passwords as motivators

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Mirko Macari

Lifehacker posted yesterday about a hack for staying motivated to reach goals by using passwords that include your goals.

You can add some other letters, characters or numbers to make them more secure.
His example was the word “diet” on a Gmail account your password might look like this: GM*diet1.

This is something I started doing about 6 months ago. I reached one of my goals (taking a vacation to San Francisco with my husband) before I expected to!

This tip makes me focus on our goals, the same way I do when I write it down. I personally consider it part of my greater goal of   living mindfully. Maybe you believe in The Secret, or the power of positive thinking, or prayer. Think of your password typing as another extension of your beliefs.   You could instead of choosing a specific goal choose something like “mindful”, or “peace”.

Personally I prefer taking my goal, and adding a date. That’s just me being my type A self. I don’t always type out my password on every site (Firefox remembers some), but for many sites (like my bank, Wesabe, my blog) I do it daily, and often several times a day!

Here’s what my passwords might look like (obviously this isn’t my real password, it’s just an example!):

Goal: Lose 5 pounds in a month.
Goals shortened:

  • Lose5June09
  • -5/06-09
  • LOSE5by6/09
  • LOSE5June09

I’m sure you can come up with more variations.

Next you want to generate a password. To do this you can use a random password generator (this one has a bookmarklet so you can do it while you are on the site you are creating a password for!) that will take your goal or reminder and turn it into a secure password, or you can simply add your own random characters. For instance:

  • #!@Lose5<>June09-1
  • rewq-5/06-09uiop
  • 4thLOSE5by6/09ht4
  • 678LOSE5June09zxc

The possibilities are pretty endless. Giving you both a motivating password, and a means to make it difficult to hack.

Now that I’ve reached my goal, I’ve changed all my passwords. Don’t forget to update your list of passwords. If you don’t have one, create one today. I have a computer copy, and a hard copy stored safely, and am working on putting together hard copies to keep off-site.

Do you use a motivator, or goal for your passwords?

Kelly

About Kelly Whalen


Kelly Whalen is the founder of The Centsible Life, a blog where motherhood and money meet. Her goal is to help readers live well on less. Kelly is a mom to 4, and loves that she can stay at home with her kids, and still pursue her passions for writing, personal finance, and social media. You can often find her on twitter and Facebook talking money and motherhood.

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  • http://www.observingcasually.com/ Kosmo @ The Casual Observer

    I mostly use sports related passwords. If I have to be at work, at least I can start the day thinking about sports. Motivators sound cool, too.

  • http://www.observingcasually.com/ Kosmo @ The Casual Observer

    I mostly use sports related passwords. If I have to be at work, at least I can start the day thinking about sports. Motivators sound cool, too.

  • http://steadfastfinances.com Matt SF

    Clever idea! Excellent way to remedy the “out of sight, out of mind” problem.

    • Kelly

      Thanks for stopping by Matt!
      I am a visual person, so this has made a huge impact for me.

  • http://steadfastfinances.com Matt_SF

    Clever idea! Excellent way to remedy the “out of sight, out of mind” problem.

    • Kelly

      Thanks for stopping by Matt!
      I am a visual person, so this has made a huge impact for me.

  • http://manvsdebt.com Baker @ ManVsDebt

    Holy cow! This is a ridiculously amazing idea. I definitely should have thought of this years ago.

    Seriously, I’m going to start changing all my passwords today. Thanks for linking this (although I’m wondering why I didn’t get it from LikeHacker, as well). Hmmmm, maybe I need to re-add them!

    • Kelly

      It’s really so simple, but it has made a difference.
      My next goal is long term so I’ll be sure to update when it happens.

  • http://manvsdebt.com/ Baker @ ManVsDebt

    Holy cow! This is a ridiculously amazing idea. I definitely should have thought of this years ago.

    Seriously, I’m going to start changing all my passwords today. Thanks for linking this (although I’m wondering why I didn’t get it from LikeHacker, as well). Hmmmm, maybe I need to re-add them!

    • Kelly

      It’s really so simple, but it has made a difference.
      My next goal is long term so I’ll be sure to update when it happens.

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