Your Declaration of Independence

Today’s a great day to start moving toward a 4th of July Quit Day. Independence Day may be my very favorite Quit Day of all (although ANY day is a good Quit Day.) There’s time – if we start today – to get a solid plan in place to deal with all 5 aspects of this complicated relationship; BEhavioral triggers, SOcial triggers, CHemical cravings, EMotional urges, and PSychological compulsion (BESOCHEMPS.)

[[ NOTE: – You may want to use this week-long approach to other behavioral change – not just those we typically think of as “addictions.” If you think your relationship with sugar or white flour needs to change, why not spend a week easing into the change? For some folks, that approach reduces anxiety and feelings of being deprived. ]]

Today, if you’re going to use “quit-meds,” get in touch with your healthcare professional to get your prescription(s.) And start flexing your “quit muscles” today by declaring a mini-quit of 3 or 4 hours. Increase the length of your mini-quit each day. As you declare the start of a mini-quit, remind yourself “this is probably going to feel a bit awkward, but it’s only for 4 hours.” Feeling awkward and even feeling uncomfortable won’t kill us. Facing the awkward could, in fact, save our lives!

As you move through the week try to add at least one person who will be supportive of your change. Having non-judgmental social support can be really critical to your success. Most of us don’t need a lecture, we need an understanding ear. And we’re more likely to take advice from a person who isn’t ‘scolding” us.

If you’re going to taper or wean, set a realistic goal for 3 day from now, 5 days from now, and 7 days from now. Setting smart goals makes all the difference! Download S.M.A.R.T. Goals for Quitting Smoking here:

Remember that humans tend to learn in small incremental steps, let’s try approaching behavioral change that way. Spending a week getting ready can minimize anxiety and give us time to gather the tools and support we’ll need to DECLARE OUR INDEPENDENCE!

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