If today is Day 1 of your plan to quit smoking, congratulations! You’ve made a great decision that will have a positive impact on your health in the year ahead and beyond. If you are thinking about quitting, but haven’t set a date, make the first day (and first Monday) of the New Year your quit date. The prospect of getting through an entire year smoke-free can be intimidating, but fear not! This is just the first of many Mondays that you can use to reset, refresh, and recommit to your quit plan.
While quitting smoking permanently can be your ultimate goal, you may have better luck if you set your sights a bit shorter. A popular phrase for anyone embarking on a long-term goal is that it’s “a marathon, not a sprint.” Having lofty ambitions is admirable, but it may make your road there a lot more difficult. In the case of quitting smoking, setting goals in small increments will make your quit more manageable. Trying to stay quit until next Monday is a lot more achievable than staying quit forever – and you will have the chance to best yourself!
Remember that 7 out of 10 people who quit smoking will relapse. Slipping up is not a reason to give up on your quit. Simply get to the next Monday and start over again. You’re taking a big step to improve your health – you deserve as many chances as it takes to make it right. If you feel guilty (and you shouldn’t), flip the script and target your energy towards motivating yourself to get back on track. Set small goals and remember to focus on one day at a time, so you’re not overwhelmed. For example, if you got through three days without a cigarette, try to get through four or five. If you realized there were new situations that triggered you to smoke, write them down so you can devise a strategy to avoid them or get through them.
January 1 may only come once a year, but you will have over 50 Mondays to recommit to your plan to quit smoking. Use every Monday to motivate yourself to keep going!