When I was Sophia’s age, my cousin and I tried to smoke in our Aunt’s house. I coughed so hard and I did not like it one bit, so as an adult, I have never even touched a cigarette. There was a time when I frequented bars, and the one thing I do not miss about them is the way I smell of cigarettes when I get home. It clings to my hair, clothes and skin!
Much like how I have not acquired the taste for coffee, I cannot relate to why people like cigarettes and how difficult it is to quit. What I do experience though is how I cannot seem to develop the habit of exercising. Maybe living in a tiny apartment and being in lockdown is a valid excuse, but still an excuse. I have tried working out using a yoga mat and dancing along to a zumba video in YouTube, so I can do something. The only problem is motivation.
I have come across a method that may help me:
Visualize success. A powerful self-motivation method involves making a list of the advantages of a productive action you’ve been avoiding because it requires more self-discipline than you have been able to muster. Such a list will train you to look at the positive consequences of doing it. Supposing you want to quit smoking. Here’s a three-step method that works.
Step 1. Make a list of all the positive consequences that will result when you become a nonsmoker.
1. Improved health.
2. I’ll respect myself.
3. I’ll have greater self-discipline. With my new self-confidence, I may be able to do a whole lot of other things I’ve been putting off.
4. I will be able to run and dance actively, and still feel good about my body. I’ll have lots of stamina and extra energy.
5. My lungs and heart will become strong. My blood pressure will go down.
6. My breath will be fresh.
7. I’ll have extra spending money.
8. I’ll live longer.
9. The air around me will be clean.
10. I’ll be able to tell people that I’ve become a non-smoker.
Step 2. Every night before you go to sleep, fantasize you are in your favorite spot – walking through the woods in the mountains, on a crisp autumn day, or maybe lying on a quiet beach near a crystal-blue ocean, with the sun warming your skin. Whatever fantasy you choose, visualize every enjoyable detail as vividly as possible, and let your body relax and go. Allow every muscle to unwind. Let the tension flow out of your arms and legs and leave your body. Notice how your muscles begin to feel limp and loose. Notice how peaceful you feel.
Step 3. Fantasize that you are still in that scene, and you become a nonsmoker. Go through your list of benefits and repeat each one to yourself in the following way: “Now I have improved health and I like it. I can run along the beach, and I want this. The air around me is clean and fresh, and I feel good about myself. I respect myself. Now I have greater self-discipline, and I can take on other challenges if I want to.”David D. Burns, M.D. – Feeling Good (The New Mood Therapy)
To be honest, forcing myself to exercise is starting to get old. I have started and stopped several times already, it is like a vicious cycle! Shall I just accept defeat and think of it as not for me? Much like how cigarettes and coffee are not my thing, so is exercise. Shall I just think of not exercising as my reward for not smoking? Do they even each other out?
Or do I try again? For as long as I still get the occasional drive, there is still hope, right?