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

Input?

When I put my foot to a gas pedal the more input (pressure) I give, the more output (speed) the car will produce. 

What happens if you press the pedal more?

The car goes faster.

Input = Output. 

Simply put, what you put into something you'll get an equal return out of it. 

In any facet of life, but especially fitness, if you're not happy with your output (results), then you need to change your input. 

I've always said, I think the reason why I enjoy all of this "stuff" is because it's all connected. 

Almost any principle you read from me always has a fitness or nutrition tie to it, but it can always be applied to any other facet of life whether that's family, friends, financial, career, etc. 

I like to use examples outside of the fitness world that way you can use that same principle to gain a better understanding. 

Input = Output. 

If I'm not happy with my relationship I potentially need to put more into it. 

Am I spending enough quality time with them?

Am I being empathetic, compassionate, and loving?

Chances are if I put more into it, I’ll get more out of it.

In financials...

If I want my savings to grow I need to have a certain input, the more I input, the more it will output. 

Our careers.

If I just go through the motions, and don’t really give much or try to develop myself, I can’t expect much of an output.

However, if I constantly look to get better, challenge myself, and grow, chances are I’ll have opportunities for my career to grow as well.

Now, let us dial it into fitness and nutrition. 

Nutrition is the simpler one to tie to this lesson. 

Removing all emotions (which plays a huge factor) fat loss is a simple math equation. 

If I consume less than I burn…I will lose weight. 

Whether it's the right weight (muscle, water, fat, etc) is another topic for another day, but the math is the math. 

If you're not happy with your output (results) just change your input. 

If you're not losing fat, decrease your input, and keep decreasing it until you like the output it's producing. 

In fitness...

The same principle applies. 

Input = Output. 

Inputs can be things like...

The type of workouts...

The frequency of workouts...

The intensity of workouts...

If you're not happy with the output, change the input. 

Maybe you need to bump up your frequency. 

If you change that input and it doesn't change the output maybe you need to look at the intensity of each workout. 

If I ramp up the intensity, that changes the input, and thus will change the output. 

Each day is a collection of choices. 

Those choices are your inputs. 

If you're not happy with the results, the output, you need to change an input. 

Again, for some this is a fitness lesson, for others, it's a life lesson. 

I'll end with one my favorite quotes from Zig Ziglar...

"Your input determines your outlook. Your outlook determines your output. And our output determines your future."

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Tactic vs Strategy

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

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

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

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

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

"Eat this superfood to boost your metabolism overnight."

Just like in business, tactics without strategy never works. 

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

But what's the strategy?

Throw them all together and hope one of them sticks?

You get my point. 

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

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

There are just strategies that work.

For example...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'm not saying tactics are not important. 

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

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

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling


Shifting the momentum of life

As I write this, my beloved Pittsburgh Pirates currently trail the Atlanta Braves 9-5 heading in to the ninth inning. 

I’ve been a baseball fan for as long as I can remember; I had posters of Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, and Babe Ruth hanging on my lavender bedroom walls by the time I was eight years old. I listened to the Pirates on the yellow Mickey Mouse radio that sounded more of static than the play-by-play announcers, and I saved my box tops to order that Wheaties’ collector’s edition Pete Rose poster when he broke the all-time hits record. 

(That was before he broke my heart by getting thrown out of baseball…)

I struggle to explain to a non-baseball fan what it is that I love so much about the game. I love the pace - I love the strategy - I love the quiet rhythm of the crowd and the announcers on a summer’s evening drive home from the gym. I don’t know where I learned to love the game so much - but baseball is as much a part of my blood as my Irish and Welsh heritage. 

Tonight, as I’m watching this game though, I was struck by the one thing that keeps me tuning in for every pitch of every game, even when my team is, as they are right now, down by three with the momentum all going the Braves’ way. 

Uh…make that five.

Possibility. 

What I love about baseball, and just about any sport really, is the fact that the momentum of the game can turn on a dime. That one great defensive play can spark an offensive outburst the next inning - that one player can foul off nine pitches, find a way to get on base, and change the energy of his (or her if you’re watching softball right now) team.

The funny thing about baseball, is that those momentum and energy shifts are almost always the small things. The worst thing that could happen right now when my team is down by three? A home run.  

Sounds strange right? I mean how can a home run be a bad thing? Because there is a different energy and feel to the game when the bases are empty. And if you’re down by three in the ninth, it’s hard to build a rally on a home run. But a bunt single? A hustle double? A batter working her way back from an 0-2 count to draw a walk? 

Those are the moments that change the energy and momentum and ultimately, the outcome of a game. 

I’m writing this tonight as a reminder, not just to you, but to myself as well, that it doesn’t always have to be the big thing that gets you going in the right direction. You can stack one small habit on top of another small habit and before you know it, you are making changes to your life that feel good for you.

But the one thing you do need?

Optimism. You need to be optimistic that you can change - that your life can be different - that, no matter what life has dealt you recently - that you can put together that one great at bat that will help steer you in the right direction.

And if that’s not something you can believe in for yourself right now, well, I’ll tell you what I tell everyone else - I will be optimistic for you until you can be optimistic for yourself.

In the meantime, the Pirates lost 12-5. But I’ll tune in again to watch them tomorrow. It’s a new day, filled with new possibilities - and you never know when the momentum is going to shift. But I believe it will. And I’ll be watching and supporting them when it does.


It's The Climb...

It’s hiking season here in Maine.

Every time I login to social media I’m seeing pictures of clients and friends on a hike.

It’s awesome to see, and the analogy of my message today.

When you go for the hike, do you do it for the view at the top, or do you do it because it’s something fun to do, potentially with friends, or potentially to give yourself some “me” time?

If you’re like most people I talk to, of course you enjoy the view at the top, the destination, but it’s more about the day in nature.

It’s more about the climb.

I can’t think of a better example for fitness, and really life in general.

So many of us have a goal in mind, whether it’s fitness related, career related, or what have you, and all we focus on is getting to the top.

But isn’t it really all about the climb?

Imagine if you went out for a hike, took two steps, and you reached the top.

Sure it would be a nice view, but there would be no personal satisfaction, no reward, no fulfillment.

It’s about the journey.

It’s the piece and quiet of nature.

It’s being surrounded by friends that are supporting you along the way.

It’s about choosing the right path, overcoming obstacles, and stopping to smell the roses (or pine trees) every once in awhile.

I had a line on social media (follow me!) a few days ago that seemed to be pretty popular…

“Don’t be so busy looking forward to the extraordinary moments that you miss the ordinary moments.”

If all you’re focused on is reaching the top, the top of anything, you’re going to be extremely dissatisfied when you reach it if you didn’t take time to really enjoy the climb.

So, I guess my take home points…

There are way more analogies about hiking and fitness/life than I thought, which makes me love it even more.

We need to fall in love with the process, we need to fall in love with the climb, not the top, not the destination.

And finally, there is no final “top of the mountain.”

As soon as you reach one, you’re going to want to do another, and another, and another.

It never ends.

Which is the joy in all of this.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Spurling Seven?

Catchy, huh?

When we look at an individuals desire to become “healthier” we tend to focus on the physical stuff….

Exercise, nutrition, and maybe even sleep or stress.

Those are super important, but that’s not everything.

If we truly want to look at the total picture, we need to look at what we call the “7 Dimensions of Wellness.”

Wellness is defined as an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life.

We hear wellness and we initially think of things like fitness, yoga, nutrition.

The reality is, that’s just one dimension of overall wellness, physical wellness.

If we truly want to work on becoming “healthier” we need to look at all dimensions…

The 7 Dimensions of Wellness include:

  • Physical: Recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy foods, and sleep

  • Intellectual: Recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills

  • Emotional: Coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships

  • Financial: Satisfaction with current and future financial situations

  • Social: Developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system

  • Spiritual: Expanding a sense of purpose and meaning in life

  • Vocational: Personal satisfaction and enrichment from one’s work

Now, for sake of brevity, I won’t go in depth of all seven today, but our ultimate mission is to change lives, not just physically, but through all dimensions of wellness.

However, spend a moment with me and let’s go through a couple scenarios…

Let’s say you hate your job (vocational wellness).

Do you think that impacts your physical wellness?

Does it impact your stress, your nutrition, and maybe even your workout frequency?

You bet.

What if you’re struggling with financial wellness?

That can cause stress, leading to poor nutrition choices, lack of sleep, and impacting other areas of wellness.

It’s all connected.

I think it’s vital to have “people on your team” who are going to help you in all areas.

That’s why this journey never ends.

We never take a break, we just focus on different areas, but it’s a never ending process.

It’s an ongoing pursuit of getting better, 1% Better, and you need a team of experts by your side, challenging you, holding you accountable, and pushing you to be the best version of you.

Over time, I’ll continue to breakdown the seven dimensions of wellness and help you connect all of them, and that’s why Coach Kim and I started the One Percent Better Show, a podcast dedicated to all seven dimensions of wellness.

My take home point today…

We can’t look at your journey in this box of just exercise and nutrition.

We need to look at the entire circle, the entire picture, all dimensions of wellness.

Just like everything else, we’ll never be perfect at all of them, but during certain times of our life we need to work on developing each area.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

You're Not Off Track

Let us take a ride on a train today..

There's a really common saying in our industry...

"I'm off track" or "I need to get back on track."

We all catch ourselves using it, coaches and clients alike, especially this time of year with school ending and summer hindering a lot of our attempts at staying consistent.

But think about it...

When you say you’re off track, that means you're not moving. 

If a train is "off track" it has most likely crashed and is off the side of the tracks. 

It's not moving. 

Fitness and life are not like that. 

We're always moving, it's very fluid. 

Now, we may not be moving in the direction we want to ultimately be going, but we're always moving. 

So I'm challenging you (and me) to stop thinking of it as "off track" but instead as just a bit off the beaten path. 

The train (our lives) are still moving. 

We may have taken the wrong turn, gone down a dead-end track, had to back up and find the right direction, but we're not off track, the train is always moving. 

And just like a train, we have to be fueled properly, we have to have clear directions on where we want to go(vision and goals), and oh, it's got precious cargo (people or things) it has to take care of along the way. 

You see, life, and fitness is just like a train :)

I bet you've never thought of it like that.

But let us take a stand...

We're not "off track."

We may just need to adjust the plans, clarify our direction, or refuel. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

The Hardest Thing To Do...

It's actually quite easy to write this e-mail every morning at this point. 

It has become a habit over the last few years, and I have thousands of people waiting to read it at noon time everyday.

You are my accountability. 

Which makes it easy because I know I have to show up to you, you're counting on me. 

You know what the hardest thing to do is?

Work hard when no one is watching. 

Think about it it any facet of life...

It's easy to work hard when you have eyes on you, or people counting on you. 

Whether that's in work, family, or fitness, if someone is watching you, or counting on you to get something done, it's easy to work hard. 

Most of us are decent human beings and we don't want to disappoint others. 

It's why the simple things like having to book your sessions and showing up to a coach greeting you every single day is so important to your accountability at Spurling. 

But...

Working hard when no one is watching is the hardest thing to do. 

However, it's those that have this discipline that can quickly pull away from the pack and see some great results, in any facet of life. 

Let's look at a work situation...

You're in the office, you have things you could be doing, but there is nothing super urgent, and no one is watching you. 

What do you do?

Do you putter around, checking social media, and just kill time?

That's the default because it's hard to work hard when no one is watching. 

When it comes to fitness...

Do you get up before the kids get up and get a workout in?

Do you say no to the sweets at 9pm, even if no one will know but you that you ate it?

Do you honestly track what you eat?

The hardest thing to do is work hard when no one is watching, but it's in those moments, if optimized, you can make the biggest strides in your progress. 

I challenge you to look at one opportunity where you can be honest with yourself and change your efforts towards a time where you know you're currently not working hard because you know no one is watching. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

You are bathing suit ready

It’s getting to be bathing suit season, and so there is a lot of talk about getting bathing suit ready. Presumably, in our culture, “bathing suit ready” means endless squats, lunges, push ups, ab work, spin classes, bootcamp classes, running and generally beating the sh*t out of our bodies.

Hey, exercise is great for improving your overall physical (and mental) healthy - and there is nothing wrong with any of the activities listed above. With the exception of spinning (I’ve never taken a class if you can believe it), I enjoy them all.

But I don’t think more exercise is what you need to do to get “swimsuit ready.” (The phrase swimsuit ready came from a reader when I was surveying for potential blog topics.)

Regardless of what swimsuit you wear, resist the urge to bring back acid washed joggers. Please. For me.

I believe the number one action you can work on to get prepared for a season that invites shorts and tank tops is….drum roll please……

Develop a positive relationship with your body. 

Yup. No big thing, right?*****

Most of us would find wrestling an alligator more natural than being kind towards our bodies.

If we met in person, you might describe me as fit - and with a lot of help from genetics and some weekly effort on my part - I hold my own. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still struggle with my own body.

On the outside of my right knee is a pale white scar from a teenage, neighborhood game of hide and seek. On the inside of my right leg is a small spiderweb of varicose veins that seems to puff up closer to the surface with each passing year. Sometimes you can’t really see them, and other times that’s all I see when I glance down at my legs. I have them on both legs, in several different places, and at times I am reminded of my grandmother, who rarely wore shorts, but I caught glimpses of her varicose veins when she wore dresses to church. 

These veins bother me in a way that I’d like to deny. But if I’m going to preach a positive relationship with our bodies, then you should know that I struggle in my efforts too. Those varicose veins makes me feel my age in a way that’s uncomfortable.

And so I’ve been joking that I won’t wear shorts at all this summer - because I’ve become embarrassed of my legs.

I’m not proud of that, but hey interwebz - I’m telling you anyway. So I’m working on that positive body image.

The thing is, my legs have taken me many places. They’ve hiked over 200 miles of Rocky Mountain National Park. They’ve run thousands of miles in all parts of the country, from New Mexico to Colorado to Oklahoma and more. They’ve worked 12 hour days on cement floors doing retail, walked through the farm fields of Western Pennsylvania to interview farmers, and stood in the dugout wells of minor league baseball teams, shifting from side to side to stay warm. They barked and complained when I did last year’s Tough Mudder, and they still don’t take very kindly to deep squats or lunges. 

But my legs, like the rest of my body, carry my story. 

And this summer, maybe more than any summer in the past, I find myself having to work very hard to be kind to my body. To be appreciative of my body. To be gentle with my body. To trust and appreciate that I am the best version of me that I know how to be right now, and that is all I can ask of myself.  

For the record, no I don’t think varicose veins are the end of the world, and yes, I know you can have them removed when they start causing pain. For right now, I’m just being vain about my veins. 

Yes, I did that. 

It’s not easy to avoid self-deprecating comments about your appearance and your body. We punch holes in all kinds of compliments that people pay us. 

You look great!

You’re lying!

I love your glasses!

They hide my fat face!

Those responses are reflexive - much like our apologies - and those are the comments that we need to corral.

As we get ready to head into summer on this Memorial Day weekend, and even those of us in Maine will experience warm weather, I want you to take this reminder and put it on your refrigerator and your bathroom mirror and your phone and maybe even a post-it note on your co-worker’s forehead:

You are bathing suit ready, just as you are.