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The second goal of this guidline is designed to get past moments when you feel yourself caving in. It requires creating a list of options to use as a tool to retrain your brain. You use the list to replace your usual action response to triggers causing the urge to light up. Sound easy? It is, but it's up to you ...

My List

The following list is in the order of choice that I use during fragile moments on the brink of cave in:

  • Go to my electronic cigarette
  • Do the dishes (by hand)
  • Take a shower
  • Take a walk and pretend your training for a triathlon (whatever is motivating for you). 
  • Find a hobby you don't associate with smoking. Choose not to smoke during the time you spend at this hobby. Examples: Photography; Gardening (Indoor and Outdoor); etc. Lists of hobbies can be found on the internet.

Post your list in places to remind you of these options. The refigerater; bulletin board; inside books you may be reading, etc.

Log Your Experience

The third goal of this guidline is to provide reinforcment by creating a log of your progress and rewards for meeting those goals. You may or may not need to include feelings of your cigarette cravings and actions you chose to overcome those cravings within the log.

For me, it was as simple as taking a pocket size day timer calendar and marking each time I smoked. I did not like smoking marks on my day, so it was thrilling on the day I finally had no marks. Set your own goals. Be realistic. Don't beat yourself up if you fall short of those expectations. You know yourself better than anybody else. Triggers in my life included just about everything, but eventually you will disassociate those events from smoking. For me this was a critical step towards achievment.

I use to associate "breaks" with smoking. This was probably the most difficult "trigger" to overcome. For example, my reward for doing dishes was a cigarette. So, now what do I do? Breath... if I can't overcome, I grab my e-cig. Take notice of what triggers those cravings and teach yourself to overcome them.

Retrain Guilt Processes

Guilt is your conscience letting you know you are doing something not good. Keep emphasis on goals when retraining your brain. Create affirmations such as: "I hate smokings.... it interrupts what I'm doing; it stinks; it causes harm to others, including my pets, etc. I will feel better, healthier, and I will be a better individual for doing so. I no longer want other people to see me smoking..." Stuff like that can drive you towards your goal if it be a harm reduction technique or complete abtinence from all smoking devices or alternatives. Let it work for you.


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