Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The #1 secret to quitting smoking

I'm asked all the time what is the one thing I would say to smokers who want to quit. The answer I want to say is to tell me more about the smoker and I will tell you what that smoker wants to hear but everybody is different. Every smoker is connected to their cigarettes in different ways and it will take different methods to become successful.

However, what every successful smoker has in common is that they truly desire to become smoke-free and quit smoking. They don't feel they have to, no one is forcing them, they are quitting because they WANT TO.

Which is the key to success: want to quit smoking more than you want to continue smoking. I can already hear you saying, "But I really do want to quit!" But is there that small voice in your head saying, "But I enjoy smoking too."?

Smokers often have a love/hate relationship with cigarettes. It is like any other bad relationship: sometimes it seems easier to stay than to go through the process of changing. So with cigarettes it is time to make the decision for a divorce.

Make two lists: things you enjoy about smoking and things you enjoy about being smoke-free. Spend time thinking about what being smoke-free means to you. More time to spend with your family or doing things you enjoy instead of constantly being a slave to your cigarettes. More money to spend. More freedom. No more searching for a place to smoke or feeling like a pariah. What are your values? is smoking preventing you from really embracing your values: as a parent and role model, as someone who values the ability to be physically independent, valuing freedom and the right to make your own decisions instead of being controlled by nicotine?

On the other hand, what do you truly enjoy about smoking? Do you enjoy the stench of stale tobacco smoke? Spending money only to burn it up? Lying to yourself that it relieves your stress when actually all it is doing is relieving your withdrawal symptoms and adding to your stress.

Once your reasons to be smoke-free are more important that another cigarette, you will find the method that will work for you. It will also get you through the months ahead when nicotine is calling you again for just one more time.  But when wanting to quit is the more important, you can tell that cigarette that you've moved on and there is no going back.

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