Paul Haarman: 5 Ways to Stay Motivated When Life Gets Tough

Around that same time, I started hearing similar stories from all sorts of people about how they were really excited about their new diets until some stressful event derailed them completely. It happens over and over again! There are some things you can do though to make sure it doesn’t happen to you says Paul Haarman.

Here are five ways you can stay motivated on your diet or exercise regimen even when life gets tough.

1) Find Your WHY (Your “Big Reason”)!

This is the most important part of staying motivated when life gets tough!   Here’s a little secret: The reason you’re reading this article is because I wrote it, and that’s my motivation for writing articles on this site. You see, before I was really into fitness or dieting, I was a writer… a freelance journalist actually. And while it wasn’t a particularly bad living, there was some serious DRIVEL going on in the industry at the time – trust me. So I wanted to make a change. That change came about through studying nutrition and general health extensively online and taking up weight training at my local gym shortly thereafter.

With all that new found knowledge, I started my own blog. And for me, that’s my why… it’s what keeps me motivated to keep training even when life gets tough; whether that means not having enough time to work out or something else is going on in life that makes you question your diet and workouts. Your “Big Why” needs to be personal though – it can’t just be some generic thing like fitting into smaller jeans or whatever. It has to resonate with you!

2) Focus on the Short Term

It’s so easy to get too caught up in the big picture of things, but there are times when focusing on the short term might actually help keep you motivated! So often we tell ourselves something along the lines of:

3) Keep Your Day Job (or Schooling)

This one might seem counterintuitive. After all, I’m telling you to focus on the short term here, not the long term says Paul Haarman. And your day job is most definitely part of your life’s big picture! But sometimes when there are stressful events in our lives – whether it is an argument with a significant other or family member or something else – we feel like we need to “escape” this situation through getting rid of all distractions… but that’s exactly what will make you want to give up again! So instead, going back to point #2, find out what you can do TODAY because today is actually here and tomorrow isn’t for sure until it actually comes. Spending some time on your diet or exercise regimen will help keep you distracted from whatever’s stressing you out; it’ll be something productive that is actually positive for you!

4) Know When to Take a Break (and How Long That Break Should Be!)

Of course this next point goes along with the previous one… But there are times when it can be helpful to step away from the situation, both physically and mentally. Now I’m not saying to abandon ship or go flee in exile or anything like that – god knows I don’t think I’d ever leave my house again if I did something like that! What I’m talking about here knows when to take a break and how long that break should be. And if you’re going through a particularly stressful time right now I’d say at least hold off on dieting as well as working out. Sure you can still eat healthy, but maybe go for a walk around the block instead of hitting up the gym. You’ll have time to come back to it later when things have calmed down again!

5) Find out What Triggers Your Stress

Finally we’ve arrived at point #5 and this is very important: if you know what triggers your stress then you can better avoid that situation or not let it bother you as much! For me, my triggers tend to be something people doing more talking than working; wasting time instead of getting stuff done; and also dealing with disgruntled customers (I’m an online marketer). Sometimes I’ll just avoid these situations entirely, but there are other times when that are not possible. Even in those situations, though, it can be helpful to try and deal with them differently! Instead of getting frustrated at someone who isn’t doing their fair share of the work explains Paul Haarman.


Being stressed out and dealing with a difficult situation is something we’re all going to experience at one point or another in our lives. And yes, it’s easy for me to tell you that the best way to deal with it is through managing your stress and not letting things bother you… but sometimes when I’m actually IN it.

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