Now that you’ve chosen your plan to quit smoking, it’s time to map it out. You know that cravings and other obstacles are in store, but with some preparation you will be ready to take on anything. Make Monday your quit day and outline your plan to quit and stay quit!
When your first day without cigarettes arrives, have your plan ready to unfurl. Write all your steps down to remind yourself what you want to accomplish each day. Identify daily goals you want to meet, taking your quit day by day. Here are some things to keep in mind as you approach your quit day:
Quitting requires willpower. Pretend that you’re attempting to navigate a vast desert or forest. You have some basic supplies, your map, and your mission. If it helps you to think about quitting smoking in terms of a journey, ask yourself what you would do if you found yourself at a crossroads or lost. Would you give up or would you find a way back onto your trail? The answer is clear: get back on that trail to being a non-smoker!
Line up support. You don’t have to go on this journey alone. Think about your favorite movies about big journeys, like “Lord of the Rings” – it’s pretty rare that our hero doesn’t have a rag tag group around to help! Tell your friends and family that you’re ready to quit smoking and ask them to support your efforts. Talking to someone in person or talking on the phone is also a great way to relieve the tension you might feeling during a cravings. If you can’t track down someone you know but need to talk, you can always call 1-800-QUIT-NOW at any time.
Think about the endgame. Think about how satisfying it is to win a board game by reaching a final destination after overcoming several blocks in your path. Imagine the end of your first day as getting to an important milestone in the board game, and let that victory motivate you. Consider the end of every week to be like reaching the next level in your game, and recommit to your quit plan every Monday. There’s a big prize at the end of this journey – better health!
The map you make for yourself will depend on which quit plan you choose, so talk to your doctor about the path that’s right for you. Having a concrete plan will help you quit and stay quit!