Despite our best intentions to do something difficult, sometimes we fall short. Can you relate to these situations?

You keep planning get up early to exercise, but can never find the motivation once it’s morning.

You wanted to go see that new movie, but never got around to it, and now it’s no longer in theaters.

You keep meaning to take the car in to get serviced, but can never seem to find the time.

And who wants to look at that pile of laundry!

Procrastination, like in the examples above, can be harmless. When it comes to quitting smoking, it’s lethal.

Quitting smoking is hard. And it’s already hard enough to do all the simple, sometimes boring, activities in our daily lives. Most smokers are not even sure they want to quit or even can quit smoking, making it seem even harder.

Here are some simple tricks you can use to help yourself get motivated.

1. Pick one small action

When it comes to quitting smoking, sometimes it’s hard to know what to do first. Quitting for some is just deciding to throw away the cigarettes, but for many, it’s about getting information. Quitting smoking is about taking a number of very small, achievable steps.

You might be aware that November 20th is the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout: Smokers “may use the date to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and then quit smoking that day.” Most people think the day is about quitting “forever,” but really, it’s about taking a step, any step, toward quitting smoking.

We recommend joining one of our free groups to help you figure out what steps make sense for you. So one small action could be just clicking here or here!

2. Get a calendar

When something is hard to do, we tend to forget about it. We find something else to do instead. We might not even realize that so much time has gone by.

One way to stop putting off quitting is to make a note in the calendar, a commitment to yourself to take a small action (see step 1).

That’s another beauty of the Great American Smokeout. It’s about taking action, and  it’s about putting that action in a calendar.

3. Don’t do it alone!

If you are like most of us, you are far more likely to keep your commitment when someone else is involved.

One reason is that someone is holding you accountable. The presence of someone holding you accountable is very powerful. It can also make something difficult seem easy, and possibly, enjoyable.

Think about lifting a heavy sofa. It’s easier if you have some helping hands. Why do people hire personal trainers at the gym? It’s not only about getting the best technique and form, but it’s also about knowing someone is waiting for you to show up!

In our free group program, people are often surprised by how happy people are once they quit. Hearing that quitting smoking can feel exhilarating often lessens the fear of quitting–a huge obstacle.

QuitGroups meets over the phone, so it’s a convenient way to get help and support. We don’t ask you to rely on yourself. We help you because we stick with you every step of the way.