I’d smoked weed and cigarettes for 27 years before I finally made up my mind to give them up. I figured I’d have no problems quitting on my own — now that I was ready.

I was so wrong.

Instead, I tried and relapsed repeatedly before I finally kicked my bad habits for good 20 years ago.

Here are some of the lessons I learned:

Holidays and birthdays are actually not good times to begin transformations, post your pledges on Instagram and TikTok, or go Facebook official. Many people who make Jan. 1 resolutions give them up by the end of the month — and experts say that’s because the days around the public celebrations are fraught with emotional and unrealistic expectations.

Announcing your intentions on social media can ramp up the pressure and can set you up for failure. So maybe pick a different time? After years of trial and error, I had luck quitting on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2001, a random date that fit my schedule and which I now commemorate as my own personal V-Day.

 It took a lot more effort than the writer expected to quit smoking and drinking. She shares what she learned.  Read More