Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year's Resolution Policy


In conjunction with our Happy New Year Philosophy, there is also a New Year's Resolution Policy, which is to be implemented immediately.

Heretofore, when you wish to make a resolution to do something, and you want to wait for some landmark event to start it (end of the year, end of the pack of cigarettes, end of the piece of cake you're eating, etc), I hereby declare that the landmark event is NOW, and you may begin acting in accordance to your new resolution.

Surely you're not the only person who has wanted to make some sort of change in their life, and then decided to wait until something happened to make the change, right? Several people I know who CLAIM to want to stop smoking have this particular habit: they say, "I'm going to stop smoking. This is my last pack." Because, you know, they don't want to waste the $2-worth of cigarettes left in the pack because that's SO MUCH MORE VALUABLE than avoiding the hospital bill for emphysema, nevermind the cost to your personal honor when that moment comes and you engage your habit to go get some more, thereby breaking your word.

We're people of our word, aren't we?

So how can we quit smoking, quit eating junk food, quit wussing out of whatever change we're wanting to make in ourselves? I'll tell you.

It's called "Immediate Action". When you decide you're going to do something, IMMEDIATELY take a step toward accomplishing it. Put out the cigarette NOW, put the pack in the garbage NOW, get rid of the ash trays NOW, look up cures for smoking NOW.

Because if you wait for the pack to run out, you have a program running in your head that tells you, "I'm out of cigarettes, I have to go get more." This is one time when "finish what you started" is a bad idea. You wouldn't drink an entire gallon of sewage just because you started to drink one, would you? The only way to break a habit is to take immediate action against it, so that every time you catch yourself engaging in the bad habit, you get into the GOOD habit of stopping and doing something else.

My dad quit smoking almost 30 years ago. He quit cold turkey. He didn't make any lame excuses about how hard it was to quit, or complain that they laced cigarettes with addictive substances. He just decided he wasn't going to smoke any more because he wanted to be healthier, he wanted to smell better, and he wanted to be around when his grandkids started showing up. Did he have powerful cravings? Sure. Did other people around him continue to smoke? Yup. Does he still get the occasional craving? Uh-huh. Did he wait until the end of the pack? Nope.

When he felt the urge to smoke, he had some very powerful tools at his disposal, which he used properly. Most people don't use these tools, or if they do, they use them improperly.

First, he reminded himself of the anguish he'd gone through in the first few days of quitting, and told himself that if he started smoking again, he'd just have to go through that hell again. Second, he knew that the urge to smoke would pass, and continued to tell himself that it would. Third, he did other things to get his mind off his urge! Fourth, he knew that he had a choice. He didn't forbid himself to smoke, instead he CHOSE to smoke LATER. Fifth, he's a man of his word. He'd made a promise that he was going to quit, and going back on that promise would mean he was untrustworthy. All we have is our reputation. And sixth, he felt cigarettes were getting too expensive for what they did anyway. Unfortunately, he only had a few cheerleaders on his side (myself included), but he managed to beat the nicotine monkey anyway.

When you've got a tough, ingrained habit, you have to catch yourself, stop doing it immediately, and immediately do something else. Don't wait to finish the pack, just quit now. Otherwise, you'll be just another loser who continually promises to do things and never carries them through. You don't want to be one of those, do you?


Other articles you'll find interesting or fun:
You are What you Consume
Site Metrics Unveiled
Maps are freakin' awesome


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