Steady consistent growth is the key to sustainable happiness.

I was always obese… I was never smart… I have never been mentally healthy…

I’ve been through some struggles and the past couple years have been difficult but there is one aspect of my life that I have never stopped moving forward… I have grown 1% every single day over the past 10 years. The personal growth over the past 10 years is the only difference between what I’ve overcome in the past, where I am today and where I’m headed in the future. I didn’t just wake up one day and change my life… my “overnight” weight loss success, my rapid growth into ultra-running and my continued growth in business boils down to three simple habits I built to make myself better every single day regardless of external circumstances.

Holistic personal growth stems from three areas of life.

  1. Mental
  2. Physical
  3. Spiritual

The key to sustainable personal growth is to grow in each of the areas every day. By building a stable foundation to personal development, we can create consistency in our process until we develop a sustainable habit of growing in each area of life whether we are riding the high of life or falling toward what we think is going to be the worst of times.

The simplicity of personal growth boils down to doing something every day that will make you better for tomorrow. I have developed three basic daily habits to help me grow in each area of life.

  1. Reading- Mental Growth
  2. Exercise- Physical Growth
  3. Writing- Spiritual Growth

I spend a minimum of one hour a day growing. Learning to grow in each of these areas has helped me create my weight loss success of losing 200 pounds, learning to run 100 miles in the toughest mountains of Colorado, overcome depression, alcohol abuse, overeating, personal devastation and create a successful coaching and speaking business allowing me to work with people from all over the world to make lasting life change.

My hour is broken down into three 20 minute sections.

  • 20 minutes of reading.
  • 20 minutes of writing.
  • 20 minutes of exercise.

At first glance, 20 minutes seems like no time at all. People tell me all the time that 20 minutes isn’t enough to make a difference. There is no way 20 minutes will help get better… It isn’t enough… It’s too “easy”…

Yep, you’re right… you won’t read a whole book in one 20 minute sitting… you won’t write enough to discover all life’s lessons of the past and develop a personal philosophy of life in one 20 minute session… you won’t lose 100 pounds by walking for 20 minutes one time… but the point isn’t to do everything at once, one time and never have to do anything ever again!!! The point is to create sustainable long term growth not to create instant unsustainable “results”.

Think about the 20 minutes this way.

  • 20 minutes of walking is about one mile
  • 20 minutes of reading is about 10 pages
  • 20 minutes of writing can lead to a small personal discovery

When we look at the 20 minutes and how “little” gets accomplished in one setting, it does seem silly to even start. 

One mile of walking isn’t going to change your entire life… unless you do it every day. If you walked one mile every day, you would have walked 365 miles in the next year. This could lead to about 10 pounds of weight loss even if you changed absolutely nothing else!!

Reading 10 pages of a book may seem silly… what could you possible learn if you “only” read 10 pages?? The 10 pages a day would lead to about 300 pages a month. 300 pages a month would equal about 1 new book a month which is 12 books a year! Do you think reading 12 positive and inspirational books in one year could change your trajectory in life?? I know from experience that it can!

Writing in a journal isn’t about discovering your entire life in one sitting. It isn’t about writing an entire book on everything you’ve gone through at one time. Writing in a journal is about understanding where you are today, what you’ve overcome in the past and where you want to go in the future. An entire life of wins, losses and goals must come with time, energy and persistence. Most of us have gone through some very tough experiences in life and it takes time for us to write out those experiences, understand them, learn from them, heal from them and discover what life lessons we can apply for the future.

The process of growing 1% every day is not about changing everything at once and never doing anything positive again. The process of creating sustainable growth over time is so we can handle the situations as them come, learn, grow and produce compounding and exponential growth toward an even better future.

One mile creates energy to go another.

One book teaches lessons to grow more.

One journal entry leads to a new discovery.

Growth isn’t just a one-time activity… 

Growth is an everyday activity. 

Start today.

Start today where you are.

Start today where you are and work toward where you want to go in the future.

Pick one.

  • What area of your life do you want to improve the most?
  • What area of your life would create new energy?
  • What area of life do you feel would bring you the most joy?

Pick one area and work for 20 minutes every day for the next 7 days.

  • Build a solid foundation of daily activity for the next 7 days.
  • Create a consistent process of daily activity over the next month.
  • Watch your growth become sustainable for the next year and beyond!

Remember one step leads to two which leads to three which leads to where ever you want to go… but it takes the first step forward to get anywhere worth traveling.

Best of luck on your new found journey of life!

Published by Gary Stotler

Gary Stotler is a father, running, fitness, weight loss and personal development addict. Formally 400 pounds, Gary has naturally lost 200 pounds, created a coaching & speaking business and has become a 100 mile ultra-runner. Holding a degree in Psychology & Sociology, certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer, mindset & behavioral modification coaching, a certification in DISC personality assessment coaching and he is a certified speaker, coach & mentor with the John Maxwell Team. Gary firmly believes, if we take One Step at a Time, nothing is impossible. He is determined to let his actions show people what is possible and hopes to help you shake up your thoughts, change your actions and create your future.

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