I guess I'm starting to become one of the old vets on the forum, with a quit that's now 164 days long. Bear that in mind as I crawl up on a pedestal and offer my thoughts to the assembled masses in the public square. I'm just a humble quit-partner with a few months of success under my belt. I'm NOT an expert.
Most of the posts on this forum are from people just starting or barely into their quit, which makes sense. They need the support, they want to pat themselves on their back for getting through Day 1, or Week 1, or Month 1, etc. (And they deserve our congratulations.) Lately, I've been seeing a lot of newbies saying something that actually makes me cringe. They say:
I really need to quit.
They usually have a host of good reasons - health, saving money, improving self esteem and self respect, etc. From a logical point of view, they are right, and what they're saying is true - they do "need" to quit. But - "needing" to quit is never, ever, ever going to be enough reason to successfully quit, in my humble opinion. Just like you can't quit for someone else (my wife wants me to quit, etc.) you won't succeed just because you "need" to do it.
Right now, I need to lose 40 pounds. I need to exercise more. I need to improve my diet and nutrition. I need to repair a few relationships. I need to get more focused on my work. I could have written all of those sentences every year for the past X number of years. It hasn't been enough.
I used to think the way to work with "I need to..." is to reframe it as, "I want to..." I don't even think that's good enough any more.
I'm a writer. I used to say "I want to write a book about..." for years and years. Until seven years ago, I had written NO books, but still "wanted to..." Now I've published five, after changing my thinking.
In terms of smoking, if you're one of those who's saying to yourself, "I need to quit," I'm going to recommend you reconsider making the effort just now. If that's as far as you go in terms of working on your head before you quit, you're almost certainly doomed to fail. Strong words, and perhaps many won't agree. It's my opinion.
Until you can say, emphatically and with complete conviction, "I am WILLING to quit," I bet you will find ways to sabotage your quit. In other words, I believe it's not enough to "need" to quit, or even to "want" to quit, to be successful. You have to be WILLING to quit.
Willing to get through Hell Week. Willing to say NO! to each and every crave until they give up. Willing to take on any challenge (for me, it was four days in a casino) and NOT smoke.
Ask yourself: "Are you WILLING to quit?"