Quitting happens one minute, one hour, one day at a time. The idea to quit smoking seems like an easy concept, but often we become overwhelmed if we ever think about the big picture. And when we start to feel hopeless by the long, seemingly unending road ahead of us, that’s when we’re most likely to turn to our addiction for comfort. It’s when you begin making a new plan in your head: “Well, maybe instead of quitting ‘cold turkey’ I’ll just cut back from 20 cigarettes a day to 10,” or “After the New Year, I’ll recommit.”

Do not listen to these voices. Do not reason with yourself against any plan that you made before when you were more resilient and strong. Stick to the original plan to quit smoking.

The instance that throws people off the most when trying to quit, whether it be smoking, eating healthy, or even complaining, is when they have a slip-up and relapse. In the crucial moment after realizing what you’ve done, you have a choice: Give up entirely and think you’ll start tomorrow, next week, or next month, or immediately get back on track.

Choose now.

Anytime you have a slip-up, recognize that you broke your plan or promise to yourself. But stop the guilt there. Resolve right then and there to start again that very minute. The definition of relapse is “deterioration after a period of improvement.” So the second you slip, do not beat yourself up about it. Do not let yourself “deteriorate” any further. Start your period of improvement immediately again. Your relapses will become non-existent and you’ll be on the path to quitting without intermittent days and months of relapse.

For more help, get “ I Finally Quit … And So Can You: How to Gain Everything by Quitting.” There’s no better day than today to say, “I finally quit.”

8 Step Action Plan to Quit Smoking …

.. even if you’ve tried everything and failed miserably in the past!