7 Habits to get you results this Winter

  • By Dave Okeby
  • 15 Jun, 2016

What you're not doing right and how you can become one of those rare gym people who train in winter

It is around this time of year that people stop believing in themselves.

All of a sudden the spark that was there at the beginning of the year has gone, what was important now carries little to no importance anymore.

The desire to achieve your health and fitness goals hibernates until spring and then all of sudden, like waking up late in the morning, we’re in a panic to get everything in order only to find that we’ve run out of time and it looks like another summer of keeping more clothes on that what we hoped for.

The annoying thing about all of this, especially coming from someone like myself is this is cyclic behaviour. I see it every year. You could bet your house on it. However nothing changes.

This is behaviour that CAN BE CHANGED (in only a matter of days)

So why not change it?

Let’s look at what is going wrong first.


Planning Goals is great. They make you feel good. You get excited. You feel you have a direction. You feel you have a destination. Everything is finally coming together. You know that feeling…?

Whilst planning goals is important and has its place in THE journey of achieving your dreams, it is by far the least important aspect of success.


Hey look, planning is one thing but have you ever heard about the ‘doing’? The actual piece of the pie that carries you towards your goals, towards your dreams and desires, towards wearing comfortable and sexy clothes in summer.

It is the ‘Doing’ or the “ACTION” that I will be focusing with you today. It’s your behaviour that needs to change and here’s the key, out of the 7 steps I will be sharing…..Not one of them has anything to do with working out!

What I’m about to share is a proven method of achieving everyday success that will improve all aspects of your life including “the gym” part. This will set you to become one of those rare breed of gym people who train without fail in winter.

If you haven’t made a cuppa yet then go and make one and come back with a pen + paper (or if you’re one of our members then head to our members only FB page and download our goals sheet from the file section)






Let’s get started

The First Habit to Create is to go to Bed on time!

The most simple and easiest of the habits is to go to bed early, the same time every night – 9pm. Sure there will be times (weekends) where this is potentially not going to happen but a weekend is 2 days out of 7 so if my maths is right you’ll have 5 days where you can implement successful behavioural habits.

Why is going to bed early, at the same time every night so important? It’s simple. If you go to bed early then you will wake up early; you’ll always have the same amount of sleep; your body will adjust to this pattern and begin working FOR you instead of against you. Scientifically speaking going to bed early allows your body to recover from the day’s stresses and demands without placing additional stress (late nights) to the mix.

Sick of being overweight? Well maybe it’s going to bed late that’s stopping you from losing those kilos? Weight loss is enhanced with good and regular sleep patterns.

This is where you say you’re a night person and this is where I reply ‘well stop making goals that you are not prepared to work for’. Be unhappy and forever chasing a fairy-tale. Of course we have people that work late night or overnight shifts. I’m not talking about you guys. I’m talking to the ones that have no excuse not to go to bed early. If you’re not prepared to give your body the rest and recovery it needs to perform to the level you want it to then nothing will happen. You won’t shift all the weight you want. One final point about going to bed early. You won’t snack late at night from being up.


Habit Two directly links with One - Wake up early


It seems silly now doesn’t it? It’s not. Get your butt out of bed early (430am-6am) and begin your day. Yes it’s cold, dark and everyone else is sleeping. So what. Your goals and dreams rely on you to get shit done.

Here’s why waking up early is important:

You won’t rush, You’ll choose how to approach the day instead of time dictating it to you, You won’t rush, You’ll get time to yourself before the kids rise or if you’re without kids then time alone (on your terms), Breakfast suddenly has more time to it, You won’t rush, think about and write down what you want to achieve that day, enjoy a less frantic state of mind, less stress associated with the morning oh and did I mention…you won’t rush!

Still need reasons? The most successful people get up before the sun and they work harder than anyone else to be successful. If you don’t get up early then your dreams will stay in bed with you.


Habit Three is to have no screen time 30mins before bed

Screens (TV, IPad, Phone’s & Pc’s) are all stimulating devices and instead of winding you down for a night’s rest they keep you firing and thus confusing your brain on what the heck it’s meant to do. You don’t need that extra stimulus especially when you’re trying to get to sleep. We all know that tossing, turning and becoming frustrated feeling. Blame the screen. Blame not winding down from the day.

Instead of a being in a heightened state of alert before bed try reading a book. A real book not an e-book. Read a chapter and give yourself some more “me” time. Everyone complains that we have no time anymore. Reading can be therapeutic. If you don’t like reading then find another vice to relax you, just not a screen.


Habit Four is to make you Bed


The simple act of making your bed every morning is actually you achieving you first goal for the day. It’s in the act of placing importance for achieving goals that allows you to keep your other habits firing. If you start your day rattled and frantic then guess what follows. Of course if your other half or 2 kids and a dog are in the bed with you then this habit cannot be achieved straight away, but at some point in the morning you could return to make your bed unless, if you’re like me and out the door whilst the house is still waking then guess what, you’re other half gets to form a successful habit instead of you (sharing is caring)


Habit Five is to eat Protein for Breakfast


One of the most common reasons for people being exhausted and eating poorly is they start the day completely wrong. We’ve covered the basics on getting enough sleep, waking up and slowing the day down to your pace so this is where the good breaky comes in.

Many people do not eat breakfast or they grab a piece of toast or fruit. I cannot think of a better way to sabotage your day and allow you to crave all sorts of nasties. Keep that up if you want to put weight on and be unhappy otherwise make sure your breakfast has a fair amount of protein in it.

·        Eggs are the number 1 choice however they take time, lucky you wake up early now.

·        Plain Raw Oats with water or milk, yoghurt and added boosters like chia seeds, sunflower seeds will boost the protein amount to satisfy you.

·        The good old Protein smoothie – mix whatever you like with it like I do and it’s your perfect grab and go option. Frozen berries and banana’s etc.

·        If you are a meal prep person then make yourself some high protein muffins to go with your daily banana.

Protein keeps you full for a longer period of time. By not having a high sugar breakfast you’re blood sugars levels stay balanced and the urge to act on your cravings is hidden because of your stable blood sugar. If that doesn’t resonate then at least recognise that it’s a weight loss tool so why not have protein for breakfast every morning.


Habit Six is to stick to this routine for 21 days


21 days or 28 days it doesn’t really matter in my eyes when you’re actually trying to change something for the first time. If you last 7 days then you’ve done better than the previous 7 days however choose a time line you believe will help you, it could be a calendar month. The importance of creating new habits is obviously repeating them every day so it needs to be a substantial period.

A side note: When creating new habits it takes much longer to set the new benchmark. Plenty of people do something for 30 days and then reverse back to their hard-wired former habits. If you want your goals to come true then these habits need to be your new hardware, they need to be your fall-back option. So say goodbye to sleep in’s unless of course you’re in a cabin somewhere enjoying a peaceful break from the success of your labour. Even then, don’t forget to make your bed.


Habit Seven is tell your partner/spouse

Only applicable if you have a partner/spouse but essential as communicating your new evening and morning habits is vital if you want to succeed.

3 reasons:

One , they might push you out of bed when you feel like a lie in. DO NOT rely on this though. That’s a bad habit.

Two , they might take up your good habits and long behold you both have made time with each other first thing in the morning by being awake earlier. How good is that?

DO NOT let this replace your own personal time though. That’s another bad habit.

 The  Third reason to communicate with your other half – It makes you accountable to someone other than yourself and opens the window for supportive behaviour.

If you don’t have someone to tell then tell yourself (out loud).


These 7 habits will set you up for the best start to your day. That’s all they’ll do. I did mention it will carry you through the day however like anything you need to keep up that state of mind for the rest of the day.

So what must you do for the rest of the day?

·        Achieve what you set out to do that day and that includes at work, home and play (gym).

·        Make sure your food choices for the rest of the day are as good as your breakfast one. Protein, Carbs and Fats.

·        Keep hydrated. Water is a weight loss tool too.

How do you lose weight and fit into your bikini or shorts this summer? With a good night’s sleep and a purposeful start to every morning that is controlled by you and not the clock.


Owner & Head Trainer

Onward Fitness

Onward Fitness

By Dave Okeby 06 Mar, 2017
You have the capability to conquer the world if you view and value yourself beyond external looks.

We have this fascination with visual stimulus as our yardstick for progress. We’re too fat, too skinny, our arms too big or jiggly. What about the progress that others cannot see but you can? Is that not significant or even on the same level as dropping a couple of kilos?

I would argue strongly that these are worth more

I was asked recently about the way I hire people and my response was “I don’t hire on qualifications, I hire on character”.

For those that train at Onward Fitness I’m referring to the changes that I’ve seen the last 3 years, I’m referring to examples where a marriage has been saved, a loss of a child/parent/friend has rocked lives but the support here has been the rock at times. I’m referring to the confidence that has grown from completing a movement better or with more weight. I’m referring to the hard times that were conquered because of what this place enables – uncompromising values and a support network that empowers you through life. I’m referring to every little thing that has changed because of your commitment to change. I’m referring to progress through the eyes of the gravity lens. The lens that shows your character, your values, your beliefs, your friendship, your kindness, and your progress as a human being. If you get that right then nothing else matters.

The importance of physical results is not to be squashed, it’s on the high list of priorities but base your progress solely on how you look and you’ll forever chase approval.
By Dave Okeby 27 Feb, 2017
The legend goes, there was once a time when humans held the key to happiness but we abused our power to the point where other humans suffered so we could flourish. The Gods disproval grew until one day they rallied together to take happiness away from us.

One of the Gods said “Let’s take it to the furthest star, they surely will not find it”, another God said “No, they will fly there one day and take it, let’s bury it the depths of the ocean”. “No”, another God said, “they’ll travel there also and discover it.” “Let’s bury it deep inside of the earth” another God said, “No, they’ll dig up the earth for all to see”. The Gods were at a loss until one of them said “Let’s bury it deep inside of them for they will surely not look there” and so it was decided that the key to happiness was to be buried inside every man and woman.

You will always seek more, want more and do more to feel happier if you’re under the illusion that something high in the sky or deep in the ocean is the place where you’ll find happiness.
Humans will get better at enticing you with “happiness” but always remember ‘food that fed the Roman Gladiators is still present today’. Listen to the Gods, stop believing that happiness is how much you weigh or how much you earn. When you shut down the search externally your life begins to change internally. Focus your energy and align your talents with what you can offer the world. Happiness after all includes bad days, that’s life!

The biggest change I see with people I coach at Onward Fitness is not the scales it’s the happiness that returns to their life. They find it.
By Dave Okeby 20 Feb, 2017
The words below are brutal but they’re honest. I hear countless amounts of excuses either directly or indirectly and it’s all the same. I myself over the years have made excuses for not succeeding where I wanted too and when I look back I shared the same simple reason as everybody else…I didn’t want it bad enough.

I didn’t blame the weather, the lack of hours in the day, the early starts, the food, the plan, the training. I didn’t actually blame anything other than my desire to really “want” was too weak. Those failures weren’t at all completely wasted. I learned from those experiences and now I’ve developed ‘desire’ to become a strength. I pick and choose my battles and when I want something to work I go all out to see it happen.

Now ask yourself if you truly desire to change?

Are you desperate enough to change your lifestyle and see that weight drop off? Are you desperate enough to run 5km without stopping or stick to a gym routine or an eating plan because you know it’s what’s needed to get there?
Are you desperate enough to change?

The answer up until this point is probably ‘NO’ if this message strikes accord with you and you know what…that’s okay, you are allowed to fail. Many Greats of this world have time and time again.

What would I say to someone who has tried everything there is?
I’d say this...

“Grab a pen + paper and write down your number one goal and list every single possible reason why that goal means so much to you”

I want this list to be bigger than a child’s list to Santa.

That list is your desire. That list is your desperation.
Each time you think of giving up, look at that list.
Each time life gets in the way of that list then your desire to change weakens. EACH TIME!

A parent will always say nothing is more important than their children and let me tell you, if your children’s names are on that list then there should be no way in hell that you should ever give in.

The third value of Onward Fitness is:

Your life is worth just as much as mine, we're all equal. Find a way to reach that goal and become someone who calls on desire and desperation as a strength.

Founder and Owner
Onward Fitness
“Empowering from the inside out”
By Dave Okeby 13 Feb, 2017
You know the saying “If I can do it then anybody can do it” well it’s used for good reason and that’s because it’s true.

Recently we celebrated a Christmas Cruise holiday which doubled as our Honeymoon and it tripled as one of our goals to achieve for the family to experience.
What did it take?

It took a small weekly saving, put away, not to be touched over a 24 month period. Sounds easy right? It was until it was put to the test and we were down to one income. We toyed with the idea of using it but our goal wasn’t for sale. We looked at other ways as we reminded ourselves what the goal was. Believe me the temptation to spend it was there but

I guess that’s why they call them obstacles

Goals are easy when things go to plan and everything is smooth sailing but what about when things get roughed up? What about when the weight doesn’t shift? Or you’ve abstaining from alcohol and it’s presented to you for the first time?
If you crack at the first hurdle then I have news for you…You’ll never achieve anything apart from getting really good at cracking at the first hurdle.

So how to do you overcome that and achieve greatness this year (and every year)?

The goal must mean more to you than anything else
Write it down and display it
Tell someone | Tell Yourself
Predict as much as you can which could get in the way and be ready for it.

If you follow these steps you will succeed.
Decide what you want and lets avoid 11 months from now “Stuff you 2017, bring on 2018”
By Dave Okeby 06 Feb, 2017
“Great Culture is set by the ability to communicate your values effectively.” – David Okeby

Let that sink in.

Culture is the seen and the unseen, it’s the spoken word and the unspoken. It represents your brand in a clearer light than any marketing masterpiece. There’s a saying “You can wrap a rotten apple in the finest Egyptian silk and make it worthy for a King but at its core, it’s still rotten.”

How can you identify your culture?
…Peel back the layers.

Onward Fitness has a culture of empowering, supporting and positively impacting lives; It’s been the heart of who we are since Day one.

What does it take to have a culture like this?

Start today by reviewing your online and offline presence (professionally and personally) and judge it alongside your values. Be proactive and be accountable, if it’s rotten, change it. If it’s exceptional, replicate it.

‘A leader eats last’ – place all that you serve in front of you so your eyes can see and your voice can project. If you’re in the front leading, making decisions and changing tact all the time how do you know if your followers are following? Be with them, they want a leader not a dictator.

Whether you’re a CEO of a large corporation, a President or an owner of a family business, treat every person (customers and staff) as individuals; Treat them as people. Culture is ingrained regardless of inaction or action. Impacting those around you positively will reflect an exceptional culture.

In the end culture has a ripple effect that once in motion not even a wall can keep it from flowing.
By Dave Okeby 30 Jan, 2017
If you haven’t thought 5 years ahead, I have news for you.

You know the saying “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” If you’re honest you don’t take much notice of it. Some live day by day others may believe nothing happens to them (always to others) and finally the most common excuse is 5 years is too far away. It’s a waste of time etc.

Take me for example: In 5 years’ time Manward will be in every state and possibly reaching international status.

We are now in 2017 and I’d like to highlight some important truths for you:
• We work longer and harder than we did 5 years ago (ABS via the Census tells us that)
• There’s more fast food available now than 5 years ago
(The Australian fast food market is valued at more than 2.7 billion GPB and is composed of 1.4 billion fast food meals. This includes meals serviced at 17,000 fast food outlets. The fast food market has experienced an average annual growth rate of 6.5 percent, which is the most rapidly growing sector of the retail food market).

Essentially in our lives right now we’re asked to do more, for longer, with worse nutritional consumption and whilst experiencing greater stress and less activity. In all honesty if you’re expecting to take it day-by-day then purely by the stats, you’ll be worse off. The question is though…

Based on the knowledge that we eat shit, sleep less, work more and experience more of “life” (whatever that means) what does 2022 look like for you if you do nothing about it?

On the flipside what could it look like if you do something now?

Owner and Head Coach
Onward Fitness

Creator and President
By Dave Okeby 23 Jan, 2017
Hands up if you have no idea how your body works but you know you need to change it?
If you’re one of the thousands of hands raised right now then you’ve probably experienced multiple attempts at trying to change how you look and feel for little to no success. I’m here to tell you…it changes NOW.

If that’s you then maybe this story is familiar.

You own a reliable family wagon but you really want to have a faster, sexier, sportier family car so instead of trading it in and upgrading you simply drive it differently. You accelerate more, you’re a little more reckless because you think that’s what sports car do but the problem will always be, you’re still in the reliable family wagon.
What you need to do is let go of that family wagon and begin searching for the sportier version that fits who you are and then work towards obtaining it. You’ll have to accept that right now you own a family wagon but know that with the right mindset, support and responsibility all of this will change.

Along the journey you’ll meet people who will think you’re crazy and will not support you, sometimes that comes from within your own family home! Other times you meet people who share a similar journey to you and they will inspire you to keep the course. You might start joining supportive fb groups that align with this or signing up to email lists that give you what you want. You will feel closer to owning that sports car when you’re around those people. Your behaviour and mindset changes as you learn new things that only those who own sports cars know. You’ll discover more about owning one and how you maintain it so it becomes easier in your life. You’ll learn basic servicing skills like what tyre pressure it needs, what fuel is best and how to drive it on wet days vs sunny days. You’ll become so engrossed with new information and insight that the goal is now within hands reach.

BUT ( a BIG but) before you get to that stage there will be a tipping point and eventually a decision must be made and two things will happen…

1. It will get too hard and the decision to keep your family wagon and justify it in some way because it’s easier will prevail. You’ll be feeling down and depressed for sure, carrying on life as if you’ve never had that dream until a few months or years pass when you start to drive your family wagon like a sports car again.


2. You will persevere and discover that over time you gain confidence as you edge closer to your goal and suddenly those that were providing resistance have either left your life through jealously or if they care about you, they’ve changed their minds and think you should have a sports car so they become your support strength and along with the like-minded people you follow it is now in reach. This is what achieving a goal feels like.

Are you driving the right car?

Owner and Founder
Onward Fitness
By Dave Okeby 16 Jan, 2017
I had something completely different to share today but a couple of events over the last week has passionately enabled me to write this piece.

Out of respect for one of these events I will focus on the other.

Two nights ago our town hosted it’s very first Caboolture Eats and Beats Festival, an idea to bring the community together during summer to enjoy the weather along with good food and music, brilliant concept. Before I carry on I am in no way linked to this event or its organisers, my views are my own.
Enter reality and things did not go as well as they would have liked. To sum it up, it was a 39 degree day with hundreds of people inside a small space, limited food trucks and very long queues plus a few power outages. There was criticism and rightly so. The organisers will no doubt take heed of it and create a better experience next time. I waited some time for our meal and throughout I heard all sorts of disappointment and FB went off as it does. Bernice came over to check on me and so did Carol. I wasn’t angry nor disappointed because yes all the above things happened but the reason they happened is because so many of us came out to enjoy something with our family and friends and it overwhelmed the event. People want this, how is that negative!

My eyes were open to the bigger picture, I was not focused on my own expectations falling short nor was I focused on all the uncontrollable’s like everyone else was. If we go through life always blaming others for our expectations not being met then who is to blame for that? If you said it’s not you then you’re wrong. We set our own expectations and we decide our attitude, stop blaming others when things don’t go as planned and start taking ownership over your emotions and your attitude. It is this ownership that will enable you to lose weight, get fit, eat right, stop smoking, reduce your drinking and to be happy. If the blame stays then the excuses snuggle in and suddenly it’s the gyms fault that you haven’t lost weight or it’s the diet plan that isn’t working or it’s the small space, long queues that meant I had a terrible time.

The ethos I coach at Onward Fitness and at Manward is the reason why our members see results both physically and psychologically.

“Choose your attitude and you’ll choose your life”
By Dave Okeby 09 Jan, 2017

A fish needs too in order to survive although I’m not sure if they actually worry. Humans don’t need to worry about scales to survive yet we worry about a frickin number that simply tells us how much gravitational pull we have towards the Earth!

We shouldn’t really worry about anything, because worry is a wasted emotion that’s never a positive influence anyway however for the purpose of explaining we should be more “concerned” for what we’re doing to our bodies than the outcome from a number on a metal square.

While I’m on the subject of weight. Fat does not weigh more than muscle.
1kg of fat is the same as 1kg of muscle or the same as 1kg of pancakes. What we should be identifying with a statement like that is 1kg of muscle is denser than fat (and pancakes) and therefore you might tip the scales at the same weight but your guaranteed to be looking frickin amazing! Who the hell cares then how much you weigh, when you have the body you’re after!

And there we have it…

Focus on the method, the input and output of your life. What you put in your mouth and what you use your body for because if you get that right then how much pull you have towards the earth is the least of your worries oops concerns.

By Dave Okeby 19 Dec, 2016
Do you find that you compare yourself to your friends, family, work colleagues or even society!

If you do then you’re not alone.

We seem to be wired by default to think, “What we have is not good enough” and sadly it's a destructive way to live. I’m here to tell you, you are good enough and chasing the wrong tail will lead you down the wrong path.
Why are big lotto draws becoming frequently popular? They play on the concept that something else outside of our control will make our lives better.

Listen to my story. I’m about to share it in two different ways

View 1: My life based on a society view.

I’m a 35 year old who doesn’t own a house (I should though), a nice car or have a steady income. I work extremely long and hard hours and in my first year of business I earned less than $50.00 per day for my efforts! (Would you get out of bed for a 12 hour day for that?), I'm not providing. I'm yet another kiwi who arrived with nothing. I have limited connections to this area. I sometimes wonder what’s coming next.

View 2: How I view my life.

I’m a 35 year old who rents because we support our in-laws and run a business that's changing more lives than a steady job and that’s more important right now than paying a mortgage. I had an income that at the time was well below minimum wage but that’s because I’m in the early years establishing my brand and most businesses don’t survive 3 years (3 years come Jan 11 2017). My first year was the hardest mentally, emotionally and financially but I loved it because I came out stronger and more determined to succeed. I arrived with a suitcase, Bernice and I met when I was working casually at Coles that means she saw the true me, materialistic free. I have Bernice’s wonderful family here who I call my own and we support each other. I often wonder where to next.

Tell me how do you look at your life? Are you sabotaging your own success by becoming your own worst enemy? If you are then it's time to rewire that brain for your best outcome.
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