So, you’re ready to quit smoking – congratulations! You’ve already made the most important step in your journey to quit. Now, you need to figure out the next step: when you’re going to officially start. If you’re the kind of person who needs some time to gear up for a mission like this, here’s an idea for a starting point: do it Monday.
Research has shown1 that out of every day of the week, more people search on Google for ways to quit smoking on Monday than any other day. It actually makes a lot of sense, especially when a busy work week is punctuated by relaxing and indulging in the things that we do for ourselves. For some, those things are not really good for us. Having some extra free time for smoking might result in overindulgence.
Consider that weekend binge your last hurrah. Monday is a great opportunity as well as a tool for undertaking a new challenge. You could even treat Monday like New Year’s Eve – a fresh start, a set spot on the calendar, and a look to the future instead of behind you. Maybe there won’t be a party or a ball dropping in Times Square, but it is a chance for you to start over and take small, gradual steps until you stay quit.
Here are a few tips from the American Cancer Society2 on what you can do until Monday arrives:
- Make the Announcement: You will need a support system, so let your loved ones know that you plan to quit smoking. Better yet, share it on social media – you might even find support from people you don’t know, or inspire someone else to quit. You can use the hashtag #QuitMonday or join our community online by following @QuitMonday!
- Choose Your Plan: There are several ways to quit smoking that have proven effective. It might help to consult your physician on a plan, but talking to friends and family who have successfully quit will give you firsthand information. If you have tried to quit before, identify what didn’t work and what might be worth a second try.
- Get Rid of Your Stash: If you’re quitting cold turkey or using nicotine replacement aids like gum, medications, or patches, find every last cigarette you have and throw it away. You can’t smoke what you don’t have.
- Set Goals: Now that you’ve set your plan to quit in motion, start mapping it out. The approaching Monday might be Quit Day, but every following Monday can serve as a day to re-focus on your quit before reaching your ultimate goal of quitting completely.
- Talk the Talk: Say the words “I don’t smoke” out loud. Practice being a non-smoker by learning your lines first, then get ready for action on Monday.
Quitting smoking and staying quit is a challenge. It might feel like you’re trying to scale a mountain. But it doesn’t happen overnight for most people, so you’re not alone! Choose Monday as your official quit day and take action every day afterwards by setting up a solid plan that will improve your chances of staying quit.