By | Cancer Awareness, Healthy Living.

Maybe your new year’s resolution is to quit smoking, but you feel overwhelmed by the decision. Quitting smoking will decrease your risk of cancer and improve your health and overall life, so it’s definitely worth it even when it’s hard. Here are some tips to help you along the way.

Do some preparation ahead of time.

It’s great that you know you want to quit, but you’ll be much more successful if you have a plan of action before you begin. Many people try to quit “cold turkey” and end up finding it very difficult to follow through. However, if you prepare yourself by having a plan, asking people to help you, and coming up with ways to keep you motivated, you’ll have a much better chance of success.

You can also ask your doctor to help you make a plan for quitting. He or she will be able to advise you about the healthiest option for you.

What’s your motivation?

Keeping your motivators in mind at all times will help you get through the rough patches where you feel like giving up. So what is it that pushes you to succeed?

Family: Many people decide to quit smoking for their families or children.  Many parents want to set a good example for their children and prevent the health risks associated with breathing secondhand smoke.
Health: The most common reason for people to quit smoking is for health-related reasons. You’ll be doing your heart, lungs, and overall health a favor when you quit. There are endless health benefits that come with quitting smoking, so it’s a great motivator.

Have a support system.

For any goal, it’s important to have people to support you and hold you accountable. Let your friends and family know that you are planning to quit so that they can encourage and support you.

Find ways to reward yourself.

Set goals for yourself, and when you reach one, show yourself some love. Smoking often brings a feeling of calm and comfort, so find some healthy substitutes to make you feel good.

–  Relax
–  Listen to your favorite music
–  Spend time with friends and loved ones
–  Cook a good meal

Get rid of any triggers.

–  Cigarette smoke lingers on things and makes them smell long after you’ve quit smoking. Do a deep clean of your home and get rid of curtains and bedding that has absorbed the smell of smoke. If you smoked in your car, clean it well, and buy an air freshener to help eliminate the smell.

– Get rid of ashtrays and any leftover cigarettes. It’s helpful to eliminate anything that might remind or tempt you to start smoking again.

Don’t give up.

It’s not uncommon to experience some setbacks. Don’t let your failures keep you from trying again. You’ll be proud of yourself when you accomplish your goal, and your body will thank you for making a healthy decision.