You might remember the meaning of the character 年 with this easy mnemonic:
Two immortal warriors would meet for a dual every year. They slashed (丿) each other at the beginning, but as time passed they got bored of battling. They became creative and would compete in drying (干) clothes and line (丨) dancing. There can be only one (一).
Using mnemonics to remember the meaning of Chinese characters like has a huge impact on how long to learn Mandarin it takes.