25 January 2018
It’s one month on from New Year’s Eve, so how are you going with your New Year’s resolution to quit smoking?
Whether you’ve had the thought of quitting niggling in the back of your mind for a while, or even tried once or twice before, making the decision to give up smoking is a big step forward. Most of us understand that smoking is detrimental to our health, costs us financially, and can impact those around us, but a habit is much more complex than simple facts.
Taking the time to understand why you smoke, what support services there are available, as well as what information is available when you need it can all help to make successfully quitting achievable for you. On top of that, clarifying your motive to quit smoking can help you to persevere through the tough times.
A relapse isn’t the end
Having a date set to begin quitting can be great to motivate you to put your foot down and do it, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be 1 January, 2018. Why not start again from 1 February? You will find that each time, you will be able to go longer and longer without.
While some people who smoke find that it takes a few attempts to stay quit, each length of time spent without smoking is a milestone, and each decision to make a change is a reason to celebrate. Each time quitting is helping you’re your health improve.
Some smokers might choose to quit for a month or short period of time, to ‘see if they can’. Again, while this is a step forward, there’s no reason to put an end date on your quitting journey. Instead, count your days, weeks and months that you remain smoke free.
You can still capitalise on the renewed motivation of the New Year
A study published in 2016 found that more than half of all resolutions were health related, so you’re not alone in your journey towards a healthier you. The start of the New Year means thousands of equally determined people with a single goal in mind. It’s a time of increased gym memberships, healthier eating, spending more time with family, and a large spike in the number of people beginning their quitting journey.
Capitalise on this momentum and band together with anyone else you know with a similar resolution. In times of temptation, it is always helpful to have a friend or trusted support structure to turn to, to talk through your struggles, to recognise your achievements, and to hold you accountable.
Now that most of us are back in the routine of work life, you might be facing new challenges of staying quit when old social and daily routine factors enter into the equation. Quitline 13 78 48 is always there ready to support you through this challenging, yet exciting time.
Take the time to reflect on how well you’ve done
If you’ve made it through all of January without reaching for a cigarette, then congratulations are in order. While in the early days it might have been a struggle every day, you’ll now be experiencing those sharp cravings less and less often.
Take some time to consider what positive changes you’re already experiencing. Has your breathing improved? How about your relationships with family and friends? Not to mention your fuller wallet. Where do you want to be by the end of February?
There’s no better time than now
Put simply, the ‘perfect’ time to quit might not present itself; it’s up to you to take that first action. For strategies, information, and guidance on how to navigate your quitting journey, get in touch with Quitline 13 78 48.
Support Services Coordinator
Cancer Council SA