Changing habits is hard – they’re meant to be! After all what would be the point of having a habit if it didn’t allow us to focus on more important things! Given the habit is good for us, right!?
You’ve probably seen a range of different sources suggesting it takes 21 days to break an addiction, 30 days to form a new habit or 10,000 hours to master your craft! To help you cut through all of that noise, with help of research from Public Health England, in conclusion and statistically speaking, if you can be smoke free for 28 Days, you are 5 times more likely to quit for good…and so the 28 Days Challenge was born.
Another tasty stat for you – according to NHS research, you are 4 times more likely to quit smoking partnering with a service, than you are going alone! So, let’s crack it together…
Here’s a little taste of what you can expect when you sign up to the challenge:
Firstly, know what lies ahead is super simple – meaning you can focus your energy on the quit and creating new habits.
The service has been designed to be delivered digitally and remotely – meaning it’s flexible around your schedule.
During the course, you will be assigned a team of Quit Coaches (or you can have 1 if you prefer), on hand to support at every stage of the journey. During your first session we’ll explore a bit more about you and why you want to do this – really important and something you can always return to thru the journey, we’ll run through the NRT (nicotine replacement therapy) options & set a quit date together. We’ll provide you with a Challenge Handbook (link here) full of hints and tips to get you moving. The Quit Coaches will be with you at the crucial moments, the ‘Quit Date Call’ (smoke free now!) and weekly sessions (between 6-8) to keep you on track and answer any questions. The only thing left is smash the Challenge and be a Better, Fitter, Quitter.
What does all this mean for you – the person going through the process? Here is some insight into what you’ll be feeling through the Challenge.
Day 1-3: Starting Strong
Motivation: Sky High – You have determined your ‘why’ for quitting smoking, feeling strong, energised and ready to meet the challenge head on and smash it. All your preparation has led you up until this point – no stopping the flow!
Cravings: High – your body has gotten used to the regular nicotine hits and those addictive chemicals you’ve grown to depend on, so naturally it will be craving some more. More than likely, you’ll be craving sugar too, and Haribo is a safer way to get that dopamine release than a Marlboro.
Health | Mood: Urgh – expect to experience some feelings of lethargy and irritability – not for long though. On the plus side, blood pressure lowers, carbon monoxide starts leaving the body and your lungs will begin to clear out mucus and other nasty debris – you might even be able to taste your favourite foods again too!
Triggers: Safe – you’ll probably crave a cig during your most routine times (that morning coffee and cig affair over but not forgotten yet), but your motivation and energy will get you through!
Days 3-7: Getting tough but nothing you can’t handle
Motivation: High – but you may find that the initial novelty and early energy is wearing off. This is a good time to remember your ‘Why’ (the reasons you wanted to quit in the first place)!
Cravings: High – in the danger zone as you adjust to new routines – feeling of being out of your comfort zone, which is exactly where you need to be to continue strengthening your muscle to be with the cravings.
Health | Mood: Not bad – Whilst you may feel a bit under the weather, headaches are common due to withdrawal from nicotine, your body is continuing to recover.
Triggers: Risky – Remain watchful, it’s easy to slip back and give in to a craving if you’re not prepared to handle the cravings. Knowing that cravings will come in waves, learning to notice them early will keep you on track
Week 2: In the Zone
Motivation: Up & Down – it’s natural to have highs and lows. Take it a step at a time, a day at a time – it’s a marathon, not a sprint!
Cravings: High but peaking – feel the cravings coming on like big waves, but you’ve learnt to surf along the way! They should be lessening soon
Health | Mood: Improving - Energy levels will be increasing, lung capacity greater and general health is improving noticeably now
Triggers: Tricky - You may have beaten the nicotine addiction, but not the habit just yet – keep a watchful eye out for slippery moments especially the ones which you associate most with the old habit
Week 3: Worst is over, just keep on going
Motivation: Superb – feeling great about not smoking and the progress made the past 3 weeks – keep up the solid effort
Cravings: Lingering – Become a scientist of your own mind & find out what’s causing the remaining cravings? This is an opportunity to squash them for good
Health | Mood: Rising – Breathing better, looking better, feeling fresher and more energetic
Triggers: Avoid arrogance – It’s easy to get complacent and re-lapse at this point. Keep a watchful eye out
Week 4: Home straight in sight, start thinking long-term
Motivation: Super-high – you’ve come a long way and nearly. You’re not going to stop quitting now
Cravings: Less and less – perhaps even nearly all gone. Now officially confirmed a ‘non-smoker’
Health | Mood: Fantastic – you’re feeling brilliant, and others are noticing the changes in you
Triggers: Keep up the good work – you’ve successfully replaced your old behaviours and routines with new, healthier ones that are keeping you on track and focused on the new you
Week 5 and Onwards
You’ve beat the challenge and the sky is the limit as you keep cultivating your new fitter & better habits! 😊
Catch you on the phone…28 Days Team