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"I'm Not Ready to Quit!" -
What Are You Waiting For?

By Fred H. Kelley

© Copyright 1999 Fred H. Kelley
Phone: 770-346-9222
Fax: 770-475-5007
Mail: 3675 Glennvale Ct
Cumming, GA 30041

by Fred H. Kelley

Procrastination. I know it well. From taxes to yard work to 
filing papers--you name it, I'm the expert procrastinator. I can 
put off doing anything, with style and ease. I file tax return 
extensions at 11:59 PM on April 15 without breaking a sweat.

Am I proud of this? Well, admittedly, sometimes yes. I pat 
myself on the back and say "I have the amazing ability to get 
things done at the last minute."

Do I usually end up regretting my procrastination? Almost 
always. So I've had to learn ways to get things done now, on 
time. I'm still learning and always will be. Procrastination is 
a persistent thief!

Procrastination is an expensive way to spend your life. Waiting 
until the last minute can even cost you your life. And when you 
"spend" your life mired in procrastination, you don't truly 
live. You are perpetually putting off living.

Focusing on quitting smoking, how many times have you said "I'm 
not ready to quit," or "I'll quit tomorrow," or "I'll quit when 
I'm not under so much stress"? What are you waiting for?


If you fail to file your taxes on time, you'll pay penalties and 
interest. If you fail to quit smoking, you'll eventually pay 
with your life.

Putting off almost anything will cost you more tomorrow than it 
will today. I firmly believe that one of the main costs of 
procrastination is the mental anguish you experience when you 
know you have something you really should be doing. But most 
procrastination also comes with a direct cost, whether it be 
financial or health-related or otherwise.

You should take careful note of the cost of waiting "until 
later" to quit smoking. Calculate how much cigarettes cost you 
every day, month and year. Calculate how much of your life goes 
up in smoke with each cigarette. Estimates range from three to 
15 minutes of your life are lost for every single cigarette you 
smoke. That's one to five hours per pack! Is the temporary 
satisfaction (fix) worth that much to you? Plus smoking causes 
countless fires, wastes billions of dollars in "smoking break" 
time and costs billions of dollars for medical care. You pay for 
this too!


So, what causes procrastination? You do, simply put. But why? 
Why do you procrastinate? Why do you put off doing something 
that is beneficial to you?

Life and motivation and psychology are complex and sometimes not 

What causes me to put off doing my taxes? I hate dealing with 
forms and complicated tax laws and hundreds of difficult 
decisions and paperwork and financial information. In my mind 
these are all good reasons to "do it later." (But I bet you 
never saw a Nike ad that said, "Just do it later.")

There are numerous causes and explanations for procrastination, 
including, but not limited to:

1. Fear of failure
2. Fear of success
3. Fear of the unknown
4. Lack of interest or motivation
5. Lack of information
6. Too much information
7. Indecision
8. Not knowing where to start
9. Too busy
10. Laziness

Whatever the supposed cause may be, most times they are simply 
excuses for waiting until later to do something that needs doing 
now. What's your excuse for not quitting today?


Jump in and get started! That's what I've found to be the best 
cure for procrastination. Overcoming the inertia and getting 
moving helps me to "keep on truckin'" through my taxes or 
whatever else I need to do. If I sit and dread doing the data 
entry for all my bank accounts, nothing happens. If it just sit 
down, take the plunge and start inputting my financial 
information in my computer, before I know it I'm nearly done. I 
work through it until I get it right. Getting my various bank 
accounts reconciled takes time and some trial and error, but by 
jumping in feet first I get the process started, and my taxes

Similarly, to quit smoking, just get started. Today! Don't worry 
if you don't have all the information or if the time isn't 
perfect or if you don't think you can quit. Just give it your 
best shot! There never will be the perfect conditions for you to 
quit. Face it! Time waits for no one, as they say, so quit today 
or face the consequences tomorrow.

Keep these thoughts in mind as you begin to quit:

DO IT TODAY! NOW! Not tomorrow or sometime soon. Seize the 
moment and make it happen now. Now is the only time anyone has.

INCH BY INCH, IT'S A CINCH. If someone told you to smoke 7,300 
cigarettes today, you'd call them crazy. But if they told you to 
smoke a pack a day for one year, then you'd say "no problem." 
Likewise, if you worry about not being able to smoke tomorrow 
because you quit today, you may find yourself panicked and 
unable to quit. Deal with today, and let tomorrow take care of 

BEGIN WITH AN ENDING. Before you start a trip you'd better know 
where you're going. In Stephen Covey's book "The 7 Habits of 
Highly Effective People", one of the seven habits is "begin with 
the end in mind." In other words, get a clear vision in your 
mind (and on paper) of what you want, and where you want to be. 
This may seem contradictory to what I said about not worrying 
about tomorrow, but these two principles work hand-in-hand. By 
knowing clearly what you want to achieve, you can relax in the 
day-to-day details of accomplishing your goal.

Don't wait for "perfect" because it will never come. Do the best 
you can with what you know today. Great achievers don't 
magically know all the answers when they begin some new 
undertaking. The process, the action, the investigation that 
they experience brings the answers and the achievement. You need 
to begin the process of quitting today whether or not you know 
how. You'll learn by doing. You may not quit permanently the 
first time you try to quit. That's okay! You will learn what YOU 
need to know to quit permanently next time. Great achievers take 
massive action. Take action!

Quitting smoking now, today, is difficult, but the rewards are 
immense. Throw out your excuses and get started. Excuses are the 
currency of failure and the destitute.

Tomorrow never comes. Quit smoking today!

** Article © Copyright Fred H. Kelley of Visit their web site at for great information and products designed to help smokers quit. Be sure to sign up for their FREE, twice-monthly email newsletter, which provides informative articles on how to quit, and stay quit, plus stories from other smokers.