Why Is Motivation Temporary? (& 4 Strategies To Stay Motivated)


A woman sleeping, who is lacking motivation.

Motivation is something you need to jumpstart both your personal and professional goals. Really, in any situation, it’s easier to get things done with motivation in tow. However, this emotion is more complicated than you might realize. So, why is motivation temporary?

Motivation is temporary because it rises quickly in the mind but quickly disappears without action. However, you can learn to maintain your motivation by making a plan and sticking to a disciplined routine, by understanding why you want to stay motivated, by not giving up easily, and by finding external sources to actively motivate yourself.

Feelings of motivation are short-lived and unpredictable. Just as soon as motivation comes, it can disappear on you. Motivation is fickle in nature but necessary for success.

With practice, you can learn to maintain motivation through routine and discipline. And when you can do this, you can work towards achieving anything you want.

We’ll talk more about how to do this later on in the post. But first, it is important to understand why motivation is temporary. This will allow you to harness your motivation in the best possible way.

Is Motivation Temporary?

Unfortunately, motivation is a temporary emotion. It rises up easily in the mind but quickly fades with inaction. Anyone can feel motivated, but it is difficult to sustain this feeling, especially when you don’t act on it. You probably see this all the time in your life. 

You watch a motivational speaker and suddenly feel the need to accomplish something. Or someone close to you starts hitting the gym every day. You notice their results and suddenly become dedicated to getting fit.

All of a sudden you are empowered to work out. And just as quickly as you become motivated, your drive to do something fades.

It is easy to find motivation, the hard part is acting on that motivation.

With a hint of motivation, everyone can get revved up and inspired to improve their life somehow. It’s almost like turning on a car engine. You suddenly have the energy to get things done.

Some people even become motivated enough to start moving towards a goal. However, in most cases, this motivation tapers off.

Again, motivation is only an emotion, if it’s not supplemented with action, it doesn’t lead to anything. You need some amount of motivation to get where you want.

However, you need to do more than feel motivated. You have to nurture your motivation with effort. Motivation, coupled with idleness, leads to nothing.

And even if you do take steps towards your goal with motivation in mind, you have to be prepared for your motivation to disappear on you. Dreams and goals aren’t easy to achieve.

As you face challenges and setbacks, your motivation can wane. It’s only natural for this to happen. Hardships drain your energy and make it harder to do the things you want to do.

Sometimes you will be extremely motivated to work. Other times you won’t want to do anything.

Staying disciplined and dedicated are the only ways to bring your motivation back and keep you going. You have to make a choice, to keep moving forward and to continue feeding your motivation.

Is Motivation A Choice?

You don’t always choose when you feel motivated. Motivation can crop up at any point in your daily routine.

For example, you might see another individual that inspires you, or suddenly strike up a mood to do something more with your life. Still, even if you can’t choose when you feel motivated, you can choose to keep your motivation alive.

Motivation is not a constant state. Like other emotions, it goes up and down. One day you are totally motivated. Other times you have no motivation at all. Even if you can’t entirely control this, you can choose to cultivate your motivation. You can even prevent it from dying off entirely.

Like other emotions, your motivation comes and goes. Sometimes it will sneak up on you when you least expect it. Other times, despite your desire to accomplish a goal, you will not be motivated to do so.

The easiest way to kill motivation is by not acting. This was mentioned above in the previous section, but it is important to reiterate this point.

You can either choose to act on your motivation, and this can lead to more motivation. Or alternatively, you can choose to not follow through on your motivation which will lead to loss of motivation.

It’s better to use your motivation to make your desires a reality. When you make this decision, you are that much closer to reaching your goals and experiencing happiness.

In the present moment, chasing your goals won’t always lead to more motivation. Complications and difficulties can cause a loss of motivation.

However, if you stick to your plans and keep putting in the effort, you will begin to see results. Over time, this can lead to you becoming more motivated. Knowing that you can stay disciplined and achieve your desired results is a big motivator.

So yes, you can choose to be more motivated. But this requires conscious effort and dedication. Nothing in life is handed to you. Your decisions are what get you what you want. Motivation is an ingredient for a fulfilling life. So choose to stay motivated when you can.

How Do You Stay Motivated?

Below are four crucial strategies, discussed in detail, to help you stay motivated. When you are beginning to realize that your temporary motivation is starting to fade out, refer back to this section and be sure to implement these four strategies.

1. Stay Motivated By Sticking To A Planned Routine

You want to keep your motivation from dwindling. The best way to do this is with a planned routine. Knowing when you need to get things done, and having a concrete plan can go a long way.

It’s harder to muster up the energy to do something when you don’t know what to do. However, when you know what needs to be done every day, it’s easier to stay motivated.

Less time is spent determining what to do next, more time is spent achieving. The more you achieve, the more determined and motivated you become to keep achieving.

Like anything in life, when you have a plan, you have structure in what you are trying to accomplish. Plans and routines also help to improve your motivation.

Routines and plans help make motivation into a habit. You want to be strict with yourself, while still making sure you can handle your routine.

In fact, starting off small will help keep you motivated longer. Many people give up in the early stages of their goals because they try to do too much at once. But if you set up small manageable goals for yourself each day, you can stay motivated.

Motivation is all about positive reinforcement. When you can stick to your routine each day, you reinforce your confidence and your beliefs in your own capabilities.  If you feel competent, and know you are making progress each day, naturally, your motivation will rise. 

This only happens if you continue with your routine, though. Breaking from your plans a few times won’t hurt, but if you habitually go against your routine, your motivation won’t be nurtured, so keep this in mind.

2. Avoid Temporary Motivation By Knowing Why You Want To Stay Motivated

Don’t just feel motivated and do nothing. Try to understand why you are motivated to chase after certain goals. The more you know why you want something, the better you will understand how to motivate yourself. 

Routine is important, but you want to create a mindset that will help you maintain your routine and motivation. When you know why you are motivated to act, you will unlock your ability to stay motivated.

Humans don’t like to do things without purpose. So the more purpose and meaning you can ascribe to your goals, the more motivated you will be to accomplish them, even when things get tough.

What is your why? Why do you work as hard as you do? What are you trying to accomplish? Keep this in mind on days when you are lacking motivation.

Think about it this way, most people don’t stay motivated to do hard things without a reason. Exercise is a good example of this. Most people need a reason to motivate themselves to work out.

It’s difficult pushing your body to its limits. But if you have a proper reason to work out, you will continue to go to the gym. Maybe you want to look good, or stay healthy, or impress a boyfriend or girlfriend.

A workout can be tough, but if you keep these reasons in mind, you can stay motivated, even when you don’t want to keep going. In any situation, when you realize your motivation is dwindling, ask your self why you want to stay motivated? What is your end goal?

This same idea can be applied to a number of other goals as well. Both career-oriented goals and personal goals come with their own challenges. Decoding the root of your motivation makes it that much easier to pursue what you want.

3. Don’t Give Up Early – One Of The Best Ways To Avoid Temporary Motivation

One of the biggest mistakes people make with motivation is giving up early. It isn’t uncommon for motivation to fizzle out fast. Especially if you don’t have a plan, or don’t want to take any action.

In truth, it takes time to properly motivate yourself and stay motivated. This isn’t an attractive prospect for most people.

As a result, many individuals end up giving up way too early. Motivation fades, and they can’t find it in themselves to regain it. It’s tempting to not do anything, but if you can stick with hard circumstances, you will benefit in the long run.

Anything in life worth having takes time and effort. By not giving up early, you are helping to fuel your motivation for longer periods of time.

You can maintain motivation eventually, especially if you keep to a routine and know why you are striving towards tough goals. However, giving up early only robs you of this possibility.

So try your best to keep going, especially when your motivation gets low. There are always ways to change your emotions around for the better. And as previously mentioned, always know why you are working towards accomplishing the goals that you are. When you have a purpose, it is much easier to get through tough times.

4. Find Ways To Actively Motivate Yourself

There are many ways you can actively stoke your motivation. And you don’t need to spend a ton of time doing this. Try to dedicate some part of your day, maybe ten to fifteen minutes to recharge your motivation. Again, motivation is temporary, so you want to feed this emotion when you can. 

Watch a motivational video if you feel low on motivation. Read a self-help book before bed. Pinup some motivational quotes in your home. Oftentimes, other people’s words can help increase your own motivation. They remind you where your focus should be.

You don’t always have to be self-motivated. Look towards others for help on days when you aren’t feeling motivated.

And don’t be afraid to do things outside of your goals. Sometimes, you need to clear your head and take a break to get your motivation back.

Meditate a little, listen to some music, go for a walk. When you are more relaxed, you can think more clearly and remind yourself why you were motivated to start going after your goals in the first place.


The realization that there are 86,400 seconds each day. What are you doing today, so that tomorrow you are a step closer to where you want to be? If not now, then when?

eightysixfourhundred, make them count


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James

Hi, I'm James! I want to help you make the most of your day by providing helpful tips and informative articles on motivation, time management, productivity, and happiness.

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