Smoking cessation is the process of quitting the habit of smoking. This is a wonderful goal to set for yourself. Why? Because smoking is an unhealthy and destructive habit that risks your life.
Smoking cigarettes is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the US. But admittedly, it’s tough to break your smoking habit. It would be best if you have a step-by-step plan to guide you in the right direction.
That’s why creating SMART goals will lay the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle. You will be on your way to quitting smoking before it further deteriorates your overall well-being.
What is a SMART Goal?
The SMART goal method can be a fantastic way to help people create better goals to quit smoking. SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.
- Specific: When developing your goals, you must be as precise as possible. For example, instead of “I want to stop smoking,” consider this: “I will reduce the number of cigarettes I smoke from 8 to 5.”
- Measurable: Ensure your goals are trackable; this criterion is critical to successful smoking cessation. Failing to do so will increase your likelihood of failure.
- Attainable: Accomplishing your goals and objectives shouldn’t be overwhelming. Try to find something realistic yet somewhat challenging.
- Relevant: Don’t sell short the importance of aligning smoking cessation goals with values. Every one of your goals should help you quit smoking, even if a little bit. Otherwise, it may not be worthwhile.
- Time-based: A time frame pushes you to achieve your goal of quitting smoking. If you lack a timeline, you won’t have that feeling of urgency to get you moving.
Smoking cessation goals are best developed alongside the SMART framework. By following these 5 criteria, you will see a significantly higher chance of quitting smoking once and for all.
11 SMART Goals Examples for Smoking Cessation
Below are 11 examples of SMART goals to stop smoking:
1. Manage Cravings and Triggers
“I will practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques to help manage cravings and triggers associated with smoking. I plan to use these techniques for at least 15 minutes daily for three months.”
Specific: The SMART goal is to practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques.
Measurable: You will plan to use these techniques for at least 15 minutes per day.
Attainable: This is a reasonable goal if you regularly commit to this activity.
Relevant: This relates directly to managing cravings and triggers associated with smoking.
Time-based: You should expect goal achievement in three months.
2. Create a Personalized Quit Plan
“I’ll work with my doctor to create a customized plan to quit smoking within the next year. This plan will include methods such as nicotine replacement therapy and behavioral counseling.”
Specific: This goal is explicit because the person will work with their doctor to create a personalized quit plan.
Measurable: The plan’s effectiveness is tracked over time by monitoring nicotine levels in the blood and following how many cigarettes are smoked each day.
Attainable: Creating a personalized quit plan with the help of a healthcare provider is an achievable goal for someone who wants to quit smoking.
Relevant: Quitting smoking requires commitment, planning, and support from a trained healthcare professional. Therefore, this SMART goal is highly relevant in this context.
Time-based: Goal achievement is expected within one year.
3. Enlist Support from Friends and Family
“I will enlist the help of my friends and family to quit smoking by the end of this month. I will let them know about my goals so that they can keep me accountable and offer moral support when I’m struggling. This ensures I have a strong, positive network of people behind me as I work to overcome this habit.”
Specific: This statement articulates the desired outcome and the deadline for completion.
Measurable: Count how many friends and families know about your goal to quit smoking.
Attainable: The timeline is realistic if the person effectively communicates their goals to those closest to them.
Relevant: Having a supportive network of people is key to successfully quitting smoking, so having a goal around enlisting help is essential.
Time-based: Complete these action items by the end of the month.
4. Reward Yourself for Accomplishments
“For 8 months, I’ll reward myself with a massage, spa day, or weekend getaway every time I reach a milestone in my journey to quitting smoking. This will allow me to stay motivated and feel successful in my efforts.”
Specific: This goal is about rewarding yourself with gifts you can look forward to as an incentive.
Measurable: You’ll reward yourself every time you reach a milestone in your journey.
Attainable: Rewarding yourself with a massage or spa day is achievable and a great way to keep up your motivation.
Relevant: Positive rewards will help you stay on track and remind you why smoking cessation is worth it.
Time-based: The timeline for this particular goal should be 8 months long.
5. Find Alternative Activities
“I want to find alternative activities to fill my time when I want to smoke. I will explore exercising, reading, or meditating for 10 minutes each day instead of smoking. I’ll list things to do when I want to smoke and aim to complete at least 5 this month.”
Specific: The individual wants to find alternative activities to fill their time when they want to smoke.
Measurable: You will explore exercising, reading, or meditating for 10 minutes each day and create a list of things to do when you want to smoke.
Attainable: This is attainable because the individual sets a goal to complete at least 5 activities from their list.
Relevant: The goal is appropriate because it will help the individual find healthy alternatives to smoking.
Time-based: This is time-bound because it has a one-month end date.
6. Make Healthier Choices
“I will make healthier choices with my diet, such as eating more fruits and vegetables, so I can have the energy to choose not to smoke. Within 6 months, I’ll also start exercising three times a week to stay motivated and have an outlet to clear my mind.”
Specific: This statement outlines the action you will take (eating more fruits and veggies, exercising three times a week) and how long it should be taken (6 months).
Measurable: You could count the days you’ve exercised or the portions of vegetables you’ve had.
Attainable: Eating more fruits and veggies, as well as exercising regularly, is doable.
Relevant: Having healthier choices provides more energy and a clear mind to help you avoid smoking.
Time-based: The goal has a 6-month completion date.
7. Prepare for Difficult Situations
“For the duration of four months, I’ll plan for times when I may be more tempted to smoke and ensure I have a strategy in place for how to handle those moments. This could include carrying gum, walking with a friend, or reading an inspiring book.”
Specific: The goal lasts four months and outlines what will be done during that time.
Measurable: Ensure you actively follow the three listed actions.
Attainable: This is a realistic goal since it involves planning for difficult situations instead of attempting to stop smoking immediately.
Relevant: This is pertinent to quitting smoking, as it prepares the individual for moments of temptation.
Time-based: The goal has a timeline of four whole months.
8. Identify Reasons to Quit
“I’ll aim to devote 10 minutes daily to think of reasons to stop smoking, such as health benefits, increased energy levels, and more money in my bank account. I will write down these reasons and have them serve as reminders to stay smoke-free in the following three weeks.”
Specific: You will spend 10 minutes each day identifying reasons to quit smoking.
Measurable: Make sure you write down reasons to quit in the form of reminders.
Attainable: It is undoubtedly possible if you have the grit and persistence.
Relevant: This is appropriate for the individual’s desire to quit smoking.
Time-based: Goal attainment will be met in three weeks.
9. Stay Positive and Focused
“I will strive to be positive and stay focused on restraining from smoking. I’ll support my friends who are also trying to quit and attend in-person or online support groups to keep up my motivation.”
Specific: You have stated your goal: staying positive and focused on giving up smoking.
Measurable: Attend in-person or online support groups to monitor your progress.
Attainable: This is achievable as long as you have a supportive network of friends.
Relevant: Staying positive and focused will help you quit smoking.
Time-based: This is an ongoing goal where you attend support groups regularly to keep up your motivation.
10. Learn From Your Slip-Ups
“Whenever I experience a slip-up or relapse with my smoking habit, I’ll take 20 minutes to reflect on what went wrong and how to repair the situation. I will use this knowledge for one year to build an even better plan for my next attempt at quitting smoking.”
Specific: The individual has a particular plan to reflect and learn from their mistakes.
Measurable: Evaluate progress by counting how often the person takes the time to reflect after a slip-up.
Attainable: Taking 20 minutes for reflection is an achievable goal that won’t require too much time or effort.
Relevant: This goal is suitable because it provides an opportunity to learn and apply the lessons learned from mistakes.
Time-based: The goal should be reached after one whole year.
11. Reach Out for Professional Help
“Over the course of two years, I will reach out for professional help and attend regular counseling or group therapy sessions to make my attempts to quit smoking more successful. I’ll commit to attending these sessions at least once a month for the next year.”
Specific: The statement outlines a plan to seek professional help for smoking cessation.
Measurable: Attendance at monthly counseling or group therapy sessions can be tracked to measure progress.
Attainable: This SMART goal is possible if a regular and consistent effort is implemented.
Relevant: The goal relates to the individual’s efforts to quit smoking.
Time-based: You have a two-year timeline for completion.
In order to prevent smoking, you must strengthen your resolve and strive for a healthy lifestyle.
Applying these SMART goals for smoking cessation will encourage wellness. You’ll push yourself to quit smoking and ensure you’re always leading a life of happiness.
There is no greater satisfaction than kicking away bad habits obstructing your well-being. And remember to take things slow. You won’t accomplish your goals overnight, but each day will help you progress toward a better life all-round.
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