Swap old habits for new – build and break in one go!

We all desire to form healthier habits and wish to discard undesirable ones. But, habits take time to develop. So, what if, you could just exchange one healthier habit with an undesirable one, like popular exchange deals? Time and effort both saved! But, is it possible?

Yes, indeed it is possible. Whether it’s building a habit or undoing one, the steps are the same. Have the motivation or intention for the change, consistently repeat (or restrain) the action in a stable cue/context for an intrinsic reward like happiness, good health, enhanced efficiency, etc. Therefore, you can simply SWAP an undesirable habit with a healthier one.

Woman unpacking food stuff in kitchen

Similar to stacking, swapping habits is a strategy to build a new behavior on an existing framework of cues/context. But, unlike stacking, the new behavior is not attached to the existing habit but rather swapped with it. Such that the new behavior replaces and co-opts the cues/contexts of the older well-formed habit that you wish to do away with.

However, just like any good deal, a few terms and conditions apply,

  1. The habits that are swapped should be compatible i.e. the new habit should fit in the cue/context of the older habit– like drinking a healthier hydrating drink vs. tea/coffee, eating foxnuts vs. potato crisps, or eating 1 orange vs. a glass of orange juice.
  2. The new behavior to be built and the habit to be replaced should satisfy the reward economics – the reward obtained by performing the new behavior should be similar to the reward obtained by performing the older habit. For example, replacing soda with similarly and individually packed bottled water to quench thirst.

Take a small step toward a better future. List one undesirable habit that you wish to discard/limit and swap it for a new healthier one today.

Swap undesirable habit with a healthier one