Plan to Quit Smoking, Part Three: Stick To Your Quit

In our previous posts we’ve covered the importance of developing a plan to quit smoking and putting that plan into action to kick the habit. By now, you’ve prepared yourself for what’s to come and you’ve taken the first big steps towards self-improvement.

So, what about the long haul? How do you stick to your quit? It isn’t going to be easy, but with the right support and combination of strategies, any smoker can quit. By making a few changes to your day to day schedule and focusing on your goal — you’ll increase the likelihood of sticking to your quit.

1. Change Your Routine

Humans are creatures of habit, good or bad. If your daily schedule had specific times that meant it was time to smoke, that can make it harder to stay on the path to cessation. Consider changing break times so your body and mind aren’t predisposed to make you want a cigarette during that time. Changing your routine can help you break out of a smoking cycle.

2. Hold Yourself Accountable

Tell everyone that you’re quitting. Friends, coworkers, family — everyone you can. This may seem trivial, but the fact is that it can help you feel more accountable for your efforts to stop smoking. The more people that are expecting you to stop, the more motivated you might be.

3. Plan Ahead

Certain triggers can make you want a cigarette more. For instance, many people smoke more when they drink or are at a social event. Know what situations will make you want to smoke and plan ahead — use gum or take a break from the situation periodically to avoid cravings or to cope with them.

4. Don’t Be Hard On Yourself

Even if something happens and you end up buying a pack and smoking, don’t let it make you feel like a failure. Every smoker can quit, but it may take a few tries. Don’t stop trying, and don’t be hard on yourself. Instead, stay focused on your goals until you achieve them.

5. Focus on your “Why”

In our first post we discussed establishing your reasons for quitting as a source of inspiration for making the change. Now that you’ve made the steps to prepare and begin your journey, use this list to keep you going. Keep this list with you at all times. When that next urge creeps up, use your list as a reminder: this is why you’re quitting.

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