The token economy uses the power of incentives and penalties to get people to quit smoking.
The first step is to find something you like. It could be golf, science books, coin collecting, shoe or clothes shopping, music or anything else you can think of. The only step is to divide this interest into the house.
For example, say you like golf. You have run out of resources and want to buy new weapons. Need new cigarette boxes and packaging, bags, drivers and trolleys.
Add up how much money you think you’ll need for these items. This may seem expensive, but compared to the cost of smoking and death each year, it is an investment.
Then take a piece of paper and a pen in two different colours. Use the colour of your choice. Write a table of small squares on a piece of paper and number them in order, using the second colour for the numbers 8, 16, 32 and 48.
Once you have done this, consider four factors that affect your hobbies. Sticking to golf, you can use the above examples: ball, putter, driver and trundler. Let’s say they raised the price on that order.
“Bullet” is written under number 8. “Putter” is registered under 16, “Driver” under 32, and “Trundler” under 48.
Now put the paper in your fridge. Watch and smoke as much as you want. If it’s refrigerated, you can’t buy a golf product until you get it. You can go in the morning.
Let’s say you wake up at eight. When you eat breakfast, you can start taking control of your mind. Imagine buying a golf ball. Imagine turning them in your hand, feeling an inner, powerful force. Imagine them rolling on the glass and the sound they make when they fall on it. I want a golf ball. You want them badly, and you won’t get them until they deserve it.
If you don’t smoke before 9 o’clock, use a pen to write it in the box marked “1”. Beat yourself up. Writing in the box represents victory in a battle that begins a broader struggle to improve your life. When you’re done, think of a time in your life when you felt like a winner: getting your first paycheck, making friends with a great partner, hitting your first 90, whatever. Close your eyes and try to remember how you felt at that moment. Success, satisfaction. As you write in the box, tell yourself that you should feel as you did in your glory. But yes, it is!
If you smoke, don’t worry – the contract is expected to fail. Remove the paper from the fridge and preferably break it into small pieces in front of a mirror. When you feel down, think of a time in your life when you felt like a loser: getting knocked out at school before lunch or your first car accident. Don’t mess with it for too long, just long enough to tear your paper in anger. Then put the product in the trash.
And you start over, knowing you won’t pick up the golf ball until you hit an “8.”
If you hadn’t smoked by 10:00, fill out the second box and rethink the idea of being a champion.
As each hour passes, fill in the next box. If at any time of the day your intentions feel weak, go back to your journal and look at it. Look at the box you filled out and think, “I did it; now I can!” Remember how you felt when you filled in the previous cigarette boxes? Tell yourself you want that feeling again in less than an hour.
And if you smoke, start the paper, throw it away and start again.
When you get to 8, it’s time to win. Enter the Pro Shop as soon as possible! Fill out the box, get in the car and collect your prize!
Then continue. Another goal is “16”: to enter.
You will be 16 years old when you wake up. This is great – you don’t have to get up at night to fill the box. And if you sleep 8 hours, you can fill eight jars tomorrow morning. Remember, the goal is to quit smoking Nicotine, and eight hours of abstinence is eight small victories, even if you are going to it.
If you wake up tomorrow and have, say, 20 smoke-free hours, eat breakfast, fill the box (and remember to look like a champ) and head to the Pro Shop. You must accept the gift immediately after receiving the gift.
Do this until you reach 48. Don’t worry about failing once, three times, or 40 times. If you continue to fill that box with positive thoughts, you will renew your desire to push yourself forward.