I decided to quit smoking 8 months ago. It’s certainly not the first time I have made this decision, and it’s by no means the first time I have tried to stop. But this one is sticking and I’ll let you know the little secrets of why everything is different now and why I will never go back there.
I know every set of tips will tell you this, but set a date. It doesn’t have to be tomorrow or even next week. You could make it six months time, a week after your birthday, whatever suits you, but choose it, mark it on your calendar and put a big note on your fridge so you remember every day as you lead up to it that this is when it’s going to happen. This really will make a huge difference to your mindset. It gives your brain chance to prepare,almost like preparing for an examination. You’re revising and learning about yourself.
As you lead up to that date watch yourself closely. Note down every cigarette you smoke. Write it down in a diary or notebook. You will begin to notice patterns which you did not know existed. Okay, so you have a cigarette with your morning cup of coffee, and you have one as you leave work. You know this, it’s what you naturally do, but do you remember that you always have a smoke after watching Doctor Who, or that a particularly nice piece of cake is always rounded of with one? It’s all about preparing and knowing when you’re likely to feel weak. Some habits are harder to break simply because you don’t realize they are deep seated habits.
For at least a week before the big day, match every penny you spend on cigarettes by taking it out of your wallet and putting it to one side. If you spend $5 on a Tuesday take that out and put it in a piggy bank, or a savings account; put it to one side somewhere. You have to feel how much it is costing you. If you can’t afford to do this then put as much aside as you can. Don’t worry, you can have it back at the end of the week!
This really helps you understand how much you are losing to your habit.
Go for a jog twice a week, or cycle like I do! Time yourself, pay attention to how you feel afterwards and how quickly your pulse rate returns to normal. This is preparation for when you do quit smoking. You’re going to notice pretty quickly how much easier this bike ride or jog is once you’ve stopped. It’s an extra little reward and helps keep you going on the right path.
Quitting day and onwards. All that money you’re not spending is now going to pay off. Pick a treat, a holiday, a new car, an over-the-top Christmas for the kids. The money you’re saving by not smoking is going to pay for it. Set up a savings account and only put in there the money you are not spending on smoking. Check it frequently and watch how quickly the amount is building up. You’re not only saving your life but you’re getting a big pat on the back for it too. And, if you’re keeping up your weekly exercise, you’re going to be able to enjoy quad biking in Dubai a lot more!
We all know the facts, any doctor will tell you you’re shortening your life, any non-smoking colleague will grimace at the smell when you come in from that quick five minute break, and your bank overdraft will attest to how poor your financial situation is. But all that hasn’t made a difference so far.
Plan it, feel it and watch it. If you set yourself up to succeed then you will succeed. I never thought I would be able to stop smoking and stay stopped, but I have. I still crave from time to time but I know I have set up everything so that if I do slip I can get back on the horse/bicycle very easily.