Why Do People Forget Things?

A beautiful sunny winters day in downtown Wagga. It’s so good to see the sunshine after many weeks of cold miserable weather.

I just watched a video by Jim Kwik where he outlines the three main reasons people forget things.

And let’s face it, we are all forgetting things from time to time.

I’m hearing more and more people say “I’m sorry. I forgot”.

“I forgot to pick up your lunch”.

“I forgot to turn the lights off and lock the door.”

And how many of us forget names?

Jim puts much forgetfulness down to having digital distraction and digital overload.

The third villain on the block is a new one called digital dementia. This is where you are dependent on your smart phone to do everything for you.

You no longer need to remember shopping lists, phone numbers or important dates. You key them into your phone and it reminds you.

Here are two I would add to this list.

First, what you think is what you get.

As soon as you tell yourself you have a poor memory, you will have.

One client said “My memory is terrible. I can’t remember anything.” Because he regularly told himself this, it became his reality. Well, sort of …

I asked him “What is your name?” and he told me.

“Where do you live?” “Did you drive here?”

He hadn’t forgotten ‘everything’. He still had a good memory for what was important.

Second, distraction leads to a poor memory. The more you have going on in your life, the worse your memory can be.

I often get caught when Julie is speaking with me and I’m focusing on something else. Or, you may be concentrating on driving in the pouring rain and someone is trying to speak with you.

Good memory requires focus. And repetition.

Think of some good experiences from your past and some bad ones.

You remember them because they have lots of emotion attached to them. You will possibly remember the bad experiences easier as you can dwell on them for some time.

Here are some tips for good memory:

  • To remember someone’s name, repeat it often. And show you are interested in the person.
  • Focus on one thing at a time.
  • Practice remembering things – like a shopping list or how to cook a new recipe.
  • Ensure you monitor how much is going on in your life so you don’t have overwhelm.
  • Work on actively using your memory rather than relying on a smart phone. Memory is something that needs to be worked on.
  • Do puzzles so you are constantly testing your memory.


As the old saying goes “If you don’t use it, you will lose it.”

You got this.

Now, what did I have to do?


Make good things happen …