Will B. Changing
With the new year coming up soon, thoughts turn toward new year’s resolutions, breaking bad habits and starting new habits.
The default answer for starting and stopping habits has always been about 30 days. Although the time varies greatly, I find reassurance that there is some timeline involved in the process. I can tell myself one more day or just one week to go. It’s the kind of motivation that gets me to that next point.
I smoked cigarettes for 23 years, and I quit smoking 12 years ago. It took 3 to 4 honest attempts at stopping before I finally quit for good. I have not smoked a single cigarette in 12 years. The reason behind my success was my knowledge of how my mind worked and how I processed my emotions — no easy feat.
Among the many things I’ve learned is the fact that I have a black and white personality. I am either all-in or allout. One of the main reasons I kept failing at my attempt to quit smoking was the thought of having just one. Why not I had seen plenty of people able to smoke while they drank or have one cigarette with a friend while on their break at work. Not me though. Just one is all it took to send me down that path to continuing my bad habit. So, the final time I went to quit my mantra was “not even one.” I told myself that every time I felt the urge to light up. Before I knew it one day turned to a week and a week turned to a month. Then one day I no longer had the urge. I make it sound simple, but it was, in fact, one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Well worth it both financially and physically.
Here are a few helpful tips that I found beneficial to me:
- Drink a glass of water when you feel stressed or when you have the urge to revisit the bad habit you are trying to break. - Take three deep breaths before committing to the act or the thought of the act.
- Call someone who cares for you.
These three simple tips may help you in the most stressful situations as well. Whatever you decide to change for the upcoming year, stay focused and take it one day at a time.
This is Will B. Changing saying, never give up!