Accomplishing Great Feats: Memorizing Numbers

Katie Corbett holds the book "Peak, secrets from the new science of expertise"

By Katie Corbett


I’m often curious about what it takes to be successful and enjoy reading about successful people. I’m always interested in finding ways to accomplish more and do things better next time.


When I read “Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise,” by Robert Pool, I was excited to learn that it is possible to memorize numbers. I encountered the next trick in a course I took about doing mental math, and am including it here.


Basically, each number will stand for a phonetic sound.


1: Stands for the T or D sound.

2: Stands for the N sound.

3: Stands for the M sound.

4: Stands for the R sound.

5: Stands for the L sound.

6: Stands for the CH, SH or J sound.

7: Stands for K or the hard G sound, G as in “gust”.

8: Stands for the F or V sound.

9: Stands for the P or B sound.

0: Stands for the S or Z sound.


By remembering the name “Tony Marloshkovipz” you could easily recall this system; write it out in numbers, taking out the vowels, and you’ll notice everything is, literally, in order. Notice that no vowel sounds are represented. Neither are sounds for H, W or Y. This is because you will be able to insert them where it makes the most sense and create words to help you remember numbers.


I was recently trying to recall the number 124. The letters replacing 1 could be T or D, the letter replacing 2 would be N and the letter replacing 4 would be R. I decided to go with DNR, since that would be easy to remember.


There are whole catalogs of words that can represent 2-digit numbers, giving people the ability to memorize long strings of numbers. The system I explained above could be enough to help you memorize pins, birthdays and phone numbers.


Try plugging in some of your favorite numbers and making words to help you remember them. You never know when this trick could come in handy.


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An Excuse to Get Rid of: It’s Been Done Before

Katie Corbett holds the book "Girl, Stop Apologizing"

By Katie Corbett


When considering an idea for a new venture, it might be tempting to think, “Oh, it’s been done before.” I believed that when I first started writing and coaching. After all, many other writers and career coaches ply their trade out in the world. It might seem like an oversaturation of the market to pursue those paths for myself. Once I got started, however, I realized that I would bring something different to my writing and career coaching that no other writer or career coach could deliver.


In her book, “Girl, Stop Apologizing”, Rachel Hollis notes that it shouldn’t matter if an idea has already been done before. Are you considering a career in a market which many feel is oversaturated? Here are some questions you can use to freshen up an idea with your unique spin:


  1. What do I bring to the table that is unique?
  2. Why do I want to pursue this idea and how can I make my reason part of what I do differently?
  3. How could I improve upon an existing concept?
  4. When I look at the industry as a whole, what do I wish was done differently?
  5. When I hear others talking about the industry, what do they say they wish was different?
  6. What do a lot of people complain about that I might fix?


Consider these questions and see what comes to mind about how you could breathe life into an idea. Whether you want to be a beauty consultant, a realtor, a financial advisor, or do something else, it is guaranteed that you will be able to do it differently from others out there.


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Why Sunday Nights are the Most Important Hours of the Weekend

Katie Corbett holds a book

By Katie Corbett
For some, Sunday night might be a sad time. You might be anxious or stressed about all you have to do when it is time for work on Monday morning. You may feel like you didn’t get everything done that you had hoped to accomplish over the weekend.

In her book, “What the Most Successful People do on the Weekend,” time management expert Laura Vanderkam points out that Sunday night is an important time of the weekend that doesn’t need to be squandered worrying about Monday morning. Here are some ways I have tried to preserve the specialness of Sunday nights.

1. I plan to do something fun. Whether it’s a phone call with a friend, a movie night with my husband, or reading a book or solving a crossword, I take time doing something I enjoy to keep my mind off the impending workweek.
2. I do something with others. A surefire way to ensure I don’t waste time on Sunday nights is to plan something fun to do with other people. It could be a choir practice, volunteering, or going for a Sunday night hike with a friend. Committing to a specific time gives me a reason to be actively engaged instead of worrying that I should be doing something meaningful with the final weekend hours.
3. I plan for the week ahead. The night before each weekday, I make a list of everything I want to accomplish the next day. Sunday nights, I write that first to-do list of the workweek.
4. I plan goals for the future. Sunday night is a great time to make lists of goals and dreams for the future. I find that I have enough distance from my job to think of recreational goals in addition to career goals.
5. I determine my weekly goals. I like to plan three goals each in the areas of career, relationships and self for the week. These nine goals are easiest to think about in the final hours of Sunday, and I can check my progress and make sure I have completed last week’s goals then, too.

However you decide to spend your Sunday nights, I hope you are able to make the most of your weekend. We only have 52 weekends per year. It is important to enjoy every bit of them.

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Have Physical Reminders of Your Goals so you Don’t Get Diverted

Banner Photo

By Katie Corbett

Often, people have a tendency to focus on what is right in front of us. We get distracted when enthusiasm wanes, when a project ceases to be interesting, or when something else comes along that seems more exciting. Having visual or physical reminders of our goals can help spur us on during emotionally dry times.

I first read about this idea in “Girl, Wash Your Face”. Author Rachel Hollis says she puts pictures on her closet door to remind her to keep striving for those big goals. I love the idea of having a collage or vision board. As a person who is blind, though, I knew pictures would not be an effective way to motivate myself. Here’s what I did instead.

• For motivation to keep working on my garment project, I wear my prototype every day when I’m in my office.
• To remember to complete one hobby each day, I have a notebook where I write my hobbies down as I do them, with a line for each day of the week.
• To keep prayer in mind, I put my rosary on a shelf right next to my cell phone, so I’ll feel it when I reach for my phone each morning.
• I have a notebook where I record everything I need to get done for the day; in addition to containing my list, it serves as a physical reminder of all I need to do.
• If I have to bring something unusual to work, such as a snack for a work pot luck, I put that item with the things I take with me each day.

Whether you use physical motivators like I do or create a collage of inspirational pictures cut from magazines, keeping reminders of your goals front and center will propel you to achieve them. What goals are you going after right now? What could you keep visible for motivation? Let me know in the comments.

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How “Fear-Setting” Leads to Goal-Setting

Katie Corbett holds the book, "The 4-Hour Workweek"

By Katie Corbett

It was a few days after a really big women’s conference, and I had just met a woman who could help me bring my product from idea to reality. I sat at the computer keyboard, getting ready to email her and reconnect. On the one hand, I was excited, because something I thought was merely a dream was so much closer to becoming a reality. On the other hand, I was terrified—because something I thought was merely a dream was so much closer to becoming a reality. The only thing to fear is fear itself, right?

I’ve found that when I’m setting a personal or professional goal, especially one that seems daunting, a million questions run through my head: What if my project is a complete failure? What will other people think if I set out on this journey and don’t achieve this goal? What if I do achieve it? It turns out, answering these questions is often just what I need to get me started.

In his book, “The 4-Hour Workweek,” Tim Ferriss suggests a strategy called “fear-setting.” He asserts that brainstorming your worst fears and coming up with solutions to them can be the catalyst for you to feel more prepared to start working toward your dreams. I found this to be true when working to develop that allusive product I keep talking about.

After defining the absolute worst that could happen—someone stealing my idea, the product failing, me never getting around to making it in the first place—and finding solutions to each situation, I decided it was better to try than to do nothing. Plus, I had met this woman who could help me, so the universe was begging me to start, right? I know it sounds too good to be true, but I seriously wouldn’t be doing what I am today if it weren’t for the fear-setting exercise. That’s why I’m going to tell you to check out the questions for yourself.

Yep, that’s right; I’m dying to share Tim’s fear-setting exercise with you, but I’m not sure what is required in terms of copyright law compliance, so I’ll include a link to Tim’s blog post about it so you can see the questions. Read his post, answer the questions, and work toward tackling those long-put-off goals. If you don’t start, who will? No one cares more than you

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