Decide that you really want to quit. Seems easy, and that does not mean that since you have decided you’ll just stop now that you’ve made this decision. Quite the contrary. I can almost guarantee that you will have another cigarette within hours, if not minutes of this decision. But don’t sweat this. It’s OK. Smokers beat themselves up for “giving in” to their cravings. It’s going to happen so just relax. You are addicted to a very addictive substance, nicotine.
After you decide that smoking really isn’t for you, I would suggest taking up running, or walking at least. If you walk or run 1 mile each day you will begin to smoke fewer cigarettes. At least this is how it worked for me.
Exercise releases endorphins in your brain which may counter the increasing lack of nicotine.
Interestingly as you exercise more you will smoke less and it will become easier to go longer periods without a cig. It’s basically a positive feedback loop.
Saying this there were still times when I did my mile and had a cigarette right afterwards.
After you’ve been doing the excise thing for a couple of weeks it’ll be time to work on the psychology part.
What about your childhood made you start smoking? Ha. Just kidding.
What I found was the only thing that really got me to quit was not, my loving wife asking me to quit, or social pressure, or even my child getting old enough to put 2 and 2 together when I went outside to “look at the sky.” What finally got me to quit was the realization that I was paying someone to kill me. I was forking over my hard earned dollars to buy something that would destroy my health sooner or later. This fact made me angry and was very motivating.
Put in these terms quitting became an act of defiance which have always appealed to me on some visceral level.
So you’re smoking only a cigarette or two a day now. Good for you. But it’s hard to let go completely. That’s ok.
If you are at this stage you are almost there.
Ok. So decide that you are going to go the whole day without a smoke but with the understanding that the following morning you get a totally guilt free cigarette. This often got me through those first whole days without a cigarette. I knew I had one coming so I didn’t sweat it. I was exercising too which helped.
The thing that always got me was the concept of never having another cigarette again ever for the rest of my life. I just couldn’t get past this.
So I allow the occasional cigarette at a party without beating myself up. But now I don’t even want one even when I’m having a drink. I just know that someday if I want to I can have another cigarette but if I do it is not the end of the world.