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Deciding to make a change that matters is a big step. Maybe you're feeling hopeful, excited, and ready for the change. You could be feeling nervous about changing. Or maybe you're worried that you'll let down yourself and others if you're not able to change.
You are not alone. Many people who are thinking about change feel this way. It's normal. And it helps you prepare for a big step and get ready to make a plan.
Many people who have been in your situation have found that having a plan—and staying focused on it—can make a big difference.
Ask yourself some basic questions.
Remember your answers to these questions. They can help you focus. You may want to repeat them to yourself over time.
If you've tried to change, cut back, or quit before now, think about that time. Learn from your past.
If you think you'll feel cravings when you cut back on or stop using tobacco, a drug, or alcohol, talk to your doctor ahead of time. Medicine can help you control your body's cravings. For example, medicine for quitting smoking can help with cravings and stress and can double your chances of quitting.1
Take your big goal and make it easier.
Here's an example of first steps for a long-term goal to quit smoking:
If you need to, make small changes to your steps—your short-term goals—as you move forward.
Think through these questions. Then write down your ideas for fighting cravings.
Make sure you're not going to be alone in making this change. Connect with people who understand how important the change is to you.
Stead LF, et al. (2012). Nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (11).
November 7, 2013
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Timothy R. Stockwell, PhD
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
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