You Can Quit Nicotine in 5 Minutes
How hard is it to quit nicotine? The truth is that you can’t quit anything overnight and quitting nicotine is mentally and physically hard. But, the first step -- the one that leads to quitting nicotine completely once and for all -- you can complete by the time you finish reading this article: make the damn decision.
You see, the word "decision" is derived from the latin word "decidere" which means to "CUT OFF". When you make a decision, you cut off all other paths. There is no choice, there is just your singular path forward. Your job today (or tomorrow if you need a minute) is to make the decision to break free from nicotine. Cut off all other paths forward, burn your ships, and don't look back. By the end of this article, you should decide if you're ready.
Now, after you have made your decision, there are some specific things you can do to set yourself up for success. It's important to establish your own personal goal and timeline to keep you focused on the long term and on track to change your habits. While we walk through this together, keep in mind that there are far more benefits to quitting nicotine and tobacco than there are continuing your addiction.
Goals are not one-size-fits-all. They’re the exact opposite: highly specific to the individual pursuing them. So while everyone reading this post has the shared goal of quitting nicotine and tobacco (or helping a loved one quit), there are a lot of different ways this high-level goal can be achieved. Let’s set some goals to wean off nicotine and tobacco for good!
Aspirations vs. Outcomes vs. Behaviors
Stop thinking generically about goals. Instead, think of your “goals” in terms of aspirations, outcomes and behaviors. What is important to you in life? What do you value? What type of person do you want to be? Now set your goal with this aspiration in mind.
An aspiration is an abstract desire. “Be a better Dad” is an aspiration. So is “Quit nicotine and tobacco.”
An outcome is more measurable than an aspiration. “Never miss my kid’s ball games” is a measurable outcome of striving to be a better dad. You can count the number of games you do or do not miss. “Going a week without chewing” is a measurable outcome of striving to quit nicotine and tobacco. You can keep track of how many days it’s been since you last dipped.
These are great places to start for setting goals, but it’s still not actionable enough to achieve your aspirations over time. What, exactly, should you be doing to ensure you never miss a game or take another dip? When you start to think about it, there are actually so many different things you could do that it can become overwhelming. The key is to figure out which behaviors are most likely to get you closer to the outcomes you want.
You have to understand where you want to go, but just as important as the destination is the path that will get you there.
Behaviors are the paths that lead you to your desired outcomes, and eventually aspirations. Behaviors are things you can do right now (or at another specific point in time). Some examples of behaviors that could lead to eventually being nicotine and tobacco-free:
- Going for a walk or exercising when I’m stressed
- Use a Grinds Coffee Pouch right after a meal
- Writing in my quit journal when a craving strikes
Some people can quit cold turkey and become nicotine and tobacco-free overnight, but you also can wean yourself off of nicotine over time through specific, repeated behaviors.
Now that you can see the difference between aspirations, outcomes and behaviors, let’s write some goals and start to create a plan for you to quit nicotine!
Brainstorm for Behaviors
Your primary aspiration is to quit nicotine and tobacco. You can measure the outcome of this aspiration any number of ways, but generally it’s X days since last dip. The next step is to figure out what behaviors will get you there over time.
Open a new page in your quit journal and list specific behaviors that could help you achieve your aspiration to quit nicotine and tobacco. This is a brainstorm, not a commitment, so the longer your list, the better. Don’t dwell on the practicality of any ideas; just write them down as they come to you. Imagine you have magic abilities and can actually do anything you set your mind to. Be wildly optimistic.
Think about behaviors you can do one time (such as throw away spit cans). Think about new habits you could create and repeat daily, weekly or monthly. Think about old habits you wish you could stop (like going to the bar, where you’re always tempted to reach for the can).
Remember: the sky's the limit! Practical ideas are great, but put some wild ones on your list, too. When you think your list is done, say to yourself, “Great. What else?” and keep going.
After you’ve created your list of behaviors, turn to your spouse, children, co-workers, accountability partner and friends on social media. Ask them, “If you could get me to do any behavior that would help me to quit nicotine and tobacco, what would it be?” You’ll be surprised at what they come up with! Don’t forget to add their responses to your lists of behaviors.
Next Time: Zoning In On The Right Behaviors
The final step is where we determine which behaviors on your list are the best ones to put into practice. We’ll show you how to do that in our next post!
For now, have you made your decision? Are you prepared to cut off all other paths forward and commit to reaching for Grinds instead of endless addiction to tobacco and nicotine? Make the choice and don’t look back.