Setting the best date for giving up smoking and sticking to it.

set the date
Once you have decided 100%, for definite and no going back that you want to quit smoking, choose a specific date on which to give up and mark it on your calendar or in your diary, preferably in a bright red pen. In doing so, each time you glance at the calendar page or check your diary, seeing the marked date will fuel your motivation and remind you of the task ahead.

It is best to choose a date in the near future but not too far ahead. Ten days to three weeks is probably about right. Too long, and you could possibly change your mind and talk yourself out of giving up or get bored and lose interest in the whole thing. Too soon, and you may not have enough time to psyche yourself up for it or have enough time to prepare and plan for the event. It is best not to rush and it is vital that you thoroughly plan and prepare your actions before, during and after stopping.
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Choose a time to quit smoking when you are not under too much stress at home or at work. Preparing for an important presentation at the office or around the holiday periods are not really suitable times to give up.

On the other hand, maybe during a period when you are going to be busy, might be a good time for some to give up, as you will be so occupied that you won't have time to think about smoking.

If you are lucky enough to lead a tranquil and quiet life, maybe you will need to plan some activities that will keep you busy for the whole day so that you are not at loose end and tempted to smoke purely for something to do or through boredom. This could be anything from a day hiking or walking to an afternoon shopping followed by an evening at the cinema. It is best to choose activities or visit places where smoking is not allowed or where you won't want to smoke. Remember, "busy" is not the same as "stressful".

Maybe if you have a lucky number, you could quit smoking on that day of the month or on your child's birthday is another possibility. Your children would probably appreciate the gesture very much and it would personally involve them in your plans. No doubt, they would love to make sure that you are sticking to the task and wouldn't be short of a few reprimands if it looked like your determination was weakening and you were on the verge of smoking "just one" cigarette.
Some people say that the best day to give up smoking is on a Thursday. This is because your resolve and determination to give up will be at their highest during the first few days. Once you have managed not to smoke throughout the whole weekend, which is when you will want a cigarette the most, this will motivate you further. Before you know it a whole week will have passed and as you have already gone one weekend without smoking, the second one should be much easier to tackle.

Many smokers try to quit on New Year's Day, however, according to some, this is probably the worst day of the whole year to give up smoking. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, how many people actually keep their New Year's resolutions? Also, the Christmas period is a very busy and potentially stressful time, when the last thing that you will want to do is to sit down and devise a stop-smoking plan of action. Without proper planning and thought, your attempt to give up smoking is more likely to fail. Finally, New Year can actually be quite a depressing time. As soon as the highs of the festive season begin to turn into lows, once you start thinking of going back to work and returning to normality, the last thing that you will want to do is quit smoking.

Ideally, you should work out which days you smoke the most or will be tempted to smoke the most and then stop smoking the day after, so that by the time that day comes round again, you will have already been smoke-free for at least several days.

During the days that lead up to that important "quit day", it might be an idea to switch to a low tar brand of cigarettes. This will reduce your nicotine intake, which may make it easier when you do finally stop smoking.

An alternative is to smoke a brand of cigarettes that you absolutely hate and cannot stand the taste of, as this will put you off smoking, also reduce your nicotine intake, as you will be inclined to smoke less of the awful tasting cigarettes.

Read on to find out what the next step will be in your quest to give up smoking.
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