For example, say you just met someone new:
“Hi, my name is George”
Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you.” Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.” Then, try to sneak his name into other parts of the conversation: “I also really loved that movie, George!”
2. Do Something Different Repeatedly
By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster by improving specific cognitive functions.
Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.
It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does. And with enough repetition, you made that happen!
How does this apply to your life right now?
Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait until the last minute to make things happen.
Now, you might be thinking, “Of course, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”
However, by doing something really small that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.
If you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?
You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what to do with it in order to train your brain.
That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action-taker.
3. Learn Something New
It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better it’s going to perform for you.
For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music), to something you actually do (playing the instrument).
Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking and a different way of expressing yourself.
You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Research has shown that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s.