I've stopped smoking. It has been 10 days now. Physically, with the use of 25mg Nicorette patches and a plastic inhalator as a cigarette substitute it hasn't been as difficult as in past attempts or how I imagined it would be.
Psychologically, it has been a lot harder because I've always enjoyed smoking but the recent health scare of a friend made me think that now was a good time to quit.
As an incentive to stay off the cigarettes, I've decided to set up a rewards program where I get to spend my cigarette money on those big expensive art books from my Amazon wish list! A rewards system only works if you spend the money that you'd normally burn, on something that you badly want, but wouldn't buy because it is a complete luxury.
I worked out that I smoked around 15 cigarettes at a cost of £4.95 per day. I'm accruing this equivalent amount each day that I don't smoke on a spreadsheet and debiting my rewards. I've found that short term goals & rewards work the best as you get rewarded quicker. I think saving long term for something like a holiday would become meaningless as gratification needs to be frequent to remind you why you are doing it. However, I am also deducting the cost of the patches and inhalator cartridges as an additional incentive to cut back on these as well.
My idea is to try this system for 12 weeks, which should be long enough to become totally nicotine free and to accustom myself to a change of habits.
Faced with the prospect of getting these fantastic goodies, I've become very excited & motivated about giving up smoking! Suddenly to be able to spend £50 on a book after 10 days seems crazy, but it totally drives home how meaningless burning money really is.