The Personal Planner for Success is your personal support companion. It is a compilation of your history of smoking and plan for smoking cessation. In the words of Sun Tzu, “Know your enemy and know yourself.” This is the short version used by many people. The extended version translated into English is:
“It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.”
I would venture to say most people understand what they are up against on the tobacco side of smoking cessation. They have attempted to quit more than once, might have been successful for a time, and then went back again. The underestimation wasn’t because of the strength of the tobacco; it was the unrecognized strength of the person to realize whether they were ready. This website is full of the tobacco side of the equation. What has been lacking in most people’s unsuccessful attempts is an individualized way for a person to “know yourself.” This is where the Personal Planner for Success plays a vital role in your smoking cessation goals. In a very slow, methodical, leisurely, and (hopefully) enjoyable pace, I would like for you to design your own smoking cessation history and formulate your own plan for smoking cessation success. It really can be done at any point in the smoking cessation process whether the planning/preparation, initiation/action, or maintenance/relapse prevention stage. However, the sooner the better.
Remember, once you write something down in an organized, easily retrievable, permanent manner, you allow yourself to concentrate on other, potentially more important, topics. Your subconscious mind is a very powerful tool. Using it to your advantage is a simple, easy (and inexpensive) way to get yourself in tune with the thought process of smoking cessation. You’ve heard the term “mind over matter.” Will you use this cliché as it was meant? Or will you change it to the self defeating “if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter?”
The purpose of the Personal Planner for Success is to:
1) Allow yourself to concentrate on the process of smoking cessation while alleviating the stress of trying to remember all the topics you create or are concerned about.
2) Provide an interactive framework which is a permanent, recordable, and reviewable record of your plans and progress.
3) A motivational tool for yourself and others. If you’ve elected to quit with a friend, your Personal Planner for Success allows a way to converse and compare notes in a friendly, interactive, organized manner. Even if you are quitting on your own, discussing your plan and having something to show other’s helps reinforce your determination and motivation. Your friends, family, and coworkers will provide valuable input.
4) An incredible motivational force TO STAY QUIT! Rough day? Stress at work? Relationship problems? Money concerns? Thinking about lighting up? Where is your Personal Planner for Success? What are your craving control / coping mechanisms again? You wrote them down, right? You have them readily available, right? The number one cause of relapse is failure to plan to prevent relapse. Your Personal Planner for Success helps in two ways: One, to help change your mindset. Repetition is one of the easiest and quickest ways to adapt new behaviors. Keep your Personal Planner for Success close, review it, update it, and review it again. Two, since your Personal Planner for Success was made by you; it is unique in its influence when you are in a situation of possible relapse or faltering. The more you put into it, the more it can help. It reminds me of a memorable quote from the movie The Matrix:
Neo (Keanu Reeves): What are you trying to tell me? That I can dodge bullets?
Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne): No, Neo. I’m trying to tell you that, when you’re ready, you won’t have to.
Preparation to prevent relapse, when you are ready, will inevitably eliminate the possibility of relapse.
5) A motivational tool to HELP OTHERS QUIT. Smokers know smokers. No matter how or what method you use to quit, you should share your Personal Planner for Success with others. They don’t necessarily need to know your particular comments or thoughts, just the structure and importance of their very own Personal Planner for Success.
6) In the unlikely event of relapse, you have a driving force to ease the quitting process in the future, hopefully way before the smoking gets out of control again. If this occurs, you have a golden opportunity to write more valuable information in your Personal Planner for Success. Smoking cessation should be your target. It reminds me of when I was in the military and had the annual M-16 rifle qualification training. We were required to pick up this weapon and shoot a target without ever having used this particular weapon before. Everyone’s method of holding and targeting a weapon is slightly different. In order to make the weapon you were going to use for qualification adjusted to the way you fire a weapon, it had to be “Zero’d.” This required you to fire the weapon at a paper target multiple times. In the Army, it’s in groups of three. You would fire your weapon three times at the paper target. First you would have to have an adequate “grouping,” the three rounds would have to be in close proximity to each other. The goal was to have all three rounds as close to each other as a quarter (the twenty-five cents coin). If not, you had to work on your firing technique. Once this was accomplished, you would adjust the weapon, not the person, to account for the various ways people hold and target. One person may need to have their sights adjusted down and to the right, while another person night need up and to the left. The ultimate goal is for you to hit your target in your individualized way. Your Personal Planner for Success will help you “Zero” into your target of smoking cessation.
First and foremost, this is YOUR Personal Planner for Success. This section of the website is offered as a guide only. Feel free to deviate, add or subtract as you feel necessary. My recommendation is, however, more is better. Even if it means writing thoughts, new topics, questions and concerns in multiple places. Rearranging, writing, rewriting, and reviewing are necessary. Remember, the main intent is to allow yourself to know your personal interest of smoking cessation is on paper and you no longer have to utilize brain power to remember that input. Move on to something else. Add to your topic or subject as you think about it, and then allow yourself NOT to concentrate on it. If it’s important enough, your mind will come back to it with a fresh view and possibly a new way to look at that particular subject.
My recommendation is to get yourself a POCKET-SIZED notebook or personal planner. Something you can carry around with you. If you carry a purse with you everywhere, it should fit conveniently in that purse. If you don’t usually carry anything throughout the day, again, a POCKET-SIZED memo pad is good. Your Personal Planner for Success is much less effective if you don’t have it when you need it or have a new, fresh idea to add.