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How I Gave up Smoking With Apple Shortcutsby@lovetraindriver
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How I Gave up Smoking With Apple Shortcuts

by lovetraindriver2mMarch 15th, 2024
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Apple Shortcuts can be used to track your smoke breaks digitally. Users can log the date and time of each smoke break and set restrictions, such as not smoking for a certain period, say 2 hours. It's as simple as that! And you know what? I managed to quit smoking for 3 days using this method.
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Hello. I'm an active smoker, unfortunately. It's an awful habit that I picked up during my university years. I've been smoking for about 6-7 years, with a year-long break after the first year and a half. In 2022, I made the switch to vaping with the intention of eventually quitting altogether, but it only ended up worsening my health.


Vaping allowed me to smoke indoors, which made it more convenient and, in a way, trickier to control. Gradually, I found myself smoking more and more until I reached a point where I had simply had enough. Each puff brought me less pleasure, and the financial aspect of smoking also weighed heavily on my mind. So, I decided to quit.


As a programmer, I thought it would be a good idea to track my smoke breaks digitally. I wanted a solution that would automate the process. All I needed was to log the date and time of each smoke break and set restrictions, such as not smoking for a certain period, say 2 hours.


And you know what? I achieved all of this without needing React Native applications, servers, or even resorting to pen and paper. I automated everything with Apple Shortcuts.


Here's a simple breakdown of the process:

  1. Set a variable with the current date and time.
  2. Prompt the user to input a number representing the duration until the next allowed smoke break.
  3. Start a timer.
  4. Search for a specific Notes file named "Smoke Breaks."
  5. If the "Smoke Breaks" note is not found, create one.
  6. Append the variable declared in the first step to the note.



Here's what it look like in Shortcuts App after setting it up:

Shortcut (part 1/2)


Shortcut (part 2/2)


How 'Smoke breaks' file looks like

That's it. It's as simple as that! And you know what? I managed to quit smoking for 3 days using this method. I was genuinely happy about that! It's amazing how a simple change in approach can lead to positive outcomes. Of course, there were some tricks involved, like replacing one habit with another. I found myself drinking more coffee and chewing on plastic straws as substitutes. These temporary habits helped ease the transition, but eventually, I gave up those habits too, embracing a healthier lifestyle overall.


The main takeaway from my experience is this: if you're trying to establish a system or manage a habit, consider using tools that offer simplicity and speed over complexity and control. In my case, a simple notebook could solve a lot of problems. Writing down my progress and thoughts made it easier to stay on track and motivated.


Remember, small changes can lead to big results. Stay happy. Don't smoke. It's bad for your health! Your well-being is worth the effort.