A Note on Timing

They say timing is everything. This is mostly true. What I mean is: your birthday and New Years both have rapid potential as far as quit-dates go, you can plan for them. you can make sure you have all the tools in your toolkit. This might mean calling your state anti-smoking campaign or federally funded quitting program. These kind folks will offer free nicotine gum and on-the-phone counseling. By setting a quit date you will have time to go to the store and stock up on licorice, fruit, crackers and popcorn. On Quitnet.com, you can even count down to your quit date while receiving endless support from other quitters.

But if you’re like me: you’re a little bit spontaneous. A new moon. A good day. A cold. These are all promising times of transition too. A Monday morning, Christmas Day, you get the drift. The reality is: whenever inspiration strikes you, you must quit.

Sometimes, you’ve already been smoking that day: but you decide to quit. Great. That’s perfect. Nobody said you couldn’t do that. Get creative.

Use a combination of planning and spontaneity to achieve your goal of quitting smoking. It is YOUR quit. You must carve your unique path to success. For some people this may be easier than for others: say you live an isolated life in a fire lookout for half of the year and you decide to quit and not bring your cigarettes with you. Well, your quit will be very, very easy. Potentially all you will struggle with is withdrawal pangs. But most of us do not live isolated in a fire lookout (though we may wish we did) and we must deal with withdrawal pang and his sick, twisted, more experienced older cousin: temptation.

Temptation will get us, when it can. Not every time, but temptation is sexy and cool, and wasted, and pretty much a wolf in sheep’s clothing. So how does temptation relate to timing? Well, because of temptation, we may find ourselves quitting, time and time and again. This is okay (really!). See the higher the temptation, the higher the chances of relapse in general, upon first glance anyway. So we have to be forgiving of ourselves and keep moving forward.

Person (b) (as opposed to fire lookout guy) will have to take every chance they get to quit. They will be bombarded with advertisements for smoking, subtle or non subtle, in their environment, whether at home or otherwise, and they might find that before reaching a successful quit they took numerous opportunities to reach that glorious victory. Here’s the thing: Whatever works. I quit more times that I can count. But I never quit quitting. In fact I got pretty good at it.

As far as timing goes: now is the time, and next week (after your birthday party) is the time too. It’s never a wrong time to save your body. And timing, pretty much, is everything. Its always the right time to do the right thing.


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