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I just spent over 30 minutes looking for a specific picture of myself, but because I was usually careful not to let those photos be taken of me, I couldn’t find one in my album, so here is a substitute.

coagulated blood at Hong Kong

Now I want you to use your imagination a little bit and mentally replaces the chopsticks in the photo with a cigarette, and the styrofoam bowl with an ashtray – that would be the picture I was looking for.

Yes, I used to smoke quite regularly. It wasn’t something I was proud of, but it was an addiction that I enjoyed despite knowing the health risks associated with it.

On the 31st of December, 2010, along with a few close friends, we kicked the habit once and for all.

The first 2-3 weeks was the most crucial. The urge to pick up a stick was always hovering right on the shoulders, you had to fight it with pretty strong determination to stay off the smoke.

The good news is, I am now no longer a smoker, and among the handful of friends who decided to quit, only one went back to the habit. Over the past couple years, I’ve also picked up more exercise routines, cook at home more, and generally try to live a healthier life style.

So far it’s been working pretty good, and I urge you to do the same.

For those who are interested in making a new habit or kicking a bad one, Great Eastern comes up with a mobile application that can help you get through the first 21 days of change. The theory is that if you do something for 21 days straight, it becomes a habit. I believe this is very true, and as far as quit smoking goes, after 3 weeks, not smoking became the “new habit”.

The application is available on Android and iPhone from Great Eastern free of charge. If you use one of these smartphones, click on the links to download. I think you will find it useful.

In a nutshell, the application lets you declare an intention and make it a promise to someone important to you (or even yourself), then track the progress for 21 days. You can set notification and get reminder if you miss a day. Of course, you can share your progress on facebook and twitter too (nothing like adding peer pressure)

On the Great Eastern website  there is also a nifty Wellness Profiling tool that you can use to help you find out how healthy you are in a variety of areas. Simply answer some questions with honesty and you’ll find out your risk level score. Below is mine, and it seems like I have some improvement to make in the “work and daily routine” section.. ermm.

For more information and other tools/tips, check out Great Eastern website, and for the 1% of you who does not have a facebook account, there’s a phone number you can call to contact Great Eastern Life Planning Advisor at 03 4259 8877.

Live long and prosper!

Discuss : the first 21 Days

  1. Good job, neighbor! Keep it up!

    • Enoch: thanks! and now just need to get back to my exercise routine, the torn MCL isn’t helping grrrr. and congrats in advance for the new daddy!

  2. When are you going to kick the Chee Yaw Char habit?

  3. wah good for you but at least we can all still drink!

  4. all the best KY…u have all our wishes n support

  5. i have a friend who’s been smoking for more than a decade, and i thought he’d never be able to quit. he’s tried nicotine gum, cold turkey, etc, over the years, but it never lasted more than a few weeks, i think. then last year, he decided to go cold turkey again, and now, he’s lasted for nearly half a year! pretty impressive 😀

  6. Not too bad, your wellness profile is much better than mine. 🙂

    • Huai Bin: haha thanks, but you’re also making some changes for the better, no? 🙂

  7. Thanks for the tip! They really do have apps for everything…

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