back to top

14 People Talk About How They Managed To Kick Their Bad Habits

Let their determination inspire you!

Posted on

We asked readers from the BuzzFeed Brasil Facebook group to tell us about how they managed to kick bad habits, and here's what they said.

Note: responses have been edited for length and clarity.
Getty Images

Note: responses have been edited for length and clarity.

1. "I started trading soft drinks for juices."

Ever since I was a kid, I had a habit of drinking a beverage at every meal (a sip after every forkful), and it was usually soft drinks. So, I decided to pay attention to that, and start cutting down.

I started trading soft drinks for juices, and then alternating days when I drank anything at all with my meals. Nowadays I drink more soft drinks on weekends. I like them and don't want to quit drinking them, but I'm happy about reducing the quantity. — Camila Almeida

2. "It wasn't until I had a really good talk with myself that I got a handle on what was really going on."

Last year's second semester was tough. I started drinking a lot at home, and sometimes I even went to work a little tipsy. I had financial and family problems, trouble with co-workers, so my nightly shoulder to cry on / sleep aid was beer. I ended up drinking every day and lost track of how much I spent on booze.

It wasn't until I had a really good talk with myself that I got a handle on what was really going on, and what I needed to do to straighten the situation out.

It worked out in the end. Obviously, I still have a beer once in a while, but nothing like before. Recently I went through an even tougher situation than that one, and I stayed clean and sober. — Neto Capistrano

3. "I didn't know how to socialize without drinking first."

One of the biggest dreams of a young teen is turning 18 and drinking with no worries. As soon as I turned 18, I lost no time. I drank like an outlaw at every single party that popped up. I was planning to go out every weekend to booze with friends, even when I had classes the next day.

This habit continued for two years, and finally the day arrived when I realized that it was messing me up. My grades were slipping, and I didn't know how to socialize without drinking first. Many times I didn't get home until the next day. I decided to give up the booze parade when, during a bender on the beach, I ended up falling down and literally smashing my face, then fighting with my friends. I cried for hours on end on the bus.

It wasn't until I was 22 that I learned how to control my drinking, and now I practically only drink two or three times a month. — Bruno Filgueiras

Advertisement
Getty Images

4. "My way out was by drinking water every time I felt sleepy."

I got in the habit of napping in the afternoon, and that made it impossible for me to sleep at night. My way out was by drinking water every time I felt sleepy. In one week, I kicked the habit, and drinking water had become second nature. — Matheus César

5. "I started rolling my own cigarettes, which I kind of found tiring."

I stopped smoking more than a year ago and I've never been happier! It was nearly a two-year-long process, but it worked!

I began by reducing the number of cigarettes I had per day (except on the weekends, when I really went full hog). After that, I decided to not smoke during the week, and the most difficult part of that decision was cutting out the after-lunch smoke.

So, I started rolling my own cigarettes, which I kind of found tiring, and I ended up smoking less. Then one day, I forgot my smoking kit (papers, tobacco, filters, blah blah blah) at a friend's house, and I thought it was a sign from the gods to stop smoking!

I spent more than a month without going out to have a beer, and I finally managed to dissociate cigarettes from everything else that gave me pleasure. Nowadays, as incredible as it sounds, I don't feel the craving anymore. — Analu Tortella

6. "I took apples, pears and bananas to eat at work, and the craving started to diminish."

I managed to drastically reduce my sugar consumption by replacing it with fruits and vitamins. I got to the point where I was consuming two cans of sweetened condensed milk per day.

The first days were really very hard, especially since I worked in a bakery and could eat anything I wanted. I took apples, pears and bananas to eat at work, and the craving started to diminish.

As a consequence, after that, it was extremely easy to cut out fat and other crap as well. Of course, learning how to cook also helped, but making substitutions has always worked out well for me. — Lorena Leão

Advertisement

7. "I reduced procrastination by 80%."

Ever since I started using the Bullet Journal, I reduced procrastination by 80% during my day. I still want to get to 100%, though I've realized that I'll only get there when I get rid of Facebook, WhatsApp and games on my cell phone. — Leslie Leite

Getty Images

8. "I abandoned the snooze button."

I abandoned the snooze button. Okay, it's not as serious as cigarettes or booze, but it was the first step toward controlling procrastination.

Now I leave my cell phone charging farther away from the bed, so that every time the alarm goes off, I have to get up to turn it off. Once I'm up, why hit the snooze button? It seems like a small thing, but it's something that makes you wake up more motivated. — Natanya Maria

9. "I got rid of the habit of worrying about what people thought of me."

I always cared what people thought about the way I dressed, the way I sat, the way I spoke, the color I dyed my hair. I grew up "afraid" of being honest, for fear that the other person wouldn't like me.

This caused me a lot of stress, and I began having anxiety attacks. After I began trying to understand why these were happening and seeing how much harm they were doing me and how they were messing up my life, I decided to put an end to them.

I started by thinking thoughts like, "I can't change what they think of me, so I won't even try," and everything started to feel lighter. After all, we don't have any control at all over others, right?

It's silly to think that we'll please everybody all the time, and silly to put the thoughts of others (the contents of which we don't really know, and never will) ahead of our own well being.

These days, my biggest concern is living life in the now, and trying to be happy! — Patricia Batista

Advertisement

10. "I thought: 'You know what? The time is now.'"

"I gave up cigarettes. I've already told the story in the BuzzFeed Brazil group, but it started with an article that inspired me. I thought: "You know what? The time is now."

I wrote down all of the advice in the article, downloaded the QuitNow! app, bought the Allen Carr book, and set a date.

In the beginning, it's really hard! There was dizziness, nausea, irritation, sobbing. But, this time I stuck it out. And here we are. Once in a while, I still get the urge, but all I have to do is think of something else and wait for it to pass. — Carla Lima

Getty Images

11. "I managed to stop the habit of impulse buying."

I managed to stop the habit of impulse buying. When I moved to a new place, I realized that everything I really needed could fit into two suitcases and a backpack.

From that moment on, I started reading about minimalism and more sustainable consumer habits. Nowadays, I don't spend more than I can (good riddance to credit card debt and overdraft fees). I tidy up and clean the house a lot more quickly, and I organize what I need for a trip quite quickly.

I invest my money in experiences, not things. I go out to eat, I travel, and I go to the theater and movies more. And I don't have a house that's full of things, like clothes and shoes, that I never wear. It's not hard. All we need is a little willpower and to learn how to pay close attention to what we have in our closets. — Elaine Andrade Barbosa

12. "I stopped caring about the opinions of toxic people."

I stopped caring about the opinions of toxic people, especially relatives.

Before that, I would dress by covering myself completely, because I was ashamed of my arms and legs.

After I became a mother, it got worse. I always been told that I'm "really fat" and "need to diet." These days, with the support of my husband and friends, I've learned to love myself and wear what I like. Breaking down barriers is really good, but breaking down internal barriers is wonderful.

Nowadays I love myself much more, and I'm following my own desires and keeping in mind that the important things are whatever is good for me." — Marielly Fresanso

Advertisement
Getty Images

13. "I stopped being a fool in love."

Because of the feminist movement, I stopped being a fool in love. I understood that love isn't synonymous with ownership, and that jealousy isn't synonymous with love.

I managed to free myself from the idea that marriage is the only destiny for a very successful woman, and that motherhood is crucial to being a woman.

These days I live out my relationships in a much lighter way that is independent of whether it's just casual or serious. And I detect the bumps in the road with much greater ease. — Nina Moratelli

14. "I stopped thinking that I wasn't pretty enough."

It started out as a little game: every time that I thought something bad about myself, I immediately reminded myself that I'm one hell of a woman and gave myself nothing but compliments, even though I didn't believe them.

I created the habit of always thinking positively and complimenting myself, even if it was just a little game. After a while, I realize that it had become a reality. I don't feel 100% great all of the time, but I don't have those kinds of thought anymore. — Eduarda Pauli

This post was translated from Portuguese.