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Continued from... New Years’ Resolutions -know your why, or else don’t bother!

This escalated to eventually buying packets and smoking 20 a day. I knew they were bad for my health, we all did, so I attempted to give up, as one should. However, I never really felt it, you know, the real want to give up. And trust it me it was nothing to do with being addicted. I had stopped during holidays many times, when I had no opportunity to smoke, then go straight back on them once I had a chance.

So, what was different the last time? I wanted to give them up. And I’m being honest when I say, I went cold turkey and it did not bother me, once I had decided, that was it.

I had found a reason that was greater to stop than to continue.

I was in my final year of nursing. I had to get my tonsils removed and at 21 my recovery wasn’t necessarily going to be quick, especially as a smoker. If I exceeded a certain sick leave, I would not have been able to sit my exams with my class that October, I would have had to wait until the following February. That was my why.

I had my last hurra the night our class came back together, after having been on placements in separate groups, for 7 months, and that was it.

I never looked back.

A few weeks later I had my surgery, it went well, I recovered and sat my exams with my class in October.

So guys, you gotta find your why!

And it has to be your why, it has to feel good to you, exciting, invigorating, maybe even a little scary but you have to be real about it, passionate even.

Firstly, I would invite you to get a little quiet time, maybe an hour or so…

•Leave your phone in another room and make sure you are not disturbed.

•Have a pen & paper and a drink.

•Make the room, the place you are sitting comfortably. Make sure you are warm.

•Maybe light a candle and set an intention if it feels right for you.

•Music is optional here, I love music, however if you are putting on music, select something neutral so it does not bring up memories or emotions that may take from this practice.

•Take a few slow deep breaths, letting go of any other tasks that face you today, committing to this time for you.

When you have set your space and connected to you and your thoughts on this, take you pen and paper and write down what comes up. You can draw images too.

•What do you see for yourself? Describe it in great detail, the more the better.

•How does it feel? Really connect to emotions. If emotions come up that do not feel good, you may need to look at those and do some work on what’s behind those. Focus on the good feeling emotions.

Now that you have written all you can think of, at this time, consider leaving it to one side for a while and come back to add on more.

Then in a couple of days convert your future dreams into goals.

•Make a plan; do you need to get support, advice, an accountability partner or other resources.

•Break it down into smaller pieces.

•Create a way to tick things off the list.

•Have a reward system that suits you.

There are several things you can do to support yourself and one such thing is to place your ‘why’ in a spot where you see it often. Use words, create a symbol or image which reminds you of your why – it doesn’t need to make sense to anyone else, you just need to find a way to connect to it often and feel those positive emotions attached to it.

And enjoy the journey!

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