By the time EX trained me to rethink smoking (I followed the program and studied for 21 days before I quit), I was so revved up for a lifestyle makeover that I stacked 2 more goals on top of my mission to quit cigarettes. I was so psyched and so pumped! Why not tackle a complete overhaul of my life while I was at it?!
So, on my quit day, I put a big ol' 52-ounce bottle of water in the fridge. My aim was to hydrate more, by drinking that entire bottle over the course of the day. I mean, how hard can that be, right?
Somehow, draining that bottle by the end of the day was a frustrating challenge. And it shouldn't have been, right? All I had to do was drink. Duh. But, there it was every night: a half-empty bottle of water in the fridge, next to the pickles.
I gave up. Well, more accurately, I let go. My #1 mission had to be eradicating smoking from my day, so I let go of trying to replace that with a new hydration routine. Instead, I simply just drank as much water as was needed during my day, and I let all those other extra ounces go.
My other "project" was to nudge myself even closer to being a vegetarian. (When I started EX in 2014, I was at about 60% vegetarian.) So, I split my focus between quitting smoking and revamping my nutrition and my system of eating.
All that did was diminish the emotional focus I was supposed to be investing into Priority #1: my quit!
I bet many of you out there are resonating with what I'm saying. It's so admirable to lean into the energy of your quit so much so that you feel like tackling a few other changes you want to make. But, take it from me and a vast majority of The Elders: Your quit comes first, and everything else either has to go or has to wait.
Now, to prove that last point about letting go and waiting, let me update you on what happened with those other 2 changes I attempted to juggle along with my newborn quit...
It was 3 years into my quit - 3 years! - that I discovered I had a much easier time drinking 24 ounces of room-temperature water, in a plastic cup with a straw that I kept on my desk. For whatever reasons, drinking those 52 ounces of ice-cold water was a task for me, but drinking 24 ounces of lukewarm water was a breeze. And, I quite often drink 2 of those cups, which is 48 ounces of water a day. Success!
You see, it was only after my quit was firmly rooted did I even remotely stand a chance of succeeding at "the water thing".
The same goes for my attempt at boosting my veggie intake. Only this year did I finally - easily and effortlessly! - leap from being 60% vegetarian to 85%.
My quit is a Living Quit. It grows and learns. It speaks and listens. And it thrives in part because it's confident enough to let certain things go. To postpone lesser priorities. To revisit certain new ideas once the timing is more opportune.
Your quit comes first! Let no one or nothing sway you from that truth. There will be a time and a place and a reason for new things yet to be, but your...quit...comes...first.
Keep focused on the prize, my friends! Stick to the proven path!