As well as trying to win their sports fantasy pools, many guys make side bets with other participants. These can get crazy. A few recent examples: Losers getting a Brazilian wax (OUCH!), going skinny dipping in January (BRRR!), and showing up at a bar dressed as a baby, complete with diaper, bib and pacifier (WAHHH!).
While watching your buddy eat an entire sunflower does sound pretty entertaining, there is a way for BOTH of you to win one of these wagers. If you’re both trying to quit cigarettes, make it enjoyable by having the “loser” butt out for a month. Everyone’s a winner when it comes to cutting down on cigarettes, and you never know: a month could turn into a lifetime!
Not into fantasy pools? Not a problem!
If you like making friendly wagers but aren’t into fantasy pools, going head-to-head with a friend who wants to quit smoking can be fun. Whoever smokes first has to pay up! A recent study revealed that smokers with $150 of their own money at stake were much more likely to kick the habit than those who didn’t have to wager their own cash.
What if BOTH of you stop smoking for good? Celebrate by making a pact to spend some of the money you’ll save over your first smoke-free year — around $5,000 if you went through a pack a day before. How awesome would it be to quit smoking AND get a new big-screen TV, snowmobile, or tickets to a playoff game? Then again, if you both cave, you could always make a double appointment for that Brazilian wax job…
Go solo and bet on yourself
Quitting smoking is its own reward, for sure. Still, there’s nothing wrong with adding some awesome bonus rewards for achieving your goal. Going out for dinner to a ritzy new restaurant, for instance, seeing a movie with your significant other (and YOU get to pick the flick), or merely taking a Saturday to do whatever the hell you want. You’ve earned it! Heck, one quitter rewarded himself with a month of mother-in-law free time. Priceless, right?
More zany ways to stop smoking
Quit-smoking wagers can also get wacky, with documented habit-kicking wagers ranging from winners being called “your majesty” for a month to male losers having to wear gowns and makeup out on the town (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
Bury your butts: Of all the ways to make smoking inconvenient, one of the quirkiest involves burying them underground. Whether in planter pots, flower gardens or smelly compost heaps, the inconvenience of digging through dirt or rotting banana peels will turn you off soon enough. Don’t have a green thumb? Get a family member to hide them, or wait to buy a new pack only when the last one is empty.
Face cravings with…disgust: Building an aversion to cigarettes — say, by snapping an elastic band against your wrist when cravings kick in — have proven effective. There’s really no limit to how unpleasant this method can get. Extreme examples include dropping a few butts in some water and sniffing, or even sipping, the disgusting mixture when cravings take hold. (Are you gagging yet?) Then there’s the widely emulated case of the New York women who chewed on Milk Bones when cravings struck — and kicked a 20-year habit in the process.
Have you used any nifty tricks to stop smoking? Share your tips in the comments below!
Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two. His award-winning stories have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines like Explore, Reader’s Digest, International Traveller and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN, MSN Canada, and DontChangeMuch.ca. Visit Adam’s website for more details on his award winning work.