Trained Mistakes

Just a little trick for you today – train yourself to make certain kinds of mistakes automatically.

Train yourself to guess too high when estimating how many calories are in a piece of food you want to eat. Train yourself to ask the question, and be wrong. Not by a wide margin, but enough.

Train yourself to think that things will take a little longer than they do. Tell yourself “the round trip to the grocery store takes 2 hours” even if that’s a little high.

Train yourself to guess that things are more expensive than they are.

Most people chronically underestimate those things. They have subconscious, motivated reasoning – they want to believe that the desert they’re about to eat is fewer calories, or that they have time to squeeze in a trip to the nail salon, or that they’re not really spending that much on their shopping. They want to believe it, so they do – and then they’ve overindulged, or are late and stressed, or over budget, or whatever.

Instead, deliberately over-estimate. Round up, and then round up again. And repeat the claim in your mind many times. When you know it’s wrong, act as if it’s true. Because of your natural tendency to underestimate these things, you’d be surprised at how often your intentionally-deliberate overestimation actually hits really close to home.

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