Quit Smoking One Minute at a Time
By Alicia Quann
Health Coach, Live Well! Bien Vivre!
Making a healthy lifestyle change can mean something different for everyone. Whether it’s adding more vegetables to your diet, walking to work, taking 10 minutes out of the day to relax or taking that yoga class you have wanted to try. After a Christmas filled with parties, family and gatherings, January is often a time when people feel they can start fresh and start making healthier lifestyle changes. New Year’s resolutions are always in full swing as people are setting goals for themselves and taking the first steps in changing unhealthy behaviours. But by the end of February, the newness has worn off and willpower might be running thin.
A popular New Year’s Resolution is quitting smoking. Many people know the health risks associated with smoking and many people make numerous attempts to quit. Quitting smoking can be a difficult adjustment and taking action can be a huge step. Making small, specific changes not only help make your larger goal attainable and sustainable but will build confidence and make the long-term goal of quitting smoking more achievable.
It is important to know what triggers smoking. For some it may be drinking alcohol or coffee. For others it may be relaxing after a meal or taking a break at work. Some people might smoke when they feel stressed or angry. Whatever the trigger is, it is important recognize it so you can associate new actions with those triggers in order to make a change your habit.
By identifying what triggers your smoking you can try to break the association between the trigger and the action of smoking. Instead of smoking after a meal, you could try to instead brush your teeth or drink a glass of cold water. If smoking is part of your break routine at work, try enjoying a low calorie snack instead. If you are feeling stressed and angry, get out for a walk or talk with a friend.
Developing an action plan can be a useful tool when trying to quit smoking. It is important to keep in mind that quitting is not one big challenge, but a series of small ones. Take it one minute, one day and one week at a time. To start, write a clear statement as to why you want to quit smoking, think about why this goal is important to you and what quitting smoking looks like to you. Start your action plan by making a specific goal that is measurable, attainable, relevant and timely (SMART!). You should be confident that your goal is achievable, whether it be cutting the amount of cigarettes you smoke each day or attaching an alternate behaviour to what triggers you to smoke.
Need help quitting smoking or setting other health and wellness goals for yourself? Contact me, Alicia Quann, Health Coach with Live Well! Bien Vivre! I can meet with you one on one to help you set goals or connect you with other resources available in the community free of charge! To connect with me call 624-4391 or email .
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