Swapping Out Habits Rather Than Eliminating Them

Jan 5, 2024

Evenings can be particularly challenging when it comes to using our time with purpose. After a demanding day’s work, the effortless temptation of falling into a “deep YouTube hole,” indulging in seemingly endless streams of videos, can be all too familiar. But what if, instead of striving to eliminate these less fulfilling habits, we focused on replacing them with more enriching ones?

Like many, I've battled with the allure of mindless scrolling and instant digital gratification. In a well-intentioned attempt to reclaim my time, I've deleted apps that tend to consume it—Instagram, YouTube, the usual suspects. But as anyone who's tried this knows, the void left behind is quickly filled with another, often similar distraction. Suddenly, Twitter becomes my new respite, serving up the same pattern with a different flavor.

The breakthrough came when I approached the issue from another angle: not removing, but replacing. Instead of trying to carve out these behaviors from my life, I sought fulfilling alternatives to fill the space they occupied. For instance, initiating a post-dinner walk became a game-changer; this simple routine adjustment left no room for my usual YouTube session. In its place, I gained a dash of exercise and a tranquil moment of respite, both restorative in their own right.

As we find ourselves in the midst of reflection and adaptation—perhaps a seasonal introspection or a response to a yearning for personal growth—consider the power of substitution. The right habit swap can transform your evenings from a time of passive consumption to one of active restoration. Let this small insight serve as a spark of inspiration for your own journey toward more intentional living.

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