Are You Scared?

Are you scared?

I am. 

Every single day. 

I care a ton about everything that I do, the business, my team, my clients, everything. 

Whether it's this post, our brand as a whole, the experience at the gym, the results my consulting clients are getting, I'm scared. 

But I'm ok with that. 

Being scared means I care. 

I care about what people think, I anxiously await their feedback, and it keeps me on my toes to constantly get better. 

Fear is helpful, it keeps you on alert, it can be a great motivator.

Are you scared?

I hope so. 

Because that means you're doing something that will cause you to get better. 

The ride of a fitness transformation can be scary, there’s no doubting that.

It's scary walking into a gym. 

It's scary thinking you won't be able to do what others are doing. 

It's scary not knowing what to do. 

But that's ok...

Why?

It means you'll be on high alert, you'll care about every single detail. 

It means you'll try your hardest and put your best effort in. 

And remember this...

If you're not doing something that scares you every single day, you aren't getting better. 

One of my favorite quotes, from Hugh Laurie…

“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling right now that actually no one is ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now.”

Whether you’re scared because you’re not sure how to start, or you’re scared because you are about to try something new, go for something great and challenge yourself.

Being scared is okay, just don’t let it paralyze you.

Action cures fear.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Run Your Own Race

Run your own race. 

Quite often we can catch ourselves trying to either keep up with someone else or trying to run their "race" entirely. 

And I'm not talking just about a 5k here (although I'll see you on August 10th, for our 4th Annual Spurling Charity 5k, right?)...

I'm talking life. 

As you go on this journey of a better you, a stronger you, a more empowered you, it is just that...

YOU. 

Now, you can have supporters and people to lift you up and inspire you, but it's important that you run your own race. 

We can catch ourselves looking at pictures online or comparing ourselves to others in the gym and saying things like "I wish I was like her."

What we don't realize is they may have been putting in the work for years and years, and you're now just seeing the result. 

They've made countless sacrifices, stacked several wins, and you're now just judging how they are now. 

Or, physically they seem great, but maybe they're dealing with mental and emotional things at work or at home that you couldn't even imagine. 

I get it. It can be frustrating...

Run your own race. 

Your journey is unique. 

Make it that way. 

Don't compare yourselves to others, don't try to keep up with people that have been going at it a lot longer than you, and remember this too...

As much as you look up to people, there's always someone looking up to you. 

Maybe it's that lady on day one who is still confused with what a foam roller is. 

Going over, saying hi, and giving her a helping hand can make a big difference. 

Don't compare yourselves to others, focus on your journey and what you need to improve on, but just like in races, if a fellow "runner" needs help, feel free to give them a little push. 

To build off of that...

Don't run someone else's race. 

We all have our own goals, we all have our own battles, our own stories, don't try to live vicariously through someone else's by running their race. 

Set your own goals, pave your own path, and create YOUR story. 

Run your own race. 

It doesn't mean you have to go at it alone, but it does mean that your kind to yourself. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling 

&^%^%#$% the scale

Pardon my inference of profanity there.

But seriously.

I’ve been in a sprint mode these past four weeks with my fitness and nutrition - I’ve been really focusing on my anchor habits - eating slowly, eating until I’m 80% full, and hitting at least 100 grams of protein every day.

I’ve been tracking my food, increasing my workouts, and yesterday I came in to the gym feeling pretty darn good about myself.

Then I got on the scale at the gym.

Before I go on about how I almost put a stick of dynamite on the scale and launched it into a 50th anniversary trip to the moon:

I am and have always been fairly lean and I’ve never struggled with my weight. But I still have my own goals with fitness, and I certainly still have body image struggles. I’d love to say that I’m immune, but I’m just not.

So yesterday……

The scale said I’d gained two pounds of fat and lost a pound of muscle.

I was seething. I mean if the scale didn’t cost thousands of dollars, I’d have taken it out to the parking lot and backed my car over it 10 times. Then I’d have taken a sledge hammer to it, danced a &^%$ polka with a moose on it, before throwing it on I95 for all of the summer traffic to drive over.

For the rest of the summer.

Because what the *^%*&?

It was really hard not to let the results ruin my day.

But then, as I was sitting in my corner in the gym lobby (no really, there’s a sign, I have my own corner), stewing on my scale results - I put my elbows on the bar and my head in my hands.

This process takes work.

And I’m not talking about the work it takes to get my nutrition on point or my workouts in for the week. That takes work too.

I’m talking about the work it takes every damn day to shift your perspective.

It is a daily practice to work on your mindset.

Accepting yourself, loving your body, and loving who you are is as much a daily practice as brushing your teeth.

It’s all good and fine for me to run over a scale with my car. And if your curious, I did that with the old scale from the gym - and yes, there is a YouTube video for it - and yes - I also used a sledge hammer on said scale and it was very cathartic.

But it takes daily reminders and practices for me to love and accept myself for who I am now, and not who I will be when I lose more body fat or add more muscle. It’s a daily commitment and a daily job to love ourselves.

And dammit, it’s hard. Really really hard.

But it’s a daily practice, and we have to hold one another accountable to the process. So I’ll hold you accountable, and the next time you see me….

Maybe check to see that I haven’t started a dumpster fire with the scale.

I mean, just in case.

What Will You Be Able To Do?

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

Being tall has it’s advantages, but one of the downsides is because your trunk is twice the length of the average human, your spine is usually more at risk for injury, and as most of you read yesterday, I hurt my back pretty hard over the weekend.

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

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

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

Sitting around is the worst thing I can do.

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

Actually two lessons…

One, never skip your warm-up :)

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

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

Why do you want to lose those 20lbs?

No seriously.

Why?

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

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

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

I want to weigh 152lbs. 

Why?

It's a number. 

You don't want to weigh 152lbs. 

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

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

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

It never tells us the full picture. 

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

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

Of course I do. 

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

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

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

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

I'm going to challenge you again...

Why do you want to lose those 20lbs?

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

Because what happens when you see the number you want?

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

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

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

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

My final two thoughts...

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

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

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

I Was Crying...

Yeah, at 5:30 this morning I leaned against the wall of the shower crying…

I did something so small Saturday morning, but I knew it the moment I did it.

Over the course of the day my back tightened into a knot, and as the day went on the pain got worse.

It progressed all weekend and this morning was the tipping point where I realized I needed help.

I’ve pulled my back a bunch of times, it’s one of the negatives of being so tall, but this might top the pain level.

I’ve tried every stretch I know, I’ve slept on the floor, and I’m waiting until things open up to get some pain medicine and see a chiropractor as my spine is currently the shape of a C.

My point for telling you all of this?

Today’s version of “1% Better” is going to look a lot different compared to what it normally looks like.

I’ll have Mel cancel all my appointments, I’ll rest, maybe go for a light walk, and stretch.

That’s it.

If I can lift my leg or bend over to reach something that dropped without screaming, it’s a win.

We all have things like this that come up, and it’s how we react to it that matters.

You may pull your back, your kids may be home sick, or you may have to shift your focus to another commitment.

And that’s totally okay…

That doesn’t mean we throw in the towel and just give up.

We do what we can with what we have.

Will I hit my workout goal this week?

Probably not.

Will I get all the things done I originally planned on?

Probably not.

But I’ll do what I can today, I’ll give it my best.

Heck, even getting this message out to you is a win.

As always, I try to look at lessons and reminders in everything…

  • Things will come up, and it’s how you react to them that matters

  • When something does come up, throwing in the towel and doing nothing is the last thing you should do.

  • There are people out there in a much worse situation, so I can buck it up.

  • 1% Better is all about doing the best you can that day, even if it wasn’t what you had originally planned on.

  • There are some non-negotiables that must get done every day, no matter what.

  • Don’t beat yourself up and start filling your mind with negative self-talk, action is what moves things forward.

  • Make sure you have medical friends in your circle so they can get you in right away :)

Hopefully this came across the way I intended it to, and as always, I write this as a reminder for me, just as much as a reminder for you.

These lessons for you are just as much lessons for me, we’re all human.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

The Power Of Beliefs...

What do you believe?

Seriously.

Have you ever taken the time to step back and think about your beliefs.

I’m not just talking spiritual beliefs, I’m talking about all your beliefs.

For me, I never even thought about it until about a month or so ago.

I’m about 3/4 of the way through “The Power of Beliefs In Business” by Ari Weinzweig, co-founder of Zingerman’s.

It’s part 4 of a book series I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, but it’s deep, deep stuff.

I’ve always enjoyed Ari’s stuff, and we’ve learned a lot from Zingerman’s as a company, and his thoughts on beliefs are right up there as some of the best stuff I’ve read about.

So, why am I telling you about this?

Two reasons.

One, it completely opened my eyes to the power of beliefs in our lives.

Two, there are four levels of learning.

The first being reading, the second being reflecting, the third being assimilating or acting, and the fourth is teaching or writing.

So, by teaching/writing this to you, I’m actually forced to learn and retain the information better.

It’s a win, win :)

So, we have beliefs on everything.

We have beliefs of individual people….

We have beliefs about ourselves…

We have beliefs about what certain words mean like “successful, “ “organized, “ “fun,” etc.

Everything starts with a belief that you have.

That belief causes you to take a certain action.

That action produces a certain result.

Because of that result you have a certain belief.

And the circle goes round and round.

Let’s look at a few examples…

Suzie has this belief that she can’t do anything at the gym, that she won’t be able to keep up, and that she’s going to get hurt.

That belief, causes an action.

That action is to not join a gym, to not workout.

That action produces a result, which happens to be weight gain.

That result then reinforces the belief that she can’t do anything, etc, etc.

Until Suzie changes her belief that circle is going to keep going around and around.

On the flip side, let’s say Suzie has a belief, a vision, that she is going to get 10 workouts in July.

She’s positive about, she’s knows it won’t be easy, but she believes she can do it.

That belief causes her to take action and show up to the gym once.

That action builds motivation for her to keep showing up.

Suzie now gets a great result, and her positive belief that she can get results, and it continues to reinforce the positive action.

The difference between the two scenarios?

A different belief.

If you want a different result, you need a different action, and if you want a different action you need a different belief.

Let’s look at a belief about a person…

Let’s say you have a grudge with a co-worker.

You have a belief that they are slacking and not pulling their weight.

That belief is going to cause you to have a different action towards them.

The action may be negative feedback, lack of training/mentoring, or it may just be ignoring the person.

Because you did that it will reinforce the result that they are not pulling their weight and doing their job because that’s all you can see.

That result reinforces your belief that they are not a good team player.

Instead, going into it with a positive belief that this person is doing great work and maybe they’re just having a bad day.

That belief then changes your action to get curious and see how things are going with the person, maybe you grab lunch with them, train them, etc.

That action produces a better result because you had the opportunity to understand each other better and you see that they are actually a great team member.

That result reinforces a belief, which continues to guide your actions towards them, which leads to a certain result.

You can role play this cycle and power of beliefs with anything in life including relationships, parenting, your career/business, financials, fitness….everything.

The important thing to remember is it all starts with your belief.

If you want to change the result you first need to change your belief.

So, how do you change a belief?

In his book, Ari outlines a six-step “recipe” to changing a belief.

  1. Identify the issue: self-awareness is always step one, you have to recognize the need to work on it

  2. Backtrack to beliefs: Move past frustration and start to look below the surface and tie it back to a belief

  3. Do some homework: Face our internal cannons, active reflection.

  4. Check the equation: is what you gain from your beliefs worth what they cost you?

  5. Mindfully adopt a new belief: You have to make a decision that you’re doing to adopt a new belief

  6. Erode the old patterns with new thinking: this is done through time and exercises like visioning, journaling, and lots and lots of practice and reflection.

Most of our beliefs are deep rooted and take years and years to change.

So this stuff is not easy, and this is just the surface.

However, I hope it brings some light to just how powerful beliefs can be, and potentially motivates you to look at your beliefs, and maybe you decide to slowly work on changing some of your beliefs and adopt new ways of thinking.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

My personal struggle with depression

Yesterday, Doug told the story of his personal struggle with obesity. And as I read it, it got me thinking about my #spurlingstory. I originally published this post in August of 2016, a few months after I began working at Spurling. Though I have alluded to my battle with depression a number of times in this newsletter, I haven’t shared this post in three years.

****

The first time I understood, and I mean understood in my bones, that something was wrong, I was less than five minutes in to a run.

It was a warm summer day in Altoona, Pennsylvania, and I took off from my house, intent on running what was then a familiar seven-mile route to the Horseshoe Curve. 

Runners will tell you that a run often feels hardest in the first 15 minutes.

My body felt different right from the start this time. My legs felt as though someone had filled them with rocks. My shoulders felt like I was wearing every piece of winter clothing I had. My feet seemed to be moving through mud.  

Runs are often hard.  But this day was different. 

Less than a half-mile later I finally stopped. Standing along the side of the road, hands on my knees, staring at gravel and asphalt, I found myself somewhere between apathy, fatigue, and a growing anxiety.

I turned and walked back to the house. I crawled onto the couch and spent the rest of the day there, battling a tidal wave of feelings:

Fear. I didn’t understand what was happening, but physically, I felt off.

Guilt. I’d set out to run seven miles and didn’t.

Shame. I was drenched in the shame and failure of my poor excuse for a life.

And hopelessness. I didn’t see how anything would get better.

I was 28 years old, working at a camera shop for minimum wage; trying to decide what to do with my life and feeling embarrassed that I hadn’t done more. By then I’d started and left two graduate programs in two different fields, feeling woefully inadequate as a student.

I’d stalled out in my effort as a writer, constantly battling to find motivation and focus.

For most of my twenties, running was the one thing that left me with a sense of accomplishment in my day-to-day life. No, I didn’t have a profession and I wasn’t the writer I’d hoped to be, but I could check off the runs and return to another sleepless night feeling as though I’d done something.

Without running I had precious little to hold onto. That failed run took away the last little bit of hope I had of amounting to anything in my life.

I’d like to say that I did something about my depression that same day. But I didn’t. A few days later, driving along a rural Pennsylvania road I was overcome with a desire to end it all. One quick turn of the steering wheel, a heavy foot on the gas pedal and a run in with a tree and it would all be over. And everyone else would be better off without me.

For a split second I looked down at the steering wheel, unsure of my next move. Something made me pull over to the side of the road, and I sat there in my 1998 Ford Escort, hands shaking, head on the steering wheel, and realized that my funk was a lot more than a funk.

As it turns out, naming my funk for the depression that it really was, was an important step for me.

My battle with depression

If you met me today, I think (hope) there are two truths about me that you’d find surprising.

I’m an introvert. (Honestly. I hid behind my mother’s legs until I was taller than she was. It was awkward).

I’ve been treated for depression for the past 14 years.

I hope the second one is surprising because you experience me as happy. Maybe even fun. But I really hope you see my happiness, because I have worked harder at my happiness than I’ve worked at anything else in my life.

In retrospect, I was depressed for most of my life. In sixth grade we had to make word art - choose a word and animate it. I chose the word depressed. I tried to make it funny, with two big D’s on the end and the rest of the word smaller. But the addition of crying eyes in the capital D’s should have let someone know I was struggling.

High school and college helped mask some of my struggles. I always had sports to keep me focused. I did well enough in school, I worked on the college and high school newspapers.

Late in my senior year of college, I began a downhill slide that would last for well over a year. It began with the personal discovery that I was gay, which happened when I was 21. And that discovery left me feeling so rejected by God and religion and society that I was sure suicide was my only option. I was a devout Catholic; being gay was not an option and pretending I was straight involved a lie I couldn’t live.

But I plodded on. And I thought that my ability to plod on meant that I wasn’t depressed. I knew from other people and the media what depression could look like. And I didn’t think it looked like me.

My mistake through all of these periods of time was thinking that my experience was all there was to life. I had highs and lows, but the lows were really low and the highs were never very high.  

Not long after my failed run, I was diagnosed with dysthymia, also called persistent depressive disorder. The description from the Mayo Clinic is “a continuous long-term (chronic) form of depression. You may lose interest in normal daily activities, feel hopeless, lack productivity, and have low self-esteem and an overall feeling of inadequacy. These feelings last for years and may significantly interfere with your relationships, school, work and daily activities.”

The above paragraph described my life, but it had been that way for so long, I thought it was normal. It was my normal.

It wasn’t until that day, that failed run, that I finally had to acknowledge that while I was functioning and showing up for life, I was hanging by a thread. Yes, I was functioning. But just barely.

And for the first time I admitted that it wasn’t just a question of pulling myself up by my bootstraps. I needed help doing that.

Seeking help

I’d had a therapist for a little while in my twenties, but I’d been denying that anything was really wrong. I was in therapy to help unclog my creativity, but I was certain that depression wasn’t a part of it.

Once I scared myself with the impulse to wrap my car around a tree, I was finally a little more honest. And as I mentioned in a previous post, I came face to face with the real answer to the question, “how’s that working for you?”

The big hurdle for me was to try anti-depressants. They are not for everyone. They do not fix everything. And it takes awhile to find the right one. In my case, it took over six months to even begin coming out of the fog. But once I did, I made the big changes that I hadn’t been able to make before.

I picked up my life and moved to Boston. I finally went back to graduate school and finished. I found the person with whom I’ll spend the rest of my life. And after years of struggle to focus and persist, I have not just a job, but a career.

I can say with confidence that these things would not have happened if I hadn’t treated my depression. And continue to treat it. Medication doesn’t eliminate the depressive episodes. A therapist doesn’t eliminate them either; but the combination of the right support network is crucial to surviving a disease that can be so debilitating.

If I had one message to share with anyone reading this, it’s that you’re not alone, even though it feels that way. It can feel as if no one understands. It can feel hopeless. According to the CDC, as many as 1 in 10 adults report symptoms of depression, and I imagine a number of you reading this have probably suffered from depression at some point in your lives. 

And if you need a lifeline, there is one.  The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24-hour resource; call, chat, or text at 1-800-273-TALK, and http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.  The Lifeline can also refer you to resources and counseling in your area. 

There is help. There is hope. And there is a light that can shine through that darkness.

My Personal Struggle With Obesity...

We always encourage our clients to share their #SpurlingStory.

We all have our own story, and story is how we connect.

I share this in hopes that you’ll share your #spurlingstory…

So, you read my posts, you check out the Spurling website, maybe you see the words “we change lives” in the lobby, and you might think “Yeah right, what do you know about changing lives?  You’re clearly young and in shape…

How could you possibly understand how hard it would be to change my life?”

Well, I kind of do understand. It hasn't always been the way you might think...

Believe it or not, there was a time where I’d never set foot in a gym and I hated exercise.  

I was too busy shoving cosmic brownies down my throat. 

If you’ve met me or seen my picture on our website or Facebook page, you can see I’m a big guy.  Well, I was always a big guy – I weighed nearly 11 pounds at birth – in a big family. I had genetics working against me from the start.   

I was born into a very unhealthy family.  A loving family, but an unhealthy one.

Of course I didn't know how unhealthy our lives were.  I just did what they did, which was sit around a lot, eat lots of pasta dishes (we’re part Italian) and watch a lot of TV. I don't remember any physical activity, no weekend hikes, no sledding in the winter, nothing that broke a sweat. 

It’s ok though, I can't be mad about it. In hindsight, it taught me many valuable lessons about what not to do and how not to live. 

I went into middle school tipping the scales at almost 300lbs. Yes, you read that right, middle school. I was the "big kid" that everybody wanted to be friends with, just in case they needed a sidekick in a recess fight, but not really anything outside of that. I was bullied, made fun of, and I didn’t feel good about myself.  So much for middle school fun, right?

Going into high school, not much changed. I was feeling depressed, never had a social life, and was living a life that I had no clue what to do with. I went through my first two years of high school weighing on the other side of 350lbs; I believe my heaviest was 386lbs.

Always the brunt of jokes, breaking chairs, and laughing to hide my embarrassment.

I don't blame anyone for my weight.  I certainly don’t blame my parents.  They raised me the best way they knew how.  My mom showed love by making sure there was food (and a lot of it) on the table and in the house. No one ever said “just one, you’ve had plenty”.

I don't even blame myself, because back then, I didn’t know any different. It’s what I saw around me, what I thought was “normal”. Wake up, eat, go to school, eat, come home, eat, watch TV, eat, go to bed and repeat. Life revolved around eating and no activity. 

At 14, I was able to get a work permit and a job.  Having my hard-working parents as role models, they instilled in me a very strong New England work ethic. Today, good or bad, I'll outwork anybody. In fact, it's something I'm trying to balance better today, telling myself that “no Doug, you don't need to work 18 hours a day, every day.”

My family was also not wealthy so there was much to be gained by getting a job.  But what kind of job could I get?  Other kids were all going to work at our local grocery store but I knew I wanted something different. 

I decided to write a letter to the local hospital to see if they had any openings. I was expecting one of two things to happen:

1. No response at all.

2. They'd stick me in the kitchen or laundry to do a bunch of not-so-fun work. 

You know how you can look back at life and there are a handful of moments where now, it’s so clear that if the road hadn’t taken you a certain direction, you have no idea where you’d be today? 

This was one of those moments.

I received an invitation to interview to be a "Physical Therapist Aide Trainee." I didn't know what a Physical Therapist was or how I’d be aiding them, but man, to a 14 year old, that job title sounded sweet!

I got the job, and began working there during my freshman year in high school. I would go to school from 7:00 am – 2:00 pm and then take the bus to the hospital to work 2:30 – 7:00 pm. 

I wish I’d stayed in touch with that group of people I worked with, as I’d love to be able to tell them now, 16 years later, how much they changed my life.

After I was trained, I worked along therapists, helping people walk for the first time in a long time, seeing people return to functionality from traumatic life-altering events, and gaining invaluable life experience. In fact, for the first time, the fact I was a big guy had some advantages.  I could help stabilize patients, help the PT’s transfer patients, etc. 

The experiences I gained in that job began to create the spark of the passion I have today, to change people’s lives.  I just didn’t know it yet.

Despite the fact I was bearing witness to other people’s life-changing events, none of it resonated yet as a reason to change myself.  I was only 14 after all.  

I went to a vocational high school, one of those schools where you can focus on a trade vs. academics and college prep. Most of the guys chose automotive, carpentry, electrical, etc. I chose health occupations. 

Life changer moment # 2...

Because of the course work, I was able to train and become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at age 16.

After receiving that certification, I left my job at the hospital and took a job in a nursing home.

Looking back at it, I'm 16, I had no clue. I was still just living in the moment. 

But that job changed my life. From sophomore year until the day I left for college, I worked in a nursing home taking care of Alzheimer's residents. I would go to school from 7:00 am – 2:00 pm and then drive over to the nursing home and work second shift, 3:00 – 11:00 pm, bathing, dressing and feeding someone’s wife, husband, mother, father, sister, or brother.

I had no idea at the time the effect this experience was having on me but today I can confidently say it was one of the top three things that changed my life. 

But still, I was pushing 400lbs. How could I be working in the health field and be so unhealthy myself?

Remember my physical therapy job? At the time I was leaving to go be a CNA, they had hired a new therapist, a woman who’d just graduated from this school up in Maine nobody heard of. The University of New England.  For some reason that stuck with me...

Senior year.  Graduation was looming.  I didn't know what I wanted to do.  I went back in my head to that physical therapy job, and thought to myself "I'd love to do that." 

So I applied to one school, the University of New England. Luckily, I got in, and was accepted into their pre-physical therapy program. 

That spark I’d started as a PT Aide was growing into a real flame of passion for changing people’s lives, but I realized if I was going to do anything with it, I needed to change my own life first. I woke up one morning and realized how could I possibly be preaching healthy habits to my patients when there I stood, the big fat kid?  What a hypocrite I was.

The summer after graduation, I got serious about making that change.   

Knowing what I know today, I would kill my old self for the way I went about it. I would never recommend this to anyone, but somehow I managed to make it work.

The entire summer, I lived off tuna fish sandwiches and bananas. That's it. A banana for breakfast, a tuna sandwich for lunch, and a tuna sandwich for dinner. 

I don't know how I did it. But it worked...

Going from eating 5000+ calories a day, to maybe 1000, the weight came off fast. 

When college started in the fall, I was less than 300 pounds, for the first time since I was 12. I lost 75 pounds in 3 months. 

Again, absolutely not the way I recommend anyone accomplish this but I was an 18 year old kid with no guidance of what the right way was. 

Banana and tuna sandwiches continued, I kept losing weight and I moved to Maine and started attending UNE. 

Another life changer...

I met my mentor and good friend, Heath. 

Heath was a part of the Exercise Science program. I don't know why, but he took me under his wing, and showed me all the great opportunities that exist in Exercise Science. 

I quickly developed a passion for exercise. Heath taught me everything he could about the field and it really fueled my fire for changing people’s lives. 

I switched majors in order to continue under his mentorship. 

Now, instead of just eating tuna and bananas, I gained some solid nutritional knowledge and learned to combine that with my newfound love of exercise. 

I noticed the profound effect exercise had on me not just physically, but mentally.  By my sophomore year at UNE, I was 260lbs, which was about 115 lbs less than my heaviest weight. 

All of the sudden, I started making friends, gaining confidence, hanging out with girls, you know, typical college stuff. And how crazy - it took exercise before any of this happened. 

Through all of this, the feeling of having a calling continued to grow stronger.  In addition to wanting to change other people’s lives, I was about to change my own.

My original plan of a career as a PT was sound but if you’ve ever gone to physical therapy, it’s pretty clear that many people being treated are there because they have to be, insurance makes them, or they can’t go back to work until they’ve gone, and so forth.  Often not in the best mood or mindset to hear advice about making life changes, I wasn’t sure it was the right long term career decision.

The nursing home experience totally changed my life. I got exposed to more by the time I was 18 than many people have seen in their entire life.

But I knew I couldn't work with that population every day for the rest of my life. I give extreme credit to those (including my wife, Megan) who choose to work in the medical field, especially those who are really "in the trenches" involved in meeting patients’ most basic needs such as bathing, feeding, and dressing. It is draining. 

When Heath told me one day that there were actually jobs where I could do what I dreamed of - change lives – every single day for the rest of my life - I just about fell over. 

Call it what you want: personal training, strength and conditioning, I call it changing lives for a living. 

I had changed my life. 

I had lost over 100lbs. 

I was on cloud 9...

I was all of age 20 and I thought I had it all. 

On a random Saturday in October, I drove home from UNE to have dinner with my parents. I walked into their house and a chill just came across my shoulders. I knew something was up. 

I sat down at the dining room table and my mom started crying. After fighting back the tears, she spit out...

"I have cancer."

The next six months were hell. I was trying to wrap up my degree at UNE, head down to Massachusetts to see her in the hospital, and do everything I could to help her, my dad and my younger brother.

Talk about another life changing point in life...

On June 14, 2010, in a hospice house, I held my mom’s hand and watched her take her last breath. 

At the age of 52, she had died from stage four lung cancer. 

I was 21 years old, and thought I had the world by the balls. 

Boy was I wrong...

As devastating as losing my mom was, it furthered my passion for changing people’s lives. 

I began to exercise even more. I knew too many people that used food as their stress reliever, and they reverted back to their old habits quickly. I used the gym as my stress reliever. 

Ironically, I was in the best shape of my life six months after my mom died. I had my own life experience that proved that through healthy eating, good exercise, and some accountability, people could change their lives.

Shortly after graduating, I used the urgency that was created by my moms passing, and knowing that life is short, to open what you now know as Spurling Fitness.

Since then it’s been a fun filled eight years with lots ups and a few downs…

The up of having double digit growth at Spurling every year since opening, and we’re changing lots of lives..

The down of losing my dad last year…

The up of becoming a leader to an incredible team that run the operations at Spurling Fitness and changes so many lives…

The down of having to move the business (turned out to be an up) and cycle through a few employees before finding the right ones…

The up of getting married, buying a house, having our Kaden, traveling a bunch, and now Megan is Pregnant with baby # 2.

The down of being shot down as a business coach because “you’re too young to help me.”

But it’s all good…

The ups and downs are what make life fun, and what make it such a fun story to tell.

At 30, I'm not here to tell you I've experienced everything.

I still struggle every single day with my weight, my nutrition, and my “old habits” that I had when I was close to 400lbs

I still have years to live, and hundreds of lessons to learn.

However, I am quite confident in saying I've been through some dramatic changes, negative and positive, and I live my life with one goal, to change the lives of as many people as possible. 

Spurling exists for one reason, and for one reason only, to change lives.

We get to now do that through multiple avenues including our fitness community that some call a gym, our charitable work where we’ve raised tens of thousands of dollars and donated our time to those in need, and through our business coaching where I get to help business owners scale their business and show them how to have a big impact on their customers while creating a life they love.

We’re just getting started, and you have not seen the last of the Spurling Community and all the ways we can help inspire positive change in YOU…

but it’s been quite the story already.

Everybody has a story.

Every person.

Every organization.

Everybody starts somewhere.

What’s your #spurlingstory?

I’d love to hear it.

If you’re a member share it in our private Facebook Group, Spurling 165, using the hashtag #SpurlingStory.

If you’re not yet a member, just reply to this e-mail and I’d love to read it.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

5 Steps To Change

When we look to change something what typically happens?

We complain about it, fill our mind with negative beliefs, and instill fear that we’ll never be able to do it.

However, deep down, we know that’s simple not true.

We can do anything we want if we’re willing to put in the work, change our behaviors, and change.

If you're looking to improve or change something here are the five steps you can follow for ultimate success. 

Really what we’re talking about where is behavior change.

It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to lose 20lbs, save more money, or grow your business.

Currently, if you’re not where you want to be at in something, it is because of the behaviors and beliefs that you have done, or currently do.

But, the good news?

You can change anything you don’t like.

Here are the five steps…

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 effect 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 to, it could be hiring that coach, 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. For your journey of growing your business, maybe it’s one new customer this week.

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. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

You In?

Happy 4th of July!

I know you’re probably busy right now grilling and hanging out with friends and family but I wanted to use today to remind you about an awesome event we do every year and some special savings for you.

Most of you know Coach Chris.

He’s been on the team for four years now, he’s a rock in our morning sessions, and we call him “Chicken Noodle” for his kind soul.

What you may not know is he’s also our Race Director for our annual Spurling Charity 5k that we do through our foundation.

You see, he’s to quiet and humble to blast you with reminders, but me, I know you’re busy and you may not have seen the other 194 times we’ve reminded you about this event :)

So, here’s the deal…

Chris works super hard to put on awesome 5k every August.

Each year we pick a different local charity and donate thousands to them through this race.

Last year we donated just shy of $5,000 to A Place To Start.

This year, we are donating all proceeds to A Running Passion, a non-profit set up in memory of Will Fulford, a local resident who passed away at 29.

We have a goal of 200 registrants and we’re just about halfway there.

But here’s the deal…

We know you want to sign-up but you’re telling yourself “I’ll do it later.”

Do Chris a favor and sign up today.

It helps us so much in planning, t-shirt quantities, how many porta-potties, and not to mention Chris’ anxiety.

Plus, today we’re giving you an extra incentive.

Use the promo code ‘RUNSMORE’ to get 20% off registration.

Click Here To Register!

The race takes place on Saturday, August 10th, at 9:30am.

We start right at Spurling Fitness, a nice flat 5k loop, and finish right back in the parking lot with a DJ, Food, and awards.

It doesn’t matter if you want to run it, walk it, bring your kids, bring your dog, or just sign-up to volunteer and donate, we’d love it if you could join us.

In addition to helping out the charity, by signing up today, you’re also helping out Chris :)

Use the promo code ‘RUNSMORE’ to get 20% off registration.

Click Here To Register!

I hope to see you there.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: This promo does expire on Friday so you must register today.

Use the promo code ‘RUNSMORE’ to get 20% off registration.

Click Here To Register!

My five rules of adulthood

Tonight, as I sit down and type this blog post at 10:12 on a Tuesday night, I’ve decided to take a page out of Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project book and list some of my rules for adulthood. I don’t know if they’ll change over time, as in by the time I re-read this tomorrow night, but you know what? I’m going with it.

Besides, I misplaced my progressives and everything I’m typing is a bit blurry right now.

1. Remember where I put my progressives

It is a weird, weird thing to have 20/20 vision your entire life, only to have the world gradually turn blurry. It started when I was snuggling Rooney a few years ago, and realized I had to move my head further away for it to be in focus. Then it moved to the trombone I now have to play when people hand me a sheet of paper with any font less than 12 pt. Why does anyone need to print in a font less than 12 pt? And what’s wrong with Times New Roman???

I guess this isn’t so much a rule as it as a wish.

2. Never pass up a chance to pee

I learned this one during my many years traveling in vans as both a player and a coach. You think you don’t have to pee when everyone else does at that rest stop in rural New Mexico, but you can be damn sure you’ll have to go when you’re stuck in a traffic jam.

These are words to live by.

3. Be kind, (but especially with coffee….)

At least once a month, buy a coffee for the person behind you at Starbucks. I’ve taken great pleasure in doing this over the past few months, and the range of reactions has been fascinating. The very first time I bought a coffee for the lady behind me, she just stared at me and asked why.

Because there’s not enough kindness in this world. And it’s amazing how good it feels.

4. Take time to watch the fireflies.

It’s now 10:36. As I was climbing the stairs with my laptop to finish this post, Sheila called to me to look out our front window. There was a firefly, bouncing its way up and down the window, and behind it, about a dozen more. One of the great things about where we live is an abundance of fireflies and a very clear sky with bright stars.

Take time to look up.

5. Give five hugs a day. (Or just one to start with)

This is a new rule and one that I think came from the book itself. Or a podcast. With a quick google search, hugs apparently can lower the risk of heart disease and your stress levels. Also according to the google, we need four hugs a day for survival, eight hugs a day for maintenance and 12 hugs a day for growth….but I’m going to start with at least one. And yes, my dog counts. You never know when someone’s hug tank is running low - so ask permission first, but give out more hugs.

Bonus rule - be silly.

I learned this one from my dad very early on. Have fun with words, read Dr. Seuss as an adulthood, watch cartoons, get down on the floor to play with kids, keep a chicken puppet named Weezy in your office drawer (third one down if you’re curious), but whatever you do, be silly and don’t take yourself too seriously.

The 1% Better Test...

This time of year is always tough. 

People are busy with summer BBQ's, vacations, and the weather is good. 

You don't need to be perfect, but don't give up, even a couple of workouts in a month is better than no workouts in a month. 

Even one choice a week of eating the healthier option makes a difference. 

Don't beat yourself up, don't give up, just keep doing what you can do, and give it whatever your best is that day. 

Doing nothing, throwing in the towel, is the worst thing you can do. 

This time of year is usually the biggest test of 1% Better...

You read it every day.

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

1% Better. 

But what does it actually mean?

I think it starts with why. 

Why does Spurling Fitness exist?

Spurling exists to impact, empower, and change the lives of those who are intimidated by the typical gym environment through strong coaching, continual accountability, a family-like community, and a desire to get 1% better each and every day.

That's our mission. 

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

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

You get thrown lines like...

"Lose 20lbs in 20 days."

"Take this pill to speed up your metabolism."

"Eat this food to shrink your belly fat."

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

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

And you know what happens...

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

Am I right?

1% better is the opposite approach. 

It's about slowly chipping away at things. 

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

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

It's falling in love with the process. 

1% better every day. 

Just a little better than yesterday. 

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

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

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

One more hour spent with family. 

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

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

During a time when you feel overwhelmed by all the things that you could improve upon, 1% better gets you to take action, and start feeling better right away. 

Just take one action. 

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

Motivation comes from action. 

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

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

1% Better. 

Does it have one definition?

I don't think so. 

I think each of us has our own definition of 1% better. 

Our story. 

Ultimately 1% Better is here with the goal that this fitness stuff can be fun and enjoyable if you make it part of your day and surround yourself with the right people that will motivate and inspire you to be a little better every day. 

Keep going, keep giving it your best, but don't just throw in the towel and revisit it in the fall, that's not living the 1% Better motto. 

1% Better. 

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Happy New Year?

Today is July 1.

We’re halfway through the year.

How was the first half of 2019?

I challenge you to take some time to reflect back and share the positives and the learning lessons.

What were some of your biggest wins or proud moments?

What did you accomplish?

What did you learn?

How did you have fun?

How did you grow?

Of course, your mind will go to what you didn’t get done, or what you didn’t accomplish.

Today is a fresh start.

Just like every day, but today is special.

What’s the significance and hype all about every January?

The new year, right?

But what’s to say you couldn’t treat today just like you treat January 1st?

Reflect, celebrate, and set some new goals.

Today I’m challenging you to do a “mid-year” check-in with yourself.

If you’re not happy with the progress you’re making you can’t keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

If you want a different outcome in the second half of 2019 you need to do something different?

What are you going to do?

Get some coaching?

Find someone or something to hold you accountable?

Change your beliefs?

It all matters, and you can start today.

Today is a new day, and if you want it to be, today is a fresh start.

Ask yourself this question…

“If you and I were sitting here six months from today, New Year’s Eve, what would life look like?”

What you answer to that question becomes your goals.

Write them down, build out an action plan, and get to work.

Start stacking the small wins, build the small habits, and don’t get overwhelmed.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Try this 10 minute time management tip

A few weeks ago, I wrote a rather tongue in cheek post on time management.

Time management isn't necessarily one of my strong suits, but as I continue to find personal and professional projects that I want to tackle, growing my blog audience, publishing a fitness book, mowing the lawn and other household chores - I find that I need some type of system to help me be productive in a way that feels satisfying by the end of the day.

After writing a post on the five minute action from two weeks ago, I tried to manage last Saturday a little bit differently than I normally would. I did a brain dump of all of the tasks that I wanted to tackle while I drank my coffee - clean out some clothes (to make room for the new ones - I'm a shopper at heart), wash my car, wash Sheila's car, write a section of my new book (yes, I'm working on another one).

Typically, after this kind of a brain dump, I'd pick one task, try to do it for an hour or so, get tired or bored, decide I needed to take a nap, and that would be the end of it. I often wouldn’t get very far with my list. I would try to tackle the entire project in one go, but when I either got bored or ran out of steam, I would fizzle out and so would the rest of plans. Then I'd get to the end of the day feeling frustrated with myself for not having done more when I had the chance.

So last Saturday, I split my day up into 10 minute blocks.

I sat down to write and set a timer for 10 minutes. It was tough to sit there, but after about five minutes, I started to write. When the timer went off, I started it over again. I was able to do this for 30 minutes. When the timer went off for the third time, I was feeling antsy, so I stopped.

Then I went to the next task. Cleaning out my clothes in the spare room felt like a monumental task, but I took my phone with me, set the timer, and just started. I started. That was the key. (Isn’t that always the key? And yet doesn’t it always feel so hard?) Once again, I reset the timer multiple times before moving on to my next task.

I’ve always joked that I'm a commitment phobe - not with relationships, but certainly with my time. If you want to see me truly unhappy, lock me into doing one thing for several hours (except for going to a baseball game). I'm not wired like that. I don't think in a linear fashion, and I certainly don't like to work in a linear fashion. I'm scattered. I like variety - a lot of it. And I found that using a 10 minute timer as my gauge worked with my personality and not against it.

Sure I did several tasks for 30 minutes or more, but I only made 10 minute commitments. Three 10 minute commitments felt more manageable to me than one 30 minute chunk.

For me, life always works better when I embrace my personality and tendencies and work with who I am - not trying to change who I am, but finding subtle ways to be the best version of me. I'll never be Marie Kondo (yes those socks bring me joy!!!), but I can find a way to be more productive in a manner that works and feels good to me.

I don’t know if this 10 minute thing will work for you. Heck, I don’t know how long it will work for me. But I’m going to ride the wave and see how far it takes me.

Give From Your Abundance....

Take a note…

Put the pen down for two seconds…

Take a note.

That was all I did yesterday as we interviewed Melissa Boyd for our podcast, The One Percent Better Show.

The episode comes out on Thursday and it’s filled with some awesome strategies for meditation and overall spiritual wellness.

However, there was one line that stuck out to me that I just had to share before Thursday and it deserves its own lesson.

“Give from your abundance, not from your reserve.”

Smack.

That’s what I literally felt across my face as she said that.

How many of you, like me, are probably giving from your reserve?

I’ve talked about this concept in the past, but I just loved how that was phrased.

We need to take care of ourselves first.

We need to make sure our physical, emotional, and spiritual tanks are full first, and then give from the abundance, give from the extra, not the last couple drops.

How many of you are go, go , go all day long, depleting your tank, only to walk into a house and family that needs your attention?

You’re giving from your reserve.

The tank is empty and you’re trying to spread the last few drops.

I don’t know about you, but my mind goes to a car and a fuel tank analogy.

We need to “fill our tank” first.

Then, if there’s gas left over that can’t fit in our tank we can share it with others.

Instead, how we typically approach things is empty the tank all day long, and then try to give to others.

We have to be at our best in order to give our best.

Ok, so how do we fix this?

For me, I would say step one is always self-awareness.

Be self aware enough that you are actually pulling from your reserve.

Step two, find things that “fill you tank.”

For me, this is things like meditating, reading in the morning, exercise, and quiet time outside with a pen and a notebook.

The more I do of those things, the more energized I am, the more abundance I have for others, whether that’s my family, my team, or my clients.

So your goal today…

Identify what fills your tank and do more of that so that you can give from your abundance, not your reserve.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

3 Keys To No Complaining

The team and I are wrapping up our quarterly book.

Each quarter we pick one book to all read at the same time and then set a meeting to review and talk about how we’re going to implement some of the key takeaways into our business or personal lives.

This quarters book was called “The No Complaining Rule.”

It was a super short read, told in story format, so it was nice and quick.

The basic premise of the book is to implement a “No Complaining Rule” within your personal life and/or your work life.

Easier said than done, huh?

It’s amazing how much “mindless complaining” we do as humans.

We complain when it’s hot…we complain when it’s cold.

We complain when we’re busy…we complain when we’re bored.

We complain about traffic…we complain when someones driving fast.

You get it.

We read this book to audit ourselves, but to also help others remove some of the negativity they fill their lives with.

Today, I wanted to share with you three “No Complaining” tools and challenge you to see how you can fit them into your personal life, home life, or work life.

1. The But—> Positive Technique: This simple strategy helps you turn your complaints into positive thoughts, solutions, and actions. IT works like this. When you realize you are comparing, you simple add the word but and then a positive thought or action. Example:

“I don’t like driving to work for an hour but I’m thankful I can drive and that I have a job.”

“I don’t like that I’m out of shape but I love feeling great so I’mg going to focus on exercise and eating right.”

2. Focus on “Get To” instead of “Have To.” This was a big one, and I have written on this before. Too often we complain and focus on what we have to do. We say things like “I have to go to work.” “I have to drive here.” Instead, shift your perspective and realize it’s not about having to do anything. You get to do things. You get to live this life. You get to go to work while so many are unemployed. You get to drive in traffic while so many don’t even have a car or are too sick to travel. Focus on what you get to do. Focus on feeling blessed instead of stressed. Focus on gratitude.

3. Turn complaints into solutions. The goal is not to eliminate all complaining. The intent is to eliminate the kind of mindless complaining that doesn’t serve a greater purpose and allow complaining that is justified and worthwhile. Mindless complaining is negative, justified complaining is positive. The difference is intent. With mindless complaining, you are mindlessly focusing on problems; however, with justified complaining you identify a problem and the complaint moves you toward a solution. For every complaint represents an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive.

I like that the tools and book overall didn’t just have this “tough guy” mentality that you can never complain, because the title certainly gives that feeling.

However, instead, it drove home the point that we quite often complain mindlessly, and instead need to provide a solution if we’re going to complain.

Overall a lot of lessons you can hopefully apply to your personal life or work life.

I hope it helped.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

It's Not What You Know...

Most of these daily posts that I write come from conversations I have with clients, conversations I have with fellow business owners, or…

random thoughts at 2:30am when I can’t shut my brain off.

Today, you’d be happy to know…

it’s from a conversation I had with a client :)

We were talking about all the different messages out there….

The fads that people try to get you to follow…

The strategies for the “quick-fixes”….

How much information can there possible be.

But you know what good coaching is about?

It’s rarely about educating (although that is a part of it), it’s typically more about finding way for you to take action.

Action.

It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes…

“It’s not always what you know, it’s what you bring everyday.”

Read that again.

It’s so important.

Quite often when we think about any area of life, our health, our wealth, our business, we spend so much time worrying about the “how” or the learning component so that we know more.

More often than not, it’s not about what you know, it’s about what you bring everyday.

And that’s the balance of good coaching.

Yes, you need to know, but really, what we’re trying to do is get you to bring your best everyday, to take action, and to do more than what you would normally do on your own.

It’s way less about the “how” and much more about ACTION.

I think it’s a good reminder for all of us…

It’s more about what you do everyday, the action you take, showing up, giving it your best, working hard, and using what you know.

Bringing your best….

Working as hard as you can…

Showing up when you don’t want to…

Being on time…

Staying positive…

Having a growth mindset as opposed to a fixed mindset…

All of those things and more will take you much further than anything I can teach you.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling


Three strategies to practice patience

The running joke in my family is that my little brother’s First Holy Communion and high school graduation pictures were on the same roll of film.

And that my Mom didn’t develop those pictures until he was in college.

He was 21 before he knew what he looked like as a baby.

That’s really not a joke. It’s true. My mom was frugal with everything, including her 126 film for her Kodak Instamatic camera, so we only photographed momentous occasions.

Take a photo of any kid today and her first impulse is to reach for the camera to see the picture on the back.  

We live in an instant gratification world. Put a status on Facebook and get instant feedback. News alerts show up on our watches, phones, and iPads. Hear a song you like, tag it with Shazam and buy it through iTunes.

Gone are the days of sitting by the radio with your blank Memorex tape waiting for that new Richard Marx song to come on the radio, and then of course the D.J. talked over the intro, which ruined everything.

We don’t have to wait for anything. Heck, I don't even have to wait in line at Starbucks anymore. I order my drink on my app and pick it up at the store.

So it should come as no shock that we've run out of patience with the journey to fat loss. Intellectually we know that results don’t come over night. One woman said it best that she didn’t put the weight on over night, so it wasn’t going to come off over night. 

But we rarely have to practice patience anymore. (I'm speaking as someone who has no children. I imagine those of you with kids practice patience on an hourly basis...)

Unfortunately, the intellectual knowledge that the process takes time does little to soothe us. And especially with health and fitness, it becomes very easy to question whether you're taking the right approach.

You cut down on carbs for a week, hop on the scale, and the number hasn't moved. (Which is one of many reasons that getting on the scale frequently isn't always helpful).

So you throw in the towel.

Your friend lost 20 pounds doing P90X so you try it for 10 days and haven't seen any results. It must be time to switch to Insanity. As coaches, many of us are also guilty of program hopping. We try one program for a month until we see a new one that we want to try, so we change course.

We hop around from one approach to the next looking for faster results. Not better. Faster. 

Despite the advent of all things digital - despite never having to wait for another REO Speedwagon song ever again in your life - there are some things that we can’t rush.

Regardless of your choice of exercise program, the process of body recomposition and fat loss takes time.  

So how do you learn patience?

Start here:

1. Delay instant gratification

This is a tough one. Especially for those of us who grew up without cell phones and digital music and books.

We don't have to wait any more so why bother?

There is actually a famous study called the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment that focused on delayed gratification and it’s very much worth the read. A group of children were given a marshmallow and told that if they waited 15 minutes to eat the marshmallow, they would get two marshmallows. Some waited, and some didn't. 

Delay instant gratification.

2. Take five slow deep breaths.

In meditation, everything returns to the breath. Focusing on your breathing can help bring you back into the now, into the moment, and doing so can shift your attention from what you want to where you are right now.

Slow down.

Are you Tigger? There's nothing wrong with Tigger, but you might want to tap into your inner Eyore for a few hours. Slow down. Breathe. A great way to slow down is the name five blue things in your surroundings. And then five red things. And then five white things. (Which is also a helpful technique if you find yourself feeling anxious about something).

3. Make peace with discomfort

When I first started running, I'd get a stitch in my side less than five minutes into a run. In the beginning, all I could think about was the stitch in my side, which seemed to grow worse with every passing step. Once I learned to embrace the discomfort I could get past the stitch, but it took a lot of focus and willingness to embrace the suck. 

Say it with me: embrace the suck. Embrace it!

Because you know, and I know, that with discomfort comes growth. Find a buddy, distract yourself with music, do what you need to do, but embrace it.

Because change takes time.

Be patient with yourself and the process. 


A Coach?

It’s been a few years since I ran a training session at the gym, but when people ask what I do, I still call myself a coach.

At the gym, we have an incredible team, and we’ll never call them trainers, we call them coaches.

I spend my days now coaching other business owners and leading the team, and they spend it coaching clients to change their lives.

But do you know the origin of coaches, and why we call ourselves coaches?

It has nothing to do with sport or fitness.

The word 'coach' actually comes from the 15th century. 

In Hungary, they built wagons that would take people and supplies from one destination to another, and they called them coaches. 

That's why you now hear things called stagecoaches, motor coaches, etc.

A coach is someone that guides the journey, taking someone from where they are to where they want to be. 

My team happens to do that through the fitness realm….

I focus my team on taking people and organizations from where they want they are to where they want to be.

Coaching is about empowering a person to fully live out their calling.

Coaching is about the agenda of a client.

A coach encourages action and change. 

So, at the gym, my team focuses on being great coaches in the fitness realm. 

I aim to be a great coach to them from a leader and personal development side, and to do the same for other businesses.

But it's still the same thing. 

Encouraging action, encouraging change, and empowering people to live out their fullest potential. 

It's the coaching that makes the difference. 

It's not the tools, it's the coaching.

We all need coaches. 

We all need people, whether it's in fitness, business, or another area in life, that help take us from where we are to where we want to be. 

That’s good coaching.

If you’re struggling in any are of life, or looking to grow in any area, find a good coach.

They might just change your life.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Be A Weed...

If you’re like me, you spent some time these last couple weeks trying to kill and dig up those pesky weeds.

They seem to grow through anything.

Oh, wait, I smell a lesson.

Be a weed.

In business, in fitness, in life.

Hear me out. 

A weed never stops growing. 

It doesn't matter if it's cold, wet, dry, hot, snowing, raining, or a tornado, a weed still grows. 

The weed still grows, no matter what's in the way. 

Be a weed. 

A flower may look pretty on the outside, but it's delicate. 

Without water, it dies. 

Some bad weather and it dies. 

It's soft. 

The weed, on the other hand, doesn't let what's in its way stop it.

It continues to grow.

The journey to a better you isn't easy.

The journey to a better business isn’t easy.

There will be distractions. 

There will be things that get in the way. 

There will be people and things that try to stop you. 

Just be a weed. 

Keep growing.

Keep getting 1% better.

Push those things aside and keep pursuing your dream. 

Don't let anything get in the way of following your passion. 

Remember, anything worth doing is worth doing well. 

1% Better.

Dedicated To Your Success,

Doug Spurling