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.