliot

It's not too late. You're not a bad person. You can do this. 

But what you can't do is throw in the towel. (In Pittsburgh we wave our towels, we don't throw them.) Don't give up on you. A donut for breakfast does not mean you start again tomorrow. It means that you had a donut for breakfast.

Believe in yourself. And believe that one or two or five decisions doesn't define you. Ok? 

Do You Love Stuffing?

It's probably my favorite food on Thanksgiving. 


I don't know what it is, but give me some mashed potatoes, a couple pieces of turkey, and I'll fill the rest of my plate up with stuffing. 

Today I'm not really here to talk about stuffing. 

I'm here to talk about my opinion on Thanksgiving and all the other major holidays/parties throughout the year. 

We all tend to get bogged down on a few things a year, thinking that we need to eat super healthy on these days or it's going to ruin your nutrition. 

You know what I'm talking about. 



Your birthday. 

4th of July BBQ. 

You get the point. 

Arguably, there's probably one of those events a month. 

We bog ourselves down, telling ourselves that we need to eat super clean during those events and that if we don't it's going to ruin the results. 

Well, I'm telling you to go enjoy your Thanksgiving. 

Have that cake for your birthday. 

Go out to ice cream for your kids birthday. 

Don't focus on the 20% of the time where you're splurging for special events or holidays, focus on the 80% of the time that you're not. 

Enjoy yourself on that day. 

Embrace it, enjoy it, and then wake up the next day ready to bounce back at it. 

Even if you have one of those "splurging" events (birthday, holiday, etc) each month, that's only 3% of the 365 days of the year. 

Why focus on the 3%. 

Focus on the 97%. 

Good nutrition is not about following a diet. 

It's not about being perfect. 

Perfection doesn't exist. 

It's about making smart choices 80% of the time, making small changes that still can fit in your life, and making it enjoyable. 

Just like fitness, if you don't enjoy it, you may stick with it for a month or two, but then you'll go to the complete opposite side. 

Don't beat yourself up this week. 

Focus on stacking the small wins. 

Use the point system I shared in yesterdays post, and enjoy the holiday. 

Focus on the 97%, don't let the 3% ruin you. 

I'll be over here enjoying my stuffing and I hope you will too. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling








The Point System...

A couple weeks back I introduced the #weeklychallenge. 

For the remaining 8 weeks of the year, I have been giving you a challenge every Monday to focus on. 

How's it going so far?

This weeks challenge is going to be to get 1 point per day. 

Hear me out...

As I continue to grow, develop, and get more and more experience there's been one thing that continues to become really clear. 


Simplify your business, simplify your job, simplify your life, and...

Simplify your health. 

Now, when I say simple, I don't mean less than. 

I, in fact, mean better than. 


When you're focusing on a thousand things, trying to cover everything, trying to be everything to everyone you end up being okay at all things, but not really good at any one thing. 

The same is true for your fitness and nutrition. 

I've talked about this before but I think it's important to hear again. 

When we try to overcomplicate it we end up getting analysis paralysis and take no action. 

I want action baby! 

When things are clear and simple we always take more action, and when we take more action we get more results. 


So that's why I like this point system. 

So here's how it works. 

You get .5 point each day if you sweat. 

You get .5 point if you drink half your body weight in fluid ounces of water. 

That's it. 

The goal is to get one point every day. 

Isn't this just the best example of 1% better?

So that's your weekly challenge this week. 

I know Thanksgiving is just a few days away but isn't one point still doable?

A half point for sweating and another half a point for drinking water.


But it's the action that counts. 

Who's up for this #weeklychallenge?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling


What's the Point?

A Bugatti can go 257mph...

The fastest car in the world. 

At about 257mph it actually can go faster, but it starts to catch air, hover, and flips over.

Who was the person that figured that out?

A do a lot of pondering...

Like a freakish amount. 

I'm genuinely curious about why people think the way they do, how they're motivated, why some people have success, and others just chuck things up as losses. 

I quite often think about "what's the point?"


What's the point in life?

What's the end goal?

What's the gold standard?

What's the point in fitness?

Is it really to lose the belly fat?

That's a piece of it, but what happens after that?

We don't just stop exercising, and we certainly don't just instantly become happy. 

So, what's the point?

There are of course several aspects of it, but I think at its core, a piece of it is that Bugatti story. 

Trying to push the limits. 

To be the absolute best version of YOU. 

I won't stop until I am the best dad, the best husband, and the best leader to my team. 

I want to see what the limits are. 

How far can we go?

How many lives can we truly change?

How good we make the experience?

How good can our results be?


What are the limits of being the best partner, the best parent, the best co-worker?

That's what puts goosebumps on my arms. 

A Bugatti goes 257mph. 

It's not about the speed, it's the fact that they found the absolute limit. 

So often in life, we don't find our limits. 

We don't strive big enough...

We don't go all in and try to be a better person...

We just throw in the towel.

Push yourself. 

Not just physically, but in life, you can do more, you can be more, and it's just all about the drive to find everything that you can be. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling 


My five secrets of adulthood

Lately, I’ve been listening to yet another book on habits, and the author suggested writing down our secrets of adulthood. So it got me thinking, as I ring in my 41st year, what my five secrets of adulthood are. 

I don't really want to call them secrets though, and rules seems too rigid, so I'll call I've learned in my four-plus decades. 


My intuition has always guided me well. Never was that so obvious than a few years back when I took a job I felt like I should take. Something was telling me that while the work appealed to me, the job itself wouldn't be the right fit. On paper though, I just couldn't see turning it down, so I ignored my instincts and signed the contract.  

It was one of the worst experiences I ever had. And I could have spared myself and others a lot of stress had I listened to my gut. 


Did you ever show up to a class having read the wrong assignment? And suddenly the professor starts talking and students start talking and you have the distinct impression that everyone knows something you don’t know? 

I felt that way for much of my adulthood. I was certain that everyone knew something I didn’t know.  

It’s only been since my thirties that I began to realize that it’s not true.

There is no secret. There is self-discovery, and taking chances and sharing hurts and joy - there is confronting shame and guilt and learning what it means for you to live the life you want to live.

But there is no secret. You know more than you think you know. Trust yourself. 

Trust yourself.   


If I could go back and give some advice to my 25-year old self, I’d take most of the books on self-knowledge out off of her bookshelf and torch them. 

You can’t get to know yourself from a book. You can read about human behavior all you want, but if you don’t take the time to pick up the rocks in your own life and look underneath them, you’ll never understand how you feel, how you think, how you react - to yourself and others. 

That takes a lot of inner work and that work is hard. It is so hard. 

If you sweep everything under the rug, you’re going to trip over that rug one day. I promise you. 


One of the things I appreciate most about my dad, and there are many, is his silliness. After a long week at the steel mill, he would always get up on Saturday mornings to watch Bugs Bunny with us, and I’m pretty sure, knowing what I know about Dad, he’d have watched Bugs Bunny anyway. He was watching Scooby Doo when I was born, and it wasn’t to accommodate a kid in the room. He turns phrases inside out, laughs with ease, and can find the humor in anything. 

If you’ve been to the gym, you may have seen me wearing a horse head, throwing rubber chickens or putting on a polka. Because polka.

Sometimes I do it to put myself in a better mood, and sometimes I do it because rubber chickens. Life is way too short to be serious. 

5. Be Kind. Be compassionate

One of the greatest acts of kindness I ever received came from a college student at a tavern in State College. I'd just come out to my parents and it hadn't gone well. So I was sitting in the bar, sipping on a beer, crying and trying to make sense of what might come next. On her way out the door, the student put her hand on my shoulder and said, "I don't know what's wrong, but it will be ok."

It mattered. Kindness always matters. Sometimes we're too much in our own heads to pay attention. Sometimes it's difficult to have compassion for those who don't share our views, who push our buttons and challenge our instincts for kindness.

But those are the folks who need it most.   

Bonus secrets

* Always have tweezers. Because chin hair, and now gray chin hair.

**The only way out is through. Tough times come and go. Sometimes they last a long time. But you will get through them.