Can a Password Mantra Change Habits?

Can a password mantra change habits? Have you tried using a mantra to reinforce a habit change? Can you use a computer password to reinforce your mantra?

This idea of using a computer password as a mantra sounds weird — yet intriguing.

To reinforce a new habit of keeping only two items per day on my retirement schedule, I’ve developed a personal mantra to remind me. Would changing my password reinforce the mantra?

Mantras as Passwords

The strategy of using a password mantra to change a habit came from hearing an interview on The Spark, a CBC program (cbc.ca/spark) about technology.   Nora Young, the host, interviewed Mauricio Estrella who described how he achieved life changing goals by changing his computer password every 30 days. Mauricio began using his password to make positive relationship changes with his wife.

His computer at work required a password change every 30 days.  On a whim, Mauricio began using positive affirmations —like forgiveness, respect, admiration — for his password. He adapted the affirmation into a password which then became his mantra.

This idea was interesting.  Because passwords need to be entered frequently, could a password change a habit?

Research on habits indicates that it usually takes about 30 days or about 100 repetitions create a new habit.  There is no hard and fast rule but the time frame must be of sufficient duration to produce new behaviour.

By using a positive affirmation in the form of a password mantra you prompt your inner voice each time you enter the password. This is a simple digital trick to reinforce the affirmation in your brain.

What is a mantra and how is it used?

A mantra is typically a Sanskrit word or words uttered repeatedly during meditation.  It is a powerful method to calm the mind and to create positive energy in the body.

Psychological or sacred power is believed to come from repetition of a mantra.

“Change your password — Change your life”

Learning Sanskrit isn’t a necessary prerequisite to use a mantra for your password. You don’t need to meditate or chant.

Instead, create a password that is some combination of a word with numbers and symbols that states the change you are undertaking. Each time you enter the password you will validate the mantra and reinforce the habit change in your brain.

Connecting the entry of a password to open a computer program is a simple way of connecting an ordinary activity with changing a habit, or living a bigger dream, or achieving a life aspiration.

The password mantra will trigger your brain and act as an unconscious tracking tool. It still sounds a bit weird, but I’m giving it at try!  I hope that some of my readers will be sufficiently intrigued to try it as well!

 

 

4 Replies to “Can a Password Mantra Change Habits?”

  1. Have you read Charles Duhigg’s ‘The Power of Habit’? I found it intriguing and useful for understanding how to develop a good habit, or break a bad one. Visual cues work best for me, i.e., putting my yoga mat where I can see it. I do use passwords that could be interpreted as a ‘mantra’ or a reminder, but once I am engaged in something, I forget all about what behaviour the password was supposed to trigger! I think a good password for Facebook would be ‘timewaster’.

    1. I have not read ‘The Power of Habit’ but I will look for it as I am interested in learning more about habits. So much of what we do each day is linked to either a good or a not-so-good habit. I am also a visual person and use visual cues as reminders. I will try leaving my yoga mat in the front hall as a reminder that I need to get to a class — or at least use the mat in home practice!
      Be well,
      Jeanette

  2. I can understand why this might work. I log on and off my computer a half-dozen times a day. If I were to use the password “Call Mom” it would reinforce that idea and it wouldn’t be 10:00 at night before I thought to do it. I think I’ll try it to.

    1. I think the mantra tweaks the unconscious mind and gets brain neurones firing to help us make conscious decisions that can change behaviours. I’m sure that your mom will be happy to get those phone calls and you won’t be left feeling guilty about not calling her!
      Be well,
      Jeanette

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