I find writing out the pattern to help out huge
(if I've been messing it up, or if it's really complicated)
Or, I'll write out each row and cross it off as I've done it.
Sometimes you get weird sts in a pattern...
incW = k into back and then front of next st, with left needle, pick up running bar between two sts made and k into that st
i still mess this one up every time it comes up in my pattern!
Tw2L = k into the back of the second st on the left needle, then into the front of the first. Remove both sts together
ugggg..... sometimes, I'll also completely elaborate a st (in my own words, explain it) so that when I come to that pattern st again, I have my own explanation of how I did it previously.