If you were like me when you were a kid, you had posters up on your wall of your idols; being from the UK, most of mine were football (soccer) related: Kenny Dalglish, Ian Rush, Craig Johnston etc. I saw those images every day, first thing in the morning and last thing at night. They were there because they were my dream, that's who I aspired to become and what I wanted to be, a professional footballer.

Kenny Dalglish

Last year I read an article by Mauricio Estrella where a he describes using a password to change his life. Because of the company IT department protocols, he had to change his password every 30 days to log in to his computer. He was also going through a divorce, and really wanted to forgive his wife for what she had done but found it really hard. It was difficult for him to think of new unique passwords each month, so instead, one month he changed it to "Forgive@h3r". Each time he logged on in the morning and after lunch, he found it easier to do that, and at the end of the 30 days he found that he had be able to forgive her completely. The following month he changed it to "Quit@smoking4ever" and within days, he had stopped altogether.

I'm in the long process of trying to emigrate with my family at the moment, and I've used this idea myself, if slightly differently. My desktop background is a image of a sunset over Vancouver, and it makes me determined we're going to get there. It made me determined to do all the crappy admin parts of the process that I really wouldn't normally want to do at the end of a long day. It makes me convinced that after every draw that been and passed, it's all worth it, and it's where we want to be.


With software like Wanderlist, Clear, Teuxdeux, it's easy to add things to a to-do list, but I'd encourage you not to use these for long term goals.

Goals. Don't hide them away, have them in front of you where you'll see them every morning and every night.