"Take it ONE DAY AT A TIME"

Joel
Joel

February 11th, 2001, 1:09 am #1

Joel's Reinforcement Library

"Take it ONE DAY AT A TIME"


This concept is taught by almost all programs which are devoted to dealing with substance abuse or emotional conflict of any kind. The reason that it is so often quoted is that it is universally applicable to almost any traumatic situation.

Dealing with quitting smoking is no exception. Along with NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!, ONE DAY AT A TIME is the key technique which gives the smoker the strength to successfully quit smoking and stay free from the powerful grip of nicotine dependence.

When first quitting, the concept of ONE DAY AT A TIME is clearly superior to the smoker thinking that he will never smoke again for the rest of his life. For when the smoker is first giving up smoking, he does not know whether or not he wants to go the rest of his life without smoking. Most of the time the smoker envisions life as a non-smoker as more stressful, painful, and less fun.

It is not until he quits smoking that he realizes his prior thoughts of what life is like as a non-smoker were wrong. Once he quits he realizes that there is life after smoking. It is a cleaner, calmer, fuller and, most important, healthier life. Now the thought of returning to smoking becomes a repulsive concept. Even though the fears have reversed, the ONE DAY AT A TIME technique should still be maintained.

Now, as an ex-smoker, he still has bad moments every now and then. Sometimes due to stress at home or work, or pleasant social situations, or to some other undefinable trigger situation, the desire for a cigarette surfaces. All he needs to do is say to himself, I won't smoke for the rest of today; tomorrow I will worry about tomorrow. The urge will be over in seconds, and the next day he probably won't even think of a cigarette.

But ONE DAY AT A TIME should not only be practiced when an urge is present. It should be practiced daily. Sometimes an ex-smoker thinks it is no longer important to think in these terms. He goes on with the idea he will not smoke again for the rest of his life. Assuming he is correct, when does he pat himself on the back for achieving his goal. When he is lying on his death bed he can enthusiastically proclaim, "I never smoked again." What a great time for positive reinforcement.

Every day the ex-smoker should wake up thinking that he is not going to smoke that day. And every night before he goes to sleep he should congratulate himself for sticking to his goal. Because pride is important in staying free from cigarettes. Not only is it important, but it is well deserved. For anyone who has quit smoking has broken free from a very powerful addiction. For the first time in years, he has gained control over his life, rather than being controlled by his cigarette. For this, he should be proud.

So tonight, when you go to sleep, pat yourself on the back and say, "Another day without smoking, I feel great." And tomorrow when you wake up, say, "I am going to try for another day. Tomorrow I will deal with tomorrow." To successfully stay free from smoking, TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME and - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

Joel




Last edited by Joel on August 15th, 2012, 6:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Quote
Share

mirigirl (silver)
mirigirl (silver)

February 11th, 2001, 7:12 am #2

NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!!
Thanks Joel For all of us.
YQS Maz
Three weeks, 10 hours, 14 minutes and 25 seconds NICOTINE FREE!!
535 cigarettes not smoked, saving $171.41. Life saved: 1 day, 20 hours, 35 minutes.
Last edited by mirigirl (silver) on July 11th, 2009, 12:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

Patticake (Gold)
Patticake (Gold)

February 11th, 2001, 10:28 am #3

Joel, I'am not sure I fully understand what you mean here. For 40+ years I let cigaretts control my life, a life I intend to take back. I want Nicodemon and his stinking habit out of my life forever. As difficult as this quit has been everyday and every trigger only makes me more determined to NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF. Is there no hope of ever reaching a point in time when although I no longer have the smoking addiction I will still have the mental addiction? For the rest of my life the first thing I will have to do when I wake up is confront the smoking issue? Joel, I love the time periods I go without even thinking about smoking, so much so that I have noticed the past several days when I do think of it I experience a mild jolt. Can't explain it but to me it is real. Will I have to deal with this the rest of my life, is the addiction so strong that I can never be completely free?
Quote
Share

GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)

February 11th, 2001, 10:58 am #4

Hi Patti...

Like you, I also smoked for 40+ years...it was my life....I began smoking at 16 and stopped at 57....cigarettes controlled my every waking moment.

But I want to assure you that things DO change and you will go not only for longs time periods during the day where you do not think about smoking....to days, weeks and months where you don't think about wanting a cigarette.

But what Joel says here is that to say we are not going to smoke for the rest of our lives is like saying we aren't going to speak to Mrs. S the rest of our lives or we're not going to forget to floss our teeth the rest of our lives. We have to live for the present and the present only......we have no idea what the rest of our life will bring. That brings us to the fact that you and I and all the others here at freedom are ex smokers, but at the same time nicotine addicts and we must never ever forget that. Complacency can become a major obstacle in every addicts' life and Joel is essentially telling us that we have to remind ourselves of our addiction to make sure that we never let it take control again.

So while I have not smoked for over a year.....and while the only time I think about cigarettes is when I am at work and smell my customers when they come into the store.....or when I see someone smoking outside in the cold....or when I am here at freedom reading and working....smoking is NOT on my mind. But at the same time....I also have to remind myself each and every day that I am only one puff away from a full blown addiction and at the end of every day, I go to bed giving thanks that I was able to live my day smokefree by not taking another puff.

You will find your freedom....you will live your life without cigarettes and love every second....but both you and I and everyone else must remember that yes, we will always be addicts and that we can never take another puff.

wishing you the very best,

hugs, Linda....one year, one month, one week and tomorrow...one day.....and savoring every minute of being smoke free.
Quote
Share

Patticake (Gold)
Patticake (Gold)

February 11th, 2001, 11:13 am #5

Thank you Linda, sometimes I am just overwhelmed , guess now I can climb down off the roof. Love your stats. 1,1,1 GREAT
Quote
Share

Joel
Joel

September 3rd, 2001, 7:45 pm #6

It is important to understand the concept of such phrases as "One day at a time." These should not be thought of as just empty words or a catch phrase; the concept behind the phrase is key to keeping not smoking a less intimidating and more importantly--a likely outcome.

So whenever you use the phrases of "One day at a time" or "never take another puff," reevaluate the statement and see if your reasons are still valid. If you remember smoking in its entirety you will likely recognize that staying smoke free and healthy and alive is still your true desire and to keep your desire a reality you still choose to never take another puff!

Joel
Quote
Share

marty (gold)
marty (gold)

September 3rd, 2001, 9:52 pm #7

Very timely, Joel, specially for us middlebies. You're right that we tend to remember the words and forget the meaning ! And "one day at a time" is probably the best tool available at the start of a quit, or at a time of crisis.
Quote
Share

mirigirl (silver)
mirigirl (silver)

September 3rd, 2001, 11:25 pm #8

Thanks Joel for bringing this - and other educational threads - up to the top.
You know - I don't know if it's just the fog of 8 days quit or the after effects of soaking my brain with nicotine - but I am finding it very hard to focus on even the basics of recovery from nicotine addiction. I feel like I'm all over the place!
Like when one of my Freedom friends posted to me about "junkie thinking" - as soon as I saw that term, I thought - yes, now why didn't I see that?? It's like all your teachings got washed away... so I'm reading as much as I can and sticking close to the Board. And whatever else "never take another puff" is not really too complicated to understand!
It feels very strange though...... like when someone who has a drinking problem goes and has a relapse.... it's like I've knocked off a few brain cells ( though it's probably more likely lung cells!!) I feel "knocked about" or like I've been "run over by a truck" and I guess real tired. Also having the moods swings of early recovery - happy one minute - full of self-pity the next.
Trying to look after myself. Oh well... I'm sure each day it will get better and for today, I can acknowledge that it's
"another day without smoking and I (nearly) feel great" :-)) getting there!
thanks
yqs Max
8 days Free
Quote
Share

Joanne Gold
Joanne Gold

November 19th, 2001, 1:32 am #9

It is so important for us to remember the concept of ONE DAY AT A TIME...we need to really live it out.

Learning about my addiction and remembering to remain proud and aware of my success, on a daily basis - has saved my life. Whether we quit smoking two days ago or two years ago, Joel's words here should always apply.....
"So tonight, when you go to sleep, pat yourself on the back and say, "Another day without smoking, I feel great." And tomorrow when you wake up, say, "I am going to try for another day. Tomorrow I will deal with tomorrow." To successfully stay free from smoking, TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME and - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!"
Quote
Share

Joel
Joel

December 31st, 2001, 12:17 pm #10

Important for all people just about to begin a quit, as well as for all people who are planning on continuing a quit for another day.
Quote
Share

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

January 1st, 2002, 12:17 pm #11

There probably isn't a more important skill that any
of us can master than learning to take our recovery
just one hour, challenge and day at a time.
Last edited by John (Gold) on July 11th, 2009, 12:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

January 21st, 2002, 7:38 pm #12



Although all of my prior attemptss failed because I broke the law of addiction and took another puff of nicotine, the junkie thinking that my mind engaged in immediately prior to doing so varied from failure to failure. Although I learned a little lesson with each failure, there are so many relapse rationalizations to be overcome before graduating from the school of hard quit knocks, that many quitters simply run out of time and quit opportunities, and their defeat becomes permanent, cold, lifeless, stiff and final.

Although I used stupid reasons like it was time for a little reward for quitting for a whole day - just a couple of quick little puffs (always less than half a cig) - central to each failure was the simple fact that I had lost patience with the pace of withdrawal and recovery, that I failed to develop a one day at a time attitude that saw each hour, challenge, and day of quitting as a complete victory in and of itself.

Instead of successfully coping with those few moments prior to each relapse, I simply surrendured to them. I now know that no crave will ever last longer than three minutes (about the time necessary to smoke a cigarette). If I had only held out for a couple of minutes, the worst would have passed and my quit confidence would have been allowed to again re-build. Instead, I simply surrendered to a few anxiety riddled moments.

A one day at a time mind set asks each of us to focus on success for just here and now, the moments in front of us. If we are not successful over the next few minutes then we each know how we'll spend all the minutes, days, and packs that follow. Like a skilled cliff or rock climber, focus only on getting a good grip of the rocks within arm's reach. To worry about rocks that you can not yet reach or dwell upon how far it is to the ground below or the distance remaining to be climbed, does not help us at all in getting a good grip on here and now! We'll deal with tomorrow, tomorrow. It's here and now that matters! Now is the distance between here and success!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

John (Gold)
Last edited by John (Gold) on July 11th, 2009, 12:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

Joel
Joel

May 25th, 2002, 8:57 pm #13

For those worried about a three day holiday weekend
Quote
Share

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

May 31st, 2002, 10:25 am #14



Welcome to Freedom, where we celebrate each
hour and day of healing and each challenge overcome
as the full and complete victory each reflects!
Why worry about tomorrow today?
Here and now is all that matters!
Baby steps to glory!
Last edited by John (Gold) on July 11th, 2009, 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

July 2nd, 2002, 9:19 pm #15

Baby Steps!
Last edited by John (Gold) on July 11th, 2009, 12:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

Joanne Gold
Joanne Gold

October 24th, 2002, 9:26 pm #16

Last edited by Joanne Gold on July 11th, 2009, 12:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

January 7th, 2003, 9:06 pm #17

a new beginning
Last edited by John (Gold) on July 11th, 2009, 12:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

Joanne Gold
Joanne Gold

July 5th, 2003, 1:05 pm #18

This is such an important thread. The concept of One Day At A Time truly carried me through. I honestly quit for just one day and nothing more, that was all I could handle.
Really pay close attention to that concept and listen to what it really means.
4-1/2+ years and just for today...
Joanne
Last edited by Joanne Gold on July 11th, 2009, 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

Rickgoldx5
Rickgoldx5

September 3rd, 2003, 12:59 am #19

One day, one minute or one hour just take it as you can. If you look at it as a life time you might get overwelmed. Your only given this day or this hour so make the best of it. Just don't smoke today. And I know it seems impossible now but one day, if you really want Freedom from cigarettes, you'll be sitting there and realize that for the first time in years you spent one day without one thought of a cigarette! It can happen if you just let it! One day at a time.
Rick
One year, three months, four weeks, one day, 4 hours, 43 minutes and 41 seconds. 38895 cigarettes not smoked, saving $9,704.48. Life saved: 19 weeks, 2 days, 1 hour, 15 minutes.
Quote
Share

Joanne Gold
Joanne Gold

December 25th, 2003, 3:51 pm #20


Last edited by Joanne Gold on July 11th, 2009, 3:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

Joel
Joel

May 21st, 2004, 5:42 pm #21

It is important to understand the concept of such phrases as "One day at a time." These should not be thought of as just empty words or a catch phrase; the concept behind the phrase is key to keeping not smoking a less intimidating and more importantly--a likely outcome.
So whenever you use the phrases of "One day at a time" or "never take another puff," reevaluate the statement and see if your reasons are still valid. If you remember smoking in its entirety you will likely recognize that staying smoke free and healthy and alive is still your true desire and to keep your desire a reality you still choose to never take another puff!

Joel
Quote
Share

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

September 27th, 2004, 8:32 pm #22


Yes we can!
Last edited by John (Gold) on July 11th, 2009, 3:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)

October 27th, 2004, 11:05 am #23

It is important to understand the concept of such phrases as "One day at a time." These should not be thought of as just empty words or a catch phrase; the concept behind the phrase is key to keeping not smoking a less intimidating and more importantly--a likely outcome.
So whenever you use the phrases of "One day at a time" or "never take another puff," reevaluate the statement and see if your reasons are still valid. If you remember smoking in its entirety you will likely recognize that staying smoke free and healthy and alive is still your true desire and to keep your desire a reality you still choose to never take another puff!

Joel
Quote
Share

coryw42
coryw42

February 8th, 2005, 4:10 am #24

One day at a time, it's working for me
Last edited by coryw42 on July 11th, 2009, 3:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

May 1st, 2005, 8:37 pm #25

Every day the ex-smoker should wake up thinking that he is not going to smoke that day. And every night before he goes to sleep he should congratulate himself for sticking to his goal. Because pride is important in staying free from cigarettes. Not only is it important, but it is well deserved. For anyone who has quit smoking has broken free from a very powerful addiction. For the first time in years, he has gained control over his life, rather than being controlled by his cigarette. For this, he should be proud.

So tonight, when you go to sleep, pat yourself on the back and say, "Another day without smoking, I feel great." And tomorrow when you wake up, say, "I am going to choose to not smoke for another day. Tomorrow I will deal with tomorrow." To successfully stay free from smoking, TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME and - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
Quote
Share