If you’ve tried quitting smoking and failed, then you’re not alone. Virtually no one manages to successfully quit on their first attempt. The key, of course, is to “never quit quitting,” and to keep trying until you can make it stick.
I tried to quit smoking many, many times before I finally made it stick. It actually took me several years of trying to quit every few months before I managed to pull it off successfully. Failing time and time again can get pretty discouraging. What’s worse, this pattern of failure caused me to give up hope on quitting for long periods of time, where I just resigned myself to be a permanent smoker. This is the worst thing you can do. Never just resign yourself to being a “smoker for life.” Make a decision, right now, to quit. You don’t have to quit today. But no more of this I-guess-I’m-just-a-smoker kind of attitude. From now on, perpetually put yourself into the framework of quitting. The benefits are just too great to delay this any further. You must adopt the quitting mindset–that you are an ex-smoker just waiting to happen. You simply haven’t gotten it right just yet.
Here is your new checklist if you’ve failed at quitting smoking:
* Motivation – You need to find new ways to motivate yourself to quit smoking. Realize that quitting smoking is its own reward, and their are a ton of hidden benefits that you can’t even conceive of right now. Simply avoiding the constant need to have to take time out of your day every hour or so in order to medicate yourself with Nicotine is a huge benefit. Isn’t that just crazy?–to have to smoke every hour or so? Addiction is so repetitive.
* Exercise first, quit later – This technique worked for me. My plan was to start jogging on a regular basis, and then quit smoking after I got into better shape. As it turned out, I managed to jog for over a year while I continued to smoke, but I was disappointed that my new exercise habit didn’t “cure” me of smoking. However, it definitely helped me when I finally did manage to pull of a successful quit, and I continue to exercise on a regularly basis today.
* Plan a Reward for Yourself – One of my favorite techniques, and it might have been the icing on the cake that finally helped me to quit for good. I had failed at quitting smoking so many times that the whole idea of trying to quit again was old and stale. To make it exciting, I started saving up some money, and planned to use it to reward myself if I managed to achieve 30 days off cigarettes. This idea made quitting exciting again for me, because now there was a tangible goal in front of me, and it was something exciting worth working towards.
* Prepare Yourself for Cravings – I failed to quit so many times because I simply could not handle the cravings. They were overwhelming and I didn’t know how to deal with them and as a result I always went back to smoking. There are also a number of specific strategies right here to help you deal with those crushing urges to smoke.
* Use the Idea of Overwhelming Force – This is a good strategy that can also help boost your motivation and enthusiasm for quitting–to know that you are going to use every resource at your disposal and every ounce of your energy to completely overcome and conquer your goal. Instead of just making a feeble quit attempt, the idea is to develop a master plan, lay out all of your strategies, and devote a ton of time, money, and resources to your goal of quitting. Those who say “it isn’t worth it” simply don’t understand the outrageous cost of continuing to smoke (for example, you’ll die an average of 15 years early and spend around $2000-$5000 a year if you continue to smoke, not to mention a number of other hidden costs).
Notice the element of planning involved with all of these suggestions. If you make a snap decision right now to quit smoking, chances are good that you will fail. But if you make a decision right now to quit smoking at some point in the near future, and then use every resource at your disposal to develop a solid plan for quitting, you have a good chance of making it. Stop making empty promises to yourself and start developing a solid quitting strategy. You can take action today that will lead to a successful quit tomorrow.