Tips To Help You Quit Smoking For Good This Year
How to prepare
Resolutions flop for many reasons. They often fail because they are not “focused, specific or organized,” said King. They need to be achievable and measurable on a day-to-day basis.
The goal is clear, but the process is murky. King recommends those who are preparing to quit should:
Expect setbacks, unforeseen hazards and occasional lapses.
Be prepared to start over, but commit to keep trying.
If the goal of quitting completely seems too challenging, set a goal of reducing smoking. A 50-percent reduction in cigarettes per day can help some people get started towards the ultimate goal of being smoke-free.
Line up support in advance.
“Seek help as needed,” King suggests. “The smoker’s brain gets used to nicotine. Without it, people go through withdrawal. The severity of the symptoms varies widely across people.”
Ask your doctor about specific tools that could help, such as nicotine-replacement therapy, classes designed to help you stop smoking, counseling and medication. Avoid substances such as alcohol that tend to weaken commitment. Meanwhile, try replacing tobacco with healthier oral stimulation like gum. When you feel the urge to smoke, brush your teeth instead, King said. (This will please your dentist.)
Exercise can also provide a huge boost and help prevent weight gain that can happen when smokers eat when they feel the urge to light up. Instead, go for long walks. Try to work in running, biking or swimming as your pre-smoking stamina gradually comes back. Exercising with friends is even better. Don’t get discouraged if this fails. Think about what went wrong and try again, she said.
Reward yourself for progress along the way. Tobacco is expensive. Consider using part of your savings on something fun. And enjoy the gradual return of certain health benefits. Carbon-monoxide levels in your blood will go down within days. The risk of a heart attack declines within a month. The odds of lung and oral cancers should steadily decrease over the next ten years to near normal levels.
Also consider advice from the Nobel Prize-winning Irish playwright, Samuel Beckett. As he put it – in a different context – “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”