If eliminating smoking from your life in 2018 is one of your New Year resolutions, creating a plan to stop smoking can help you be successful. Preparing ahead of your date to stop smoking can make the transition easier and help you to be smoke-free for a lifetime. Take a look below for a few key items that should be included in your plan.
Set your date
Choose a date that you can commit to. This can be on January 1st or a date within the upcoming weeks. Some people decide to quit on their birthday or a special holiday, which makes it easier to remember and celebrate each year. Deciding on a date that works best for your schedule and makes you feel comfortable is important. Once you have your date picked out, make sure to add it to your calendar.
Choose your reasons for stopping
Take a moment to think about why you want to stop. Are you doing it for health reasons? Do you want to be an example to your kids? Or save money? Whatever your reason(s) may be, make sure to write them down. Having your reasons written down where you can access them is key for success. In the event you are tempted to smoke you can always take a look back at this list for a source of extra motivation.
Identify your triggers
Triggers are bound to happen. What matters most is knowing what they are so that you can overcome them. Triggers come in all sorts of ways. Some people are used to smoking while driving, so being in the car may give them an urge to smoke. However, knowing what your triggers are can help you be prepared to deal with them. To help you identify your triggers, keep a smoking diary for a week. Write down each time you smoke, and include what mood you are in and what activity you are doing. This will help you see any patterns that exist in your smoking habit, and give you the chance to think of ways to prevent the triggers or deal with them better. “After staying smoke free for a while, you may find other ways to handle your triggers” (smokefree.gov). In other words, it gets easier!
Prepare to overcome triggers
Once you have identified your triggers, it’s time to prepare to overcome them. If driving gives you the urge to smoke, you may consider listening to the radio or singing your favorite song to keep your mind occupied. Cravings only last a few minutes, so keeping busy during these times with healthy behaviors can help you overcome them (smokefree.gov).
To create your plan to stop smoking, please click here. This online plan from smokefree.gov allows you to download, print, and add your plan to your calendar.
For more information and resources on living a smoke-free lifestyle, please click here.