If you have ever tried to break a habit, you know just how difficult it can be.
There are so many pieces that play into a habit and why we do them. Some habits, like smoking, bring in their own set of difficulties like psychological and physiological effects. These steps will help you gather the tools needed to help you be successful.
Step 1 – Commit Fully
The first step is vital when wanting to change a habit, especially and addiction like smoking. It is vital to commit completely from the beginning. Tell people that you are quitting, create a plan and determine that you will be successful. During this time of commitment ask for help. Get those people on your side that will hold you accountable and will encourage you to stay on the path that you are taking. It may seem trivial but in the end that commitment is what will help you through the tough times ahead.
Step 2 – Make a Plan
The second step is crucial if you want to be successful. You need to make a plan on how you are going to quit. This plan will include setting milestones with rewards and what rewards will be gained when those milestones are achieved. Make the rewards count so that you are motivated by them. Join an online forum or support group to make you accountable and seek help when those cravings hit.
Step 3 – Know the Withdrawal Will be Hard
The third step is to understand that impact of nicotine withdrawal. There will be many side-effects to withdrawal. Not only will there be the physical effects of the cravings, feeling sluggish, the “smoker’s cough” that will expel the tar and nicotine from your lungs but there are also many psychological effects. These include feeling anxious, depressed, impatient, tired and even hostile. The first response will be to get that cigarette to remove these feelings but they are only temporary. Stand firm in your resolve as they should only last 3-7 days. There are many great products that will help detox the nicotine from your system quickly and safely so that the withdrawal is made easier.
Step 4 – Know Your Motivation
Step four is vital to help remind you why you are quitting smoking. What is your motivation? What is it that is driving you to stop? Write these reasons down and hang them where you will see them all the time. Maybe you are quitting for you family, kids, health and/or financial. Write down specifically what your motivations are and remind yourself of them when those cravings hit.
Step 5 – Write Down Your Rationalization
Step five is important so that you can see exactly why you think you want to take that one puff or just smoke that one cigarette. As your mind tries to rationalize why you want to cheat write them down and then say them out loud. There is something powerful about reading out loud those things that you want to change. Listen as you read them to see if they really make sense.
Step 6 – Not Even One Puff
In step six you will make a vow to coincide with your step one commitment. You must vow that you will not even take one puff, because, one puff leads to two that leads to three and pretty soon you are right back where you started. If you vow to not take one puff, even when those cravings are off the charts, then you will be able to make it through those temporary cravings.
Step 7 – Look for Those Triggers
In step seven you will be looking for those habits or things in the day that will trigger your cravings. Are you a habitual smoker that smokes throughout the day because that is simply what you are used to doing? Switch up your routine until you are through the withdrawal stage. Is it places that you frequent that trigger your desire to smoke? You will need to avoid those places until you are through the withdrawal stage. Learn to do relaxation breathing when you get those cravings. Keep your hands busy and find non-smoking friends that will be able to help take your mind off of cigarettes.
Step 8 – Keep Positive
Step eight encompasses many aspects. You will need to keep positive and remember that if you fail to get right back up and start moving forward again. Take those negative habits and replace them with positive habits. Drink plenty of water and keep healthy snacks around to help curb those cravings. Remember the detox products that will help eliminate the tar and nicotine. Delay the urge to smoke by reminding yourself of why you are quitting. Remember those rewards you are looking forward to earning. Know that you can do it and be successful!
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