Learning and Sharing

Note to Self

on July 31, 2017

Sarah Ward, at Cognitive Connections, gives us a working definition of Executive Function Skills:

            “Executive Function is the ability to integrate a present awareness with future anticipation and past experiences to develop a reasonable goal and plan for the present action (while still accounting for and flexibly managing the space, time and people around you).”

When I am working with clients as a social executive function coach, I often use Ms. Ward’s Note to Self strategy.

Some ways that we can use the Note to Self strategy:

  • Recall the benefits of hard work
  • Review past decisions and the impact
  • Review situation to avoid making future mistakes


When we play a game of Trouble our goal is to have fun.  To achieve a good outcome, we have to reflect on the last few times that we played the game together.  If someone moved minions that belonged to another player, what was the impact of that behavior?  Did it stop the fun?  Did a player take someone else’s turn over and over?  Bringing up those memories helps us create our Notes to Self.

The ultimate goal is to store the notes to self like sticky notes on our brain. Until we can do that we will use a sticky note at our place at the table.  If a problem pops up, I will state the problem and point to the sticky note.  In a future game, I may just have to ask them to call up their Notes to Self.


Using the Note to Self strategy is a great way to stay calm and help young clients learn self-control. Children learn to reflect on their behavior and how it affected the thoughts and feelings of others.  It relieves the facilitator of always telling the child what to do and what not to do.



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