Every morning before brushing your teeth and every night when you are in bed, repeat 5 times “I will stop smoking”. You should do this simple exercise even if you smoke cigarettes before or after repeating the phrase.
Do not feel guilty if you smoke while doing this exercise. You should enjoy the cigarette that you are smoking and not stress over it. But keep doing this exercise everyday.
You should keep doing this exercise even when you forget to do it in the morning or night. If you remember about it during the day, then repeat it during the day. The important thing is to continue to repeat the phrase no matter what.
Break down your smoking habits into sections and choose one section to start reducing the number of cigarettes smoked. If you are smoker like I was, then you probably smoked for every reason possible; when you are happy, sad, angry, stressful, and so forth.
I chose to tackle the “smoking while drinking” aspect of my habit because that was the area where I smoked the most and I knew it was the most difficult for me because I had associated the gestures of sipping with one hand and inhaling with the other.
So I gave myself an ultimatum that I would reduce the number of cigarettes smoked only when I went out drinking to 10 cigarettes and I gave myself 3 months to reach that goal. So every time I knew that I was going to go out drinking with friends at parties or bars or whatever then I would empty out my cigarette box and decide that I would smoke 10 cigarettes that night.
I can’t remember how many times I went over my limit. But I kept at it. Every time I would still put the 10 cigarettes in the box. I did not make it to my 3 month ultimatum. I had given myself another 3 months until finally I reached that goal.
The trick is that you have to keep insisting and not feel bad when you break the limit. If you keep insisting then you will make it.
After reducing in one area, it’s time to reduce in another area. After having some success in reducing the cigarette consumption in one area, it’s time to do the same thing with another area.
After reducing my cigarette intake while drinking and socializing to 10 cigarettes, I decided to reduce the number of cigarettes smoked during the day, no matter if I’m happy or sad.
I had reduced it also to about 10 per day. 5 in the morning and 5 in the afternoon. I did it like that because I wanted to.
You decide how you want to reduce how much you consume and also for how long you want to. Remember, you have to devise a plan that you are comfortable with.
■ Stage 1
Return from Stage 2 to How I Quit Smoking