1. Quit Nicotine and Treat My Body Well
Smoking was never a big part of my life. But, for the past two years I have been lying to myself by calling myself a social smoker. Ranging from lower strength vape devices such as the STLH and similar products, to the harsher JUUL and VYPE devices, and finally cigarettes.
Although some may argue that nicotine provides the benefits of a “head rush”, increase in alertness and appetite suppression, it comes at a great cost.
Going into some of the reasons I choose to quit is two fold. The scientific research behind the consequences of nicotine consumption and my personal experiences with the substance. This resolution means that I will be quitting BOTH cigarettes and nicotine devices.
It’s not a surprise that nicotine is harmful to the human body, but many people (including myself) downplay the consequences, and consider it to be a safer alternative to tobacco.
Let’s not forget: Tobacco is the leading cause of all preventable cancers.
“Nicotine is one of the most toxic of all poisons and has a rapid onset of action”
It is also one of the most addictive agents in the world. The U.S. surgeon general has concluded nicotine to be as addictive as cocaine or heroin. It impacts a number of different organs in both human and animal studies, most notable to me being: respiratory, gastrointestinal, and reproductive system issues.
Many different credible sources document this, but the source I found to be the most prominent and where the above information is found:
Harmful effects of nicotine
With the advent of nicotine replacement therapy, the consumption of the nicotine is on the rise. Nicotine is considered…
Personal Experience With Issues:
Respiratory System: After using a JUUL device, as well as occasionally social smoking throughout the four months May — September 2019, I found that my throat was never comfortable due to dryness, and persistent coughing. The moment I cut down my usage, I recovered.
Gastrointestinal System: Nicotine is an appetite suppressor, but the “benefits” come at a cost. When consuming nicotine, my stomach was consistently upset and after curbing the substance, I found my appetite to bounce back even higher than usual leading to binge eating.
Reproductive System: Nicotine causes an impairment of Nitrous Oxide, which in layman terms means that it could lead to loss of penile erections and erectile dysfunction.
Although I was not a pack-a-day smoker, I was a pod-a-week smoker and from today on-wards I will stop.
2. Spend Time Meaningfully
After reading a couple of self-help books throughout 2019 such as:
Deep Work — Cal Newport
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Win — Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
The 10X Rule — Grant Cardone
I have come up with a couple of themes that I want to do differently in 2020 and onward. Other than the usual themes that “self-help” books push, such as making goals, establishing habits and taking ownership, I found Deep Work to be the best book I read this year. The biggest takeaway for me personally is the difference between Deep Work and Shallow Work.
Deep Work is work performed in a state of distraction-free concentration. Shallow Work is non-cognitively demanding, logistical-style tasks, which can be performed while distracted.
I used to treat everything as Shallow Work, and near the end of the year when I finally started treating important things as Deep Work helped me tremendously.
Instead of opening up a tab of Netflix watching a show on half of my monitor, and schoolwork on the other, I stay focused on just one task for the entire duration. Going forward, I want to apply this concept to aspects other than education such as a small business, learning a hobby, and spending time with loved ones. Much less multi-tasking and much more single-tasking.
These two resolutions are important to me and every previous year I used to come up with a list of ten or so, with no additional thought in them. This year I want to focus on just two, and go from there. Creating this allows me to stay accountable, as well as put in significant amounts of thinking into making my goals into reality. I ask anyone who is interested in taking on this challenge with me to step up and achieve these goals.