We all know how damaging smoking is. Nobody needs to be told about the health effects of smoking and how it damages your body irreparably. However, so many of us still indulge in cigarettes like it does not affect our health at all. The problem with smoking is both in its addictive quality and its habitual quality, meaning that even if you lose the addiction to nicotine, the routine of smoking with a coffee in the morning or as a break from work never really goes away.
Some people may find it extremely easy just to throw the packet away and never smoke another cigarette again, however, this is not the same for everybody. Some people need a little guidance, so here is a step by step plan to help you quit smoking for good.
- Likes/Dislikes List
Take out an index card and draw a line down the middle. For this task, you need to be completely honest with yourself, no matter how disgusted you feel or how much you want to hide the real damage. Firstly, write a list in one column of all the things you like about smoking. Try to include every reason you can think of. Perhaps smoking is a stress relief for you, perhaps you just like to take a moment outside, or maybe smoking tastes really good with a coffee. Be harsh and be clear. After this, in the second column, write all the reasons that smoking is affecting your life and why you want to quit. Perhaps you have children and you feel it damages their health, maybe your teeth are going yellow, maybe you have a bad cough, or you are hiding it from your family and you do not want to lie anymore.
- Routine List
The week before you quit smoking, take out another index card and again write in two columns. In the first column, write down all the reasons you feel that quitting will be challenging. After this, you need to track when you smoke in the second column. When you are tracking your smoking routine, you will be able to add on to the first list, habitual and realistic reasons why quitting smoking will be tough.
- Devise new habits
As mentioned above, sometimes the hardest part of quitting smoking is to quit the habitual task. Try to write a list of things you will do at the times you tend to smoke and for when you will feel a craving. So maybe on a work break, you instead have a quick coffee with the sexy female colleague that you have had your eye on, or you call old friends for a quick chat. If you tend to smoke with your morning coffee, take yourself on a morning walk with the coffee and admire the surroundings.
- Pick a date and prepare
You need to pick a date and stick to that date so that you know it is coming and you can prepare yourself for it. Perhaps you reduce the amount you smoke so the nicotine cravings are reduced. You need to make sure you throw away every type of smoking memorabilia that will remind you, as this will only induce cravings and make it harder in the long run. Try to pick a day when you know you are not going to be in a bad mood or stressed out as this will put more pressure on you and you are more likely to cave.
Quitting smoking is an admirable and extremely difficult task so stick with it, even on hard days!