The Best Decision You’ll Ever Make: Preparing to Quit Smoking

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If you wait for the “right time” to quit smoking, odds are good you’ll be waiting forever. No one’s life is every perfect, and smokers can always find an excuse to delay quitting by another day, week, month, or year. The best time to quit is always now, and taking a little time to prepare can help you ease into the process of quitting.

Signs It’s Time You Should Quit Smoking
No matter how old you are, how healthy or unhealthy you are, or what’s going on in your world right now, if you listen to your body, you’ll notice subtle effects of smoking. Long-term smokers can see dramatic changes in their health and well-being. Reminding yourself of your reasons to quit can help you stay quit after you take your last puff. Some signs that it’s time to quit include:
-You’ve experienced health problems, such as coughing, illness, allergies, cardiovascular issues, or cancer as a result of smoking.
-People you love and trust have asked you to quit.
-You’re pregnant, or are planning to have children soon.
-Smoking is a source of conflict in your relationships
-You can’t afford to continue paying for cigarettes
-Your doctor has told you to quit
-You suffer from a mental illness. Smoking can make depression, anxiety, and sleeping problems much worse.
-When you crave a cigarette during the day, you can’t concentrate on anything else.

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-You leave social events early so that you can smoke.
-You lie to others about your smoking.
-You’re embarrassed about being a smoker.
-You don’t like how smoking makes you, your house, or your car smell.

Before You Start
Some smokers can successfully quit on the spur of the moment, but in most cases, it’s because these smokers have been contemplating quitting for a long time and have important reasons to give up cigarettes. To have the best chance of quitting, you need a clear quit smoking plan. A quit smoking plan gets you into the right frame of mind and ensures you have sufficient support when the going gets rough.

Spend some time thinking about how you want to quit, and what methods, if any, you want to use to quit. The Kerry Gaynor Method, for example, can help you quit without relying on nicotine supplements or medication.

Tell a few close support people – such as your spouse or your parents – about your decision to quit, and talk to them about what they can do to help you on your journey. When you have people available to hold you accountable, staying away from cigarettes can be just a bit easier.

Once you’ve nailed down the details of your quit plan, set a quit date and stick to it. As your quit date approaches, try some of the following strategies to maximize your chances of success:
-Cut down on the number of cigarettes you smoke, or try “mini-quits.” For example, if you normally smoke on an hour-long car ride, don’t smoke. This helps you get used to life as a non-smoker.
-Devise a system of rewards for quitting. For example, you might eat a delicious dessert every day you go without a cigarette, and set up bigger rewards for the one week, one month, and three month marks.
-List some things you can do to distract yourself when you have a craving. For example, you might try going for a run, playing with your dog, eating a piece of candy, or doing some yoga.

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-Make a list of all the reasons you want to quit. Read through the list when you get a craving to smoke.
-Get rid of cigarette paraphernalia – such as ash trays and lighters – right before you quit. This can reduce temptation and help you avoid reminders of cigarettes.
-Identify your smoking triggers,which might include driving, working on the computer, or drinking.

The Day You Start
The first day you don’t smoke can be a challenging one, so plan a distracting activity for that day. You might go for a hike, visit an arts festival, or even plan a short vacation. Smoking is a habit that is triggered by your daily routine, so slightly altering your routine can help you take the first major step toward permanent success. If you’re using the Kerry Gaynor Method, you can draw on the skills you’ve learned through your program to quit. If you’re not relying on Kerry Gaynor or you need a bit of extra help, try some of the following strategies:
-Call one of your support people if you get a craving.
Remind yourself that every second, hour, and day that you go without smoking takes you one step closer to being free of cravings. When you get overwhelmed by the desire to smoke, remind yourself that you’ve already invested in your quit, and if you smoke now, that investment will be lost.
-Find something enjoyable to do every time you get a craving.
-Keep your schedule low-key for the first week or so that you quit. You might not feel fully like yourself, and a low-pressure week can make it easier to steer clear of cigarettes.
-Avoid your smoking triggers as much as you can. If you always smoke when you drive, see if you can telecommute. If you tend to smoke while you work from home, go to a coffee shop that doesn’t allow smoking instead.
-When you feel a craving, pull out your list of reasons to smoke, and ask yourself if satisfying your craving is worth giving up all that you will gain when you quit.
-Tell yourself that you’re not giving anything up at all; you’re embracing a new, healthy lifestyle, and cravings are just your body’s way of telling you that nicotine is leaving your system.
-Make other healthy decisions so that you can get maximum benefits from quitting. Start an exercise program or cook yourself a delicious meal.
-Reward yourself every time you hit a smoking milestone, and never engage in negative self-talk. Instead, remind yourself of your accomplishments. You might, for example, put a sticker on a chart for every hour you go without smoking, then give yourself a small reward every time you get 10 stickers.

The Kerry Gaynor Method can help quitting smoking seem like the obvious choice rather than a painful chore. No matter what method you use, though, the negative effects of quitting smoking are short-lived, but the benefits will last a lifetime. You can do it, just as millions of ex-smokers already have.

Kerry Gaynor

Kerry’s purpose and overarching objective in developing his Method since he began thirty years ago has always been the same: to help save lives. Addictions or ailments, whether it is smoking cigarettes or over eating, can feel a lot like being a prisoner or a slave to your addiction. Kerry has experienced so much fulfillment from helping people unchain themselves from their addictions that it is the only thing he has ever cared to do since his very first client.

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