Decisional Balance Exercise

Click here for the related handout

The handout linked above is the one Dr. Mark Woodford shared when he did the training on Motivational Interviewing for Suppers facilitators. We can’t reproduce it here, but you can pick up the graphic from the link and print it for use at meetings. It’s an exceedingly easy discussion to lead. In the spirit of Motivational Interviewing, decisional balance takes the job of weighing the pros and cons of making healthy behavior change away from us and places it in the hands of the people who are struggling or ambivalent about change. Although it was originally designed to be used with people who abuse substances, it works very well with members who wrestle with the changes they know they need to make to improve their eating habits.

“When we think about making changes, most of us don’t really consider all ‘sides’ in a complete way. Instead, we often do what we think we ‘should’ do, avoid doing things we don’t feel like doing, or just feel confused or overwhelmed and give up thinking about it at all. Thinking through the pros and cons of both changing and not making a change is one way to help us make sure we have fully considered a possible change. This can help us to ‘hang on’ to our plan in times of stress or temptation.”