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New Year's Resolution #1: Quit smoking

Friday 29 November, 2013 by Patrick

You know the scene.

It's December 31, somewhere around midnight, and a group of friends have the obligatory "New Year's resolutions" chat.

One's going to start training for a half marathon, another's going to shed five kilos. And like they've said around this time of the year for as long as anyone can remember, one of their smoker mates says they're going to quit.

Sound like you or someone you know?

Here's some tips on how to make this New Year's quit attempt work.

Your chances are better if you delay your quit date for a few weeks

While a long sleep in on New Year's Day sounds the like the perfect way to launch into life without cigarettes, the day can actually be one of the hardest to quit. With all the fun, excitement and, often, stress of the holiday season it can be a tough time of year to stop smoking. Give the festive period and yourself a bit of breathing space and set a date around mid-January.

Preparing to quit = preparing to quit for good

Think about Christmas and how much tougher the day would be if you hadn't bought all your presents and wrapped them before December 25 – not to mention all the cooking, cards, climbing up a ladder and sticking a star at the very top of the tree...!

Preparation is key to quitting, and setting a date will give you time to prepare for day one without the smokes. Before your first day smokefree bin the last of your cigarettes, turf all the ashtrays around the house (not forgetting the one in the car!) and get a few healthy snacks ready – they'll be a handy way to get through any cravings.

Have a few tries at practicing quitting. Try skipping a cigarette at times you'd usually smoke, like with the morning coffee or at the pub. Leave your lighter at home for a day. Instead of smoking somewhere comfortable, smoke your cigarettes near the bin – let them know their time is nearly up.

Think about what you'll do instead of smoking during tough situations, like when you're stressed or socialising with friends.

By the time your quit date rolls round you'll be prepped and ready to go.

Coach your way to quit

Research shows that the support of a coach or advisor will improve your likelihood of success. Tried to quit before on your own and found it tough? Try these three coaching services below see which works best for you.

Like the thought of a personal trainer to help you quit? Before quitting it's a great idea to give Quitline a call on 13 7848 for some tips on getting started. Call them once for a quick question, or call them as often as you like for ongoing support – the service costs no more than a local call, and those who get in touch double their chances of quitting successfully.

Another great way to up the odds of success is by joining thousands of other successful quitters and signing up for QuitCoach. Answer some questions about your smoking, past attempts and motivation, and the online service will provide you with your own personalised quitting plan.

What about free reminders, tips and snippets of motivation messaged straight to your phone – for free? QuitTxt is a great new service to help you stay focussed and on track, and the texts are tailored for you depending on where you're at in your quitting journey.

So next time that someone mentions quitting smoking as their new year's resolution, you know where to send them!

Kim gave up smoking on New Year's Day 2013 and recently had a chat with Quit. Check out her experience quitting, and how she manages life without cigarettes.

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