Hi, I’m _________. Quick, what are you thinking in this situation? What we do in that crucial first second of meeting someone will determine if we ever remember their name. So what are you thinking?
Maybe it’s I like her outfit, what a nice name, she has the same name as my sister, or even all those names start with S. I will always remember four ladies I just met because of what I did in the crucial first seconds of meeting them. But whatever your habit in these important first seconds, let’s use it to help our memories.
Continuing our #MemoryMakeover series, this week is all about our habits and how to use them to help with our memory goals.
Now that you’ve set your goals based on your memory frustrations as discussed last week, it’s time to dig in. Whatever our memory goals are, adjusting or creating new habits to help ourselves is a crucial component in achieving success.
Take remembering names for example. What we do in the split second when someone says their name is the key to whether we’ll ever remember it. Some of us may notice something visual about the person, (I like her outfit), how we like or dislike their name, or an association we have with the name (same as my sister, all start with S). Whatever we do, it’s information we can now use to help us remember.
I sat down at a table the other night with four women I’ve never met. I introduced myself as did they and while I may never see them again, I still wanted to remember their names. Over the last few years, I’ve created a habit to help me in this scenario. Recalling the habit loop, here’s the summary of how it went:
Cue that triggered the habit: me introducing myself
Habit Routine: pay attention, make connections & repeat aloud
Reward: remembering all their names.
Here are the details: I introduced myself first. (Cue) As they introduced themselves, I quickly thought of something useful. (Routine) The first one had the same name as my sister, the next had the same name as my aunt, and the third had a name I liked. But they also all began with the letter S. Then the fourth woman’s name began with L as did two of my friends sitting with us. Suddenly, there was so much information to connect these women with their names! I then repeated them (an important component of my habit routine and great memory technique). Today, I still remember their names. (Reward) This was all made possible by creating a habit.
So your #MemoryMakeover homework this week is:
- Evaluate & adjust or create habits related to your MemoryMakeover goal(s). What habits might need adjusting or deleting? Maybe a new habit needs to be created to help toward your goal(s). Think of your memory frustration and how it bothers you. What habit can you create, change or delete which would help alleviate or ease that frustration and help progress toward your goal? Now, write down the new or adjusted habit and practice, practice, practice.
Here’s an example of a #MemoryMakeover so far:
Frustration-not remembering many people’s names
Goal-remember the names of those important to you and potentially new people you meet.
Habit change or addition-pay close attention when meeting new people and write down and repeat names of those important to you.
A crucial step toward a better memory in any scenario is to create habits. Habits will be a recurring theme each month in this series. Let’s identify what habits can help with our #MemoryMakeover goals then begin implementing them to ease our memory frustrations!