So you have decided to quit smoking. Congratulations! You are about to experience a marked improvement in your health and well-being. However, quitting smoking can be extremely challenging, so to give yourself a significantly better chance at success, consider writing down a quit-smoking plan. This way, you have a strategy and tools to use when you are feeling particularly inclined to smoke. Here, we outline the steps you should take to create your plan.

Pinpoint your reason for quitting

To accomplish any goal, you need to know why you are doing it. Decide your exact reason for quitting smoking, and write it down so you can remind yourself regularly. For example, you may want to quit so you can live longer and see your children grow up, or because you want to get back into a physical activity you love but smoking makes challenging. Whatever your reasons, keep them in mind while you are quitting so you can keep your end goal in sight.

Seek out support

The first step of your quit-smoking plan should be to find support. The support of your friends and family will be instrumental to helping you quit smoking. Create a list of people you can reach out to who will remind you of your reasons for quitting smoking and will provide emotional support while you kick the habit. Additional support may come from counselors, support groups, or hotlines. You may also consider using nicotine gum, patches, or FDA-approved medications instead of going cold turkey.

Plan for challenges

When you are quitting smoking, it is best to plan ahead to address challenges you know you will face. For example, creating a list of places where temptation will be present may help you so you can avoid those places. For example, you may find that parties or bars are high risk, so you can avoid them for several weeks while you get used to not smoking. Additionally, you can make a list of places where you can’t smoke, and will therefore be less tempting, like museums, movie theaters, or malls. Planning ahead will help you prepare for temptation, and avoid it.

Learn new ways to cope

Many people pick up smoking as a way to deal with stress, and soon find that every time they experience stress, they have an urgent need for a cigarette. Because stress is such a trigger for smoking, it is important to be proactive and find other ways to deal with stress. Different people find different things relaxing, so be sure to research a variety of ways to cope with stress. Some options you may consider include cardiovascular exercise, meditation, yoga, or therapy, but there are many different options out there. Find a few different methods of stress management that you can lean on when it gets particularly difficult.

When you come in for a men’s physical from Men’s Vitality Center in Glendale, your men’s health physician can help you come up with a plan to quit smoking. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.