Quitting Smoking Step 4: Game plan - figure out what you are going to do instead

This is 4th out of 5 Step Process to Beat Your Habit (click here for Introduction)

Game Plan


Look into your Lessons Learned...


In the first step: Figure out why you have been smoking all this time, you have created a list of reasons and situations in which you have been reaching out for a smoke. Now it’s time to work further on that list to make a very good plan for what you are going to do when you really feel like smoking.

This is a great place to look into your lessons learned. Why have you failed before? What exactly happened that made you reach out for the cigarette? What were the key triggers? There’s a lot of valuable information in our failures, so make sure that you spend some time analyzing what went wrong and extract all the learning from that. For your own benefit.


... and figure out what will you do instead


What will you do when you feel upset? That’s a really valid question. It’s probably reasonably easy to stay away from smoking when you’re feeling great. But we all know that sooner or later a crappy day will come. The best thing you can do is to prepare yourself for that. We also really want to avoid swapping one bad habit for another one. It won’t serve you all that well if you start loading yourself with sugar or using alcohol instead of smoking.

That is exactly why it’s very important to ask yourself: do I have a good way to manage my emotions? That is such a valid question! We often develop habits like smoking, drinking, overeating, because we have no idea how to deal with difficult emotions. We choose to indulge in an activity that will help us avoid facing our feelings, even if that activity is harmful to us and those emotions won’t disappear but get stuffed deep inside. Many of our destructive behavior are results of those unmanaged emotions.


Fallback Plan is the Key


So when sadness, fear, stress or anger come, how will you deal with them? Do you have a good friend you could talk to? Write your journal? What is your (new) constructive way to deal with difficult emotions? It’s vital to make a fallback plan. What will you do if you fail and smoke a cigarette?

It may happen that you slip on your new journey and reach out for a smoke. This is that critical moment where many of us allow ourselves to fail for good. You want to avoid a small bump on the road being a game-over experience. You need to find what works for you and note it down.

Sometimes it may be enough just to forgive yourself and proceed with what you’ve been doing so far. You may need to start over from the first or second step. The most important thing is that you treat this failure as another opportunity to learn. Another piece of useful information to help you succeed. Keep your game-plan handy! Now you’re ready for your new- non-smoking self!



5 step process to beat your habit


Step 1: Inner journey (or root cause analysis)— dig deep to find out why have you been smoking all this time (please read here)

Step 2: More inner journey- determine why you REALLY want to quit (please read here)

Step 3: It’s all in your head– time for some solid mental clean-up (please read here)

Step 4: Game plan– figure out what you are going to do instead  (you are here)

Step 5: Shift into your new non- smoking self (please read here)