Remembering birthdays can get be tough if you don’t have them written on a nearby calendar. One great use of mnemonics is to store birthdays and other dates so that you can recall them easily – even when there’s no calendar in sight.
Last week I introduced the Number Rhyme System and showed you how to use rhyming images to replace numbers so you could better remember things like pin numbers, hotel rooms, passcodes and address numbers.
This week, we’ll add the Month List so that birthdays, anniversaries and other important dates are easily memorized.
Here’s How The Month List Works
When I say, January, not much comes to mind as far as an exact image. However, when I say, Jacket, you should immediately see the image in your head.
By exchanging each month with a “reminder image,” you’re giving your mind something solid to hang on to. This is key in making memorization easy and effective.
Here is a table of some common exchanges:
Feel free to use your own reminder words for each month. Just make sure the word you choose easily pops into your head each time you think of its corresponding month.
Take some time to familiarize yourself with the month list and make sure each pair is set firmly in your mind.
Now let’s move on.
We’ll start with the birthday example from The Number Rhyme System:
Your sisterâ€™s birthday is the 29th. Imagine her taking her shoe (2) off and pouring a bottle of wine (9) into it.
It’s not enough to remember that her birthday is the 29th, you want to remember that it also falls in June. From the list above, the reminder word for June is “bride.” Here in the U.S. June is a huge month for weddings.
Picture your sister in her wedding dress (bride = June). Now imagine her taking off her shoe (2) and pouring a bottle of wine (9) into it.
Spend a few minutes going over this image and try to make it as vivid as possible. What did the wedding dress look like? Was your sister standing or sitting when she took off her shoe and what kind of shoe was it? Flat or high heel? Was it red or white wine?
This may seem like some work on the front end, but as you solidify this image in your memory, you will recall the date automatically.
Let’s Try Another One
Your boss’ anniversary is November 18th.
November = Turkey (Here in the U.S. we celebrate Thanksgiving in November, and turkey is usually part of the traditional meal.)
1 = gun
8 = skate
Picture your boss in the annual Turkey Day Skate Off. He’s dressed up as a turkey (November) because all the contestants are required to wear costumes.
The starter gun (1) goes off and he skates (8) as fast as he can to the finish line. (I’ll leave it up to you as to whether he wins or not.)
The key again is to make this image as vivid as possible.
Okay, One More
You have a big presentation at work on April 5th.
April = showers (From the rhyme, “April showers bring May flowers.”)
5 = hive
Imagine yourself in the conference room giving your presentation. You hear some thunder outside and all of the sudden you get hit on the head. You look up and notice a shower (April) of bee hives (5) pouring down into the office.
Now I realize this story sounds completely ridiculous, but before you write it off, remember that vivid, out of the ordinary actions are best stored in our memories.
Now It’s Your Turn
Form some reminder stories using the Number Rhyme System and the Month List and post them below in the comments.