So you've been a social smoker all these years and have finally been convinced by your physician, friends, and family to stop.
Or perhaps you've been a three-pack a day smoker for twenty years, and all the medical information coming out now talking about how dangerous smoking is to your health have finally gotten you a little bit worried.
You've decided to quit smoking. Congratulations! Making the decision to quit smoking is the first step in cutting out cigarettes from your life. Now you need to stay motivated to stay quit.
Find a support group online. There are many quit smoking resources, some of which include message boards that are full of fellow quitters. Lean on people when you need to. Share your experiences that led you to quit smoking. Talk about when it's hard to quit smoking and the reasons why you want to stick with it.
This camaraderie, even online, can be a powerful motivator to quit smoking and quit for good. In turn, you can be there to provide support for other quitters. Together, you can all help each other and all of you will receive benefit from more healthful living that doesn't include smoking.
Add it up
Depending on where you live, you may spend up to $5 for a pack of cigarettes. If you're a three-pack a day smoker, that's $15 a day, more than $100 per week! Motivate yourself to quit smoking by taking the money you would have spend on cigarettes and place it in an empty jar. A clear plastic or glass jar works best.
That way, you can actually see the money add up every day. After only a week, you'll be able to treat yourself and your honey to a nice dinner out. After a few months, you'll be able to treat yourself to a nice weekend away.
Choose goals for yourself that you really really want. That will make it easier to avoid dipping into your cigarette money jar and giving in to the temptation. Remember, your going to quit smoking, not save up for a cigarette bender.
Remember the magazine ads they used to have that showed people who have smoked for years and years? Yellowed teeth. Bad wrinkles. Nicotine-stained fingers. Black lungs. Do an Internet search for pictures like these. Print them out for personal use on a color printer.
Cut them out and use them to remind yourself of why you have decided to quit smoking. Tape one to the bathroom mirror so it's the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning and the last thing you see when you go to bed at night. Put one on the coffeemaker.
Stick one in your purse or wallet. Tape one to the visor of your car. Stick one in an empty pack of cigarettes. Put pictures in all the places you'd normally want to smoke. This will be a quick and vivid reminder of why you decided to quit smoking in the first place.
Taking simple steps like these can make a real difference in sticking with your choice to quit smoking. Relying on friends who are in the same boat, saving your cigarette money for special luxuries and vacations, and giving yourself graphic reminders of the risks of smoking can go a long way in terms of motivation.
If you find a motivator that works for you, stick with it and you'll have quit smoking before you know it.