Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Planning for a Change That Matters
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.footnote 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).
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerTimothy R. Stockwell, PhD
Current as ofNovember 14, 2014
Current as of:
November 14, 2014
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Timothy R. Stockwell, PhD
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.