How to find your deal breaker

Last week, I talked about all the reasons why I found it so difficult to actually stop smoking and drinking and how I needed to find my deal breaker.

In this post, I tell you how I actually found my deal breaker.


I wrote down where I spent my time

I wrote down how I spent my time. Sounds simple does n’t it? This is how I found my deal breaker. Get a notebook or use your smart phone to record where you spend your time. If it’s possible take the next 7, 30 or 90 days to track what you are doing.  So many of us think we know what we do on a regular day to day basis. Believe me though, you probably miss big chunks of time that you don’t know about and what you do during those chunks of time.


I didn’t realise how much time I was wasting

For example, when I calculated how much time I spent smoking it had a much more significant impact on me than how much harm it was doing to my health. Why? Because I realised that it took me about ten minutes to smoke each fag. I puffed away about 20 a day. That meant I was sitting and smoking for about 3 hours a day.


I was wasting three hours every day

What was I doing during those 3 hours? Just sitting there, looking out the window. Wishing I wasn’t doing it. All the energy I was putting into making my family’s and my life better and healthier. However I was taking 3 hours every day to undo or destroy it!


I needed money

But here’s the truth about why I stopped smoking. I needed more money. It was that simple. I wanted to get my business off the ground and needed funding.

So one day I was standing in the kitchen. Leaning against the solid fuel stove warming my arse and smoking a cigarette. I asked myself

“where the hell am I going to get the money I need to launch a business.”

I knew the answer would feel uncomfortable as the first thing to go in any financial need is luxuries. Smoking wasn’t a necessity, it was a luxury. If I wanted my business to work and get that money, then the smoking had to stop.


Something had to be different

This time I knew something had to be different, and I had to decide how to to do it. I’d already tried the usual ways as I’d mentioned before. Nothing was working, so this time I had to get psychological about it.


This was going to be the last cigarette

I knew the cigarette I was smoking was going to be the last one. Even though I had about 15 left in the box. So I stood there and enjoyed every last second. Smoking until my fingers burned. I decided there and then there was going to be no big drama. No fanfare about how great I was for not smoking. I wasn’t going to tell a soul I was stopping. It didn’t matter. Anyway, to be honest, I think I would have only got the rolling eyes look from my hubby anyway lol…


I was going to do it, no matter how bad I felt

I just had to decide I was going to do it regardless of how deprived of shit I felt about it.

I walked to the back door and flicked the butt across the yard, watching it fly in the air, then hit the ground, all the while knowing I’d never do that again.


Stop thinking about the hard stuff

Then I got a piece of paper and started writing. My whole family was hanging around. Even my mother was visiting us for a few weeks. At that time, she was a smoker so I hadn’t picked the best time. But I had made the decision, so I was going to stick to it. I needed that money.


I wrote it all down

I filled the page with words that described the images in my head. The money I was saving by not smoking was going to get spent. A new laptop, software and other bits I needed.


My new life existed

I also wrote about what my life is now going to look like as a non-smoker. Playing with my children without being out of breath or having stinky breath. I wrote about my beautiful smelling home with no ashtrays and clean, fresh clothes. I wrote about spending those extra three hours a day gained doing online study and lots of other incredible things that were going to happen.


Everything is created twice

Everything is created twice. The chair you sit on to eat at the table was once a thought in someone’s head, the great thing about visualising anything is

“If you can dream it, you can see it. If you can see it, you can do it.”

So I got pictures of my new life on my kitchen noticeboard. It became a vision board. But I hadn’t heard of a vision board at that time though!  I told myself, if I looked at it every day, it would help me remember why I’m doing it. Guess what happened.


I’ve never smoked since

I’ve never smoked a cigarette since then. It has been many years now since I smoked. Hopefully, I won’t be ever wanting or needing a cigarette again. I have the technology I need to keep my thriving business going. When I wake in the mornings, I can breathe. My husband’s still in my bed but sure you can’t win ‘them all ha!


Find your deal breaker

My deal breaker was both my need to find money and the time I was wasting. Your deal breaker is probably different to mine. The important thing is to find what works for you. So track how you spend your day. Then start writing about the life you would like to have. Finally draw or find some pictures that represent your new life. Keep this somewhere, you’ll see it all the time.


PS If you find this difficult you might find our Pros and Cons of drinking course helpful.

This post was written by val

Valerie is passionate about helping people with alcohol abuse problems and has gone public on her own problems with alcohol appearing on TV and radio. She founded a support service which provides services in Co. Mayo. She is the author of the book “Come back when you’re sober”. Valerie is the voice of Lifewise and ensures all our content and materials are relevant and interesting for all of our clients.

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