· a couple index cards, preferably lined
· a pencil (preferably a golf pencil – short enough to fit into your pack)
· a rubber band (optional)
Fold or cut the index card so that it can slip inside the plastic wrap on the front of your pack of smokes. If you want more room for writing, you can wrap the card around your pack rather than cutting it and attach it to the pack with a rubber band.
Make four columns on the card and label the columns T, A, M, and I. And if you’re wondering how this could help you quit smoking, don’t worry. It really will, no matter how unlikely it may seem right now.
Here’s how it works:
One simple rule – Before I light up, I have to write up every cigarette. (Repeat that a few times.)
That’s it. Pretty simple, but don’t be misled. This simple tool really will give you helpful insight into why you smoke and that information can help you be a smarter quitter!
Four simple questions – Just answer the four questions in the four columns before you light up.
Time – What time is it? Jot it down and indicate am or pm.
Activity – What are you doing as while you want this cigarette? Coffee? Driving? Telephone? Whatever it is, write it up, and yes – you’ll need to write small or abbreviate.
Mood – Now some moods are easier to identify than others. Anger and anxious are usually pretty easy, but if you can’t figure out your mood, it’s probably boredom.
Intensity – On a scale of 1-5, how badly do you want this particular cigarette? An example of a 1 would be the cigarette we would smoke automatically – perhaps whenever we get in the car. A 5 would be a cigarette when we’re extremely agitated and we think smoking will calm us down.
Please collect this data for 3 days and try to include both weekdays and weekend days, since our schedules and routines can vary. If you miss a few cigarettes, try to fill in the information as best you can. And having the pencil right inside the pack makes remembering pretty easy.
Here’s what happens when we use TAMI cards:
· When we use TAMI cards we’ll see a drop in our number of cigarettes per day because thinking about each one helps us see that we don’t need some of them. Smoking fewer cigarettes per day moves us closer to our goal. These quickly identified low-intensity cigarettes are easy to skip.
· When we use TAMI cards we’ll gain insight to the habits and feelings that are associated with smoking. This will be extremely helpful as we try to develop a quit plan.
· And we’ll probably sputter and complain at least a little when we grab our pack and see the card which reminds us that we need to write up before we light up. TAMI cards are effective because they disrupt our routines. So go ahead and grumble, but smile because you’re on your way to a life without tobacco!
Download this for a friend right HERE.