As the new year knocks on our door, many people start thinking about their lifestyle and building new habits. Habits can have a considerable impact on our life. But for most of us, we’re more familiar with bad habits than those we deem good. 

After all, bad habits seem easy and effortless to establish, yet hard to break. In contrast, good habits to start often require hard work to establish. 

If you’re a WordPress developer, you might be looking for good habits you can pick up in the new year to help your career. 

With that in mind, we’ll share why you should build habits, how to build them effectively, and share seven simple habits that will help you become a better WordPress developer. 

Good Habits to Start in the New Year

Why Build New Habits

One of the key traits of a successful WordPress developer is how efficiently, quickly, and reliably they can get the job done. 

It’s important to be fast at what you do so you can spend more time engaging with your clients, customers, and members and less time on behind-the-scenes tasks. 

For instance, if you update your clients’ websites once a week and it typically takes you four hours to complete, reducing that time down to three hours means you now have an extra hour each week to work on other projects or relax. That’s an additional 52 hours a year to do with as you wish. 

Building habits can help you do that. As James Clear puts it, “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”

In other words, your systems are the daily habits that you cultivate to reach your goal. If your systems aren’t up to par, your chances of reaching your goals diminish. 

How to Build Business Habits Effectively

When it comes to building habits effectively, there are two books everyone should read — James Clear’s Atomic Habits and The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. 

The Power of Habit book
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Both books focus on instilling good habits to start by understanding how habits work and using that knowledge to our advantage. 

According to Duhigg, to form a new habit, you need a cue or a trigger that tells your brain when to begin the habit. And for that habit to stick, you need a reward to reinforce the idea that the new habit is worth it. 

Another way to build habits effectively is to use temptation bundling, as described by James Clear. 

Temptation bundling refers to pairing an activity you enjoy doing (e.g., watching your favorite show on Netflix) with an activity you’d rather put off (e.g., riding an exercise bike) as an effective way to make habits more attractive. 

Atomic Habits by James Clear
Atomic Habits by James Clear

Another concept from Atomic Habits is habit stacking — the practice of pairing a new habit you want to master with a habit that’s already formed. That can increase the chances of successfully adopting a new habit. A practical example would be:

“After I run a security check on my website, I will run a check for broken links.”

Lastly, remember it’s easier to start a habit on a special day like New Year’s Day or birthdays. That makes the start of a new year the perfect time to kick start any new habit you want to establish.

Now that you know what to do to kickstart new business habits, keep reading to find effective habits to start for membership sites. Just remember — the sooner you start, the better!

Membership Business Habits 

  1. Perform weekly website maintenance
  2. Tend to your mental health
  3. Email your list regularly 
  4. Blog regularly
  5. Learn something new every week
  6. Start an exercise routine to stay in shape
  7. Reach out to new people at least once a week to build relationships 

Let’s have a more in-depth look at these seven simple, effective good habits to start today to be a better WordPress developer. 

1. Perform Weekly Website Maintenance

One of the most important tasks you have as a WordPress developer is performing regular maintenance and ensuring your client’s websites are safe and secure. Create a weekly habit to check the security settings of your client’s websites to make sure they don’t get hacked. 

Check if plugins need to be updated, approve blog comments, respond to comments, and check to ensure the website’s SEO is up to par. 

2. Tend to Your Mental Health

As difficult as it may sound, making your mental health a priority and including it in your habit-making process is essential. Jason Coleman, a member of our team, does a regular kindness meditation to keep his mind focused, calm, and collected. 

Including a mediation process as a part of your daily routine — even a short one — can make all the difference in how you feel and approach each day. 

3. Email Your List Regularly 

Growing your list is essential to nurturing relationships with potential clients and customers. But growing your list alone is not enough. You need to email them regularly to establish trust and earn a good reputation.

4. Blog Regularly

Blogging helps your website rank better in search engines, but it’s also an excellent way to promote your small business and attract your ideal clients. Just like you should email your list regularly, you should blog consistently. 

In fact, you can employ a technique called habit stacking to do this, where you pair a current habit with another rather than a location or time.

By doing so, you can ensure that all of your similar activities are done on the same day. That frees up the rest of your week for development and other aspects of running a successful business.

5. Learn Something New Every Week

Learning new skills ensures you stay on top of your game as a WordPress developer. It also helps you develop new skills relevant to startup business owners, business leaders, and entrepreneurs. A great example comes from our team. 

Sam Daugherty recently joined us, and she wanted to learn about social media marketing. We set aside Tuesday afternoons for her to learn. We’ve only had a few scheduling conflicts outside of work and, when those pop up, she schedules her learning time to later that week.

By setting a time each week and adding it to your calendar, you can create a learning habit for yourself. Remember, you don’t have to take an entire course. It could also be as simple as reading a book or participating in a Twitter chat. 

You could even listen to podcasts from other successful business owners and successful entrepreneurs or participate in a webinar.

6. Start an Exercise Routine to Stay in Shape

Creating a daily routine for exercise is probably the hardest for many people, myself included. In 2017, I assumed I ran a lot. However, when I checked the numbers on my FitBit, I realized what had started with a big running surge during summer dropped off throughout fall and winter.  

An image of a FitBit
An image of a FitBit – Image source

I assumed I ran 50 times, but it was closer to 25. So now, instead of running whenever I want, I run once a week and have been doing so since 2017. By choosing to make running a weekly habit, I can run 52+ times a year which is way more than I did before. 

Similarly, you want to ensure you wake up and go to bed at the same time on a daily basis, look after your overall well-being, and pursue a work-life balance.

7. Reach Out to New People at Least Once a Week to Build Relationships

Lastly, make it a point to reach out to new people at least once a week. You can do it on a website like LinkedIn or other platforms where new business owners and successful people mingle. You could even reach out to people in your community and set up a weekly coffee hour where you try to connect with someone in your local community. 

Or, you could use this opportunity to reach out to members for a check-in to see how they’re doing, if they’re happy with the value you provide and if there’s something more you could be doing to provide value. 

That will help you build new relationships and create opportunities for collaborations and partnerships. It can also help you expand your client base.

Final Thoughts: Good Habits to Start in the New Year to Transform Your Life

As James Clear puts it, the compound effect of minor changes can lead to extraordinary results. Make 2022 the year you adopt simple but effective business habits to help you become a better WordPress developer.

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