Pros and Cons of a Healthy Lifestyle
by David Junno Psy.D.
Word count: 512
Deciding to change your lifestyle.
Once we recognized we have a problem, the temptation is to want
to make a change immediately. This, however, is rarely a good
idea. The reason is that for our attempts to be successful we
need to be absolutely sure we are willing to make the changes
For example, if we discover that we have high cholesterol, we
might want to immediately start dieting and doing more exercise.
However, this can lead to problems. If we have not made a firm
decision to make the necessary changes, then when we encounter
obstacles, (which there will be many of), we will not have the
commitment to overcome them. We then might define our inability
to overcome the obstacles as a failure on our part. This is
likely to lead to the belief that we cannot make the necessary
changes, and we give up trying.
To avoid this problem we need to focus on making a decision to
change, rather than just reacting to bad news. One of the best
ways to do this is to focus on the pros and cons of making
The Pros and Cons of Changing
Take a piece of paper and write on the top what you want to
change, for example: exercising more, or eating less saturated
fat. Then make two columns on the paper and title one of them,
pros and the other one, cons. Under pros, write down all the
good reasons for making your change. For example under exercise
you might say, get into better shape, or have more stamina.
Under eating less saturated fat, you might write: lose weight.
Under the Cons, write all the reasons for not making these
changes. For example under exercise you might say, “I don’t
feel I have the time”, or “I don’t like exercising”. Or for
eating less saturated fat you might say, “I would have to
give up my favorite foods”, or “It will require a lot of
changes in my meal preparation”. According to Prochaska,
Norcross and DiClemete in their book, “Changing for Good”,
for a change to be successful the pros have to outweigh the
Are your pros more than your cons? If so, go ahead and start
preparing to change. If your pros are not more than your
cons, do not despair. This just means you need to focus your
efforts on looking for more of the pros, and coming up with
responses to the cons that will decrease their influence on
you. Being aware of the cons of making a change is very
important, as they tell you what you need to prepare for.
Being prepared for the obstacles before you encounter them
will improve your chances of success.
David Junno Psy.D. is a personal coach and author of:
Lower High Cholesterol, Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease-
READY OR NOT! an e-book program for living a healthier
lifestyle. You can e-mail him at: