Changing Habits

As with many major foundational changes in our lives, habit changes soon follow. Think of welcoming a newborn baby — sleeping in until 10:30 am is no longer an option, but rather a dream from the past. Or moving out to start college — no more relying on mom or dad to get your knickers cleaned. Even getting a new haircut can cause habits to change — setting aside an hour in the morning to primp your locks can turn into 30 minutes of extra snoozing. So, it’s, of course, no different when looking at the COVID-19 global pandemic.

A significant shift in how we live our lives is happening before us, which is going to have (already having) major implications to our past, present, and future habits. Therefore, we decided to roll up our sleeves and do some research — from a distance, of course. We became curious to see how this shift is presenting itself in different people’s lives and whether there are any noticeable patterns. Research is an important practice here at Serious Business, as it gives us credibility to our sometimes far out hunches and it provides us with colorful insight to gain better clarity of our clients’ goals. With cases such as this one, research provides us with an intriguing opportunity to get a handle on what is happening in the world and provide us with a source of inspiration.

To get an understanding of what these habit changes look like, we decided to ask some Millennials, as we’re most intrigued by their behaviors. Read our article on how to attract Millennials to understand why — we promise you will not be disappointed!

The goal of this task was for us to dig deep to see what life could potentially look like post Coronavirus pandemic. It was our chance to tap into some voyeurism if you will. We (virtually) sat down with close to 20 individuals and asked them all sorts of questions such as:

  • What new habits have you picked up?
  • What is the first thing you will do once life returns to normal?
  • What has the pandemic made you grateful for?

Some answers made us chuckle, while others opened our eyes. After reading them all, we found that people’s behavior changes can be grouped into three different categories: learning, wellness, and slowing down. Below you can find what we’ve discovered…

LEARNING

Give people free time and they will teach themselves something new.

  • Improving or learning a new language from scratch
  • Trying and testing new recipes in the kitchen
  • Reading new books

“I’m finding myself ripping through book after book, but I rarely ever read before COVID”

  • Taking online courses
  • Learning how to embroider

“I’m terrible at drawing, but I started playing around out of boredom and next thing I knew I was ordering a sketchbook and colored pencils off Amazon”

  • New dance moves
  • Teaching myself about architecture
  • Learning to shop less
  • Getting back to being creative — sketching
  • The piano
  • How to be more productive through apps
WELLNESS

Despite having the couch nearby at all times of the day, people are actually finding themselves exercising & prioritizing self-care more than before self-isolation began.

  • Running
  • DIY face masks
  • Meditation

“I’m going to eat pasta outside, drink wine in the sun, feel NO guilt and enjoy myself “

  • Boxing
  • Remote yoga
  • High-intensity interval training

“Going on daily walks has become the new norm”

  • More yoga (this seemed to be a popular one)
  • Martial arts
SLOWING DOWN

Isolation has forced people to slow down, which in turn, has shown them that there is so much to be grateful for and that life is more than living for the weekends.

  • Spending time on my balcony
  • Staying in touch with family more
  • Bird watching

“I’m super grateful for the opportunity to connect more with friends and family more intentionally”

  • Online classes on mindfulness
  • Just looking outside the window
  • Sharing cool things with friends
  • Growing plants
  • Losing the feeling of guilt when it comes to ‘me’ time
  • Appreciating family and friends

“Living in a city and seeing it slow down enough to allow wildlife to come out and also just appreciate some peace and quiet has been really enjoyable”

  • Replacing travel with exploring my own home and city
  • A great appreciation of my health

While these changes may seem minimal, we, as well as many experts believe that small habit shifts add up to fundamental life changes that will spark the need for brands to address this new environment of changing habits. People will buy fewer material items, not just because of the state of the economy, but because people are realizing satisfaction can come from slowing down. Satisfaction and happiness can come from regularly scheduled video calls with family, honing in on a new craft, or even just bird watching. Again, we do not want to dismiss the severity and seriousness of the pandemic, but identifying these habit changes has displayed the rising positivity it has brought on and how better off we just may be… what patterns have you noticed in these responses?