How to Quit Smoking Part 2: How to Increase Motivation & Succeed!

quit smokingThe secret of success is to increase your Motivation to Change, and therefore increase your Readiness to Quit Score. That increases the likelihood of quitting successfully, and you succeed.  Why?  Because your Readiness to Quit Score is an accurate indicator of what you really, really, want to do – not just what you ‘wish’ you could do, or what you know you ‘ought’ to do.

This Part 2 of How to Quit Smoking covers how you can increase your Motivation to Change (stop smoking), as indicated by your Readiness to Quit Score.

How your Readiness to Quit Score is calculated, and used as a Motivational mind tool, was explained in Part 1.

Part 1 of How to Quit Smoking introduced a fictional smoker called Christy, and demonstrated how our motivation to quit can be changed by receiving new information. Part 1 also explained the value of our Readiness to Quit Score on a scale of 1 – 10 as an indicator of the strength of our Motivation to Change.

Motivations Are Not Set In Concrete – They Can Change – & Be Changed

The relative weight of our reasons, for and against any particular course of action, can change over time.  We might start smoking in our teens, and see no reason to stop smoking for years.  So we happily continue to smoke.  But maybe later, we have a child who develops asthma, and we are told that our cigarette smoking might have been a possible reason for it.  Or, at the very least, we learn that our smoking is making the asthma worse.

Now the balance sheet of our for-and-against reasons – our personal cost/benefit analysis – has shifted.  Now we have stronger reasons to think about quitting.  Maybe also by now, the price of cigarettes has gone up, and the costs of running a home have increased.  Now the weight of the benefits we get from smoking are beginning to be outweighed by all of the reasons why it would be good if we could quit.

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How to Quit Smoking Part 1: Use A Motivation Decision Chart & Succeed

crushed cigarette“How can I quit smoking, when all my previous decisions to stop smoking have always failed?” Or perhaps you’ve asked yourself, “Isn’t there something that can help me quit smoking?” Yes there is. This article gives an example of how to use a For and Against Decision Making Chart as a motivational mind tool, to help you quit smoking. Whenever we have a problem, we need to use problem solving techniques to solve it: and the balance of our motivations is our key to success.

What is Motivation?make decision to quit

Motivation comprises all the different and various thoughts, feeling, beliefs, emotions, experiences and hopes – our Reasons, that are involved whenever we decide to do something – or we decide against doing something. Whenever we make a resolution (a decision) to change something we do, and then fail to succeed with those good intentions, it’s usually because our motivation to change has slipped – and we fall prey to temptation, and relapse. This is particularly true with any sort of addiction, because of the extra strength of those ever-present temptations. Continue reading

How We Make Difficult Decisions: Should I Go To Work Today?

difficult decision A difficult decision is any decision where we are ‘in two minds’.   Every time we find ourselves struggling to decide what we should do, it’s because we have conflicting motives, pulling our minds in different directions – the struggle of our For and Against motives.  I think everyone has had mornings when they wake up thinking about whether they should get up and go to work… or not.  Should we…or shouldn’t we?  Yes or No?  If there were no conflicting motives, it would not be a difficult decision – we’d just do it. No problem.

In this article, I’ll give examples of how we always make difficult decisions by using the same mental processes – by assessing our conflicting motives, and how, what we decide to do, depends on how our conflicting For and Against motives balance out – on which competing side wins.  And which side wins, depends on our thoughts feelings, and beliefs. Continue reading

How Does CBT & Rehab Shift My ‘For & Against’ Motives?

conflicting ideasIn recent articles I have explained how drawing up your own personal For And Against Decision Making Chart gives you an opportunity to think clearly about any important decision that you might be struggling with.  It can be any difficult decision when you can’t decide what to do.

Whenever you are finding it difficult to come to a decision, it will because you have competing For and Against motives, otherwise it wouldn’t be a difficult decision – if you already know what you want to do, you just do it.  No problem.  Difficult decisions are difficult because there is conflict between several different and competing options.  These options, or motives, are pulling you in different directions, and you cannot make up your mind which path to follow. Continue reading

Addiction & The Highway To Hell

addiction highway to hell When you have developed an addiction, you (and your addiction) have laid down very powerful, abnormal pathways in your brain. These pathways take time to fully establish. Imagine a pristine field of corn, and that this cornfield, is your brain as it was when you were born.   As the child gets older and learns how to function in the world, it makes lots of inter-connecting pathways, criss-crossing through that cornfield – in other words, it lays down lots of new neural pathways in their brain, that allow it to survive and function successfully in the world, without the protection and guidance of parents.

Now imagine that the owner of that cornfield, gets a bit older, and starts to regularly walk through one specific corner of their ‘cornfield’, because it’s really fun to do, and it makes them feel really good. It gives them a great deal of pleasure when they take that path. They might know that walking too often down that path can sometimes have harmful effects over time, but they might tell themselves, that it‘s their field of corn, and anyway, one little pathway will cause no real harm, so why not?  Lots of other people do it, and no harm’s done. Maybe…….. Continue reading