Use The One-Coin Problem To Remind You To Focus On Your Goals

Making excuses for ourselves can be a slippery slope. Buying something small that's outside of your budget or cheating on your diet can quickly get out of hand. If that happens, Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project has a tip that will help you keep things in perspective.

Photo by Shai Barzilay

The one-coin problem asks if an almost negligible amount of progress — a single coin — can make you rich. It argues that it's all a matter of where you place your focus: that seeming small lapse or the growing heap that often isn't apparent until much later.

The one-coin problem captures a paradox that's familiar to all of us: when we consider our actions, often it's true that any one instance of an action is almost meaningless, yet at the same time, a sum of those actions is very meaningful. Whether we focus on the single coin, or the growing heap, will shape our behaviour.

Whether you're dieting, implementing a fitness program, or trying to save money, it's common knowledge that little things add up. However, having something like the one-coin argument as a reference can be a great way to keep your goals in perspective when you start to fudge on them a bit.

Do You Make Excuses For Yourself? [Psychology Today]


    So what? I should flip the coin or sumpin'? :p

    So my diet should consist of coins you say?

    That's what I've been doing wrong!

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