Cost Benefit Analysis Exercise

Listing the costs and benefits of engaging in a behavior that is harmful for you is a powerful tool for changing your bad habits. This technique can help you see more clearly things that you overlooked. Also, it will help you accept and make peace with the fact that there is concrete evidence for why it’s bad for you to engage in the problematic behavior. This is a very good start for changing the bad habit.

Choose a Behavior

First, think of behaviors in your life that are not particularly useful to you. It can be anything. Which one of your habits would you like to change? Maybe you already tried changing them but you still haven’t succeeded in that. Perhaps you want to eat healthy or work out regularly. Other common problematic behaviors may include: smoking, eating too much, spending a lot of money, spending a lot of time in front of the TV, drinking too much alcohol. It can be anything. Take a moment and think about the habits in your life that you want to change. Then pick one habit that you want to work on the most.

The online exercise can be previewed and printed out for you as a reminder. For this exercise you can also choose to write things down. You can print out the PDF blank worksheet. Maybe you would want to add other costs and benefits that you may come up with later.