Bad habits: everyone has one. As 2017 settles in, perhaps you’re shifting focus onto quashing a bad habit of yours, like smoking.

Declaring a resolution is the easy part – sticking to it is a whole other ballgame. If you’re hoping you’ve flicked your last cigarette, a substantial first step is starting a journal. Sure, you aren’t in high school, but a journal makes the resolution tangible and is incredibly useful to staying on track to achieve your goal. 

Start that journal out with a list of reasons why quitting smoking is a good idea. Be as detailed as you can. This entry is incredibly useful as it can serve for inspiration when things get tough. There’s a reason you’ve made this commitment, but occasionally we all need reminders – they’ll help you persist.  

A motivated person makes for great company. When you want to quit smoking, find someone else with the same goal. Having someone invested in your success can help you thrive and remain diligent in working toward your goal. When it gets tough, you’ll have a shoulder to lean on to provide encouragement and help. 

In addition to quitting smoking, consider upping your daily water intake. Water flushes residual toxins out of your system, which can quell cravings to light one up. When you’re hydrated, your overall feeling improves, which is always a plus when experiencing nicotine withdrawal. Water is a tremendous ally in the quest to quit smoking.

Sleep and implanting an exercise routine are also good ideas when you’re trying to quit. When you are tired, cravings to smoke seem to compound. Having energy will help you fight off that nefarious smoking desire. Exercising is not only a great distractor from smoking, but provides an all-round feel-good boost through endorphin production. It’ll curtail the smoking urge and become your new “fix.”

Perhaps the best suggestion to sustain your resolution is to simply be patient. Quitting smoking is hard and takes time. It’s an impactful change to make and there will likely be hiccups along the way. Don’t get discouraged. Acknowledge that kicking an addiction takes time and be patient. You can do it!

Here’s to a New You in 2017. Light up your life, not a cigarette in this New Year.