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Happy New Year from Quit-Smoking-Support-Dr.com

A new year is upon us and what a great time to re-commit to a healthier lifestyle in 2009! Maybe you've had a relapse over the holidays or maybe you're celebrating the success of making it through the holidays as an ex-smoker. What ever the case, write some goals for the new year to get off to a good start.

Writing SMART goals will help you stay on track and focused.
Specific - be specific about what you want to accomplish using action words.
Measurable - choose a goal with measurable progress. "I want to be healthy" isn't very measurable. Be specific about the behavior you want to change or measure.
Attainable - push yourself in setting your goal but don't make the goal out of reach. Success helps keep you motivated
Realistic - set a goal for what you believe is achievable. A goal can be high and realistic at the same time if you believe you can do it.
Timely - set a time frame for the goal. This will help it become measurable and also put a date on the goal to help keep you motivated.

Here's an example of a SMART goal. "I'm going to walk for 30 minutes after dinner, 5 times a week until February 28th." At the end of this time, you can re-evaluate and set a new goal.

May your new year be blessed with good health!

Relapse Help

Did you struggle over the holidays and have a smoking relapse? IT'S OKAY! Nearly everybody who quits smoking deals with a smoking lapse. The most important thing is to pick yourself up and get back on track. Having a lapse doesn't mean you have to become a regular smoker again!

What's important now is to learn from the relapse so it doesn't happen again. Reflect on the situation that led to the lapse so you can come up with a plan for next time. Was a coping method ineffective? Was this a situation you hadn't planned for? Was it stress? How can you better deal with the situation next time?

Asking yourself tough questions by reflecting on the situation will help you become an ex-smoker for good. So, don't be discouraged!

Avoiding Weight Gain Tip

Now is a great time to work on improving your eating habits in the new year. REMEMBER that quitting smoking is still your primary goal! Changing too many behaviors at once can backfire so, assess your confidence in staying quit before changing eating habits.

We all know that we should eat more fruits and vegetables, right? Not only are fruits and veggies generally low in fat and calories, but they're loaded with nutrients too! So, let's all try to incorporate more into our day. Try writing a SMART goal for adding more into your day. For example, "I'm going to add a fruit serving (banana, berries, or frozen fruit)to my oatmeal or cereal every morning." Have a glass of 100% juice with breakfast and you've already got 2 of your 5 servings of fruits and veggies down for the day!

Need more ideas? Try pureeing veggies like cauliflower, squash or sweet potatoes and sneak them into spaghetti sauce, mac n' cheese, or ground beef/turkey. Add some fresh steamed veggies with some raspberry vinegar (my favorite!) and you've got 2 more servings of veggies in for your day.

Adding more healthful foods that are loaded with nutrients and low in sugar will give you tons of energy. It's well worth the effort!