As way of introduction, I am Dr. Hays, a Mayo Clinic physician in the Department of Medicine, board certified in addiction medicine and internal medicine. Since the retirement of my colleague Richard Hurt, I have become the Medical Director of the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center, where I worked with Dr. Hurt since 1992. I am happy to join the BecomeAnEx community and continue sharing blog posts to help support healthier, tobacco-free living.
On that note, with 2015 here you may be considering whether to start this New Year with a change to improve your health. If you are, do it! A study in the journal Clinical Psychology (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jclp.1151/abstract) finds that people who make New Year resolutions are more likely to succeed in making positive changes when compared with people who don’t make that resolution.
Once you decide upon your goal, plan to succeed. Review past experiences with an eye toward learning what works and what doesn’t. Write down the good things that will happen once you’ve succeeded. Plan and envision the actual steps you will take to make the change happen.
If you are considering making a new plan to be tobacco-free, that’s wonderful. Think about your past efforts as educational opportunities. Review the excellent tools on becomeanex.org to help you plan. Picture the tremendous health benefits that will happen once you are tobacco-free. Put a medication plan in place, and let your support people know that you are planning for a smoke-free 2015.
If you did stop smoking this past year, I congratulate you! Renew your commitment to another tobacco-free year. The determination and skills you applied to becoming smoke-free can help you achieve any goal you might set this coming year.