Specifically, how have you successfully stopped *insert-destructive-but-gratifying-behavior-here*?
Publish date:
November 14, 2015
bad habits, quitting smoking, giving up smoking, Important Weekend Question, Self Control

On the way to Starbucks with Marci and Dan yesterday, I got twitchy and instructed them both not to look at me while I lit a cigarette. Between lung-blackening exhalations, I explained, "this is disgusting and I'm expressing an appropriate amount of shame. Smoking is a filthy habit."

Of all my filthy nasty habits (including, but not limited to, biting my nails, chewing on my lips, eating far too many Altoids every day), smoking is by far the worst. I know what it's doing to my skin. I know what it's doing to my lungs and my teeth and my life expectancy. What I don't know is how to quit.

This is where you guys come in (hooray!). How do you kick bad habits? Specifically, how have you successfully stopped *insert-destructive-but-gratifying-behavior-here*?

I've been a smoker for three years. I refuse to reveal how many cigarettes I smoke a day because, as I already mentioned, I've got a healthy amount of shame tied into this unhealthy habit of mine. I will say: it's too many cigarettes. I will also say: I'm willing to try whatever you guys suggest. I'm even willing to write about my attempts (guaranteed), my (anticipated) failures, and my (eventual) successes.

So, what's worked for you in the past? Is there an app you've used that's turned your phone into a gentle, yet firm, behavior reinforcer? What about a mantra? Meditation? Prescription medication? Positive or negative self talk?

You get the idea. I want your ideas and, also, to quit smoking (right after I have my Saturday afternoon cigarette).