Updated: Nov 18, 2020
When it comes to how many cigarettes a person smokes, research has demonstrated people tend to underestimate the amount they smoke in a day. It’s not just people who smoke; people tend to underestimate the calories they consume and overestimate the amount of physical activity they do. It’s easy to misjudge how many cigarettes you smoke or how active you are.
When making a lifestyle change, such as quitting smoking, tracking can be a rewarding strategy before you even start the quitting process. It is also a valuable tool for reducing daily cigarettes and while in action. Let’s explore a few reasons why tracking your daily habits can be helpful.
Self-awareness is critical when making a lifestyle change. Tracking makes you more mindful of your actions and clarifies how many cigarettes you are consuming. Most importantly, it documents when you are smoking during the day and the ebb and flows of your habit throughout the day. Tracking helps you pay attention to what you are putting into your mouth. Recognizing that unwanted habits exist is the first awareness step toward overcoming them.
Tracking arms you with data, objective Feedback of when and where you are with your smoking habit. If you are interested in reducing before you quit, it is a useful tool to guide your efforts.
Tracking provides a goal-setting opportunity. Having a snapshot picture of where you are, allows you to put a plan in place, narrow the gap and move you toward where you want to be with your lifestyle change. It guides you in your efforts to develop small achievable goals.
Tracking pre quitting increases motivation for moving forward. It can inspire you to take action. If reducing daily cigarettes is a part of your plan, you can see the changes daily and weekly, encouraging you to build on those successes. Tracking is an opportunity to highlight your achievements.
Accountability, seeing a full day of smoking behaviour in black in white, makes it very real. This documented truth keeps you honest and accountable to yourself.
The benefits of tracking are noteworthy during the pre quitting stage, though how long you keep a record is really up to you. Tracking for physical activity and other healthy habits while you are in the action stage of quitting is encouraged and proven to increase your success rate. Research demonstrates that individuals who track their efforts before quitting smoking and during the action stage have a higher success rate than those who don’t track. Tracking while in action can help you implement your new healthy habits, such and walking regularly, eating healthy meals, or introducing regular sleep habits.
Download our tracking form to help you move forward with self-confidence. It is an accountability tool that gives you information detailing the time of day you smoke, the amount you smoke each time, location, who you are with, which emotions are connected to each cigarette as it measures the rate of cravings and urgency.