Now that you have started to identify the problem, have identified some of the causes and consequences of addiction and mental health issues you want to change (and identified those things you are powerless to change) you need to get motivated.

Part of getting motivated is to understand the benefits and drawbacks of the old behavior and the new behaviors. As humans, we choose the option with the greatest benefit.  Remember you need understand the reasons you want to change, AND the reasons you DON’T want to change, and address all of them.


I want to start eating better.

  • Benefits:  Clearer skin, Lose weight, Feel better/more energy, Stop cravings
  • Drawbacks: Requires planning and cooking, more expensive, will miss certain foods
  • Solutions to Drawbacks: Identify places with healthy alternatives; find healthy menus with shopping lists online; maintaining a healthy diet means moderation.  Do not forbid anything, just find ways to have it in moderation

If I decide to NOT change my eating habits

  • Benefits: Keep my favorite foods
  • Solutions/Alternative ways to meet the same needs:  I will plan on having one favorite food (in moderation) each day in a controlled setting.
  • Drawbacks: Will be less healthy; Sets a bad example for my kids; Increases risk of high blood pressure and obesity

(Preview) Activity:  Decisional Balance

In the next activity you are going to choose something you would like to change (such as your addiction or your depression) and practice identifying:

  1. The benefits to change
  2. The drawbacks / reasons you do not want to change
  3. Solutions to those drawbacks/reasons
  4. The benefits of staying the same/Reasons you want to stay the same
  5. Alternative ways to meet the needs of your current behaviors
  6. Drawbacks to current behavior


Learn more about Motivation and Goal Setting