Giving up smoking isn't about what you're giving up, but what you're gaining. For many successful former smokers, making that "reward" a bit more tangible helped them get through the difficult early days. Here are some of the ways they rewarded themselves.
"I then treated myself to outrageous jogging pants..."
"I drank a lot of water, increased my vitamin C to 1000 units, exercised, and tried to avoid situations when I would smoke. After about two weeks, I found that each day became a little easier. I then treated myself to outrageous (neon-green) jogging pants. Their cost was what I would have spent on cigarettes in that time period. I bought the loud pants to remind me of my success. The rest seemed easy." — Tom K.
"I promptly bought some furniture and made the payments, which were close to the cost of the smokes."
"The way I quit smoking was to first of all determine that I really wanted to. I came to the conclusion that smoking was too costly and a big pain... I totaled up how much it cost and promptly bought some furniture and made the payments, which were close to the cost of the smokes. I had to stay off or I would be paying double." — Mark E.
"Give yourself immediate rewards."
"Reward yourself every day that you don't smoke by taking the money you would have spent on cigarettes (and even a little more!) and giving yourself a treat — a glossy magazine you wouldn't normally treat yourself to, a movie, fancy bath bubbles — whatever makes you feel pampered. Don't save up your money for a big treat later on, give yourself immediate rewards. Later, when you feel stronger you might take a longer view about the saved money." — Patricia R.
"I had a jar sitting on my dresser and for six weeks after..."
"I had a jar sitting on my dresser and for six weeks after I put what I would have spent on cigarettes into that jar. Since I smoked almost two packs a day, this was a healthy chunk of change. Enough for my husband and I to go out to dinner!" — Elaine C.
"Smoking now is for the rich and stupid."
"Cigarettes were getting so expensive. I noticed I was spending $65 at the commissary for cigarettes. That's a lot of money. So I decided one day that after I smoked my last carton I wasn't going to buy any more. I made an emotional commitment to quit and I did it... One day I might start again because I know it's very easy for me to quit, but at the price I doubt I will. Smoking now is for the rich and stupid." — Marsha B.
"A feeling of victory was present each and every time I opened the jar to toss the quarters in..."
"My solution was to buy a large glass jar that is used for preserves, the kind that has the attached wire device that snaps the jar closed. Each day that I didn't smoke I threw two quarters in the jar with an additional quarter every fifth day since cigarettes were $.55 per pack back in 1975. I liked to watch the collection of quarters grow as they represented my successes in beating the habit. A feeling of victory was present each and every time I opened the jar to toss the quarters in and it soon became an obsession to make the pile grow as quickly as possible... Then, one day when the jar seemed to be getting full of quarters, I decided to once again count the coins and found I had a little over $100. I remember thinking I had to buy something I really wanted as a reward, but at this point I no longer remembered what the item was." — Gary M.
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