The best way to stop smoking is to decide that you’re not a smoker any more. But before you think ‘yeah right, like it’s that easy’ and click away, read on a little further – what have you got to lose?
Motivation guru Anthony Robbins suggests that we can make decisions more quickly if we pay attention to the Pain-Pleasure Principle.
The Pain-Pleasure Principle says that all the decisions we ever make are linked to helping us stay out of pain and get into pleasure.
Think about it for a moment. How long does it take you to get out of bed in the morning? Are you up-n’-at-’em at the crack of dawn because you can’t wait to see what the day has in store for you? That’s pleasure-seeking.
Or are you under the duvet for as long as you can be, carefully calculating the exact time it takes to get washed, dressed and into work so that the boss won’t raise a disapproving eyebrow? That’s pain avoiding.
So if you want to stop smoking cigarettes for good, you need to focus on what you’re gaining. And that picture needs to be big, bright and real for you.
Why give up smoking?
Your WHY is your motivation to carry on when you doubt yourself as a non-smoker.
If you want to stop for your family’s sake – so that you’re not old before your time and can enjoy keeping up with your kids – then imagine running around the park, having fun by the sea and walking your daughter down the aisle. Ask your family why they want you to give up, and when you have quit smoking, ask them if they’re glad you did. What do you suppose their answers will be?
If you want to stop for the sake of your own health then you’ll be amazed to know that the benefits start within half an hour of your last cigarette. Your incredible body starts repairing the smoking damage so that:
Within 20 minutes: Your blood pressure and pulse rate return to normal (unless you have an underlying condition such as hypertension or heart disease, in which case in time you may even be able to stop some of your meds, under your doctor’s guidance).
Within 8 hours: Oxygen levels in your blood return to normal so you’ll feel more awake and clearer-headed.
Within 24 hours: Carbon monoxide has been eliminated from your body. Your lungs start to clear out mucus and other smoking debris. Carbon monoxide is the toxic gas that kills people in fires and kills suicide victims when the exhaust hose is run into the car. (And you wondered why people said you were killing yourself with cigarettes?!)
Within 48 hours: There is no nicotine left in your body. Your ability to taste and smell is greatly improved, so enjoy your food, the smell of your spouse’s perfume or you baby’s scent.
Within 72 hours: Breathing becomes easier. Your bronchial tubes begin to relax and your energy levels increase.
Within 2-12 weeks: Circulation improves throughout the body, making walking and running a whole lot easier.
Within 5 years: Heart attack risk falls to about half that of a smoker.
Within 10 years: Risk of lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker. And by now the risk of heart attack falls to same as someone who has never smoked.
If you’re quitting smoking for the sake of your wallet, how much do cigarettes cost these days? How much money will you save if you’re a non-smoker? What will you be able to afford to do that you can’t do now? Holidays? A new kitchen? A new plasma TV?
Calculate the amount you’ve smoked in financial terms. How many £10 notes or $50 bills have you set light to?
And what’s really in it for the government if you quit smoking? Not a lot. They benefit from the taxes you pay with every pack you buy and in the UK, your early death means that there is one less State pension so pay out.
If all that has persuaded you that you are now a non-smoker, make a commitment to quit right now. Make that WHY a big, strong, bright picture that compels you now and in the future.