What Does it Mean to You? Finding Your Reasons to Quit

Creating a specific plan of action will help you to visualize your goals and own your success. Setting goals will give you something to look forward to, and provides a major “payoff” in the end.

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There are loads of reasons you might decide to quit smoking. From the cost of constantly having to buy cigarettes and supplies, to the potential health implications smokers face – smoking is a habit worth breaking. But, it’s not enough to wake up one day and say “I want to be healthier” or “I’m going to quit because I should.” You need to go deeper than that to make lasting changes. Before embarking on your journey toward quitting, take some time to sit down and determine what your deeper reasons for wanting to quit may be.

Get Specific

More often than not, people quit smoking because they want to live longer, prevent diseases, or help improve the prognosis of illnesses they already have. But it isn’t enough to say that you want to be healthier. Healthier may mean any number of things. How much healthier? What does healthy mean to you? Does it mean living to be 100? Controlling a chronic condition? Or, does getting healthier mean just being able to walk up the porch steps without getting winded?

A good way to get started is to envision the life you want to have. What would you like to do that smoking prevents? You may picture yourself taking up a new sport or excelling at your current fitness routine. Or, you may envision yourself as an active 90-year old enjoying his great-grandchildren. Whatever future you desire, write it down. Be as specific as possible, and really try to get a clear picture in your head as you write. The more you can envision your ideal scenario, the clearer your goals will become.

If you want to quit for non-health related reasons, such as finances, it may help to come up with a goal for how you can spend the money you save by not smoking. Determine how much you spend on cigarettes and supplies every week or month. Then, come up with a savings goal. Whether you want to save up and help pay down your mortgage, or you want to go on a dream vacation, write it down and figure out the total cost. Remember, be specific. Concrete numbers are more of a finish line than “save as much money as possible.” Once you have a goal in mind, figure out how much time it will take you to accumulate that amount using your cigarette savings. Doing so will give you something to look forward to as you quit.

You may have more than one reason for quitting, and that’s okay. Make a list of goals and priorities for each of those broader reasons.

Make a Plan

Once you have a vision in mind, come up with a plan to help you get there. Make a list of small steps you can take to lead up to a bigger change. Maybe you can start off by switching to e-cigarettes and then wean off of them entirely. Maybe you will begin by speaking with your doctor. Having a plan will allow you to fine tune your goals further and get started on the path to reaching them.