The thought of memory improvement excites you, doesn’t it?
But then you start reading all the books and watching the videos and within seconds …
Improving your memory suddenly starts to feel like a lot of hard work!
It’s understandable. Using a Memory Palace, associative-imagery and practicing Recall Rehearsal can be tough. It involves a lot of moving parts. But if you’ve gotten hold of my free Memory Improvement Kit, then you know that in reality, it’s actually pretty simple.
But if you’re not interested in beelining directly towards total memory mastery, no sweat. Here are three games and exercises you can play starting today. They will exercise your memory, move the muscles of your imagination and renew access to parts of yourself you’ve probably long forgotten.
Before we get started, you’ll need something to write with. And what you’re about to experience could well change your life forever. (In a good way, of course.)
And when I say write, I mean “write.” Sure, you can play these memory games by writing in Evernote or whatever. But don’t. You’ll get more from them by using old-fashioned pencil and paper.
You can also use your mind on its own too. These exercises can be completed while daydreaming on a park bench or wherever you find yourself.
But with writing, the pages you fill will prove to you that your mind is a vast place with many recesses. And you’ll enjoy the exercise more when you see what emerges from the depths of your imagination.
Plus, you’ll be able to feel the weight of your memory in the paper on your hands. And that is a sensation you can’t get from any app in the world. (Though a device that gets heavier the more information it contains could be a fun option for those who want to go on a data diet!)
Do These Things Now If You Want To Improve Your Memory Without Sweat, Blood Or Tears
1. Make a list of all the places you can remember visiting.
Start local and go back as far as you can remember. For example, here are some of the first places that I remember visiting:
- Where my dad used to train his duck hunting dogs
- The farm at Tranquille where my mom used to work
- A chocolate factory we visited on a field trip in Kindergarten
Immerse yourself in these memories. Think about colors, smells, textures. Recall the people you were with and call up as many people as you can.
Then you can start listing other towns and cities. Again, go as deep into the past as you can. I remember flying to Prince Rupert with my dad where he bought me cowboy boots.
Get All The Memory Guidance You Need From Someone Close To Home
Next, take these early memories and ask someone in your family to give them your version. When I press my memory for sensory detail, I remember nothing of the flight. But I do have glimpses of how the city looked, and I can smell beer on my dad’s breath.
For bonus points in your own memory play, move from the deep past up until the present. And do your best to establish a linear time line so you have a feeling for the chronology.
But at this point …
Don’t Worry About Exact Dates …
… except for seasons if your sensory memory provides them.
For example, in my first memory of watching my dad train one of the dogs, he’s wearing the white sweater my mom knit for him.
Although there was no snow on the ground on those mountain plains, white clouds were shooshing from the dog’s noise as it ran after the dummy. And I remember my dad letting me the starter pistol and how cold it felt in my hand. These details make it safe to assume it was Fall.
Once you’ve gotten your sensory details gathered, come back and add dates if you wish for an extra memory massage. For that you should learn the Major Method for memorizing numbers.
Or you can proceed the next of our memory games:
2. Recall the names of every classmate you can remember.
Again, go as deep into the past as you can.
From preschool, I remember Ryan and Clayton. Ryan moved away with his family in grade one, but I would know Clayton for many years to come. I believe the last time I saw him was grade nine, and we’ve only had a quick series of exchanges on Facebook since.
For each friend you can remember from this deepest place …
Fill In As Many Sensory And Narrative Details As You Can …
Recall their homes, their parents and your activities together.
With Ryan, I remember a white house at the top of a lawned hill with a backyard with white wood fences on either side and a chicken coup at the back. We played downstairs, and he once proudly displayed an American dollar. His mom worked for the Buy & Sell newspaper, and I distinctly remember eating tomato soup.
With Clayton, I remember much more. It would take a novella to write it all out, but I find sharp highlights in my memory. These include building blanket tents, watching Chuck Norris movies during sleepovers, going to the pool, smoking cigarettes for my first time and once getting our bikes taken by weird apple orchard farmers for trespassing.
Later our bad-ass dads, both bikers, spun by on their Harleys and sorted things out. Clayton’s bikes were always cooler than mine, but I was happy nonetheless to get mine back.
Amazing, Isn’t It?
There’s a ton of detail tumbling around in the depths of my memory. And yours too!
But the point of all these examples isn’t to wow you with the details of my life. I mean only to show how much amazing information lays dormant in your mind. Do a little spade work and when you hit a pipe, you’ll be amazed by the valuable oil that gushes out.
And your memory will get an easy workout. The exercise will expand your sense of place and time. And the more friends and classmates you list, the more you’ll enjoy the wines of those times you haven’t thought of forever.
3. Recall the Rules of Childhood Games
First, list all the games you can remember playing:
Although with these games, there’s not a huge amount of rules to remember, you can still pull up sounds, sensations and locations.
You may also recall different versions and hear the sounds of your playmates in your ears.
Then move on to card games and board games:
I can distinctly remember the friends of my parents visiting to play Uno. The sensory parts are easy, but it’s a workout to remember the rules. Plus, it’s inspiring to think about how on earth I could have understood those rules at such a young age.
From there you can list video games and role playing games. I remember Pong as the coolest thing on earth, Chuck Norris and Tron for Coleco, Pacman and Space Invaders for Atari and Contra for Nintendo.
The list goes on and on. The more you press your memory for the details and rules of each game, the more fitness your memory will receive.
Did You Like Learning About These Games?
I hope so.
Obviously, these are memory games you can come back to again and again. And it took me less than an hour to draft what you’re reading now. Just think of what you can do yourself in a cafe some afternoon using nothing more than a pen, pencil and that special thing called memory floating between your ears.
Want to learn more about how to improve your memory? Check out this FREE Memory Improvement Kit and learn how to build a Memory Palace so you can learn, memorize and recall anything at any time, anywhere and under any circumstances.