Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Planning for a Change That Matters

Planning for a Change That Matters


Deciding to make healthy changes is a big step. Maybe you're feeling hopeful, excited, and ready for the change. Or maybe you're nervous or worried that you'll let yourself and others down if you don't succeed.

You're not alone. Many people feel these emotions when they're thinking about change. It's common. And it can sometimes help you prepare and get ready to make a plan.

Having a plan—and staying focused on it—can be a big help.

Here are some ideas for making a plan.

  • Think about what the change will mean to you.

    Ask yourself some questions, and write down your thoughts.

    • What exactly do I want to change?
    • What are my personal, most powerful reasons for wanting this change?
    • What will my life look like when I've made the change?
  • Think about what's worked before.

    If you've tried to change, cut back, or quit before now, think about that time. You can learn from your past.

    • What helped? Plan to use those skills again this time.
    • What got in the way of your success? These things are called barriers. Plan for ways to deal with them.
  • Create goals you can achieve.

    There are ways to make a big goal easier.

    • Break your big goal into smaller, short-term goals. Make these small steps specific and within your reach—things you know you can do. They're what keep you going from day to day.
    • Set a date for reaching your big goal. Choose a time that doesn't include events that can trigger slip-ups, like holidays, social events, and high-stress times.
    • Reward yourself for successes along the way.
    • If you need to, make small changes to your short-term goals as you move forward.

    Here's an example of small steps for a long-term goal to quit smoking:

    • Step for week 1: I will stop smoking while I drive and after meals.
    • Step for week 2: I will cut back from 20 cigarettes a day to 10 cigarettes a day.
    • Step for week 3: I will cut back to one pack of cigarettes a week.
  • Plan for barriers.

    These questions can help you plan for things that might get in your way. Write down your ideas.

    • In my daily routine, what things can trigger the behavior I want to change? How can I be ready for these triggers?
    • What changes in my daily routine can help me avoid or resist these triggers?
    • Will it help me to spend less time with people who might trigger the behavior? What about spending time with people who don't trigger the behavior?
    • How will I cope with cravings?
    • How will I deal with barriers like cost, time, or fear of failure?

    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

  • Connect with others for support.

    Try to make sure you're not alone in making this change. Connect with people who understand how important the change is to you. Here are some ways to find support.

    • Find someone who's been through the change you're planning. Ask for their support.
    • Find online sites where you can read about or chat with people who are making this kind of change.
    • If you can, ask someone you know to make the change with you. Having a buddy can really help.
    • Talk to your doctor or a counselor about medicines and counseling that can help support your change.
    • If you like to talk with and learn from others, try a local support group.
    • Try a tracking and support application (app) if you have a smartphone or tablet device. Use it to track your progress and share your successes on social networking sites. Some apps let your friends and family record inspiring videos that you can play when you're having a hard time with cravings or stress.



  1. Stead LF, et al. (2012). Nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (11).

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Related Links

Healthy Eating Substance Use Disorder Quitting Smoking Alcohol Use Disorder

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna


Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

The Cigna Group Information

About Cigna Healthcare Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers The Cigna Group Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap Cookie Settings


Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of Texas, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details