It’s resolution time of the year,...again. Making a resolution is an admirable New Year tradition but, resolution season can be a time of demoralization and great pressure from self and others. As a person wanting to make any important change, are you sometimes worried burdened with judgement and expectation from others, or yourself, that your resolution should be completely and perfectly accomplished?
Quitting smoking or staying tobacco free is a great resolution, as it can be a singular path to achieving three of the most touted New Year’s resolutions: health (saving your body from smoking related illnesses), wealth (saving your income from smoking related costs) and peace of mind (saving yourself from anguish about engaging in the harmful habit). However, one can get discouraged by challenges or the fear of failure in light of the expectations by the second week of January. So, how do we resolve to achieve this goal without caving under its weight? I have suggestion, just a suggestion: approach quitting tobacco or other resolutions in a gentle, uplifting and “bit by bit” way.
- Go beyond verbalizing a resolution and create a plan for managing stress, cravings and triggers.
- Resist the tendency to try to conquer the beast on your own. Let others know your goals and challenges.
- Resist the urge to “rush” the process.
- Resist the tendency to romanticize the relationship with cigarette or old behaviors.
- For example, beware of thoughts like “It has or had been the only thing that has been there for me through the highs and lows for 30 years.”
- Don’t wait to celebrate your accomplishments along the way to the long-term goal.
- Resist all or nothing thinking.
- Identify a plan that can work for you to make the process easier.
- Reach out to your trusted family and friends or participate in the EX community.
- Take each day at a time, or one moment at a time if need be.
- Recognize and draw from your strengths in overcoming great challenges in the past. And remind yourself why you choose to be healthier.
- Honor your efforts daily.
- Never, ever give up believing in, going after and yes, even fighting for the best healthy lifestyle for you.
Any additional thoughts from EX community members?