As millions of people contemplate their New Year’s Resolutions, quitting smoking and getting healthier are often among the top ten pacts for starting the year off right. But quitting smoking can be challenging, so preparing ahead of time can help you achieve your goal.
According to the National Cancer Institute, planning ahead can make breaking your nicotine addiction easier. Now that you have your quit date set – January 1, 2011 – in the days leading up to it pay close attention to when and why you smoke. This will help you become more aware of the things in your daily life that you do while smoking, such as drinking your morning coffee or driving your car.
Change your routine
Armed with this information, begin to change your smoking routines. Put your cigarettes in a different place, only smoke in certain places, such as outdoors, use your other hand when you smoke, and don’t multi-task while smoking. Just smoke, and consciously think out how you feel when you smoke.
Buy only one pack of cigarettes at a time, and switch to a brand that you don’t like. When you want a cigarette, don’t give into your urge immediately. Try to think of something to do instead of smoking. For some people, chewing a piece of gum or sipping a glass of water helps.
Making the break
The day before your quit day, put away all your ashtrays. Before you go to bed that night, get rid of all your cigarettes. When you eat breakfast the next morning, don’t sit at the same place as usual. You are trying to break old habits here, so mix it up a bit, and try to stay busy when you get the urge to smoke. Have plenty of smoking substitutes on hand, such a gum, hard candy or a toothpick. Reward yourself at the end of the day for not smoking by seeing a movie or enjoying your favorite meal.
Quitting can feel like a roller coaster ride. Getting through the first and second weeks are often the toughest. Don’t worry if you’re sleepier or more short-tempered that usual. These feelings will pass. Getting exercise will help too.