The twelve days 'til Quitmas!

This year, try a novel approach to quitting weed - grab an Advent Calendar and practice a daily abstain and reward routine.

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Do you remember the excitement of peeling back the cardboard squares of your Advent Calendar and gobbling the chocolate each day on the countdown to Christmas? Each year, millions of children (and a lot of adults too!) around the world get revved up for Christmas by these sorts of traditions – all based on creating a sense of anticipation, coupled with the self-control of only eating the chocolate assigned to that particular day. Humans love rewards – that’s why stickers, lollies and merit certificates work so well with kids in primary school and bonuses are a great incentive for those in the workplace. Goals that appear hard to achieve, seem a little more achievable if we know we will get a treat at the end of it.

Reward yourself as you quit weed

Here at NCPIC, we are winding down to Christmas and in the spirit of the season, thought we’d borrow the Advent Calendar idea to help encourage people to cut down their weed use and quit by Christmas! If you’ve decided to give up, the first two weeks are likely to be the trickiest, so having your goal, accompanied by a reward and a bit of structure can really help.

Using the Advent Calendar idea, focus on cutting down or changing your cannabis habits each day in the lead up to Christmas. If following the Calendar, you’ll get 25 days until Santa comes, if you don’t have an Advent Calendar, try following the song and give 12 days a go! Each day you successfully get through, give yourself a little reward. In doing this, you are setting yourself the goal of getting to Christmas (and if you make it that far you may as well keep going), rewarding yourself for daily success, and having the structure and routine of checking off the day then patting yourself on the back. Why not pop up to your local supermarket and grab a chocolate Advent Calendar as a fun way of celebrating each day you cut down your weed use – with the ultimate goal to be weed free by 25 December!

If chocolate’s not your thing, make your own reward system for the countdown to Christmas – or set aside some cash for your own personal Chrissie present to mark your achievement. Studies have shown that people are more likely to stick to their goals if they focus on the positives they will get out of it. Whether it’s a reward like a chocolate each day, a holiday with a friend, or even just the health benefits of quitting weed – it really helps to keep focused on why you are making a change.

Benefits of quitting weed

Sometimes it’s hard to make a change – even when there are incentives to do so. Let’s face it – addiction is a tough nut to crack. People who have successfully cut down and quit cannabis have found it useful to write a list of all the benefits of quitting weed, as well as the perceived benefits of continuing to use weed. It might feel strange doing this, but it often makes it clear just how much better life can be without weed and that you’re no longer using to feel good but just to feel OK. You might like the relaxation and social aspects of using marijuana, but it’s a pretty good bet that you’ll like the money you save, extra free time and energy you’ll gain, health benefits and improved relationships with people worried about your weed use – just as much and possibly more!

The twelve days to Quitmas!

If your goal is to quit weed this Christmas, why not make the 12 or 25 days leading up to Christmas a time to reward yourself as you achieve that objective? It might surprise you that the worst of the withdrawals and cravings will be over in around two weeks – and then you can just focus on staying weed-free in 2015!

For help and support with quitting, contact the cannabis information and helpline on 1800 30 40 50.

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