At first I enjoyed the adrenaline rush of running my goals in the red with the harsh options selected: retroratchet to zero, "no mercy" and weasel proofed! Alarm bells were ringing. I was working hard, feeling everything was super important and urgent.
Then curiously I discovered a zen approach to Beeminder: nurturing my goals in deep pasture green! Being a good bee, adding honey to my sweet safety buffers. A zen calm sets in, which is very pleasant and... motivating also. Instead of fearing the $charges, beeminding becomes the pleasant pursuit of doing just a little more to find new flowers and keep safely away from danger.
Beeminder does not truly have a zen option, but you can easily do it yourself. I borrowed two ideas from a blog post titled "Nine Greens" by Mirabai Knight. It's possible to cultivate your goals to keep them showing in green, which is rewarding and calming. You learn to develop a sense of importance sooner, as the green turns blue, then orange.
An additional zen way is to award yourself virtual stars early in the day to create optimism and trust. You then trade them as you wish for desired items ou outcomes. To achieve this, you create a goal with stars as your unit.
For example I want to always be on time. My goal is setup with a star as a unit, and 1 as the number of unit to achieve each day. I award myself 1 star in the morning. When I'm early for a meeting, I get 1 extra star. If I'm late, I trade 1 star. If I'm late to the point of having a negative number of stars, I will derail and $bee brought in line. But I love my virtual stars so much, I never derail.
The focus remains largely on the positive side of Beeminder. Honey first... the stings can be a line of defense just in case. Zen bees!