The CDC estimates that nearly seven out of 10 current U.S. smokers want to quit smoking. But as any smoker will tell you, wanting to quit and actually quitting are two very different things. If you’re a smoker, the best New Year’s resolution you can make is to quit, which is why this month we’re presenting a series of posts aimed at helping smokers stop smoking. This first post offers tips about finding the motivation to quit. Motivation is key because it’s the thing that drives you toward your goal and keeps you going through the tough times.
Know Your Reasons for Quitting
A good way to identify your reasons for quitting is to make two lists:
- List all the things you like about using tobacco.
- List all the things you do not like about using tobacco.
One list may be longer than the other list. Size does not matter. Ask yourself: Which list is most meaningful to me? Use your lists to identify your personal reason for quitting.
Write Down Your Reasons for Quitting and Post Them
- Post your reasons on your refrigerator, next to the bathroom mirror, on the dashboard of your car, on your computer monitor, and in your phone. Keep a copy of your reasons in your wallet.
- Review your reasons for quitting at least once each day.
People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily. – Zig Ziglar
Choose a First Step That Works for You
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and no step is too small. Here are some ideas for first steps:
- Delay your first smoke of the day.
- Spend more time with people who do not use tobacco.
- Walk on lunch breaks instead of smoke.
- Toss your tobacco in the trunk before driving.
What small step will work for you? Taking small steps is motivating because each small step is a success and success breeds success.
Ask for Support
Let someone important to you know that you are working toward a tobacco-free life. Ask for support. Consider finding a quit buddy so that you can motivate each other.
Make a Plan
Need help making a quit plan? Check out these resources:
- SCCA Living Tobacco-Free Services at 206-288-7766, a free service for SCCA patients and caregivers.
- 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669), a free service available to everyone in the United States. In Washington state this service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- The SCCA website also has a list of helpful resources designed to help you quit smoking and using tobacco products.
Donna Manders is a Tobacco Cessation Specialist at SCCA.