Reflect Your Goals In Your Passwords

I have a bit of a fun and practical post for you today. Always reflect your goals in your passwords. Allow me to explain.

There are very few things in my life that are as annoying as having to remember passwords. I alluded in an earlier post that I use a program called 1Password to remedy this problem but unfortunately this doesn’t help me at work. Due to some security rules I can’t store my passwords and I most update them once a month. For these, I have developed a trick.

Whenever I have to assign a new password, I choose one of my life list items, add a few random characters, and create a new password.

Here is an example:

Let’s say you want to be able to do 100 push-ups by the end of January. Try reflecting that in your most commonly used password.

Example: 100push-ups!

If you do this, you will force your conscious and sub-conscious mind to think about this goal as many times a day as you are required to type in your password. If your day is like mine, this will be many times :-)

This technique will improve your cyber security and help you commit to your goals all in one easy step! It’s as simple as that.

Below are some more examples just for fun:

  • DidIwalk2work?
  • Work0utToday!
  • E@tOutLess
  • Save4Retirement:
  • Stop&SmellTheRoses
  • S@ve4Hawaii
  • $PayOffDebt
  • $ignUp4OnlineDating
  • n0CaffineFrid@ys
  • SignUp4SpanishCl@ss!

I wrote this post while sitting in a coffee shop in Santa Monica, CA. If you find yourself here, I recommend first going to the beach ;-p and then getting some work done while enjoying some herbal tea.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • I do this, too, but instead of words I use the first letter in each word and some random numbers. For example, “I will beat Danny to the top of Kilamanjaro in 2012” = IwbDtttoKi2012.

  • Great Idea Dan! I’m always looking for ways to keep my goals in mind!

  • Dan

    I usually line the password up with a series of “leet dude” antics and then involve the name of the website somehow. Obviously this isn’t my FB password but I might do something like.. f@(38OokC0m as a password. It’s tough at first but after doing things similar to that for a year or 2, I know all my passwords for every service I use, even though 90% of them are unique.

  • That’s a nifty trick, bringing a little more fun to the bore and chore of passwords.
    I used to have a large pin board in my office, in centre view, that I’d pin magazine cut-outs, maps, notes, pictures etc of a few of my life goals. So a map of Wales and a highlighted cycle route I was going to take, pictures of mountains I want to climb etc.
    I change and update passwords all the time for myself and clients, even though using characters to replace letters is a good practice I find it’s a bit predictable. i.e. using the ‘@’ as the letter ‘a’ and ‘3’ as the letter ‘e’. Mind, that’s only a worry if anyones going to try hacking your accounts, I doubt my 4yr old daughter will quite work it out yet lol

  • Hey Dan,

    This is a great philosophy for passwords, but there’s a way to EASILY take it to the next level…

    To make passwords virtually secure forever — just add a space in between words!

    This article explains it really well – http://www.baekdal.com/insights/password-security-usability

    It’s really interesting that the IT world has trained people to user VERY hard to remember passwords that are also VERY weak!

    6 random characters – “jskerv” – time to crack = 1 month
    3 common words – “this is fun” – time to crack = 2,537 years!

    • Wow, I didn’t realize it was that easy! That now just saved me a lot of time in the future. Thanks!

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