When it comes to quitting smoking a structured and well-heeled plan is needed to kick the habit for good, but where do you begin when making and sticking to your own personalized quit plan?
Quitting smoking is an extremely hard habit to break, after all smokers are not only physically addicted to tobacco but also have a mental dependency on the substance. The withdrawal symptoms that go hand-in-hand with cigarette smoking are also difficult to beat with cravings hankering to daily rituals or even boredom. For example, a smoker may associate smoking a cigarette with as a post-meal must have.
Take note of our essential steps to a concrete quit plan and a smoke-free lifestyle…
Set a Smoke-Free Date
Setting realistic targets throughout your quit program is a must, as overambitious quit dates will only lead to feelings of failure, which you want to avoid during your positive quit smoking strategy. However, quitting sooner rather than later is highly recommended, dates too far in the future are sure to encounter further delay. Aim to quit within two weeks of finalizing the details of your stop smoking plan, this will give you plenty of time to prepare both on a mental and physical level.
Opt to start your stop smoking plan on a day that has a relatively calm outlook, avoiding days in your diary where you may be stressed and even more tempted to pick up a cigarette.
Rid Your Home of Your Smoking Past
Getting your home ready is a major step in your stop smoking plan and can make or break any efforts to kick the habit for good. Just one left behind cigarette can cause major temptation for new quitters so discard any hidden supplies, matches, lighters or smoking paraphernalia such as ashtrays and tobacco tins. Do the same in your car and at the office. A spring clean may also be a helpful step in getting your home smoke and temptation free as even the odor of a cigarette can cause you to restart smoking once more.
Ask Yourself – “Why Now?”
Highlighting why you are quitting is an essential part of gathering your thoughts and preparing for quitting. Whether it is to improve your health, enhance your family life or maximize your savings, each individual has their own particular reasons for quitting. As part of your quit plan, make a list of every reason you have for quitting smoking and put it in a place you can see to remind yourself every day why you can beat those cravings and achieve your goal!
Rally Some Support
Getting the right support in place for this testing time is a vital part of starting and maintaining your stop smoking plan. As well as letting friends and family members know, identifying where you can seek professional assistance is also advisable. There are a number of private, public funded and voluntary organisations in place to support you so explore your options and be prepared.
If you are a bit of a tech enthusiast there are also a series of apps available for ‘on the go’ support and assistance straight from your smartphone.
In most circumstances the urge to pick up a cigarette is associated with specific events, feelings and even people, but recognizing these ‘triggers’ will put you one step ahead of your cravings. Again make a list to pinpoint every part of your life where you have been compelled to smoke and create vital links to define your very own triggers.
Coping with Cravings
Developing a series of coping strategies to deal with your craving and urges inspired by triggers is the most important stage of developing a stop smoking plan. There are a variety of coping strategies that can be adopted, from using vaporizers and taking medication to changing your behavior or replacement therapy. Defining the right coping mechanism for you however may involve a little trial and error.
Rewarding yourself after certain periods of remaining smoke-free is the final and most fun step of your quit plan. Watching your habit fade away as each day goes by deserves recognition so set individual milestones and celebrate!
About the Author
Brittany Thorley works for Evapure. When Brittany isn’t assisting individuals in their journey to a smoke-free lifestyle, she shares the expertise gained in her day job to assist healthy living enthusiasts across the web.