getting ready to quit
Now that you’ve decided to quit, it’s time to get ready. While there’s no one right way to quit, there are definitely things you can do to help you succeed.
Congratulations on making the decision to quit smoking. This happens when you feel you are ready to make the change. You may have been thinking about quitting for a while or have just recently decided to quit it doesn’t matter … what’s important now is that you make preparations so that you can reach your goal. Here are some tips that may help you:
- It helps to be clear about your reasons for wanting to change. Make a list of your main reasons for quitting; for your health, to save money, for your family, or you’re just plain sick and tired of smoking, and post them up somewhere to remind yourself of them. These can help keep you on track.
- Use positive wording like “I will do” instead of negative wording like “I won’t do.”
- Make a list of all the good things that will happen when you quit. Remember, there are many health benefits and additional perks to quitting.
- Celebrate the completion of goals by rewarding yourself. You may even wish to make a plan for the money you will be saving now that you aren’t spending it on cigarettes.
Setting a Quit Day is an important step when preparing to quit smoking. Without a Quit Day, you might never arrive at your goal, or you might lose your excitement about reaching this important milestone.
- When picking a date, you’ll want to pick a day that will give you enough time to prepare, but won’t be so far away that you might change your mind. Based on our experience with Helpline clients, a day within the next 30 days tends to be the best.
- Have a look at your calendar and consider what day would work best as a Quit Day. Would it be easiest to quit on a weekday or a weekend? Is there a significant day coming up in the next month such as a holiday or a birthday that would make a particularly memorable Quit Day?
- Remember, if you are planning to use a medication like bupropion (Zyban) or varenicline (Champix), you will need to start taking the drug approximately 2 weeks before your Quit Day. Make sure to call your doctor and make an appointment to see him so that you can get your prescription in time to meet your goal.
- When you’ve chosen your Quit Day, circle it on your calendar and make a pledge to stick to it.
Now that you’ve set your Quit Day, you can start your quit preparations:
- Prepare for your Quit Day by planning activities that you can do on this day. By keeping busy you’ll spend less time noticing your cravings. Click here for suggestions on how to spend your Quit Day.
- Prepare for withdrawal and cravings. The first 2 weeks after you quit can be the most critical as cravings will be strongest. Be ready for them with a list of activities and alternatives to smoking, and ways to deal with your cravings. You might also like to plan for a lighter workload during this time to account for your temporary lack of concentration and to avoid additional stress.
- Make note of your smoking triggers. Are there certain times of the day that you smoke, like first thing in the morning or right after dinner? Perhaps you smoke more when you’re out with friends? By looking at the routines you’ve created around smoking it may help you organize activities around these times or to have a list of distractions ready to help you deal with cravings.
- Have a personal Support Plan. Research has shown that surrounding yourself with supportive friends, family, or professionals like counsellors or your doctor is key to quitting. Here’s some tips on how to build your support network.
- Prepare for obstacles and setbacks. By thinking about these in advance, you can prevent relapses, or be ready to deal with them if you slip up.
- Work on cutting back your smoking. You can also track daily smoking to become more aware of smoking habits and routines.
- Identify helpful resources. These can be support groups in your area, online resources, or links to information. Browse through this website and also don’t forget to have a conversation with your healthcare provider about your smoking cessation plan.