Keeping the reasons we all have for quitting close at hand when the smoker in our heads tries to lure us back into lighting up is critical. Kevin shows us how he managed that during the early days of his quit program. Copy his outline, fill it with your own reasons and reminders, and you'll be on your way.
While we are quitting, the smoker in our heads tries to mislead us. Quitting ain't easy and in moments of weakness, that voice in our heads can be powerful. He'll make you ask yourself why you are putting yourself through all of this agony and frustration. He tries to trick us and say things to us like, "You'll feel much better if you just light one up."
Quitting successfully takes time. We've smoked for years and the smoker in our heads doesn't just leave after one or two weeks. After a while we might start to forget why we even started the journey. The voice gets weaker and quieter as we go, but he's not leaving any time soon. At some point he'll even changes tactics. He'll say, "Okay, you beat me. Now you can sit back and enjoy 'just one' every now and again."
The smoker in our heads seems to thrive on trickery. He prays on us during our weakest moments. When we're newly quit. When we're stressed. When we're happy. When we're sad. When we're drinking. When we aren't thinking N.O.P.E.
Many times I have given the advice that we should write out our quit reasons. Post them on your bathroom mirror, your cubicle wall, your refrigerator. Put a copy in the same pocket you carried your cigarettes in.
On May 25, 2009, (my first full day without a smoke), I wrote out my quit reasons and laminated them on a card. In the following days, I tweaked them a bit and even added a second card. I took these cards out every now and then and reviewed them. They helped me when I couldn't get to my quit buddies on the forum.
Why Do I Want to Quit Smoking?
- I want to control me. Cigarettes do not/will not control me.
- I don't want to have to plan for my next puff (home, restaurants, airports, airplanes, bowling alley, watching TV, hot tub).
- I want to breathe better. Exercise easier.
- Don't forget, Dad had a heart attack at 42!
- Cigarettes are expensive. $5 per pack? Are you kidding me?!
- I want to live a longer, healthier life.
- I want to smell better by getting rid of smoke odor.
- I want cleaner teeth and healthier gums.
- Everything I did with cigarettes, I can do without, AND BETTER!
- They say my blood pressure is borderline hypertension.
- I'm out of breath too easily these days.
- Wife will have to find something else to nag me about. ;-)
- My truck will smell better.
- My daughter will be so proud. Son and Grandma will be happy.
- I want to set a healthier example for my son.
- My fingers (and teeth) will no longer be stained.
- No more cigarette breath.
- No more smoking outside when it's cold or raining. Missing my show because cigarettes are longer than commercials.
- Others have been able to quit. I can too! (list out friends and family who have quit successfully here)
- Others in my life who don’t smoke: (name these people here)
If I ever feel like relapsing, these questions and answers will help me get the focus back.
Why did I quit smoking?
I control me. I will not allow my next cigarette to tell me to put life on hold so I can smoke it.
How long did I smoke?
How long have I been smoke-free?
Since May 24, 2009.
If I go back to smoking, will I want to quit again?
Part of me will. Another part will make excuses.
How long will it be before I do?
Another 20 years?
Will quitting be any easier next time around?
What benefits will smoking give me?
Not a darn thing!
Is it worth giving up what I've worked so hard to do?
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?
These were (and still are) my reasons. I hope they can help you, as they did for me.
Everyone has to quit for their own reasons. What are yours?
More from Kevin:
Taking Back Control -- Kevin's Quit Story