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Coach Corner

Learning the Lessons of Past Quit Attempts

August 10, 2023
By Pivot
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Quitting tobacco can be challenging. Mark Twain is said to have remarked that stopping smoking was the easiest thing he ever did, and he ought to know because he had done it a thousand times. This process can feel frustrating, but lessons from your previous quit attempts can guide you toward a more successful approach next time. 

You are the expert on you. With each attempt to quit tobacco, you learn more about what works for you, what doesn’t, and what you’d be willing to try again – becoming a bit of a detective in the process. To get started again here are some questions you may ask yourself:

  • What part of the last attempt(s) felt positive?
  • What were my most challenging moments?
  • What needs to be different for me to be successful?
  • What’s changed in my life since my last attempt?

Your answers to these questions can propel you forward to consider what new strategies you’re willing to try. Approaching the quit process like an experiment and playing with a variety of strategies will help you build a quit plan that is unique to you.

Now that you’ve done some detective work and reflected on your past experiences, revisit the reasons why quitting is important to you now. Your reasons for quitting may shift over time, and understanding your motivations can fuel your determination. Next, identify the tools you have available to you. Access to an app like Pivot Breathe, working with a Pivot Coach, and using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can provide additional personalized support in your plan to quit.

Quitting tobacco requires planning, commitment, and persistence. With all your research and tools in hand, you’re ready to put your plan into action. Below are some basic steps to get the ball rolling. Chat with your Pivot Coach to personalize these steps into a plan that makes sense for you.

  • Set a quit date - Having a clear quit date will help you prepare mentally and physically for the process of change.
  • Talk to your support network - Let the people in your life know about your decision to quit. Telling others what you need from them will help you build an environment where you can be both accountable and supported.
  • Gather your tools - If you plan to use NRT, eat healthy snacks or ice cold water, or use any specific items to keep you occupied, it’s best to have those items ready to go as you start your process. The more available they are, the more likely you are to use them when things feel challenging.
  • Identify past triggers - Think about any situations, emotions, or routines that triggered the desire to use tobacco in your past quits. Consider how you might manage these differently from last time. Practicing a new hobby, physical activity, or even deep breathing are all powerful alternative coping methods.
  • Seek professional help - You don’t have to do this alone! The Pivot app has a library of information designed to help you manage anything you might encounter in the quit process. While you’re in the Pivot app, drop a line to your Pivot Coach, who is there to offer personalized guidance for your quit process.

Remember that quitting tobacco is a journey. It may take a few passes, but each time you try, you’re building strength and knowledge. Using your wisdom from your past quits will help strengthen your next attempt and bring you that much closer to quitting tobacco for good.

Ariana Lohmann BS, NBC-HWC, NCTTP

Nikita Virani, BS, NCTTP

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