The different nature of individuals means people can take a different approach to the same problem and arrive at the same answer. This applies to the act of smoking. There are individuals (though very few) that can decide to stop smoking suddenly or stop suddenly on a particular date and they would achieve it with ease. They could easily psyche themselves and something as simple as the government has banned the sales of cigarettes and it is no longer available in the market is enough to stop them from smoking from that moment onwards.
They could see cigarette parks in the supermarket and psyche their selves that it is a poison that will kill them instantly and look away. Some people are reasonable and strong-willed. For others, however, it would be impossible to use that approach. Black is always black and white is always white. They can’t deceive themselves that a white is black even if their life is at stake. For this group of people and even those that can suddenly stop smoking, the gradual withdrawal with a timeline is expected to significantly help.
What is the Smoking Timeline?
A smoking timeline means choosing dates and indicating how much reduction you would have achieved in the number of cigarettes you take until you get to zero. For example, you could say I want to stop smoking in six months’ time. For example, I currently consume 12 cigarettes every day, I will reduce it by 2 every month. If you go ahead with it, by the end of the sixth month, you should have stopped smoking completely.
Why Should You Set a Smoking Timeline?
There are several reasons why you should set a deadline to stop smoking. First of all, you didn’t start smoking two packs of cigarettes every day. You probably started from a single cigarette every 3 days and then proceeded to 2 cigarettes daily till you started averaging two packs of cigarettes per day. Based on this, how would you feel you can suddenly start smoking at once? You would need a similar reduction technique back to zero. Thus, it is more realistic to stop smoking through a timeline by reducing little by little as opposed to attempting to stop at once.
Another reason why you should set a smoking deadline is because of withdrawal symptoms. When you stop smoking, you will experience some withdrawal symptoms including a strong urge to smoke, sore throat, coughing, headaches, constipation and gas, nausea and abdominal cramping, sweating, tingling in the hands and feet as well as intense nicotine cravings. There will also be the urge for sugar that should you indulge will lead you to eat junk food and you could risk becoming overweight or gaining weight. The withdrawal symptoms will be stronger when you stop suddenly compared to when you use a timeline.
How Should You Set Your Deadline?
The major reason why you are setting the timeline is that you want to give yourself a timeframe to achieve your desire to stop smoking. Since you have decided to take this path, then it is important not to rush it. Do not give a 7 days deadline or a 1-month deadline if you have been smoking for the past 10 years and can take as much as 5 packs of cigarettes in a day.
What you might want to do is divide how long you have been smoking by 20. If you have been smoking for 10 years, you can have a 6 months’ timeline and if you have been smoking for 40 years, you can have a 2 years’ deadline. With this, it will be easier for you to gradually reduce how much you smoke without your body really noticing. This is as opposed to stopping suddenly and setting all hormones loose.
What Happens When You Meet or Miss a Deadline?
It is important to set up a reward and punishment system for deadlines. If you intend to half you consumption in 3 months and for 2 weeks after you met the 3 months goal in 3 months, you have not taken more than half of what you started with, meaning you are on target, you could reward yourself. It is important for your reward not to include smoking more cigarettes as a reward. Give yourself a treat of something else that you desire that is healthy. When you miss deadlines, you should punish yourself by forfeiting something or denying yourself something you really want.
This will motivate you to abide by your timeline. You might also have to shift the deadline forward to make up for the deadline you missed. If you couldn’t meet the initial one and you are missing deadlines, it will be much more difficult rushing the rest of the deadline.
What Factors make it Easier for You to Meet Your Deadline?
You might want to consult with a professional therapist or psychologist who might hypnotize you or use similar techniques to help you to stop smoking. They will be able to guide you in setting a realistic timeline and help you keep to the timeline. Another factor is that you could make the deadline along with a friend who also wants to stop smoking.
A healthy competition between the 2 of you could result in more willpower to abide by the agreement. You would want to beat your friend to it and your friend could want to beat it. It could be agreed that if both of you meets the timeline, there would be no winner. This will motivate both of you to keep to the deadline.
Key Points or Takeaway
Be firm with your expectations and don't shy away from the need to stop smoking.
Speed up your transition period with the use of e-cigarettes
Get some exercise, it will deter you from wanting to smoke
Change your diet plan & get fit
Consume more water, drink less coffee
The benefits of stopping smoking obviously outway the need to smoke, so why wait and get started today!
The use of timeline in addition to a gradual reduction in smoking while being guided by a professional will significantly help your quest to stop smoking. It is important for your timeline to be realistic so that you can be committed by meeting it.
There are a number of products and services available including hypnosis, patches, pills, devices and more. For me personally, e-cigarettes helped me the kick the butt and go smoke-free!
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