You don’t have to quit all by yourself; find someone to join you!
Having a quit buddy, someone who supports and cheers you on through your quit and vice versa, not only can help you kick the habit more successfully, it’s more fun! Perhaps that has something to do with the inspiration we can get from other people as well as the opportunity to be accountable to someone other than ourselves.
But who makes the best quit buddy? Researchers say that those closest to you (a spouse, friend, co-worker, etc.) are your best choice, especially if you decide to quit together. But be careful how you choose your quit buddy. You don’t have to be the same age, have the same personality, or even have smoked the same amount of time, but your quit buddy should be just as committed to quitting as you are — if not more!
What if you want to find a quit buddy outside your immediate social circle? You could ask around at your work, place a post on Facebook, or ask any smoker acquaintances if they’d like to quit together. If you can’t find anyone that way, try going online! Visit the Become an Ex website to find a virtual quit buddy. At the very least, you’ll find a lively chat stream you can join in.
Once you find your quit buddy, here are some things you can do together to make your quit relationship worthwhile:
- Commit. Choose a quit day that seems right to both of you. Starting on a Monday is a great day to kick off a new habit.
- Record. Create a calendar to mark off your successful quit days and stay accountable by sharing your calendars at the end of each week.
- Journal. Discuss your quit plans and how best to deal with cravings. Consider keeping journals that record your cravings through the week and schedule a time to talk them over.
- Share. Discuss the life struggles that have led you to smoking and how you are confronting them. Your quit buddy will learn as much from you as you will from him/her.
- Listen. Offer a nonjudgmental ear as your quit buddy talks through the ups and downs of quitting. But listen for unexpressed emotions, illogical rationales, and empty excuses. When the time feels right, gently point out the missteps and encourage them to get back on track.
- Schedule. Do discuss your availability honestly, i.e., whether you are able to receive calls 24/7. Sometimes those 3 a.m. talks are the most important, but you’ve got a life, too!
- Work out. Find healthy activities you can do together, like going to the gym, hiking, dancing, or entering marathons. Meeting and being around other healthy people who don’t smoke can be very supportive.
- Be positive. If you don’t already have one, discover a shared path of positivity together that can encourage and inspire you to develop the best qualities in yourselves.
- Cheer on. Celebrate the various milestones of your quits by going to the theater, having a nice dinner, or doing something you enjoy — away from other smokers.
- Stay in there. Whatever happens, whatever the struggle, be that person that doesn’t quit on your quit buddy.
When you quit together with another person, the strength you need to keep going is increased times two. So are the victories you will feel, day by day, as you continue your quit successfully. Whether you decide to find a quit buddy or join a community, just know there is always help and support out there for you!
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