Not by doing things I wouldn't normally do and going out my way to make it memorable per say, but more so by actually trying to memorize it and make it something I can recall to the most minute of details, years from now.
People often ask me if I have an awesome memory of my life events. Do I remember where I was on any given date in the past, what I ate, what I wore, what the weather was like, etc. The answer is, um...hell no! My memory is pretty much horrendous when I'm not trying. Well, that's not totally true. My memory of my life events has its ups and downs. Some things I can remember with scary precise detail while other things I have no recollection of at all.
But what if I could remember exactly what happened on one particular date, no matter how old I got. Would that be something I could potentially train? How valuable would that skill be?
It saddened me this morning when I tried to think of all the past birthday's I'd had (mine is coming up tomorrow), because I could barely remember anything from them. A dinner here, a surprise there, but overall, not much detail at all. I feel like that is the norm for most people. We have so many things happening in our lives, so our brain just picks and chooses the most notable moments to keep fresh and retrievable in the mind. What's curious is when you don't remember something and someone says "Hey! Remember when blah blah blah" and you go "Oh wow, yes I forgot that!" You didn't really forget it, because when that person said it, you remembered it. If you had actually forgotten it you would have said that you didn't remember (which still happens sometimes anyways). But it's fascinating that we have easily remembered memories and memories that need a cue (a friend to tell you about it), because those memories that need a cue, are actually in your memory somewhere, hiding - you just don't know how to access it.
Anyways, I'm curious to see if in a year from now, I can remember EVERYTHING from my birthday week.
So I started yesterday.
Started what exactly? Not memorizing, actually.
Long term memory is all about reviewing.
The memory skills I've developed over the years are designed to get information into your brain quicker. Another common question I get is "how are you with memorizing things long term?" The answer is, "The same." While my technique gets info into my brain faster, I usually try to forget what it is I've just memorized since it's useless information. But, if I wanted to keep it forever, all I would have to do is review it. At first, very frequently (twice a day, maybe), then slowly taper off (once a day for a week, twice a week, once a week, twice a month, once a month, once every so often). Reviewing things you've memorized is what makes it transition over to long term memory.
So what if after every day (for a week say, for experimental purposes) you sat down and relived (reviewed) the day in its entirety, in your mind, remembering the sensations, emotions, colors, foods, clothes, locations, people, that crossed your path. Then at the end of a week you reviewed each of those days again. Then continued a reviewing process that tapered off over time. Would you be able to ask me in 2013 what happened on Feb 4th, 2012 and would I be able to respond with detailed facts about the super bowl score, the weather, conversations I had, the number of slices of pizza I ate, how long my fingernails were?
I think yes.
Granted this is no way to remember every single thing in your life (you would spend SO much time reviewing it all!), but I think for the more important moments of your life that you would never want to forget, it might be a way to save them in all their glory.
I should probably memorize this entire blog post. That would be a good start.