I’m determined to get a jump on holiday shopping this year, so, while I was surfing the web, aimlessly, I came across this adorable photo, and immediately I was reminded of a small stuffed elephant toy my daughter had when she was a little girl. No matter where we went, she constantly took little Ellie with her. I need to remember to find one like it for my granddaughter. It would make a fantastic Christmas present. I hope I don’t forget to get her one. Anyway, I know you didn’t click on my post to take a trip down memory lane with me about remembering to order a toy for my granddaughter.
Today, I have a challenge for you, so, let’s get started.
Below, you will see two lists, List A and List B, both of which contain the exact same items. Suppose you accept this challenge, which is to accomplish the tasks within one day. You can review each, but you cannot take either of them with you. You cannot snap a picture of them either. You must get started right away. The goal is to accomplish the items on the list by recalling them from memory. And no phoning a friend! Read List A and List B and decide which one you would choose to study the most before heading out on your day. While you do that, I need to remember to add the elephant to my shopping list, so I don’t forget to get it for my granddaughter in time for Christmas.
To-Do List for Today
- List A
Don’t forget to take your vitamins
Don’t forget to take out the trash
Don’t forget to put gas in the car
Don’t forget to get milk
Don’t forget to smile
Don’t forget to say I love you
- List B
Remember to take your vitamins
Remember to take out the trash
Remember to put gas in the car
Remember to get milk
Remember to smile
Remember to say I love you
Which list did you choose? I hope you decided on List B, and here’s why. When looking at List A, the brain resists negative words like Don’t. However, it will hone in – like a laser – on the word Forget. Whatever information that it is following Don’t (or Never) will be logged in your memory bank, such as, forget to take out the trash, forget to smile, forget to say I love you, and so on. Most importantly, you are setting yourself up for failure whenever the words Don’t or Never are used in this context.
By merely rephrasing to “remember,” like, remember to say I love you, and remember to smile, will increase your chances of retention and also the likelihood of accomplishing your goals substantially. It’s a mechanism signally your brain to take positive action – to always remember to do something.
In the opening paragraph, I wrote that I need to remember – I also wrote that I hope that I don’t forget to order the pink elephant for my granddaughter. Did you pick up on how strange it looked when you first read it? I was purposely contradictory to prove a point. In the end, if we can always remember something instead of overusing don’t forget, we will get more done!
To sum things up, get into the practice of speaking and writing using affirmative or positive structure. You will notice an increased level of retention and belief with notes like this,
- Remember to kiss me goodnight.
- Remember, you are beautiful.
Please join me in my mission to eliminate the excessive use of “Don’t Forget” memes flooding social media! Or, at least, remember to share Always Remember memes instead! Here’s a popular meme that I wish would go away!
Are you willing to switch things up and give Always Remember a try? Please share your comments below!
Always remember to put yourself first, then you can help others.