21 Days at a Time / Journal / The Daily Prompt

Day One … Quit Smoking

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Day One of my journey to break old habits and start new ones.  As I sit here drinking my coffee this morning I am understanding the enormity of this challenge and wondering if I will survive.  Well that is a bit melodramatic, but you get my point.  I have decided that I am going to quit smoking for the next 21 days and I am doing it cold turkey.  To put it into perspective I am 50 years old, started smoking at the age of 16 and with only a few breaks in that time period I have smoked.  The amount and the brand have varied over the years, but not the habit itself.

Recently I was going through a box of old photos and was appalled at how many of the photo’s showed me with a smoke in hand.  It was as if my right hand had an extension attached.

If you are reading this and someone who smokes, has quit smoking, or is thinking of it, I am curious, what do you think will be the biggest challenge to quitting?  For me I am such a creature of habit doing the same thing in the mornings.  One of those things sitting outside watching the sun come up with my coffee in one hand and my smoke in the other.  I think I am going to need a game plan to make it through this first day.

1.) Change morning routine so that my brain doesn’t look for instant gratification from the smoke in the morning.  (Today I am drinking coffee and writing this.)

2.)  Work!  This is going to be hard.  There are four “danger” times throughout the work day where we gather for breaks and lunch.  There are a group of us who smoke and that is our time to hang out.  This seems insurmountable, but maybe I can use this time to take a walk, read a bit, something.  Suggestions will be welcomed 🙂

3.) The end of the evening/destresser smoke.  I always hear that nicotine is a stimulant and doesn’t help with stress at all, but mentally it is hard to accept that notion when the best time of my day is when I can sit in the evening watch the sunset and smoke my last smoke of the evening before I get ready to do it all again the next day.

One step at a time.  I am going to need to change my morning routine to avoid Wawa in the morning.  For those who don’t know what a Wawa is.  It is a convenience store here on the east coast of the U.S. that has a cult following.  They have quite the presence here. As part of my daily routine I leave for work, stop at Wawa, grab a 24oz coffee and a pack of smokes and head to work.

Today I am going to: Leave for work a little later so that I do not have time to stop for coffee and smokes.

Well here is is 5:30.  How did I do?  Meh :-/  I did fine this morning.  Didn’t stop for coffee and smokes.  Worked for an hour, but then my coworker showed up and since we always have a smoke together he saw I didn’t have one and handed me one.  Where was my willpower?  I have no idea.

I wouldn’t call today a complete loss though.  I left work and was so tempted to stop and buy a pack of smokes.  In my brain I was thinking.  “Well you already screwed up so you can just start again tomorrow.”  Such a temptation!  Instead I came home, changed my clothes, grabbed my bike and went for a six mile ride to clear my head and reinstall in my mind the goal that I have set up.

As for the second part?  Well if you are reading this you know that I have succeeded in blogging for two days in a row 🙂

Intention for tomorrow: Still don’t buy smokes.  Do not allow today’s failure to dictate my attitude and goals.  Add a ten minute meditation to tomorrows work routine with the intention of telling myself all the reasons why this goal is so important and how much more I will be able to do when my lungs are no longer clogged with all the yuckiness that has  built up from this bad habit.  Don’t forget to blog.



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