As autumn approaches one can have a sense of a ‘fresh start’. September is full of new beginnings, kids going back to school with newly-sharpened pencils and a fresh box of crayons; the possibility of new friendships, and young adults beginning their college careers or a new job.
Fall can also be a time to make a fresh or renewed start for healthy living. Perhaps, it is a time to start a regular exercise regime. You could begin with small steps such as parking farther from the shopping mall, looking into that yoga class in which you have been interested, or taking a relaxing walk after dinner rather than sitting down in front of the TV.
Perhaps this fall is a time to make a fresh start on being tobacco free. Whether you are trying to stop again or recommitting to continuing to not smoke, you can begin with small steps. Write down your reasons for quitting and how you hope your life is or will be different as a non-smoker; talk with a friend about the benefits of not smoking, or add up all the money you will save in the next six months by not smoking.
Just taking small steps toward your goal could make you feel surprisingly productive and energized for achieving your goals for healthy living.
Dr. Richard D. Hurt is an internationally recognized expert on tobacco dependence. A native of Murray, Kentucky, he joined Mayo Clinic in 1976 and is now a Professor of Medicine at its College of Medicine. In 1988, he founded the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center and since then its staff has treated more than 50,000 patients for tobacco dependence. Send your questions directly to Dr. Hurt at AskTheExpert@becomeanex.org