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Mentalrobics™

You exercise your body to stay physically in shape, so why shouldn't you exercise your brain to stay mentally fit? With these daily exercises you will learn how to flex your mind, improve your creativity and boost your memory. As with any exercise, repetition is necessary for you to see improvement, so pick your favorite exercises from our daily suggestions and repeat them as desired. Try to do some mentalrobics every single day!

Prospective memory is the memory for actions that you want to take in the future. Retrospective memory is the memory of things that have already happened. It is generally more bothersome to people to forget to do something than it is to forget something that you already did.

One way to improve prospective memory is to link it to something that you cannot forget. For example, if you are having trouble remembering to mail your letters, put the letters under your keys. The next time you leave the house, you will be reminded of the mail.

Another way is visualize the intended action in a place where you will not forget it. For example, visualize your car turning into a giant mailbox. The next time you see your car, you will be reminded to mail your letters.

Sometimes you may also have trouble remembering routine events, such as taking your medicine. One way to help this is to work the event into your habitual daily routine. For example, start taking your pills before breakfast. You will never forget to eat breakfast, so if you get in the habit, you will no longer forget your medicine.

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Once you have gotten someone's name, made it meaningful, and remembered their face, you will have made a huge improvement in your ability to remember that person.

To insure that you will remember that name, you should make sure to review it soon after meeting them. Review their name, the association that you used to link it to their face, and review any interesting facts about that person that you want to remember. If you can, write this information down so you can review it again later. Do an additional review at the end of the day for each new person that you met, and then one final review a week later. This will guarantee that their name and face are firmly in your long-term memory.

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Once you have gotten someone's name and made it meaningful, you can further improve your memory for names and faces by associating this name with the person's face.

To do this, you need to first focus on the person's face and find something distinctive about it. Maybe they have bright red hair or a big bushy mustache. Try to pick a feature that will not easily change (for example, don't pick lipstick color). Whatever it is, focusing on that distinctive feature will help imprint that person's face into your memory.

To link their name to their face, you can form a visual association with your substitute word and the distinctive feature. For example, to remember Mr. Pine, you might visualize a pine tree growing out of the bald spot on his head.

To remember a person's profession, try adding something to the association. For example, you could visualize a stethoscope around the neck of a doctor or you could visualize a dentist with huge oversized teeth.

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Once you have gotten someone's name, you can help yourself remember it by making it meaningful to you. To do this, you need to make the name concrete by visualizing it or finding a substitute word that can be visualized. Some names like 'Baker,' 'River,' or 'Holly' can be visualized directly. For names like 'Conroy,' 'Hargrove,' or 'Olefsky,' you can use substitute words or phrases such as 'convoy,' 'hard road,' or 'leaf sky.'

Whatever you use, be sure to get a mental picture of the name. Really see the image in your mind. This will help you remember it later. If you ever encounter a name that is too difficult to visualize, or if you just don't have enough time to make the visualization, it won't matter. Just having spent a little time trying will help because you will have focused on the name longer that you would have without using this technique.

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One of the main reasons why we cannot remember people's names is because we never get the name in the first place. This can be caused by a variety of factors. Maybe you never exchanged names, maybe the person mumbled their name, or maybe you were in an environment where it was difficult to hear. Whatever the reason, it is clear that you will never remember someone's name if you never got it in the first place.

If you didn't get the name because it was spoken too quickly, quietly, or incoherently, do not let it slide. Ask the person or the introducer to repeat the name so you can hear it. Then be sure that you repeat their name as well. Don't be nervous about mispronouncing a complicated name. The other person will be happy to help you say it (people like their own names and like to hear people use them). This will guarantee that you get their name correct and will reinforce it in your memory.

After you have gotten the name, you should try to repeat their name throughout the conversation. This will focus your attention on the name, which will make you remember better. If you can, you may also want to write their name down so you can see it as well as hear it. This will also give you a way to review their name at a later time.

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