Many people are under the impression that quitting smoking is one of the hardest tasks a person can undertake. Why is this?
- Almost all press stories about quitting detail what the writer has been told are the downfalls, withdrawal symptoms, not having the support of family and friends, etc. are all listed as ways you are going to fail.
- Cost of whatever program you are going to try.
- Statistics that show how few people stay quit.
- Advertising be the industry (tobacco companies) that play up all of these. Remember who profits by people continuing to smoke.
I was a heavy smoker for more than 25 years, and have been a complete non smoker for more than 24 years, not tooting my own horn, just pointing out that I have a track record with quitting smoking.
According to popular opinion the most successful ex smokers, those that are still not smoking, are those that quit using the “cold turkey” method or some variation of that method. This is not to say that folks who use any of the wide variety of stop smoking aids including hypnosis, patches, gums, e-cigarettes or whatever, are not successful, but just to point out that many of them also go back to smoking. Keep in mind that there is to date only one 100% group of ex smokers, and they did not choose to quit in time.
The 5 D’s of quitting smoking are steps or characteristics that I feel will help you prepare for and make the “cold turkey” method successful for you.
- Desire – Desire is a wish, a want, an aspiration. It is what you hope to achieve. What it is that you desire, want to do, and why? A great exercise at this point is to list the ways quitting smoking will benefit you, how your life will be better, how the lives of those around you will be better.
- Define – Now you need to define what it is you are going to accomplish. Give that want or desire an actual name, be it “I want to quit smoking” or “I want to cut back on smoking”. Both are starting to define the wish or want. This step in to define your goal, one that is realistic, measurable and that can be accomplished.
- Decision – After you have quantified the desire, and defined the goal, you have to make a firm decision, a choice, make a resolution that you will accomplish your goal. This is the deciding that you are going to be an ex smoker, that you can and will be successful.
- Determination – This is the willpower step, where you resolve and promise yourself that you can make this happen. The step that separates the men from the boys, or the women from the girls. Willpower is that illusive quality in all of us that is hard to define, so lets just call it determination.
- Discipline – Really personal discipline, but personal does not start with a D. This is where the rubber meets the road, where you draw on self-control to not light up, where you display the restraint and fortitude to wait 5 minutes each time the desire to have a cigarette hits you, (that desire will go away). This is the key quality to being successful, to staying an ex smoker.
Is quitting smoking easy? Not really, but on the other hand it is not really that hard, read over those 5 Ds again, they are just steps in a plan, a plan that will help you on your journey all you have to do is start.
Good Luck, and remember you can never, ever touch another tobacco product!