Quitting Smoking: Know What’s In Your Way

The second post in this series, “Know Your Patterns,” encouraged you to try to become more aware of how much, when, and why you smoke. Part of the reason this is so valuable is that it can help you identify the times and situations when it’s probably going to be especially difficult not to smoke.

Once you’ve identified those situations, you can develop strategies for dealing with them if you decide to quit.

When is it hardest for you not to smoke? When you’re out with friends? Feeling stressed, or bored, or lonely? Maybe with your morning coffee? If you decide you want to quit, plan out what you will do to avoid smoking during those times.

The good news is that you don’t have to tackle all of them all at once. Start with just one or two of your triggers—maybe not the hardest ones first. Give yourself a chance to feel challenged and to experience some success.

Identify a couple of strategies you’re willing to try, and the next time you find yourself in one of those situations, try them out to see how long you can avoid smoking. Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas:

  • Play a game on your phone
  • Listen to a favorite song
  • Talk or text with a friend
  • Draw, doodle, or color
  • Go for a walk
  • Do something active, like jumping jacks, air squats, or push-ups

These are just suggestions. You may have other ideas that will work better for you. The goal is to find something that can keep you occupied or get you past those triggers until the urge to smoke subsides. If your first strategies don’t work, that’s ok. Keep experimenting until you find something that works for you.

This is the fifth installment of a seven-post series on how to explore your personal relationship to smoking and quitting, based on some of the initial activities in the Pivot program. The full series is below.

#1 Don’t Quit Smoking Today

#2 Quitting Smoking: Know Your Patterns

#3 Quitting Smoking: Identify Your Why

#4 Quitting Smoking: Connect with What’s Important

#5 Quitting Smoking: Know What’s in Your Way

#6 Quitting Smoking: Know Your Attitude

#7 Quitting Smoking: Create a Vision