5 Ways You Can Improve Your Memory
This is not a list of biological tips. You would not be reading about the special vitamins and minerals and types of food/pills to ingest to improve your memory. Nor is this a list of very expensive items to invest in. These are very simple things you can do on a daily basis to gradually improve your retrieving ability.
1. Know your goal, and pledge to do at least one thing everyday to improve your memory.
A constant reminder that you are trying to self improve will lead to your daily contribution to that goal.
*Hint: Draft up a contract, if necessary, for a greater incentive to improve. Have a sibling, parent, or a best friend who won't judge, sign as a witness to your contract. Your simple contract can state:
I, ____ pledge to do something everyday from now until _(6 months later)__ to improve my memory. If I fulfill the previous promise, I will reward myself with _____ six months later. If I skip days, I will _______ (take up a punishment).
2. Be an active participant of your environment.
Try to take a mental note of the things, people, and placement in your surrounding. You are trying to incorporate an active attitude in your perception, and by constantly recording your surrounding, you will assimilate into that active attitude naturally.
3. Use your social opportunities.
When you are introduced to someone, make a point to associate their name to their face and one other characteristic about them. My favorite questions to ask are: what college did/do you go to, and what did you study. The more you practice, the more you will get better at this. You will also increase your network by doing this, because people are naturally inclined to like the people who actually remember them.
4. Play mental games.
As a corollary to the second tip, play games with your surroundings. Give yourself 1 or 2 minutes to quickly scan a new area and close your eyes to see if you could recreate the image in your head. The more you do this, the more you hone your memory. You can also upgrade this technique by buying an LSAT (Law School Admission Test) Review book and doing the exercises for fun; at the beach, on the train, or whenever you're just relaxing. I recommend Kaplan's LSAT 180 Advanced Prep for Advanced Students available at Barnes and Noble for $25.
The LSAT in general is a killer test because it tests your cognitive abilities, and not the depths of your database as other tests do. Thus, you do not need to have any specific prior knowledge, or defined major in college, just the mastery of the English language.
LSAT Review Books Recommendations
Your sharpened memory would come as a pleasant side effect when you do the LSAT exercises. There are 5 sections on the test, and three main categories; logic games, logical reasoning, and reading comprehension. Both the logical reasoning and reading comprehension sections are similar in that your basic job is to deduce the primary intention of the author and understand how his ideas are presented. In logic games, you are given a set of possibilities and limitations and you have to match a sequence with the particular set of possibilities and limitations. The sections in the LSAT will definitely help your memory because they are easier to do when you remember parts of the problem. Thus, when you are trying to figure out which of the following parallels Jared's reasoning, or whether A is third in line, you will notice that your memory has significantly improved.
All 5 Senses
5. Use (your 5) common senses!
Put your senses together. If you are trying to remember a particular environment (ie. museum or amusement park to prevent getting lost), use as many senses as you can. Besides sight, remember the smell of the place. You can relate the smell of popcorn to a popcorn stand nearby, or remember the voice of the security guard who yelled at you for taking pictures to ensure that you would not revisit the spot.