Make a list of the reasons you want to give up smoking in order to motivate yourself.

list reasons to quit
There are many reasons why people should quit smoking for good. However, each smoker has their own personal reasons for wanting to give up.

These reasons are what you need to focus on at all times leading up to your quit date and once you have stopped, in order to keep your motivation strong and to keep you going through the tough times. You need to remember that there is a purpose for all this effort and that there is a goal at the end of it. You are giving up smoking for one or more very important reasons.

Once you have set your quit date, you need to sit down and really think about why you are giving up. Your reasons to give up smoking must be stronger than the need to carry on smoking.
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A good idea is to take a sheet of paper and list the reasons why you smoke on one side of the page and the reasons why you want to give up on the other. Make sure that you write down everything that you can think of, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.

Whilst you are composing your list, you should also think about the advantages, if there are any, and the disadvantages of smoking.

Take a good look at what you have written and work out whether your reasons for quitting are more important than the reasons for why you smoke. For any chance of success, they should be.

Some of the reasons that you may include in your list of why you smoke are:
  • I like smoking
  • It relaxes me
  • It helps me concentrate
  • I'm addicted to nicotine
  • I smoke when I'm bored, stressed, angry
  • I smoke when I'm out with friends
  • I smoke because my partner smokes
  • I smoke to give me confidence
  • I smoke out of habit
  • I don't want to put on weight if I give up
  • I smoke when I am lonely
Once you have pinpointed the reasons as to why or when you smoke and you begin to understand your habit, you will become more aware of the problem and it will be easier to do something about it. Further on, we will look at alternatives to smoking in these situations. This is another step closer to stamping on your habit and ridding yourself of your addiction to tobacco once and for all.

Going back to your desire to quit smoking for good. Make a list of your personal reasons for giving up on a small piece of card and carry it around with you at all times, making sure that you do take your list out and read it whenever you feel that you need to.
You could even make another list, on a larger piece of card or paper, with big writing and stick it somewhere in your home or workplace, where it will be clearly visible and you can refer to it many times throughout the day. How about cards in each room, for example, on top of the television, underneath the bathroom mirror, on the kitchen wall and stuck to the dining room table?

For some of you this might be going a bit too far and slightly extreme, but giving up smoking is a testing and complicated feat and you will need all the help and encouragement you can get. The more you see, hear, read, say and think of your reasons for giving up smoking, the more they will sink into your brain and subconscious mind and in effect the greater the chances of success.

The reasons to give up smoking far outweigh the reasons to smoke. Below are a number of typical reasons why many people want to stop smoking. The more you have on your list the better.
  • I do not want to develop lung cancer, heart disease or any other smoking-related illnesses
  • I get out of breath easily and am not as fit as I used to be
  • I hate smelling like a dirty ashtray
  • My skin is sallow and unhealthy looking
  • My teeth are stained from smoking
  • Smoking will age me prematurely
  • My clothes, hair and home always stink of cigarettes
  • I have developed a smoker's cough
  • I want to start going to the gym
  • I can't afford to smoke anymore
  • I could buy a new car with the money that I save from not smoking
  • I hate feeling so dependant on cigarettes
  • I want to try for a baby
  • I don't want my children to smoke
  • I will live a longer and healthier life if I stop now
  • I will gain control of my life
Some experts in many fields such as positive thinking, visualisation and sports training amongst others, believe that the key to change negative habits is to change how the mind perceives that habit and then to work on positive thinking and the right way of thinking in order to stop or change the negative behaviour.

It is essential that you change your habit and smoking is the habit that you need to change. In order to do so, as well as using willpower, you must change the thoughts that led you to smoke in the first place and re-programme your subconscious mind into behaving differently.

During the process of giving up smoking, each time you start to feel despondent about giving up or if you have an urge to smoke, take a look at your list and re-read the reasons as to why you are giving up smoking. After you have done this over and over again, you will automatically begin to think differently about smoking and the positive way of thinking, which will lead to a positive way of acting, will take over.

The power of the mind is remarkable if you know how to use it.

Later on we will look at alternatives to smoking in certain situations, as the negative habit should be replaced with a positive one. This will be discussed in the section on cravings and how to cope.
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