Quit Smoking: The Best Resolution

Maybe it’s my own fault for being so annoyingly optimistic, but I absolutely love that New Years resolutions are a thing. A legitimate thing? It’s widely disputed, but even if many resolutions are abandoned not long after midnight there are countless examples of people sticking to their new goals. On your Facebook wall you may have encountered a handful of people saying that everyone should be making resolutions all the time, not just when a new year is rung in, but the popularity of such a notion is at least a good start, and by fulfilling these resolutions I’m sure people will be prompted to make many more.

It might look cool but this dog is dead now.

It might look cool but this dog is dead now.

But this isn’t about a vague wish of being nicer or being less materialistic, this is about one resolution that should take priority over any other, and at all times of the year – quitting cigarettes. Sadly, I am a smoker, and can admit that I did have this resolution and have relapsed since. It’s hard, and becomes even harder when you’re within the age bracket with the YOLO mentality. Even if this is another excuse, I lasted longer than I thought I would, and will last even longer the next time I quit. If this is you, you should be very proud and ignore the nay-sayers that tell you not to begin with the new year – any time you quit is a good time.

Maybe this will urge you to quit, or guide you on the way, or if you’re not a smoker maybe this can help you better understand what we’re all going through. These are the things that have helped me in the past and will help me again.

Know the facts.

Valuable Information.

Valuable Information.

As a loyal smoker you don’t look into the statistics of smoking, you know deep down it will deter you from doing what you “love”. When you fully grasp the seriousness of smoking, and realise each and every thing it does to your body, you will feel sick to your stomach – this is a good thing, use this feeling to get you started. Unfortunately the oodles of health risks doesn’t stop everyone in their tracks, thats okay because, wait! Theres more! Like how it makes you uglier than you should be, or takes all your pretty pennies (Like, a bunch of pennies). A quick Google search will scare you more than the packet pictures.

Keep Goals. Reward Yourself.

I would advise against rewarding yourself with dog food.

I would advise against rewarding yourself with dog food.

What a good goal is varies from person to person; what stays constant is the feeling of reward after a triumphant victory. It can be as small as a day smoke free or as big as a year, whatever it is give yourself something, obviously not smokes though, you dumb dumb. It’s okay to make both realistic and unrealistic goals, don’t think two weeks is even remotely possible for yourself? That’s okay, write it down anyway, and have a reward in mind just in case – you may surprise yourself.

It’s your decision to tell the world.

Think before you howl.

Think before you howl.

You may have heard that you have to tell everyone, so they can support you and stop you from doing anything silly. I like to think that this decision is highly dependant on the type of company you keep. A lot of people cannot grasp the seriousness of quitting and therefore can come off quite insensitive. If you know people who would react like this to your possible failure: ‘I thought you quit!’ , or ‘Well that didn’t last long’, and maybe ‘I told you so!’ than try not to be around them whilst quitting and maybe don’t tell them what you’re doing. It doesn’t mean they’re horrible people, they just don’t get it, and you shouldn’t have to validate an amazing life-saving decision to them. These reactions can create a fear of judgement and stop you from wanting to quit again.

Tell loved ones who have urged you to quit for years, the ones who can support you no matter what and at least try to understand what you’re feeling.

Find a quit buddy.

We can do this together.

We can do this together.

Friend, partner, family, stranger on a train, internet forum – Anyone who is on the same journey is completely invaluable to you at this time. Just a quick message when you’re feeling the urge is enough, they’ll tell you why you shouldn’t, what has worked for them, and more importantly if you feel like you’ve tried your very best and have still failed, they will not guilt you into oblivion. On top of all of this convincing your buddy not to smoke will motivate yourself as well.

Strategise for cravings.

Don't be this guy.

Don’t be this guy.

You could be doing every single thing right – it doesn’t matter, you will still get cravings. Some won’t last more than three minutes, others will feel like a lifetime, when this happens you need an exit strategy. Again, everyone is different, but these are the hints I can offer to you that have worked for me:

Check the time and tell yourself to wait ten minutes or so before you go for a smoke. Keep doing this, continually postponing will eventually get you to an urge-free stage.

Stop thinking. You will think about smokes even when you don’t want one – and then you’ll want one. Keep active, clean something, exercise, draw, talk to someone. Fill your time and notice how productive you’ve been without icky cigarettes.

Substitute. A very reliable brand of Electronic Cigarettes, nicotine free, helped me, but if you’re not comfortable with this splurge on some gum, eat tiny, stick-like snacks, chew on a twig. You can still have a ten minute break without a durry.

Be somewhere smoke-free. Chill inside your house if you’re not allowed to smoke there, opt to sit inside at restaurants, bars and cafes. You won’t be getting a good amount of sun but you also won’t be getting as much Cancer.

Affirm yourself. Tell yourself that you want to be healthy, smell good, have money and look pretty.

Become a recluse.

Walking will be easier without shitty lungs.

Walking will be easier without shitty lungs.

There is a real danger of going a little stir-crazy for a while, but as soon as your feel strong enough you can enter the world again. It’s essential to know what situations would usually make you smoke and deliberately avoid them. For me, it’s parties, town outings and coffee dates. Most things that include alcohol or coffee should be forgotten.

This is where I messed up. After a week at home, not smoking I was frantic to get out of the house and to a party. Fortunately there was someone there who had quit as well, and she became my quit buddy – unfortunately, as soon as she crashed for the night it left me capable to bum a smoke and feel close to guilt-free.

It’s hard, but apparently it gets easier. At the same party I met someone who told me he had been smoke free for a whole year. That alone was very impressive, that was until his friend reminded him that he had actually quit in 2011. This guy had quit more than two years ago, and didn’t even think about smoking enough to know how far he had gone. Inspiring stories like this can be found everywhere, and will help to motivate you.

Quit now, if you fail keep quitting, if you have already then congratulations, you are officially a non-smoker.

Now go eat some reward chocolate, you incredible person.

This dog: Smoke free for seventy years (In dog years).

This dog: Smoke free for seventy years (In dog years).

by Josefina Huq

Realistic Resolutions

Hello again my friends and HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all!!

I have no doubt that many of you made some wonderful resolutions at midnight; drink less, smile more, get fit, etc. I also have no doubt that many a resolution was broken by 12:15. Don’t stress about that though, you can always try again next year!

I personally don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. I think that making a grand statement like “this year I swear to be less of a bitch” when you’re five million shots of tequila into the night is just setting you up for failure later on in the year. We use this time to make excuses for our shortcomings the year before; smoking less in 2014 won’t reverse the effects of the pack-a-day you smoked last year and even if you decide to quit drinking today your liver is two-thirds fucked already.

Couldn't have said it better myself!

Couldn’t have said it better myself!

Instead of making a resolution for myself (although ‘Be less of a bitch’ is on top of my 2014 To Do list), I came up with a list of realistic resolutions we should all put into practice this year.

  1. Floss Daily. I know you’re all mentally quoting the world’s second favourite black woman and shouting ‘Aint nobody got time for that!’ because only dentists can stick to that plan, but honestly, it’s time to take dental hygiene seriously. You can’t make a resolution to Eat Healthy if you don’t even have teeth to chew your steamed quinoa.
  2. ‘Think before I speak.’ This wasn’t my resolution, but I can’t help but relate to it a little bit. It’s only human to say the first thing that pops into our heads at any given moment. We don’t have a whole crew of underpaid workers in our brains censoring all the swear words and inappropriate jokes.  In 2014, we should all think back to our year 7 lessons in elocution and start speaking like classy fuckin’ ladies.
  3. Rid your life of enemies, exes and fuckwits. You want to be a better person in 2014? Brilliant. Surround yourself with better people than the ones who were bringing you down last year. You’re amazing and it’s high time the people you surround yourself with know it!
  4. Spend more time with family. I know it’s harder than it sounds, but blood is definitely thicker than water. 2014 is the time for you and your family to clear the air, resolve some grudges and generally talk though the shit that brings tension into the relationship. You can’t choose your family, but you can choose to put the effort in.
  5. Pay It Forward. Forgetting that the film was actually dreadful and a bit depressing at the end, the message is pretty important. Help a stranger, smile more and make the world a better place. You’ll be surprised how good it can feel to do a good turn without expecting something back.
  6. Stop being shallow. Also known as Stop it with the goddamned selfies. Outside the realms of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flikr, Instagram and Grindr for those of you who are so inclined, there is a world of real people having real conversations and making real relationships. I know- shocking! When your life revolves around the number of likes you get on a photo of yourself pouting in a bathroom mirror, you’ll find you’re missing out on so many amazing things. Live for yourself- the real version, not the creepy  duckfaced version- and suddenly the cyber world will become insignificant. Measure yourself by the number of things you like, not the number of people who like you.
  7. On a related note, get out of the house. Not because ‘we’ve just traced the call and it’s coming from the attic’ but because a) fresh air and sunlight are good for you and b) the world is an amazing place. You don’t even need to travel to another country to see the beauty. There are special things everywhere you go. Yes, you may have to look harder to find them in the concrete jungles, but that’s half the fun. This year, immerse yourself in the world. You’ll be amazed at what you can find.
  8. Use the stairs. Let’s face it, you’re not going to stick to a fad diet or go to the gym every other day (neither am I, so don’t think I’m judging you). What you can do though is make the decision to take the stairs instead of the lift. It’s simple and yet so effective at staying trim and feeling healthier. You can also make the effort to walk around the office every now and then rather than staying glued to your desk all day. You burn twice as many calories standing up than you do sitting down and you’ll save money on the chiropractor bill. Being healthy is easier than you think.
  9. Do something amazing. Something that you wouldn’t have even dreamed of in 2013. Big, small, totally outrageous, whatever. Just make it count.
  10. Finally, conquer the fear. I know how hard this is and I know that none of us can do it alone. This final resolution is a team effort, and we, the amazing readers and writers of Solstice Satisfaction, are going to do it together. I call it ‘The SolSat Super Support System’ (say that then times fast!). We’ve all been drawn to SolSat because we’re likeminded, slightly eccentric and very unique people. Together, we can conquer the fear.Come at us 2014- we’re ready for you!

– by Blaire Gillies