Just as creating a habit of exercising is easier when you have a partner to encourage you, quitting a bad habit such as smoking is easier when you have a partner to discourage you — from smoking!
For the rare human being out there who prefers solitude to companionship when it comes to personal successes, I applaud you. But many of us thrive in nurturing environments; in ones we can turn to for positive words and solidarity.
Keep in mind that smoking is not just a bad habit. It is an addiction. Below is a list of tools that may help you break that addiction (or any addiction, really). Do not replace prescribed medicines with these methods, but do try supplementing your medicinal therapies with them.
• Smartphone and tablet applications: The main goal of most smoking cessation apps is to keep you accountable. You’ll be asked to set a reduced smoking goal and record each time you smoke — even if you’ve cheated and had an extra cigarette. Some apps even track how much money you’ve saved since cutting back. It’s nice to see that number grow and grow!
• Online communities: Facebook. Twitter. Many of you probably already have accounts for these social networking sites. Remember Joey’s post last week? The one you liked and commented on — along with 10 other people? Go ahead: Post something about quitting smoking, and you’ll probably get a couple of likes and perhaps comments from friends who are also trying to quit.
• Email communities: If social network sites aren’t your cup of tea, you can also create an email list. You know, like those recipe lists you may have gotten before. If you’re the creator, you can set the rules. Want to keep it small? OK. Want to open it to friends of friends of friends? That’s fine, too. A maximum of one email update per week per participant? No problem. The important things here are support, camaraderie and accountability.
I’d love to hear about what works best for you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck!