Your Password can Keep Your Goals Secure, too.

What I’m about to share with you isn’t news. In fact, if you do a simple search, you’ll find that this concept has been around for a long time. It’s just never really taken off and I’m not exactly sure why.

I read an article a while ago about a man who used his password to remind himself of a personal goal he had set for himself. I thought it was brilliant, so I tried it out and, lo and behold, it really does work.

There are a number of reasons why this method works to help you track and complete your goals, all of which I’ll outline in the sections that follow.

Your password should change often.

Most experts agree that you should be changing your passwords once a month. This often becomes a problem for individuals who are “set in their ways” or have a hard time coming up with a memorable password.

Writing your new password down is a major no-no in terms of computer safety. All it takes is for one wrong person to get their hands on your password and your financial security, work security, and current projects could all be in serious trouble.

Instead of trying to come up with something memorable in the long term, though, you might find success with sticking to a shorter-term theme. Do you have a certain goal set for this month? If so, implement that into your password.
 A few months ago, my password was “Cl3anth3attic!” It was my daily reminder that I needed to get the junk in my attic crawlspace sorted out.

Passwords are most secure when they combine character types.

Years ago, passwords could be relatively simple. I remember when I was in high school my mom’s password to get on our family computer was my dad’s first name- “John”- which is about as simple and generic as things can get.

Those times are long gone, though. Today, your password should contain as many unique characters as possible to ensure that it will be hard to guess. We can’t use our significant others’ names anymore, nor our birthdays. We have to always be digging into the deepest corners of our minds for something nobody will guess.

As I’m sure you noticed, the E’s in my previous password were replaced with 3’s. This is one simple way to mix up symbols in a password. You might also fit in exclamation points in place of I’s or any other number of things. You will work out your own system for mixing symbols and that’s great- nobody should ever be able to guess your system based on a common formula.

Goals are best kept when we think of them often.

How often do you type your password on any given day? Odds are, you probably do so numerous times. How often do you really sit down and think about your goals? Not as often? Exactly.

If you combine the task of typing your password with the reminder of your goals, you will be doing yourself a tenfold favor. When I changed my password to remind myself of the attic crawlspace needing sorted, I actually got the task done early in the month instead of continually forgetting to do it until it was already buried under a pile of other tasks that I’d allowed to creep in ahead of it.

This is good not only for simple one-time goals, but also habit building. Most experts will agree that it takes about a solid month of consistently following through on a new habit for it to become part of your “autopilot” routine.

“H!tth3G4m” anyone?

Personal goals and passwords are two things that you really shouldn’t share.

Your password shouldn’t be shared for obvious reasons, but personal goals are something that, contrary to what you might thing, should also be kept quiet.

Studies done by the University of Florida show that people who share their personal goals are more likely to fail at achieving them. This is attributed mostly to the stress of feeling like they aren’t progressing fast enough to please those they’ve discussed their goals with.

Instead, the studies showed that telling others you have achieved a personal goal after the fact is more beneficial. You can work toward the goal of sharing your success rather than making yourself feel the pressure of a goal not-yet-achieved. 
 Think about it- Which is more exciting news to share? : “I quit smoking! 30 days cigarette free!” or “I am going to quit smoking this month!”

Try it out! You’ll be surprised how well it works!

I’m challenging you this month to try this method out. Think of a simple, short-term goal that you will be glad to accomplish and set your password as you see fit. Once done, come back and share in the comments how well this method worked for you!