What Are Your Words Saying About Your Memory?

Recently I caught myself as I went searching for a misplaced item. Instead of chastising myself for the fact that it had turned up “missing” I tried to apply some of the principles I suggest to my clients.

1. Assess the “why” of it. Usually it is because I was putting it down while I had something else on my mind or I was headed to another task.  Adopt the attitude when you do something similar to notice the reason. It is the first step to making a change.

2. Change your pattern. Realizing I came home tired and it was late, I knew it was likely I was not paying attention. With awareness, I can try to do it differently the next time and actually I did the other day. My watch is still “in hiding” but the substitute one was deliberately placed where it belongs.  When you misplace something, think of what you can do differently to prevent it from happening again.

3. Change your words. Whether you are saying it aloud or it is the tape in your head, complaining about your memory is not conducive to creating a proactive approach. It does not mean you are going to be successful every time but it certainly gets you on the road to improved patterns if you think you can do something better the next time.


Work on switching the words you might automatically think or say when you forget something. This week think of the important people in your life and spend some time acknowledging their positive traits.  Take the time to share some of those thoughts with them the next time you connect.

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
Maya Angelou

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About Kathryn Kilpatrick

Kathryn Kilpatrick received her Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 1968 from the University of Massachusetts. She has worked in a variety of settings, primarily in Ohio, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and for decades in the area of home health care. Kathryn is president of Memory Fitness Matters (www.memoryfitnessmatters.com) and Communication Connection(www.connectionsincommunication.com). She offers memory coaching for all ages and has a geriatric consulting practice. She is a national motivational speaker and author of more than 30 products to enhance communication and connection as well as a Memory Fitness Toolkit. Kathryn brings her decades of experience as a speech-language pathologist to all those wanting to enhance their quality of life, particularly when there are communication, memory and cognitive challenges. Her websites offer information on a wide variety of topics related to elder care concerns as well as memory fitness and successful aging.
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