Remember your resolutions


We’re already more than a week into 2013 and at a time when, statistically, most of us have already failed at our New Year’s resolutions. Whether it was to go on a diet or quit smoking, ultimately the majority of us fail because we are giving up something we enjoy. So, this year I’m resolving not to give anything up but to do something extra instead.

Christmas is a sociable time of year with friend’s gatherings, family get-togethers and office parties all thrown into the mix. New people are met, new family members introduced and new business connections made. But, unfortunately for me, with all these new people come a lot of new names. I’m utterly terrible at remembering names. Give me a useless fact or ask me what someone was wearing at a party in 2003 and I’ll usually remember but tell me your name and it’s in one ear and out the other. So, this year I have decided to work on my name memory.

There are lots of helpful hints on the internet for remembering names. Some of them seem a bit impractical to me, for example ‘Make a picture of their name. If their name is Shirley think of Shirley Temple.’ or ‘Use Word Play e.g. Dale works in sales.’ What if you can’t think of a picture? What if Dale doesn’t work in sales? What if he works in Finance? These suggestions sound far too time-consuming for the few thinking seconds you have after someone tells you their name before you actually have to speak again and continue the conversation.

Some more plausible suggestions include repeating their name at least three times in the conversation that follows. That doesn’t mean you need to stand there like a maniac shouting ‘Bob, Bob, Bob’ over and over again, but how about saying something like ‘Nice to meet you, Bob.’ or ‘How long have you been working here, Bob?’

Another tip is asking people to spell their name. Now, this probably won’t work for a name as simple as Bob but for most names there are more than a few different spellings so it will seem like you’re asking purely out of curiosity. This also follows nicely into the next tip, which is writing the name down as soon as you can after meeting them.

Who knows, these tips might even help you when trying to remember a particularly tricky word in English. Obviously, different tricks work better for different people but I’m definitely going to give some of these a go. So, while the diet is scrapped and I polish off my Christmas chocolates guilt-free, at least I’ll remember it was Ed’s new girlfriend Louise who gave them to me.


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