For the last month and a half, I’ve been following James Altucher’s daily practices. He explains them all in his book Choose Yourself, but the basic idea is to work on improving your emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical health by 1% every day.
I call it my Jedi training.
So far, I’ve been focusing on following the advice he lays out in the book.
For the mental practice, I make my daily list of 10 ideas and write at least a 250 word journal entry.
For the emotional practice, I’m trying to spend more time both physically and virtually around the people I love.
For my spiritual practice, I spend 10 minutes every morning writing the things I’m grateful for and I’m trying to reconnect to the part of me that enjoys meditation.
The physical practice has been going on for a while. It began when I started learning to cook last October and has built up from there. I’m eating healthier and trying to be more active. I use a pedometer app to county my steps and walk 1% more every day.
Oh, and I quit smoking.
No More Tobacco
Last Monday, I publish a blog post about my subconscious telling me to pay more attention to my money.
It was somewhat disingenuous. I left a piece of it out. By the time I wrote that blog post, I was already sure of what my subconscious was trying to tell me.
I was literally burning money smoking cigarettes.
I should claim the health aspects were the deciding factor or at least admit I was furious at myself for having an addiction, but what gave me the motivation to break through was adding up how much I was spending.
See, here’s the thing about my addiction to nicotine. The big secret I’ve been keeping from myself and the lie I was forcing myself to believe.
I don’t get pleasure from smoking. I don’t like the taste of cigarettes. I don’t like smelling like cigarettes.
But, I didn’t think I had the strength to put them away.
So, I’m cheating.
I started vaping.
Vaping Has Helped Me Quit
I have tried using an e-cigarette before and failed. This time, I went to a vape shop and got advice from the dude working there. I spent a little more money than I thought I was going to, but I can’t argue with the results.
I have not had a cigarette since noon on April 30. I have not missed them. I have not long for them. I have not felt compelled to go buy a pack.
The vaporizer keeps my nocitine cravings in check and replaces the physical habit. It isn’t as healthy as flat-out quitting, but, it lets me control the amount of nicotine and work towards decreasing it.
It’s very similar to how nicotine patches help you quit, but I haven’t had the insane nightmares I had when I was on the patch.
It’s also cheaper. Yes, it took a larger initial investment, but the long-term price is way lower. The vaporizer is reusable and a month’s worth of juice cost less than two day’s worth of cigarettes. And, that estimate is based on what the dude at the vape shop told me. I don’t think I’ll use as much. Dude vapes like a Halloween fog machine.
Nine Days and Counting
Yes, I had my last cigarette on April 30, but I’m using May 1 as my official quit date. I’ve got two reasons:
- I smoked four cigarettes on April 30, so it wasn’t a cigarette-free day.
- May 1 was my father’s 60th birthday. Something feels right about associating this endeavor to improve myself with the day my dad was born.
My goal is to never smoke another cigarette again. The entire reason I’m writing this blog post is to add a layer of public humiliation to failure. Associating my quitting with my dad’s birthday also gives me this strange sense of empowerment. Like, I owe it to him to keep going.
It’s the world’s most selfish birthday present.
Every time I get the urge to smoke and don’t, will be a small tribute to my father. He deserves more, but this works in my brain. Even if it makes little sense to anyone else.
So Far, I’m Content
It’s only been nine days. I’m barely into the recovery stage where my lungs turn 15 years of damage into greasy snot. It is too early to say I feel healthier.
But, I am saving money and I think I smell better. At least, I’m now aware of the smell of cigarette smoke around me. One really good sign is the disgust I get when I smell someone else’s cigarettes. There was a time in my life I thought it smelled awesome and delicious. I don’t anymore.
Now, I have to keep going. I have to keep on being cigarette-free. I can’t let myself be too confident. I’ve stopped and started multiple times in the past. I even went for almost a year.
But, I quit for the wrong reason then. I quit for someone else and immediately smoked again once she was no longer part of my life.
This time, I quit because I don’t enjoy it. I think this will be the time that sticks.
I’ll keep you informed.