Who’s to blame?

You’d be surprised how much can change in 90 days.

And 6 months, too.

A year could be the transformation you’ve always dreamed of.

There is one thing that needs to move for all of the above to be brought to you.


For the results of your decisions to change, it is up to you to change your actions.

For the environment to change, it is up to you to change your environment.

For your thoughts to change, it is up to you to change your thoughts.

For your emotions to change, it is up to you to change your emotions.

When a farmer harvests their crops in the season of fall and decides they want to harvest a different crop the following year, they plant a different seed. We would look on them as foolish if they planted the same seed they always planted and expected a different result… yet as society, likely due to poor education and cultural influences, we believe that it is outside circumstances which create the lives we live.

To learn personal responsibility and self-discipline is to learn to gain personal power over individuality toward a more joyful life.

Notice the concept is personal responsibility AND self-discipline. The importance is to understand each supports the other.

Personal responsibility is to do what is in one’s best interest while self-discipline is taking the action which will create a more desirable outcome in the future. To have power over one’s self requires an individual to take into consideration what actions are taken today effect all of their tomorrows. Often, due to social and cultural influences, an individual believes they can do ‘live for today’ with no regard for the outcomes or consequences from their decisions and actions.

For one to ‘live for today’ to only gain pleasure for oneself and then pass off the consequences of their thoughts and actions onto another later is not freedom, but irresponsibility. To pass on the undesirable results onto others without regard for the actions each individual participated in shows a lack of maturity.

The importance of the lesson, knowing the mind remembers everything and the universe is always keeping score, is to understand we cannot cheat the laws she has laid out for us. There is no thought that can be unthinked, there is no action that be undone, there is no emotion which can go unfelt…

To know and understand and to accept what is, while letting go of what is not, is to allow each individual to design their life in a more positive way which will allow more positive thoughts, actions, and environmental influences to enter their life.

To build the foundation of personal responsibility through self-discipline will go a long way to providing an individual with the strength and courage to think more positive thoughts, take more positive actions, and feel more positive emotions while they learn to gain the personal power from with so they may crowd out the necessary need to control situations and overindulge in the freedom of ‘living for today’ while disregarding any care or responsibility for tomorrow.

It is in having the foresight for tomorrow that allows us to live for today providing the peace from within for all of our yesterdays giving us the power to focus on the life we live today with happiness and joy built within.

Food Journaling for Success

A new look at food journaling…

Goal: Emotional and Behavioral pattern recognition and awareness

WHAT?! are we going to do?

For this exercise, we are going to focus on a few simple things;

  • What we eat (Behavior)
  • Why we eat it (Mindset)
  • When we eat it (Environment)

This should be done in your journal or in simple notebook paper. (Not on a phone or in an app)

The goal is discovery and awareness of patterns of mindset, behaviors, and emotions. We are NOT counting calories. For the purpose of this journal activity, there is no guilt of shame for what we eat or don’t eat. This exercise is designed specifically to record the facts of the situation to understand where our heart, mind, and feet are TODAY.


After we record a weeks’ worth of eating activity, we now know what we are doing, the question is WHY?! are we doing it?

Everything I have ever read about eating, diets, losing weight, etc comes with specifics on macros or calories or numbers or shakes or pills… yet how often do we look into the reality of the situation to know where to even begin changing? How often do we look at the real situation to know exactly what our current thoughts, behaviors, and emotions really are?

3 simple yet important questions to we need to ask in order to make a positive change in business, fitness, or life are;

  • What am I currently doing?
  • Why am I taking the action?
  • How should I take the next step forward?

The importance of the simple questions is to understand where our feet are TODAY, where our head is TODAY and what the most reasonable, achievable and challenging step forward is from where we are right now, in this moment in time.

Think of it this way for a minute. If you are in San Diego and you want to go to New York City, you can’t start in Texas… you have to take your first step in San Diego.

If you are struggling with overconsuming less than positive foods and you don’t know the truth of the what and the why you are taking the action, the thought of change is daunting and unlikely for the simple reason of, you are going to try and start in Texas when you’re in San Diego.


How will we move forward?

This is a great question and one that must be understood and personalized for each person.

Some people might work on adding in more positive food and crowding out some less than positive food.

Others might work to increase physical movement and reduce overall calorie consumption.

A common side effect of this exercise is when someone realizes they have naturally begun to reduce what they eat and how much they eat simply by bringing awareness and focus to their behaviors in the kitchen.

Think about it, when was the last time you remember eating because you were hungry?

Do you eat because it’s “the time of day”?

Are you eating for “hunger to come”?

Are you eating just because someone mentioned they were going to eat something?

The most interesting part of doing this exercise myself and with my clients is to see what eating patterns we are really following and why we take the actions without even thinking about what we are doing or why we are doing it.

If you or someone you know is struggling with their current thoughts and actions, have them try this exercise to if they discover something about themselves, they didn’t know. Do the exercise to understand, not to hold guilt or shame over your head for where you are today… but to understand how to take the first step in the new direction you have always wanted to go!


I would be happy to work through more details with you one on one or to help you understand how to dissect the results and create a strategy for moving forward! You can schedule a call here: https://coachgary.as.me/callgary

Dear Class of 2020…

Dear Class of 2020,

Congratulations on your big welcome into the real world. You have officially graduated during one of the most interesting times of the world with instability and uncertainty as far as you can see. I am so proud of the adversity and setbacks you are about to face. I hope you are able to look into the future and know with the difficulties ahead, you have the choice to hideaway while hoping the outside world will save you or you can make the choice to walk into the storm creating the opportunity to live a joyful life of personal success.

Before we get started, I want to let you know why I am so excited for you. I, too, graduated college during a time of instability and uncertainty. In late 2008, the stock market crashed, and the world economic turmoil followed shortly after creating what we now know as “The Great Recession”. I walked across the stage receiving my diploma in a worthless subject, loads of student debt, overweight, with no real people or work skills, and my wife and I had a baby on the way. Needless to say, I was concerned about what the world had in store for me.

I was offered two positions after graduation; one was an entry level positive with McDonald’s and one was as a sales position at Toyota. The position at Toyota paid a little more, so with my lack of people skills, zero business sense, and nothing but hope that something better was on the horizon, I took the sales job…

I took a job I hated and had no skills in during one of the most difficult economies of the past hundred years and turned the experience into a lesson I will never forget.

Within 90 days, having no sales under my belt and the economic atmosphere freefalling, I asked about a book on how to sell a car. This is the day that turned my life around. I read a book on personal development, then another, then another. I developed myself every day. I learned, I practiced, I stumbled, I failed, and every time I felt like quitting, I took one more step forward until I built myself into the person I needed to become. I earned my way to the top producing salesperson for nearly 6 years and worked in sales management for about the same length of time.

I learned to gain control of my health. After stepping on the scale at 400 pounds in March 2013, I took a step out of my kitchen and around the block until I earned better fitness and health by losing 200 pounds and teaching myself to run 100 miles. In the process of losing myself on the outside, I overcame depression and alcohol abuse through journaling and meditation. I discovered who I was on the inside despite the societal pressure and cultural norms that told me to fall in line with conformity and comfort.

I learned to produce my own income, manage my health, and overcome adversity and failure in every aspect of life; business, fitness, and family.

My point of telling you my story is to let you know you are not alone in your journey. I have spoken with numerous graduates who are disappointed they have not found their dream job yet. More have moved back in with their parents due to financial or emotional stability concerns. The stress and anxiety, the depression and disappointment looms and the downward spiral is and will continue if there is nothing to reverse the process.

Here is the good and the hard news about your situation.

There is only one person who has the power to modify your current position.

The person is the voice in your head.

The person is who puts your shoes on every day.

The person is the one looking back at you in the mirror.

The only person who can change your situation is YOU.


I would love to tell you all the things you want to hear, but it wouldn’t do you any good. No one else can do ‘it’ for you. No one else can get you the job. No one else can disrupt your current patterns of thoughts and behaviors. Change is up to YOU.

Here are a couple quick tips to help you disrupt the process of drifting down the path of disappointment and despair so you can regain your personal power and take the necessary step forward toward the rest of your life. Always remember where you start is not where you finish if you have the flexibility to change and the awareness to take calculated risk outside your comfort zone.

  • The job you take and don’t want might be your best learning experience for you future
  • Learn to live uncomfortably
  • Learn to self-educate and grow yourself from the inside
  • Break away for societal expectations and cultural norms to create your own version of success
  • Learn to find opportunity and value in every experience; the good and the hard

Many of us can be here to guide you with strategy, support and encourage you through setbacks and adversities while holding you accountable to your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Yet it is up to YOU and only YOU to look in the mirror and take the step forward. Learn the value of personal responsibility and self-discipline and you will be well on your way to breaking out and breaking through toward a joyful and successful life you want to live.

I want to leave you with a way to disrupt your current cycle and break out into a positive direction for your future. Here is a simple guided self-coaching exercise to help you Just Think!? your way through your current thought and behavioral patterns.

This exercise works best if you practice out loud in front of a mirror or working through it in a written journal. Repetition and Consistency are two keys to making this exercise work for you. The more you practice, the more you will convince yourself, the more action you will take, and the more confidence you will build while moving forward toward your goals.

Ask and answer these questions ‘out loud’ in the mirror, journaling, or both. You will find the more you do, the easier it will get and the more clarity you will discover as you go.

  • Who am I, TODAY?
  • What are my strengths?
  • What are my weaknesses?
  • What do I want in the future?
  • Who do I need to become to get what I want in the future?
  • What positive actions am I taking toward my goals?
  • What actions am I not taking that is holding me back?
  • Why am I holding myself back from taking the step forward?
  • What am I afraid of?
  • Why am I afraid?
  • How can I move past my fear?
  • What action can I take right now that will move me forward one step


Learning to focus on the one step in front of us can help us remove the overwhelming anxiety of all the external circumstances while we focus on the most important aspect of self. The one person we have the power to change is our self. The one aspect of the world we have control over is our self. The one focus we should take advantage of is our self.

Times are hard, I understand.

Things are different than what you had imagined, I get it.

The level of fear, doubt, insecurities, and external resistance is huge, I know.

Yet with all the turmoil outside of self, it is more important than ever for you to look on the inside to find the light that will carry you through the darkness.

You will stumble.

You will fall.

You will get beat up.

You will get hurt.

You will experience difficulty.

You will get your heartbroken.

You will experience pain.

It is up to you if you use the hard experiences to develop and grow or if you live in the pain and suffering and remain sheltered from the circumstances.

You have a choice…

Will you take advantage of the opportunity to find the Sunshine and Hope from the Darkness the world has thrust upon you?


I would be more than happy to find a time to work with you to get started. Please feel free to schedule a complimentary call with me. https://coachgary.as.me/intro

Hard Look at the Reflection

One of the most important days of my life was when someone looked me straight in the eye and positively challenged me with ‘WHY’? ‘WHO’ are you, TODAY?

They set me free from the chains of yesterday and the pressure of tomorrow to be who I am TODAY.

It was when I learned to look myself in the mirror and challenge my own emotions, thoughts and actions that I was able to begin to grow from the inside out and solidify how I had changed from the outside in.

Are you struggling with how to begin your personal transformation?

Here is a simple and solid self-reflection exercise to break out of the stagnation and into transformation. Let today be the first step toward the rest of your life.


Look at yourself in the mirror and ask these questions out loud as if they were being asked by a trusted and nonjudgmental friend. Be honest with yourself and you will find the answers you need to take the first step forward into your new future:

  • Who are you, TODAY?
  • Why are you where you are, TODAY?
  • How did you get here?
  • How do you feel about your present situation?
  • What is going well?
  • What isn’t going so well?
  • What would you improve on going forward?
  • What is holding you back?
  • What is the first step you can take, NOW?


You have the greatest opportunity to change your direction if you will have the courage and strength to stand up to your reality and look for the truth from within. Be where your feet are today and become intentional with where your feet go tomorrow.


I am here to help with questions or if you would like guidance on how to move forward toward your future, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I would be happy to set up a call with you to work through this exercise and many others so you can break free from your past and into the future you deserve.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life… How will you take your first step forward!?

You can schedule a complimentary call here: Call Gary!

Corner of Sunshine and Hope: Audio Book

If you want to listen to my new book in audio form- Here you go! Of course I it would be great if you picked up a copy from myself or Amazon, but I would rather you have access to the information right now. With the difficulties of life and the uncertainty of the future, the value in the information is far more important to me than the money. I hope you enjoy and please let me know if you have any feedback, questions or would like to set up a one on one strategy session.

The Corner of Sunshine and Hope is a quick and simple read that mixes part of my personal story and teaches you the simple and effective process I have used to create a positive mindset toward a forward direction even when life is most difficult. I show you how to begin journaling your way out of painful and destructive thoughts and actions. My process mixes Journaling, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Guided Self Coaching to help you find love and light even in the darkest night.

For more information you can reach me at garystotler.com

Schedule a 60 minute strategy coaching session: https://coachgary.as.me/call60

Pick you a copy here: https://amzn.to/2Vi75A4

Spotify Audio: https://open.spotify.com/show/5AIfSOFJGpdlDpWC93fqdh

iTunes Audio: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/gary-stotler/id1502582113

How will you handle adversity!?

Journaling has become part of my life and I am so thankful.  10 months ago when Coach Gary suggested I start journaling, I did. I did it more for him because he asked me to try it.  Today, it is part of my daily routine and I am so thankful.  I now journal for ME.  Yesterday was an extremely hard day in these tough times.  I hated the way that I felt.

After journaling yesterday, I felt like a huge weight was off of my chest.  10 months ago, I would have had more than one bad day, but because of my outlet to journal, my bad DAYS turned into just a DAY.  If you don’t journal, do yourself a favor and try.

I would like to share my journal from today…..

You make them…
What will you CHOOSE today?
Let’s be honest..times are tough. I would by lying if I said the following things have not gone through my head in the last 2 weeks….When will I go back to work? Will I get paid? Will my friends and family be ok? Will my students and their families be ok? What will happen with school? Will I teach from home? How will I mentally make it being home by myself during the day without John? Will he be ok at work? Why is this happening? When will it be over? What about all the unknowns? Will everything shut down?

When I look back at all the questions, they have ONE THING in common.

They are all things I have no control over. So I need to make a CHOICE..will I choose to worry, stress, feel anxious, be upset and fearful or will I choose something that is healthier and do what’s best for me?
Yesterday, I CHOSE to worry, stress, cry, be a hermit, stay in bed, and have a negative attitude. The day was awful in the life of Becky.
Today is a new day and I have a CHOICE. What will I do with it? I will tell you, I am doing what I NEED to do to be happy. It may not be the same things as you. To have a successful day today,

I will:

*Walk 4 miles-DONE (It was beautiful out. The sun is shining and the birds are singing), *Write in my journal-DONE (you are reading it)
*Read outside
*Think positive
*Limit my time on FB
*1 chore around the house
*Stay away from the news.
**I clearly need a schedule to keep busy.
What do you need?  
I made the choice to share my journal entry today. I share it with the hopes that one person gains something from it. So many of us are struggling. I CHOSE to be miserable yesterday and that is how my day was. I am CHOOSING to have a better day today and it is already wonderful!!
Remember: Each day you may not have control over what happens in your life, but you do have the choice of how YOU react to what is going on. You make the CHOICE. Make a great one ❤

Becky Crawford
Thank you so much for sharing your experience Becky!
Are you interested in making a positive change in your life?
I have a limited number of spaces open and I would love the opportunity to chat with you and see if we are a match.

Let’s have coffee!

The mental health struggle is real… About now, reality is setting in for most people…

Work is closed. The kids are home. More time with your partner.

People need progress… and stagnation causes poor thoughts and behaviors to creep in.

This is the new reality and it is stretching the mental limits of many people. The human mind can only take so much change in a short amount of time and anything beyond the comfort zone will naturally create tension, stress, anxiety and even depression is a short amount of time.

I am thankfully very lucky that I have been able to live a somewhat normal life through all the “outside noise” but there are a few things that bother me.

For one; my clients’ lives are being disrupted. This is the biggest concern for me because I know there are more people that are running into the exact same issues.

For two; as basic as I can put this statement, the mental health struggles that are about to hit are real and if we don’t plan ahead and work to prevent the build up of these issues, there will be more problems that compound in the future…

So, I want to help you the best way I can.

I want to have a cup of coffee with you. No matter where you are in the world, I want to sit down and have a chat. I am giving away my time and energy to help people who need and want the social time and/or the mental health outlet. I am opening the small chunks of time because I love what I do, and I know the value a kind word and an open ear in a time of change.

Let’s sit down and have a cup of coffee and I will listen to what you have on your mind, understand your situation or struggles and together we will develop a positive action plan to help you work through the overwhelming situation and anxiety of the unknown.

Here is how it works.

Schedule a time here: https://coachgary.as.me/phonecoffee

Then, just hop on the 30 minute Zoom Call. You can do video or audio, which ever you would prefer and all I ask is you be ready at the scheduled time. I don’t care if you are in your pajamas, your office, your house or wherever because this is YOUR time.

The only thing I ask is to be intentional with this time. I am still running my full wellness coaching business and I have obligations to my current clients so please respect my time and attention as I will also respect your time with my full attention.

There are a limited number of spots available per day, but I hope you will have the courage to schedule a time. Thank you and I look forward to chatting with you!

“You can observe a lot by watching.”

Have you ever wondered what other people are thinking?

Have you ever thought about why people act the way they do?

Have you ever thought about what your body language is saying that your words aren’t?

It doesn’t matter if you are close to the person or if they are a random stranger. If you observe long enough, they will tell you everything you need to know…. And they won’t even have to say a word.

People watching is one of my favorite activities. It doesn’t matter if it is a coffee shop, social media, an airport, or ??….. I love to observe the people I’m surrounded by. It’s interesting to watch strangers interact, but it is even more interesting to watch someone you know personally. To watch how they move their face and body. How they talk. Their tone and inflection. They will tell you everything you need to know.

Watch when someone is uncomfortable around you. How do they act? Are they standoffish? Do they move their body away from you? Do they make eye contact with you or do they keep from looking in your direction all together? Have you ever wondered why someone you talk to all the time all of a sudden won’t even stand next to you? Or they seem to avoid communicating with you all together? Maybe they have something they need to say to you and don’t know how. Or maybe they are even keeping something from you.

It’s very interesting to watch how relationships evolve as time goes on. How someone can go from a close friend to an acquaintance in what seems overnight. As we drift away from each other, we not only communicate less, but when we do, we move toward the type of communication which we find less intimate. Maybe moving from in person contact to talking over the phone, or moving from calls to texts, or texts to emails… etc. If we watch these closely, we can see how the communication drifts from one form to another until finally, the communication drifts away and we no longer contact each other on a regular basis. Never addressing what went wrong or why. Just allowing it to drift off so we don’t have to face being uncomfortable with a tough conversation.

I want to ask you…

Has this happened to you in an important relationship in the past?

Has moving away from the problem created tension in a place it is unnecessary?

Where do you think you could have done better with your communication?

What would you change? How will you do it differently moving forward?

“You can observe a lot by watching.” Yogi Berra

But we must not only sit by and watch… we have to be conscious of not only our actions (or inactions), but the actions (or inactions) of others.