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Making an Educated Decision

If you are like most, on January 1 2010, you made some sort of promise, or resolution, to make changes in your life.  I can bet that you probably even made a list.  But, did you go as far as outweighing the pros and cons?

 

Some decisions require very little thinking – made impulsively; but others, require a little more deliberation.  When it comes to making a decision, most people weigh the costs and benefits of the choices they are about to make.  This process of weighing your options is called decisional balancing

 

Lifestyle changes fall into the category of challenging decisions, for example, making time for 30 minutes of cardio activity into your already packed schedule.  As I mentioned the other day, our January challenge encourages this behavior, but what will be the real reason to implement this change?  When the costs of an activity outweigh the good – then you will make the decision to change.

 

So – if you would like to make the choice to add 30 minutes of cardio exercise into your daily routine follow the steps below. 

 

First, ask yourself ‘What do I stand to lose and gain by continuing an inactive lifestyle?’ 

 

Then, fill out the chart below, and see what you have to lose. 

 

 

REGULAR EXERCISE

INACTIVITY

BENEFITS   

 

 

 

 

 

 
COSTS     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can also do this with any other lifestyle change, like changing your eating habits, or any other big decisions like changing jobs, moving, or making a big purchase. 

 

You are the one who will decide to change – so make sure you list the most important reasons why you want to change.
 

What would you do?  If someone offered you $100,000 to comfortably integrate four exercise sessions into a busy work week, you would certainly do it.  How would it be different if there was no payment involved?

 

 

Information from MyExercisePlan.com, through the American College of Sports Medicine.  For a downloadable chart – visit http://www.myexerciseplan.com/assessment/DecisionalBalance.pdf

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