Quitting smoking is an admirable goal. But you can be sure of running into some problems along the way. It is difficult to be persistent when everything you try seems to fail. And many people who don't realize immediate results from their efforts are easily swayed toward giving up.
It doesn't have to be that way. Let's begin by emphasizing how important it is to your self-worth that you never allow yourself to give up fighting for something you know and believe to be right.
If you can commit yourself to being smoke-free for the rest of your life, you'll need to make sure you can re-enforce that idea positively by removing any doubt about your ability to see things through. Even if you are the type of person who sets goals only to see yourself fail time and again, you can still make this work with the proper motivational techniques.
Of all the tools you'll need to achieve quitting smoking, a positive mental attitude will be your strongest ally. For long time smokers who may be first time quitters, be aware of the grip nicotine has on you. Respect its power, its cunning, and see it as an entity that can be expunged from your body. This addiction is tricky and will test your resolve unlike most anything you may have ever been through.
For those of you who have tried and failed in the past, remember that every failure brings with it the seeds for future success. Many successful former smoker's had to go through multiple attempts to achieve their goal while other's succeed right away and never go back to the habit.
As promised, here are five very powerful motivational techniques to help you on your journey.
1. Picture the End Result
Begin by seeing yourself as a non-smoker one year from today. Then two years. Then five. See yourself having more energy, more money. See yourself talking to your friends without smelling like a foul stale ashtray.
See yourself walking briskly down a tree-lined street under blue skies, maybe even running, without getting winded. Imagine walking out your front door without having to check if you've brought along your cigarettes and lighter. Without worrying about running out of butts before you can get to the corner store in time to replenish your supply.
How would it feel to be free from the restrictions that are ever increasing in a society hell-bent on becoming smoke free? You already know that you can't smoke in most public places any longer. Imagine not having to step out into the biting cold of a nasty winter day to placate your body's demands for more nicotine.
Now picture yourself as a healthy robust non-smoker with plenty of energy, more money in your pocket and free of offensive odors and nicotine stains. See yourself going through your daily life completely free of any desire to smoke.
Dwell on that scenario for five minutes or so with your eyes closed. Breathe deeply and exhale slowly while you use this mental exercise. When you open your eyes, imagine that you have already accomplished your mission. Feel the joy and allow yourself to believe it to be true right now. Let the feeling sink in and boost your desire to actually achieve this lifestyle.
2. Reward Yourself
Make a habit of rewarding yourself for each victory over your cravings. Set small goals at first so as to set yourself up for rapid achievement of successes.
For instance, on your first quit day you could set aside 5 dollars for every 4 hours you go without lighting up. When you wake up on day 2 and see 15 or 20 bucks in your reward jar, it'll inspire you to keep it up so you can maybe buy that new car stereo you've been checking out recently.
Or maybe that vacation to Mexico you've always wanted to take. Doing something nice for yourself as a reward will stimulate your mind in a positive re-enforcing manner. You will be focusing on the end result instead of your craving and the critical first few days will pass more quickly and easily.
3. Create a Success Circle
Another way to be successful in any endeavor is to surround yourself with like-minded people, a mastermind group if you will.
In this case, they don't all have to be people who are quitting at the same time as you. In fact, people who do not smoke and who share some of the same interests and ideas as you would be best suited to your group for this purpose.
You needn't make a big deal out of your decision to quit smoking. But if you do tell your friends about it, it could keep you from allowing yourself to backslide.
Use the leverage at your disposal and have your friends monitor your progress. Sometimes just the thought of having your peers see you go back on your word will be enough to deter any thoughts of backsliding. After all, you want to be seen as a person of your word, don't you?
- Added: November, 24th 2011
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