Start by clarifying your topic and making sure it is specific. Then take a few minutes to write your pros and cons as you usually do.
Now here is the twist! Once you have your pros and cons written out, next to each statement you will need to ask yourself “how much effect will this have on my life?” and then using the scale of 1-10 (1 having the least effect and 10 having the most effect) put a numerical value next to each statement.
Next, add up the values in each column.
Your result is a total that will give you a quantitative look at the meaning behind the words. You can use the number to compare and see if the side with the higher number matches your intuition or validates your decision.
Here is an example:
My topic: I need to decide if I want to buy a new car.
Specific question for pros and cons list: What are the pros and cons if I buy a new car?
Pros + on a scale of 1-10 (1 having the least effect and 10 having the most effect) what is that value?
• New car smell – 2
• Backup camera – 6
• No Rust – 3
• Fits all my kids – 8
Cons + on a scale of 1-10 (1 having the least effect and 10 having the most effect) what is that value?
• Extra money per month – 8
• Not in the color I want – 2
• Low gas mileage – 6
Pros = 19
Cons = 16
Looking at it from a quantitative view helps me with the validation I need when making certain decisions. This example shows that numerically the pros outweigh the cons. If it aligns with your intuition, or gut feeling, then this little twist can really help you move forward. Then if it doesn’t align with your gut feeling, you then might want to reevaluate your pros and cons to see what the deeper meaning is behind why it doesn’t align with your thoughts. For me this helps put a logical perspective to making my decision and I felt that it could help a few others as well!
Let me know how you use this and if it helps!