Sometimes it’s easier to stop a behavior (let’s use smoking for an example) when we first look at the other behaviors that are connected to it (behavioral triggers.) If the coffee at the kitchen table is behavioral trigger to light a cigarette, consider taking your coffee out onto the deck or the porch (WITHOUT AN ASHTRAY) for a week or so. When you really can’t wait any longer, leave your coffee on the porch and go to the garage (or someplace else) and smoke – standing up, no phone, no fun – and when you’re done, go back to enjoying your coffee. After a week of having coffee without a cigarette, it will be easier to extinguish the smoking altogether and you’ll have taken some of the trigger out of the coffee and kitchen table.
And what I said about “no phone, no fun” is really important, too. If your smoking is not connected to any fun or good things, it will be easier to get rid of it. If you live with a smoker and often smoke together, make this change BEFORE quit day: Designate ONE soot-sucking zone, preferably without chairs. Take turns going out there to smoke – one at a time. AFTER the soot-sucking is over, take a break together and spend some time together, chatting, chilling, cuddling, or whatever. But don’t let an ashtray sneak into the middle of your together time. Again, try to stick to that plan for at least a week before quit day. That will give you time to form the “new normal” – spending time together WITHOUT any smoking. Quit day is WAY easier after you strip smoking away from all of the good stuff – coffee, cuddling, and together time.
Small steps will get you there, and starting now is a winning move! Building you a winning quit plan is a critical part of you taking back your freedom, and you deserve to be free.
To learn more about behavioral triggers and how they’re different from chemical cravings, read about the five-headed dragon!