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Today’s post is also about remembering things 🧠
Have you ever noticed how certain days, like birthdays, holidays or the start of a new year, seem to stand out from the rest?
These are what we call Temporal Landmarks and they can be a powerful tool for organizing and remembering events in time. They help us to break up our lives into more manageable chunks, giving us a fresh start and a chance to reflect on what we've achieved and what we want to achieve next.
Studies have shown that our brains process temporal landmarks as special events that stand out from ordinary days.
We're more likely to create lasting memories of events that happen on these days, which is why we tend to associate them with new beginnings and a sense of renewal.
That's why people like to make resolutions or set new goals at the start of the year or after a holiday — it's like we're given a clean slate and a fresh start.
But temporal landmarks aren't just useful for remembering the past — they can also be leveraged to increase productivity and goal-setting. Setting a goal that coincides with a temporal landmark can make it easier to achieve.
For example, starting a new habit or routine at the beginning of a new week or month can be more effective than starting on an ordinary day. This is because the landmark provides a psychological boost, making it easier to take that first step and stick with it.
Temporal landmarks are cognitive tools that help individuals organize and remember events in time.
They're like little anchor points that help you make sense of your past, present, and future.
Temporal landmarks can be significant dates such as birthdays or anniversaries, holidays, cultural or religious events, or personal milestones such as starting a new job, graduating from college, or moving to a new city.
The brain processes temporal landmarks differently than other events, due to the significant emotional weight they carry. Temporal landmarks activate the brain's prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for executive functions such as planning, decision-making, and goal-setting. This activation triggers a sense of psychological distance, creating a mental separation between the past and the present.
This distancing effect can be particularly beneficial when we need to break free from negative patterns of behavior or pursue new goals.
Temporal landmarks also significantly affect our overall well-being. They create a sense of structure and meaning in life, and help us to feel more in control of our time.
For example, setting a goal to run a marathon on your birthday can be a powerful motivator to stay fit and healthy. Celebrating a significant religious holiday can provide a sense of community and connection with others. The power of temporal landmarks lies in their ability to create a sense of momentum, pushing us forward towards our goals and helping us to stay on track.
One personal example of how I have leveraged temporal landmarks in my own life is by using the last day of the year (December 31) as a time for reflection and goal-setting.
I find that this serves as a natural temporal landmark that helps me stay motivated and focused on my goals. It also provides a sense of renewal and serves as a reminder to take care of myself and prioritize my well-being.
What are other interesting ways you can apply temporal landmarks?
Let me know in the comments 👇
We could apply temporal landmarks to create association between things we want to remember. We could associate moving into a new city with the food you used to eat in your previous hometown and map it to the one you in your new city.
In the post you mentioned we could take advatages of temporal landmarks to boost creativity. How?