Yesterday I was telling you about my addiction to cigarette smoking and that I couldn’t walk 20 feet without stopping to hold onto something and catch my breath. And still I smoked!!!
Then I made the decision that I had to stop smoking or I’d die, and I was only in my 40’s, definitely not ready to leave this earth yet. The first thing I needed to do (and strongly suggest to you) is to search myself and be truthful about my decision to stop smoking. So,having made that decision, the next thing to do is to realize that you’re not going to stop overnight.
The first thing I did (after listing all the negative aspects of smoking — and NONE of the “benefits”) was to promise myself that I’d never say “I’m quitting smoking” or anything that sounded like the word “quitting.” The reason is that whenever I would even think that I may never have another cigarette again put my body into a panic! I’d find that I’d smoke twice as much, as if I needed to bank up on my share of nicotine.
Instead, I decided to say “I’m going to postpone my next cigarette for as long as possible.” By saying “postpone” I didn’t go into a panic, I knew that I’d have another one in the (probably) near future. Even if I only postponed the cigarette for five minutes I would compliment myself and really feel proud that I had held off for five whole minutes.
I also made the decision that when I would finally have that cigarette, I would enjoy it! I wouldn’t berate myself for failing and having the cigarette. Instead I felt good for my strength, even if it was for only a few minutes. Eventually five minutes grew to be eight minutes, then twelve minutes, and so on, until it finally became an hour and more.
When I was finally able to postpone my next cigarette for an hour, then I decided to have places where I absolutely would NOT have a cigarette. One place was in my car. I’d keep my cigarettes in the trunk of the car, under all the stuff that rides around in my trunk. If I really…really…needed a cigarette while I was driving someplace, I’d pull over to the side, open the trunk, stand on the side of the car (away from the traffic) and have my cigarette. Needless to say, I didn’t do that a lot. Now, on the other hand, at that time I didn’t drive anyplace that was more than an hour away from home.
I also decided that I didn’t get to three packs a day overnight, and I wasn’t going to rush into the BIG postponement. I knew I wanted this one to be permanent, and that was going to take time. And it did, over six months. But so what, it worked.
Tomorrow I’ll give you another technique I created at the time, but don’t jump right into it, first get to the point where you can postpone your next cigarette for an hour.
Wishing you well,