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7 Ways To Never Forget Anything Again 

Get sharper in 7 days

"About two-thirds of what determines how well we age comes from nongenetic factors—as in, our everyday behaviors," explains Gary Small, director of the UCLA Longevity Center at the Semel Institute and author of 2 Weeks to a Younger Brain. In Small's poll of more than 18,000 people across the country, those with healthier habits—a balanced diet, regular exercise—reported fewer memory complaints. And when people learn and use memory techniques on top of that, he's found, MRI and PET brain images reveal changed neural circuitry along with a measurable boost in memory. These strategies can work within a week; keep it up and you'll build your brain for protection in the long run, too. (Looking for even more ways to have your best year ever?  Try the New Year, New You Rodale Challenge today.)

1. Move Your Stuff In
Take 10 minutes to find permanent homes for items you use every day, including your keys, wallet, cell phone, briefcase, eyeglasses, and shoes. (Here are tips to declutter your home once and for all.) You'll avoid the stress of hunting for them and lessen the load your memory has to carry. When you grab your keys each day, use the action as a cue to ask yourself: Do I have everything I need for today, like the flash drive for my big presentation and the E-ZPass for highway tolls?

2. Take 60 Seconds to Practice on People

Make a point of introducing yourself to someone new today and practice Small's "focus and frame" technique to truly learn their name. "Focus" is a reminder to fight through the distraction that causes us to miss the name in the first place; "frame" means creating a memorable mental picture of the name. If Small meets someone named Joe, he imagines him drinking a cup of coffee. "This technique gets the hippocampus collaborating with the frontal lobe to move the information into long-term memory storage," he says.

3. Associate Like Crazy
When you've got a lost fact on the tip of your tongue, think of things you associate with it. If you've blanked on the name of an actor, recall his various films and costars. "Our memories live in neighborhoods," Small says, "so a neighboring memory could trigger the word you're looking for."

4. Tell a Good Yarn
Remember a list of things today by coming up with a bizarre visual story that links them together. "If I know I need eggs and stamps and to pick up the dry cleaning, I see myself holding a big egg with a stamp on it, and the egg slips, getting on my pants, so I have to go to the cleaners," Small says. "Exerting that mental energy creates a cognitive framework that helps you retrieve the information later." The more creative the imagery, the more memorable it will be.

5. Make Like a Millenial
Enough with Sudoku and crossword puzzles. Instead, play physics-based smartphone games like Cut the Rope, which was shown in a study to improve concentration, task-switching skills, and adaptability to new situations. Brainteaser games that involve planning and readjusting strategies, like Civilization and StarCraft, among others, also improve memory for day-to-day things like where the heck you parked your car. (Try these 7 brain games.)

6. Exercise the Recall Muscle

Exercise your brain

Photograph by Mark Lanta/Gallery Stock
Zero in on one article of clothing that your spouse, child, or coworker is wearing. It could be a shirt, tie, jacket, jewelry, or shoes. Notice the colors, patterns, and texture and jot down at least four details. At night, try to recall all four details and only check your notes to see how well you remembered.

7. Struggle!
Challenge your brain by finding an alternative route to work, brushing your teeth with your nondominant hand, wearing your watch upside down—anything that requires conscious effort.

After all that Call or stop in - Bill Quickel's - Insurance Plus Agencies Inc. 114 Court St. Pomeroy, Ohio 45769  740-992-6677

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Posted 8:33 AM

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