Caro's beeminder journal


Hi all!

Like many, this is maybe my third time attempting to really use beeminder. The first time, I fell prey to the same thing a lot of people seem to on their first go-round: too many goals, too little thought. I don’t remember what they were – this was maybe two years ago – but I quickly became overwhelmed. If I recall correctly, I gave it another stab a bit later while in the midst of a pretty vicious depressive episode and just didn’t find it motivating and so dropped it again.

I’ve now been using beeminder for nearly two months pretty regularly! I started with a ‘write more’ goal – I think I started with 300 words a day and recently upped it to 500. I’ve written just under 22,000 words since late December (with a few derails) by having beeminder hanging over my head :slight_smile:

A goal I tried that didn’t work out well was ‘no drinking’ with a pessimistic presumptive assumption. I kept forgetting to confirm that I hadn’t had any alcohol during the day and (woe betide me) not noticing, so that was a pretty expensive reinforcement that those types of goals don’t work for me. I’m much more motivated by the type of goal I can get ‘ahead’ of – so, do-more goals for the most part I think. (I wonder if I could beeminder ‘hours sober’…/mostly joking)

For right now, ‘writing’ is my main goal. I have three others running that don’t require much touching (? sounds weird) to maintain or meet; two are productive/unproductive RescueTime goals I implemented mostly to gather data/get an idea of what my RescueTime stats are like, rather than trying to alter my own behavior. The other passive-ish beeminder goal I have in place is a weight one which I’ll probably retire soon; I have a different app I like better for tracking that, and there’s of course a bunch of beeminder-y reasons to beemind something else weight loss related, etc. (I do intermittent fasting and so may at some point beemind fasting hours, though to be honest I don’t find IF very hard and beeminding it may introduce friction that isn’t that useful – something to think about.)

Like many, I’ll be trying to keep up a beeminder diary here. The major struggle I have right now is keeping up with coursework for an online masters program I’m in. The due dates are often in other time zones, and I am unfortunately not a very conscientious person despite much effort, so I lose track of things a lot and tend to fall behind. I’d like to start beeminding SOMETHING that will concretely help me with that, but I’m not sure what would help. One thing I thought of was ‘write out upcoming deadlines every day’, but I don’t know how feasible that will be, or if it will be the type of thing to motivate me… maybe ‘minutes spent organizing’ starting out with a goal of 10/day and ratcheting up as I adjust, I’m not sure. Any input or experience you’ve had with similar stuff is super welcome!


Update on new organization/deadlines tracking goal!

As midterms for my program loom on the horizon, I’m both impressed with myself and a bit annoyed for keeping up with my writing goal. I absolutely wouldn’t have kept up a streak this impressive without beeminder, and also I’m kicking myself for not being as “good” at studying as I am writing short fiction… of course, key to this is that I’m not making myself write a “good” 500 words a day (and that writing is easier for me than studying). In fact, when those 500 words seem especially like pulling teeth or I just can’t manage to get 500 words on an existing project, I’ve found that it’s a really valuable red flag – means something is off; that’s worth paying attention to.

Goals/deadline tracking goal I’m a few days into testing is a URLminder more words goal called agenda – currently set to 100 words/day (this may be overkill); as currently implemented I am jotting down at the end of the day what I’ve managed to get done and what I’m worried about in the short-term. Probably not the most ideal of agenda/planning implementations but it’s a start… Horrifyingly, having updated it two consecutive days already makes it one of the most successful deadline-tracking strategies I’ve ever tried! Will see over the course of the next week incl. actual midterms if it holds up or ends up a total drag.

Have queued weight goal up to archive; may replace in future with fasting hours, will see.