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4 Amazing Peg Word Systems to Improve Your Memory


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Peg Word system

Have you ever heard of this term – Peg Word System?

Imagine you have gone to meet your grandmother and she finally agrees to give you her secret recipe for baking a delicious strawberry pie. But there is a problem! You don’t have a pen or paper with you, and even your smartphone is discharged. So, if you want to remember the recipe, you will have to rely only on your memory.

The peg word system comes to your rescue! The peg word system is a technique used to memorize lists of information that must be remembered in a particular order using a Peg List. Like all memory systems, Peg Word System helps you remember vital information by creating a filing cabinet in your mind.

How does a peg word system work?

The answer is pretty simple. It works by associating the information you want to remember, with information that you already know well. For example, like the numbers 1-20 and letters A-Z. A ‘peg’ acts like a metal hook on which you can hang the information. This hook acts as a reminder to help you retrieve information when you need it.

For example, if you associate some information with the number ‘5’, then simply thinking about ‘5’ will bring you back the information.

Important things about the peg word systems:

  1. Peg word systems continually remind you of all the things you are supposed to remember
  2. Peg word systems allow you to retrieve particular information directly, without having to recall the entire link
  3. The peg word system can be used to memorize different lists of information
  4. Different types of pegs can be used together to create flexibility.
  5. Pegs can be used in continuation with Loci or Link systems.

Types of Peg Word Systems

There are many types of Peg Word Systems to choose from. All of the peg word systems use the same method: use a concrete object to represent each number. The difference is how you choose the object.

Various types of Peg Word Systems are as follows:

1.      The number-rhyme method
2.      The meaning method
3.      The alphabet method
4.      The look-alike method

We will be using the number-rhyme method to memorize the recipe of Grandma’s secret recipe of strawberry pie. The number-rhyme method is the easiest one. For each of the numbers from 1 to 10 (and even up to 20, really), you associate a rhyming word with each number.

For example, one rhymes with sun, two with shoe and so on.

Remember that the MOST IMPORTANT THING is that you need to find your way of picturing things that works for you. Whatever you want to memorize must be turned into a picture, a vivid one at that! Visualize and feel what you want to learn.

The peg word system works by associating the new information that you have to learn with the concrete object that represents each number from 1-20. The association must be based on humour, exaggeration, action, by making it emotional, funny, violent, or whatever is mentally strong!

By seeing it, you will remember it!

1.d Number-rhyme metho.

Go ahead and memorize this list right now.

1 is for sun

2 is for shoe

3 is for tree

4 is for door

5 is for hive

6 is for stick

7 is for heaven

8 is for gate

9 is for vine

10 is for hen

And so on…

Next, tap into your visual memory. Make each one of these items listed here very very clear in your mind. Go through each item again and again. Make them form a clear picture in your head. Making the mental images clear and greatly detailed, will greatly improve the recall of the information later.

Have you memorized this list? Let’s dig into remembering the ingredients for the yummy recipe using the number-rhyme method.

The ingredients for the pie are strawberries, lemon juice, flour, sugar, cinnamon, butter, eggs, milk (a total of eight items). I will show you how to use the Number-Rhyme Peg Method to remember these. You will then be able to write them down later.

Keep in mind that the associations happen very quickly once you have practiced this method a few times.

  1. Begin by associating the first ingredient STRAWBERRIES with the first rhyming peg word SUN. For example, you could imagine the sun turning into a strawberry textured sun suddenly.
  2. Associate the second ingredient LEMON JUICE with the second rhyming peg word SHOE. Imagine shoes filled with lemons and you squish them with your foot while trying to put on the shoe, in turn making lemon juice.
  3. Associate the third ingredient FLOUR with the third rhyming peg word TREE. Imagine a tree covered by flour.
  4. Associate the fourth ingredient SUGAR with the fourth rhyming peg word DOOR. Imagine a closed door and as you open it, the sugar comes rushing in your house.
  5. Associate the fifth ingredient CINNAMON with the fifth rhyming peg word HIVE. Imagine when a bee comes to the hive, cinnamon sticks fall from the hive.

Now, it’s your turn to make associations for the rest of the ingredients: butter-sticks, eggs-heaven, milk-gate. Let us know what associations did you make for the rest of the ingredients.

Once you have the associations, review them quickly after 1 minute. Then after 5 minutes. Again after 20 minutes. This will really help you lock the images and the information in your mind.

If you want to remember this information for a long-term, review it again in 2 hours. Then once a day for the next 3 days. Finally, once a month.

If you really worked through this example, you’d be amazed at how well you can recall the list of ingredients. Try this now: ask yourself, what is item #7, #5 & #9. You should be able to remember the ingredients instantly.

Again, memory management is a skill. The more you practice them, the easier they will seem. Your memory can’t wait for it!!

2. The Meaning Method

The meaning method helps you to associate, or rather create pegs that help you with the meaning and sound of the words that you want to recall later. This method works best for those who wants to learn a new language, or are looking for a career in law, medicine, philosophy or any area that are rich with semantic meaning.

Take for an example, you always get confused with the word ‘quadrangle’, that how many sides it has and etc. So here is an easy way, associate this word with a quad bike. A quad bike has for wheels, and thus a quadrangle has four sides to it. Hence, it helps to cover both – meaning and sound.

3. The Alphabet Method.

The alphabet method is a savior when you want to remember a long list of items in a specific order. This technique helps you to associate objects or people based on each letter of the alphabet. Which will further help you to associate these alphabets with the information you want to memorize.

Suppose you want to remember the following list of 10 items –

  1. A dress
  2. A pen
  3. A perfume
  4. A scarf
  5. Camera
  6. A DVD of a movie
  7. A purse
  8. Shoes
  9. A laptop sleeve
  10. Coasters

Now you will mentally link these items with the images that represent the letters of the alphabet. This will help you the remember the list in sequence order.

4. The Look-Alike Method.

In this method, what you can do is, you can link each digit from 0-9 with an object that resembles the number.

For example –

1 = Candle (visualize the shape of the candle)

2 = Duck

3 = Heart shape

4 = Sailboat

…..and so on.

People attribute the first peg word system to Henry Herdson. He wrote instructions on mnemonics and memory.

Morning routine to improve your memory

As important it is to have ways to remember information, our morning routine plays a very important role in how the entire day goes. If you win the first hour of the day, you can win the rest of the day, including your memory 😉

The science of momentum confirms that success brings success, therefore, make your habits successful, and they will help you become better!

Here are a few tips you can follow to create an amazing morning routine for you:

  • Remember and write down your dreams first thing in the morning
  • Make your bed (remember your external environment is the reflection of your internal environment)
  • Drink a lot of water
  • Brush your teeth with the opposite hand (doing anything with the opposite hand enhances neural connections in the brain, and even form new ones)
  • Practice deep breathing
  • Do some exercise for at least 30 minutes
  • Do some mental exercise
  • Have tea for your brain (use Lion’s Mane, Gotu Kola, Omega-3 fatty acids and Ginkgo Biloba)
  • Have smoothie for your brain (use superfoods)

Are there any things that you follow as a part of your morning routine? Let us know in the comments below. It will help our other readers too.

Finally, it is important to remember that when you are working on improving the performance of your brain, the goal shouldn’t be to have a brain that learns and remembers everything instantly, but to achieve little progress each day. 😊

Honour any progress you make, little or small, because progress after progress, comes distinction. Be kind to yourself! Do not punish yourself for any mistake you make.

The more we grow the potential of our brain, the more responsibility we acquire towards teaching others to do the same, and the more we teach, the more it comes back!

If you found this article interesting and want to go deeper into this topic, I would suggest you a great books from one of my favourite teachers and healer:

I Can Improve My Memory: Memory Management Techniques:

Mnemonology: Mnemonics for the 21st Century (Essays in Cognitive Psychology)

Unlimited Memory: MAJOR SYSTEM WITH 00 TO 99 PEG WORDS

I hope this article on Peg Word System was useful to you. If there is anything you would like to share with me, feel free to comment below.

Alessandro Cipullo

Wellness Explorer

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