NO matter how much you try to plan your day - life always gets in the way.
So when you are trying to kick a long-running smoking habit, it is extra important to have ways of coping with sudden obstacles life throws at you.
Guardian account manager Lisa Williams is now two weeks into her Stoptober challenge and is arming herself with plenty of tools and tactics to fight off temptation and ditch her 14-year smoking habit for good.
“It’s all about trying to change my habits and give myself new things to think about,” she said.
“I went out with a friend one night last week and chose to drive so I couldn’t drink and wasn’t tempted to have a cigarette.”
“It is still very difficult and I have definitely been tempted, but I am taking things one step at a time.”
Lisa, 34, said she has found changing her way of thinking has definitely helped her to resist the temptation of having a cigarette.
“There have been a couple of times when I thought about it, telling myself that one cigarette isn’t going to hurt,” she said.
“But I just try to think that I can have a cigarette if I want to, and then it becomes less of a big deal. If I told myself I could never smoke ever again, the first thing I would do is be reaching for a packet of cigarettes. But I would be letting myself and my family down.”
Lisa used to regularly join her colleagues outside the Guardian offices for a cigarette break but this is a habit she has not ditched completely - and it is working.
“For the first few days I stayed in, and I really felt like I was missing out - it was the social side of it that I really liked,” she said.
“But now I still go out with them and just take my inhalator, and I don’t have a problem with it.”
“It’s about facing up to the situation and not avoiding anything, and I have really found that helps.”
Lisa has saved around £76 since ditching the cigarettes 12 days ago and is also feeling the benefits health-wise.
“For the first few days I really had difficulty concentrating because of the withdrawal symptoms but now I am feeling much better and am definitely finding it easier to breathe,” she said.
“My two children have also been encouraging me as well and teachers at their school have read about my Stoptober challenge, so that also spurs me on.”
Lisa said the weekly support from NHS Specialist Stop Smoking advisor Kate Burley has also proved invaluable.
Kate regularly texts Lisa messages of encouragement and visits her weekly to check her progress and monitor her carbon monoxide levels.
Said Lisa: “I’d also advise teaming up with someone you know to help encourage each other.”
“My sister-in law also started Stoptober at the same time as me and also receives visit from Kate, which is so helpful.”
If you would like to stop smoking, it is not too late to seek help. Bassetlaw Stop Smoking Service offers free help, advice and visits - just email firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0800 328 8553.
You can also find out more about Stoptober and read Lisa’s online blog by visiting www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/stoptober