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Is It Worth It? Exploring the Pros and Cons of Making a Change with Decisional Balance

Decisions, decisions! We often think that making a decision and then going through with it is easy, but in many cases it isn't. When we first decide on something, particularly to do with our health, we may find it easier to begin with when it's new and exciting, motivation may be higher and we make a good start (think New Year's resolutions for example). Then, as time goes on things start to slide, and this can be a real source of frustration. Well it is for me anyway.



Frustration! Is It Worth It? Exploring the Pros and Cons of Making a Change with Decisional Balance


If you’ve been trying unsuccessfully to lose weight for a while, or to improve your lifestyle and health, there’s something going on that you may not be able to see, or maybe something you are ignoring. Once you can clearly see what’s holding you back and identify the real issue, that is your first important step to moving forwards, should you choose to do so. Self-awareness is a real skill.


The only reason anyone would sabotage their own success is because they unconsciously associate some sort of downside to achieving their goal. If you knew that losing 10 KG would put you in a better mood, boost your energy, improve your sex life, extend your lifespan as well as your health span, and reduce the amount of medications you'll need to take in the future, you’d likely be wanting to do it, and that may be why you're here?


A choice. Which path? Which direction? Is It Worth It? Exploring the Pros and Cons of Making a Change with Decisional Balance

It can be helpful to acknowledge that when we have a change we want to make, we are often slightly in two minds about it. We are ambivalent.

 

This next tool can be particularly helpful if you've decided that you would really like to make a change, and have started taking steps towards this, but need to identify barriers and help to firm up your reasonings for this change. If this is you, then a decisional balance exercise may be something to consider. (1).

 

It may also be useful even if you are feeling a bit stuck, and not sure about making a change. It may help you to finally make a decision, or even identify barriers that you didn't realise were getting in your way. You may even decide that now isn't actually the right time for you to make a change, but you're giving yourself the time and opportunity to explore it (2).


Write down the pros and cons, the advantages and disadvantages. Is It Worth It? Exploring the Pros and Cons of Making a Change with Decisional Balance

This process can be uncomfortable, and some people find that they just can't, or don't want to do it. That's fine. If you feel it's not the right time for you to explore this yet then don't, and come back to it at a time that feels right for you. Alternatively, if you want to do it but feel like support through the process may help, then do that. You can ask a friend, a partner, a healthcare professional or health coach, or someone else you trust and can discuss these things openly with...do what feels best for you.

 


The Exercise:

 

1) Make sure you have a quiet space and a little bit of time to do this.

Get an A4 (or A5) piece of paper.

2) Draw a line down the middle of the paper vertically and a line across the middle of the paper horizontally. You should now have four equal size boxes.

3) Entitle these boxes as 'pros of staying the same', 'pros of changing', 'cons of staying the same', and 'cons of changing'.

4) Take some time to complete each box.

5) Consider, elaborate on and reflect on what you've written down in each of the boxes.


Decisional Balance Tool (Motivational Interviewing). Is It Worth It? Exploring the Pros and Cons of Making a Change with Decisional Balance.

A few questions for consideration:


Has this helped you identify anything you hadn't thought of before?


Is there something important that's holding you back?


Has it shown you that this change you're keen to make is actually really important for you and your future?


Has it highlighted that maybe this is not the right time for you to be making this change, and maybe something else or something smaller would be more realistic currently?

 


Gain insight. Is It Worth It? Exploring the Pros and Cons of Making a Change with Decisional Balance


Please note, this is not useful for everyone. If you have done this and feel it has helped a little (or a lot) and want to chat about it further, then why not book a free (no obligation) call with me to discuss?


Please note: This article is intended to be for educational purposes only, and does not constitute medical advice or replace professional assessment or personalised advice.


I do not hold responsibility for the information on any links to external websites within this article and information within these links/websites may change at any time or no longer be accessible. Any website pages/links added are also for education purposes only.

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