There are two major requirements to successfully quit smoking:
1. You must have a strong reason or "why"
2. That "why" must be personal
When trying to change any current habit there MUST be a strong reason for wanting that change. Our unconscious mind has, after all, worked to create the habit because it is more efficient than not having the habit. And the best way to impress upon our unconscious mind that we are serious about this change is to have a strong reason why we want that change to happen.
The next critical element to making that successful change is to ensure that the reason is personal ... that means FOR YOU! If you are not striving to quit smoking for you personally then your reason may not hold up against the inclination to smoke in a weak moment. However, if you can think back to that strong personal reason, it contains the power to carry you through and help you be successful ... forever.
I was sharing the window I had created for smoking cessation with my boss and she shared that she used to smoke. She said she stopped while she was pregnant and then began smoking again after she had her daughter. When her daughter was about 4 years old she was watching her daughter play ... and pretend to smoke ... and her daughter said, "Look, just like mommy!". Quitting for good then became something effortless because the importance of her role modeling being a nonsmoker became far more important than her habit of smoking.
A great way to prepare your unconscious mind for change is to begin to change the current associations you have with smoking (or any habit for that matter). Think of the things that you do that you ALWAYS smoke while doing .... begin there. Start doing those things without a smoke in your hand. Start changing how you smoke so that you are smoking to quit rather than smoking for enjoyment.
Some Tips and Ideas to Break Associations:
-> Lock your cigarettes in the trunk before you get in the car. If you want to smoke during your ride then stop the car, take your cigarettes out of the trunk and stand outside the car to smoke. Then lock them back in the trunk and continue your drive.
-> Start drinking your coffee without a cigarette. Wait until your coffee is completely gone before lighting up ... and then light up in a place different than you usually smoke.
-> Change your brand of cigarettes. If you smoke menthol change to a regular brand (preferably one you know you do not like). if you smoke regular cigarettes, change to menthol (and again, preferably a brand you do not like).
-> Smoke with your opposite hand
-> Smoke next to the trash outside
-> Smoke at the end of the driveway near the road
-> Tap into your creative mind and think of other ways you can begin to make this habit uncomfortable and cumbersome
-> Begin to find other things to do with your hands ... and time usually spent smoking. Look for alternative activities and behaviors.
"The chains of habit are too weak to be felt
until they are too strong to be broken"