Observation ~ The app as a weaning program has at its core the idea that it’s main purpose and function should be in raising the users awareness of smoking. This emphasis has been considered at every stage of design – the idea that higher awareness of the habit is necessary and key to quitting.

Like anything else though, awareness can and should be kept in balance. Having raised awareness regarding smoking doesn’t mean you’ll need to be walking around in a state of constant vigilant monitoring. No need to get obsessive, in fact – don’t. The amount of awareness that it takes to remember to use the app properly, should be roughly the right amount to bring you up to a more balanced level – no longer oblivious, and on auto-pilot when lighting up.

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Anxiety about quitting…

DAY 19 ~ Typically, I’m ahead of the apps weaning schedule, ending the day with a couple of the allotted cigarettes unsmoked. Of course I should be happy about that right?

A few days ago, having perused the weaning schedule, it suddenly sunk in that an end of my smoking is actually going to occur, and that I have a real “quit date” of July 10th. This had an effect on me I wasn’t expecting. I’m suddenly feeling skeptical that I can do this. As a developer of the app though, I’m allowing myself to feel it fully, so that I can figure out exactly what to do about it.

My opinion so far is that we should put full awareness of the looming quit date at the beginning… to hit the user hard with the subject immediately “day one” so as to avoid anxiety of this sort to suddenly occur at some random point in the weaning. This seems to me to be the obvious answer, but I do feel I need to ride it out, observing as best I can, as it is happening now, and consider if there might be any value in placing exposure to the quit date at some strategic point other than the very beginning. I must say right now – I don’t think so!

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On Second Thought…

DAY 4 ~ Observation: A factor has shown up that affects the idea in the previous post. I find that right away in the morning I am in no way able to comply to an evenly spaced schedule. This is of course normal, being that after getting depleted of nicotine during sleep we smokers tend to smoke more in the morning to “catch up”. Being behind all day today has resulted in a feeling of frustration – even though, because I smoke less in the evening, I WOULD catch up eventually, but I felt guilty at each break anyway. Of necessity to remedy the feeling, I accessed the editing option and easily moved the dots to positions where they made more sense.

Immediately I felt the benefit in doing this – it put my mind into the conscious work of strategizing the remaining smokes of the day. This was a very good thing! After all, raising awareness is one of the main objectives in the app.

As far as what was said in the previous post, we will each find the best ways to strengthen ourselves, and there are an infinite number of ways to do that. The great thing about the app is that it sets us on the path of discovery of the things that will get the best results… and so smoking less in the morning can become a thing to work towards – and I can do that by scooting the dots a little at a time toward that goal.

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Scheduled Smoking

DAY 1 ~ Although custom scheduling “flexibility” is an app feature that has been painstakingly programed in, the general recommendation will be to stick to the regular, evenly spaced smoke times. This is an effective way to begin learning how to be a non smoker. It is the quickest way to begin to differentiate between the two facets of addiction… one is mental, and the other is physical. The latter is managed directly with the regularity of the smoke times and weaning schedule, (like a dose of medicine). But for the former, sticking to specific smoke times provides the opportunity to more easily identify the components of the mental facet… which are the ways smoking is interwoven and associated with every part of all that you do. These ties will have to become severed, and so it is useful to know what and where they are, and how they work.

In simpler terms; the irregular aspects of your cravings will become apparent. Questioning why, what, and how certain parts of your life are associated with your habit will make it much easier to then gradually “unassociate” those things.

LATER: So after writing the above, it didn’t take long to identify one very problematic smoke trigger I have… that is when answering a cell call, I am automatically out the back door and lighting up – typically there is no awareness of this as an established behavior pattern.

The good news was that I caught it, and it was no big deal to not smoke.

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