In the 1991 comedy, What about Bob?, a psychiatrist (Richard Dreyfuss) suggests his patient (Bill Murray) read his book entitled Baby Steps to overcome his life challenges. He explains the idea behind the book is to focus on setting small, realistic goals rather than large, overwhelming ones. In the movie, Bob is able to successfully overcome his personal hurdles by focusing his efforts on taking one small step at a time, literally.
While the movie takes this in a humorous direction, the idea of consciously reframing our thoughts is applicable to the process of stopping smoking. For example, consider these two statements:
“I will not smoke for the rest of my life.”
“I will not smoke today.”
Which goal would you feel more confident in achieving? Which seems more realistic? Less daunting?
In this journey to quit, we know our ultimate destination (to become tobacco-free), yet focusing too far into the future can make us impatient with the present, frustrated with the bumps along the path. When we set manageable goals for ourselves, it can become easier to concentrate on moving forward, one day at a time.
If you find yourself having difficulties on your journey to becoming an Ex, consider standing back and analyzing your expectations of yourself. Give yourself permission to set incremental goals like Bob. Small steps can oftentimes lead to great achievements.