Congratulations! You have already completed Step 1.You might have a cigarette box lying right beside you but the mere fact that you are here, reading this article is a start. I just want you to know that quitting smoking won’t be easy but I also need you to know that ‘Nothing great comes easy.’ So you can choose the easy way out, leave this page right now, and head out to have a smoke but if you decide to stay, you’ll surely achieve something great and you’ll thank yourself in the months to come.
Great! You’re still here. Let’s kick cigarettes right in the butt, one step at a time.
Step 2: Make up your mind for good:
Isolate yourself in a room with a blank sheet of paper and an empty mind. One by one, list down all the pros of smoking cigarettes on one side and the cons on the other. Include every little thing be it ‘ a good companion for my evening tea’ or ‘nagging wife’ I’m pretty sure that the pros will outweigh the cons. Write down a quit date and keep the sheet where it is easily accessible to you. It might take hours to get this done but it will surely add a lot of hours to your life in the long run.
Step 3: One last time:
This step is optional. Before you leave the room with the sheet, smoke one final cigarette. Your last guilty pleasure. Cherish every moment with the cigarette in your hands because if you have really made up your mind, your hands won’t feel the touch of a cigarette in the years to come.
Step 4: Identify and get rid of all your smoking triggers:
Once you leave the room, look around. Get rid of all (and I literally mean all) your smoking triggers. Cigarette packs, ashtrays, lighters, smoking equipment, matchboxes, everything. Initially, you might also need to skip smoke breaks and weekend drinking parties with your friends and colleagues. Remember, you don’t need to feel bad about it if it’s good for your body.
Step 5: Confide in your close ones:
Giving up any form of addiction is a long journey and long journeys are best when you have your close ones with you. Let your close friends and family members know about your big step towards life. Tell them what they need to do in order to get you back in ‘no smoking mode’ whenever you go astray. Vent out your feelings, thoughts, and emotions to them as frequently as you can. Just a little support can make your journey a lot easier.
Step 6: Get busy and keep moving:
Pick up the cricket bat which has been lying behind your cupboard for ages. Renew your gym membership. Call a friend and go for a morning walk. Line up your favorite TV shows on Netflix. Pile up activities that will take your mind off your cravings. Every time you crave a cigarette, check off one item on your activity list and soon your cravings will give up on you.
Step 7: Track your progress:
Figure out when do you crave cigarettes the most? Is it after a meal, right after you wake up or during your evening teatime? Next, figure out which replacement activity works best for you and include them accordingly in your daily schedule. Like, if your cravings are at their peak during your evening tea break, call a friend and get busy on the phone while sipping on your tea. When your cravings really start going out of your hands, remind yourself of all the bigger and more difficult things you have achieved over the years. Also keep track of how your cravings recede with every passing week/month.
Step 8: Do not depend on any alternatives:
Having a Plan B will only distract you from Plan A. Once you have made up your mind, there’s no turning back. Depending on nicotine patches, e-cigarettes, chewing gums, etc might help you get rid of your cigarette addiction but over the course of time, you will end up with a new addiction. Many programs might list these alternatives as a completely legitimate option but if you have made up your mind for good, all you need is hard work, dedication, support and a lot of patience.
Step 9: Catch up with people who have already quit smoking:
Smokers are all around us but so are people who have burned their addiction away. Catch up with people who have already quit smoking, join a control group, read up success stories on Google. Do whatever it takes to keep yourself motivated and in no time, you will be a part of the list of the people who have taken full control over their addiction.
Step 10: Inform yourself:
Read up on articles about smoking, talk to your doctor about the changes you can make to your routine, make appointments with your guidance counselor and so on. For the first 9 steps you’re on your own, but for Step 10, help is just one app away. Click here to talk to a specialist only on DocsApp.
It’s the start of something new! Get into a room with your blank sheet of paper and get going. Over to you now!