A little preparation goes a long way when it comes to smoking cessation. It puts you into the driver's seat when you quit smoking, and will help you get your mind geared up for the big day.
It's a good idea to plan your quit date no more than a week or two ahead of time. Any more than that, and you're likely to lose momentum.
An Educated Quit is a Successful Quit
Read everything you can get your hands on about nicotine addiction and what to expect as you heal from it.. Use the library here at About.com Smoking Cessation and make use of our busy support community as well, where folks at all stages of recovery are sharing their experiences.
From what to expect when you quit smoking, to what smoking does to our health, education is a vital part of a successful quit program. It forces us to take the blinders off. Most smokers navigate around the details of smoking-related dangers whenever possible. It's called smoker's denial, and the sooner you remove those blinders and start looking at this addiction straight on, the quicker you'll be on the road to recovery.
A journal is a terrific quit aid. Start it with your list of reasons to quit smoking. Follow it two more lists:
- Rewards -- small rewards for making it through the day smoke-free are a good way to reinforce what you are working hard to do...and they help offset the instant gratification we all received multiple times each day from lighting up. Simple things like a long, hot bath or having someone else do the cooking can be on this list. Try to make them fun and relaxing / rejuvenating.
- Craving Busters - create a list of activities you can do at at a moment's notice when the urge to smoke surfaces. The idea is to quickly jolt yourself out of the negative thought pattern that comes with cravings by changing your activity. Five minutes is enough to shake a craving loose and a list of activities helps you take control fast.
From there, use your journal to log your daily progress. Make an effort to jot down a couple of sentences about your day before you go to bed each night.
Weeks down the road, you may have a bad day when smoking seems to be all you can think about. Looking back at your first days will give you perspective on your progress and make it easier to not let that bad day get you down.
Make an appointment with your doctor for a physical and let him/her know that you're going to quit smoking. It's a great time to discuss quit aids and get advice on what product might be best suited for you. Ask your doctor whether you might benefit from a vitamin supplement. Smoking depletes nutrients from our bodies, and a multi-vitamin can give you a head start on rebuilding your health.
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