If you took one look at your pack of cigarettes and thought it was time to quit, good! You’ve made an important first step in your quest to quit smoking. Now is the time to be proactive. However, you don’t have to go cold turkey – you can ease yourself into quitting to make sure you can quit and stay quit. One great way to start your quit plan is to put it in writing. This Monday, write up a checklist with all the reasons you want to quit smoking.
Here are a few possible items for your quitting checklist:
- Your reasons for quitting. Are you quitting to save money? Improve your health? Perform better? All of these are great reasons to quit and you may come up with several more of your own. Write them all down and refer to them when you need to remind yourself why you committed to this important mission.
- Identify your smoking triggers. Knowing what makes you reach for a cigarette is a great way to pre-emptively change your behavior. If stressful situations trigger you to smoke, learn different ways to manage your stress. If boredom makes you want to light up, figure out a more productive and healthy way to fill the time.
- Choose your quit plan. There are several ways to successfully quit smoking and you will need to figure out which one is best for you. It’s okay to try a few different methods, such as nicotine replacement therapy (gum, patches), medications (Chantix, Zyban), and cold turkey. Your doctor will be able to guide you and help you choose a quit plan that will work for you, but you can also ask friends and family what worked for them. And don’t forget – quitting smoking is often covered by health insurance! Get in touch with your insurance provider to see exactly what they’ll cover, which may also help you choose the best plan.
- Line up your smoking substitutes. Smoke breaks make up a significant portion of your day. You may catch yourself reaching for a cigarette several times only to remind yourself that you’ve ditched them. Be prepared and list some things that will help you fill the time and fight cravings: healthy snacks, tea or water, a short walk, etc.
- Settle on a Monday quit day. Now that you’ve got your checklist in order, get ready to put it into action. Monday can serve as a deadline to get your list in order and officially give cigarettes the boot. Don’t dread Monday – look forward to it! It’s the day you begin to head down a healthier path.
Remember that quitting smoking takes time. Every Monday, take a look at your list to remind yourself why you decided to quit smoking and renew your motivation for the week ahead. Good luck!