So, you’re done with smoking. You’ve recognised you need to take control, want to save more cash and improve your health. With the right motivation, it’s easy to set goals to help you quit smoking.
It’s true that following through with these goals after setting them is much more difficult than making them. While everything’s easier said than done, setting a date to quit smoking shows you’re taking action to stop a preventable burden.
In today’s post, we’ll talk about how setting goals helps you view everything in small tasks, such as defining your reasons to quit, identifying smoking triggers, and other tools that can help you go through your timeline to quit smoking for good.
Set Your Quit Date
Now that you’ve decided to quit, follow through with it by setting a quit date. It’s highly recommended to set this date two weeks from the time you decide to quit. Having 14 days to prepare everything you need physically and mentally gives you enough pressure that carries you towards your goals, but not enough to stress you out.
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Define Your ‘Why’
Many successful people who stopped smoking had no secret methods. Instead, they set defined goals they wanted to achieve within a set period. Here are some of them.
Smoking costs you thousands of dollars a year. Quitting smoking can give you enough for a car down payment or a huge chunk of your children’s school fees.
With today’s prices, you’ll have to pay around $40 for a 20-pack of ciggies. A smoker who consumes a pack a day will face about $14,000 in yearly expenses. If you quit, that cash is yours – and that’s a huge windfall.
Let’s say you need nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products or nicotine vaping products (NVPs) to help you quit. NVPs from pharmacies, which only cost around $10 to $13 per cartridge, will still have you saving around $11,000 a year.
A Healthier You
Putting your health first is always a noble and important goal for anybody, especially if you’ve been smoking for more than a decade. It pays to remember that cigarettes will increase your risk of cancer, cause short and long-term lung issues, and put you at high risk of other diseases.
When you start quitting, you’ll face two weeks or a month of challenging withdrawal pains and cravings. But after the storm has passed? You’ll feel relieved – you’ll have less mood swings, have more endurance, and sometimes even feel like you’ve won the lottery.
Many people who successfully stopped smoking find themselves having an overall better quality of life, and that’s a worthwhile thing for anyone to focus on when they want to kick the habit.
For the Kids
If you won’t stop smoking for yourself, at least know how cigarette smoke impacts your children’s health.
Children are at high risk of having stunted growth due to secondhand smoke. When they grow up in a household with smokers, they can’t taste food very well due to their impaired sense of smell.
What’s worse, children exposed to cigarette smoke are at high risk of having bronchitis and pneumonia at a very young age.
If you want physically fit kids who can try out for the rugby team or just have a peaceful childhood free of asthma and lung issues, then make it a goal to stop smoking for good.
To Achieve Your Other Goals
Did you ever want to climb a mountain, run a marathon, or even just have the energy to kick a footy with your kids? If you have always wanted to do something athletic or have enough focus to flesh out an idea you’ve always wanted to try, you can do it so much better by kicking ciggies out of your life.
Many people who stopped smoking picked up new habits and hobbies along the way. They’ve taken up hiking, weightlifting, kayaking, and other activities they never thought they could do.
If your goal is to do something special, stopping smoking will make you physically stronger and mentally capable of doing it well. You should know that stopping smoking is an accomplishment in itself – and that success should give you the confidence to propel you towards your other goals.
Identify Your Smoking Triggers
You’re off to a good start with your goals, but following through is the most difficult part of the process. One way to cope with these challenges is to identify craving-inducing triggers.
For some people, hanging out with friends with drinks is enough to make them salivate and want a cigarette. And for most people, the stress of work or anxiety about anything is enough to cause withdrawal symptoms and cravings to worsen.
It’s worth mentioning that these are only common smoking triggers. Yours might be different – like something aligned to nostalgia or other enjoyable previous experiences with friends. Once you identify your smoking triggers, stay away from them, and make sure you have the right tools to help curb them.
If you’re not sure how to identify your triggers, here are a few examples that may resonate with you to help you start kicking smoking out of your life for good.
Activities to Help You Quit
The first hour without a cigarette is easy to handle. However, the next few hours, days, and weeks can take their toll and take your cravings over the edge. This worsens faster if you’re bored and unsure about what to do when you feel strong cravings and withdrawals.
To keep yourself from being idle, here are some activities that have proven useful for many successful quitters.
Physical activities make you sweat and feel empowered to do anything. Your first few attempts to walk briskly or jog may feel strenuous and feel like you’re losing breath all the time. But soon, you’ll notice you feel better and even happier – after all, you did accomplish something you may not have been able to do when you were smoking.
After you exercise, your body feels tired but satisfied. It releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins, which make you feel great and proud of yourself. This chemical also helps reduce your withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Attending a Class
To ease boredom, you can attend a class on something you’ve always wanted to try. Painting classes are relaxing and give you a community that won’t remind you of smoking.
Attending any class shows you’re committed to quitting and easing your withdrawals, which is a small yet very important goal for any person trying to quit.
Reviving an Old Hobby
Hobbies are always a great way to pass the time. Many successful people who quit smoking mention they neglected a specific hobby because cigarettes are expensive, and they had no money to spend on what they actually enjoyed.
If you once loved collecting trinkets, building models, or playing tabletop games with your friends, it’s probably high time to revive these hobbies. If you have no hobby, no problem – there are tons of ideas out there to help you get started on something you might love.
Keep Your Mouth Busy
Oral fixation and hand-to-mouth gestures are common triggers for many to crave a cigarette. Be prepared to keep your mouth busy without smoking by substituting the cigarette with vegetables, sugarless gum, and trail mixes.
If you really can’t do away with cigarettes with your coffee or drinks with friends, a great alternative is nicotine vaping products (NVPs), and you can buy these from pharmacies. We’ll talk more about them later.
Create a Smoking Cessation Plan
Smoking cessation is an ongoing process, even after years of being smokefree. The best way to meet your goals is to work with experts and tools that have helped many successful people to quit smoking. Here are various ways to get started on your smoking cessation programme.
Consult a GP
Think of the smoking cessation programme as your first time hiking or kayaking. You need an instructor or someone to guide you through the best practices and the most effective path throughout. GPs have helped numerous quitters to stop smoking with tailor-made smoking cessation programmes.
If you don’t have time to personally see a local GP, you can book a bulk-billed telehealth consultation with a GP who can create your stop-smoking plan. GPs may prescribe NRT tools to help you manage your withdrawals – an important component of any quit journey.
However, GPs also know that NRT products might not be enough to keep your cravings and withdrawals at bay. They may decide to prescribe pharmacy NVPs as a second means to help you stop smoking for good.
More About NVPs
Based on your GP’s evaluation, after NRTs prove to be ineffective, they can prescribe NVPs to help you quit. Pharmacy NVPs are made under stringent medical standards. With a cessation tool designed to wean you off nicotine, you are well on your way to successfully quitting.
The latest Cochrane Review found high-certainty evidence that NVPs are more effective than NRTs in helping people stop smoking.
Join a Smoking Cessation Community
It’s easier to quit smoking and deal with withdrawal if you have a friend joining you. Your chances of quitting grow much higher if you have a supportive community helping you.
Aside from family and friends, smoking cessation communities have helped many successful ex-smokers kick the habit.
In these organisations, you’re in the same boat as others who empathise with your struggles and challenges. With people you can talk to, especially during the worst of your withdrawals and cravings, you’re well-equipped to finally stop smoking for good.
Setting goals to help you quit smoking gives you the focus and preparation needed to overcome any challenge on the path to success. By doing this small step, you’re well on your way towards successfully stopping smoking.
You’re probably here because you want to know the goals you want to help you stop smoking. You’re in the right place.
Smokefree Clinic gives you access to many medically reviewed and trustworthy resources that can inform and aid you in your path to wellness, so have a look around!
If you’re ready to get started, Smokefree can connect you to bulk-billing Australian healthcare professionals who excel in helping patients quit smoking for good, including using responsible vaping products where appropriate.
Click here to book your bulk-billed telehealth consultation with an Australian healthcare professional and quit smoking today.