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1. Get a calendar, and select a touchstone date to quit. This date should relate to some positive event in your life. My own personal date is November 11th, which is Veterans Day. I have personally been involved in Veterans Day observances for many years, in particular, activities related to my fellow Vietnam veterans. To me, this is a very positive and soul-stirring day, and so should your day have the same meaning to you. However, the date should be in the near future, not six months from now.
2. Once you have selected and marked your touchstone date to quit, also mark the date two (2) weeks before as being the nicotine reduction start date. This is the date when you will purposely begin to reduce your consumption of nicotine. You will become aware of just how many cigarettes you are smoking each day. You will question yourself each time you lift the flame to the tip of the cigarette, "How bad do I really want this smoke?". If, with your answer, deep down inside you do not believe your own logic, please do not berate yourself. This method is designed to relate to positive aspects of your life, it is not designed to make you feel guilty. However, it does require that you be completely honest with yourself, which is not always an easy thing to do. Many times, it is much easier to convince ourselves of something than it is to convince others. You must accept that the soothing smoke going down your throat into your lungs contains highly toxic substances that can kill you. Plain and simple, you must eliminate those toxic substances from your system. I suggest the following approach for nicotine reduction:
a. If, for example, you smoke a pack and a half of cigarettes per day, you need to reduce your consumption from 30 cigarettes a day to 15 by the end of the first week. Saying you "only" smoke a pack or a pack and a half a day does not sound as bad as, "I smoke 20 to 30 cigarettes a day.". How you split up the daily reduction of the number of cigarettes is up to you. If you desire to immediately reduce from 30 to 15, and you are comfortable doing so, then go for it, but do not try to go too fast too soon. Whatever number you choose, be consistent and stick with it during the reduction period.
3. Now that you have selected both your nicotine reduction and quit smoking start dates, you have one more date to select, your Armor of God date. Your Armor of God date is the date you begin each day by putting on the full Armor of God, and should begin at least one (1) week prior to your nicotine reduction start date. Putting on the full Armor of God involves more than reading Ephesians 6:10-18 on a daily basis, it involves you visualizing yourself actually putting on the armor described in the verse. I do recommend that you copy the Armor of God verse on a 3 X 5 card, and carry it with you at all times. One thing to remember is, St. Paul was well acquainted with soldiers of the Roman army, and I feel certain that the Roman style is to which he referred. However, please feel free to go with a medieval motif, if that is what works for you, just choose a style and stick with it. Also, bear in mind that women have donned armor more than once during the course of history, so do not get into a gender identification issue with the use of armor as the key element of this method.
4. Since you have set aside a time in the morning, or whenever you arise (this is for all people, no matter what hours they maintain), you must also set aside a few moments whenever you go to bed to thank the Lord for the gifts He has provided and the use of His Armor. As I actually write the words on the screen, the thought occurs to me that I never consciously remove the Armor, and I guess it is because I believe I need His protection even while I sleep. It is more like the act of getting out of bed removes the Armor, and you must daily ensure that you put it back on your body.
Congratulations! You now have your own plan for using the Armor of God Stop Smoking Method. I would now like to offer my thoughts in the following section, "The Elements", as to the individual elements of the Armor of God, and I would encourage you to consider your own thoughts as to what each means to you.
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