Seeing the same old things in an entirely new way – that’s what really does it for me.

Take for example passwords – one of the many hazards of digital life. Consider this: what if they’re not passwords at all?

Turns out passwords can be great goal-setting tools. You will not believe how effective they can be. As we type them in a dozen times a day, we can hijack them to help us hit our short-term goals.

I was certainly impressed when recently I started keying in “buy4house” as my password each time I had to log in throughout the day. I kid you not – for the first time in my life I found myself bidding on houses with a focus that I never had before.

Of course, I was ready and had set the goal myself, but that password was a more effective push than any alerts or alarms I had ever used. It was like some incessant drumming inside to make it happen.

Then there was our researcher here at Sorted, who wanted to get back into a habit of running outdoors after a six-month break. She chose “run0utside” as hers. It felt a bit nagging at first, but after typing it for two days she had worked out her new circuit and was back on track.

Bespoke passwords can be used for any short-term, achievable goals you have, but since we are talking personal finance here, you could consider setting yours to something like (but of course not exactly like) these:

  • Plan4ourholiday
  • Checkmy1nsurance
  • Savef0remergencies
  • G3tcardtozero
  • Save4Xmas
  • CheckmyKiwiS4verfund

Why does it work? I think it’s the combination of making a decision, putting it in writing and reminding yourself continually what you’re after.

So by all means hijack your password – it’s a powerful tool to use day in and day out. What will you choose first?

 

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