Dear diary… No, a smoker’s diary doesn’t start like that, unless you want to. A smoker’s diary is different. A smoker’s diary is a tool many people use to keep track of the reasons they want to quit, the times they usually smoke, the triggers that make them want to smoke, tricks they have learned to avoid wanting to smoke, and anything specifically related to quitting smoking. It is a short term diary that is a tool for quitting smoking. It is usually kept on you at all times. Keeping one will help you pin point the things that you need to be aware of, and assess how you are doing.
The most important part of your smoker’s diary, should you choose to keep one, is the reasons you wanted to quit. This usually is something you do before quitting. It could be a family member, your health, a terrible experience you had with smoking, or anything that is the impetus. Write down the exact reason you want to quit smoking and keep it with you to remind yourself why when quitting seems tough. This will be the first entry in your smoker’s diary.
Your next entry, also written prior to quitting typically, is going to be a list of the typical times of day you smoke, and a list of the things that usually trigger you to smoke. Take the diary around with you for a few days and keep a time line of when you smoke. Most people list things like ‘7:15 with coffee,’ or ‘after a stressful meeting,’ or ‘when I’m reminded of’… something sad. Write them all down, how it makes you feel, and what you are thinking about when you feel that way. It is important to be aware of these when you actually stop smoking because they will sneak up on you, and if you are aware you can be mentally prepared to deal with each.
Now you are ready to quit. Your diary entries will change. Each day try to make an entry in your diary. Write down what you are feeling and how you are dealing with everything. Keep track of all the tricks and tools you are using. It could include things like a nice walking route, products like NRT or Quit Tea, exercise, breathing techniques, and more. Also important are any phone numbers to call for when times get difficult. Get a support buddy that will talk you out of having a cigarette at any hour of the day or night. Also, most states have a 24 hour support line for people quitting smoking. And everyone I have talked to that uses them says they are very friendly and helpful.
A smokers diary is very focus on one topic, but you can write whatever you want in the smokers diary. Maybe your notes and thoughts will be the beginnings of a novel! If you can be positive that is great. Write about how much better you feel each day and how thankful you are for each breath of fresh air. Remember that your lungs are regenerating and clearing themselves out with each breath. Do this right and one day that diary will be a treasured piece of history.
Matthew Bucklin is the creator of the popular herbal stop smoking aid Quit Tea and President of Quit Tea LLC. As an expert in smoking cessation and health, he has helped hundreds of people finally quit smoking and return to health. Bucklin worked as a health care analyst at a hedge fund in New York for years, learning about pharmaceuticals and seeing the need for healthy and effective alternatives. He believes that drugs are the last option and that good health comes from a lifestyle change and sometimes a little help from natural remedies.