New Beeminder coming from Pact


Hi All!

I’ve been a long time Pact user to track my visits to the gym. For those that don’t know how that works, Pact worked by having to check in when I was at the gym. So - no matter if I was swimming (without my Fitbit on, of course), or attending a class at a place other than MY gym (spin class with a friend) or just doing a slower weight training workout where my FitBit wouldn’t be as much about heart rate, but more actual reps and time at the gym that I can track - the check in at the place would serve as the commitment to the Pact. I loved that! If I didn’t get to some form of the gym 4 times a week (or fit in a 30 min or longer bike ride or run on my FitBit, or get 10000 steps on my FitBit or iPhone), I got charged. It worked great for me. Kept me accountable for SURE.

Pact is shutting down, unfortunately, but they recommended Beeminder. I just don’t understand how Beeminder tracks those gym check ins. I’m not seeing anything that’s clear to me on that front. Can anybody fill me in, please? Or direct me to the right topic or page?

Appreciate it! And good luck with all your goals! Everybody can be 1% better every day, right? :slight_smile:


Holy chao! We didn’t realize that Pact was closing down. What an endorsement! So welcome to Beeminder :slight_smile:

For a goal to track your gym visits, you’ll want to set up a Do More goal and add a 1 to it every time you go to the gym. You can do that manually each time you visit the gym (we’ve got iOS and Android apps, which make it real easy to just quickly add a datapoint when you get to the gym).

If you want to get it set up to track you more automatically (and more publicly), you can do what I do here:

I set up the manual Do More goal, but then I made an IFTTT recipe to add data to my goal for me automatically whenever I check in at my gym on Swarm. [Hmm. I’m not seeing a way to share / publish a personal recipe on IFTTT – used to be an option but I can’t find it now… so here’s a picture of the recipe.

We also have a RunKeeper integration that’ll track your workouts with RunKeeper automatically – to see how that works you can start here:



Hi. I’m in the same situation as lesmhen. Been using PACT for 2 years and shocked to find they’re closing down. But I can’t see how Beeminder will work in the same way. The thing with pact was it would automatically charge you for each session missed if they weren’t logged - and unless you scheduled a break in advance - you couldn’t avoid it… and thats a good motivator at $10 per missed session! All I had to do was hit the check in / check out buttons on my phone when at the gym.

But I don’t understand how your app works. Does it do the same? And what is IFTTT recipe - and swarm?

Also - I don’t like the idea of the ‘publicly’ part. Can it be kept just for me?



Thanks for the response, Bethany. Yeah, it’s a big bummer, but they gave Beeminder a nice endorsement for sure!

I’m with Casey - I prefer to keep it private and wish that was the auto setting with an option to make it public, but so long as I CAN make it private, that’s all I care about.

I rarely run, so while I love that RunKeeper is a partner, i wish that Beeminder had some sort of actual check in, gym finder, location activated thing, which it doesn’t seem like it has. I mean, what’s to keep a person from just checking their time off and saying they were at the gym when they weren’t?

I also loved that little payment I got for sticking TO my plan. Granted, not much, but every January, I would cash that in and enjoy the $35-40 as a sort of new year gift to myself for reaching my gym goals. Does beeminder do that at all? Or only charges if you miss?


Other Beeminder cofounder here – welcome everyone! (And huge thank you to Pact for that endorsement – wow!)

Beeminder works a bit differently but you can totally set up a similar motivational system. What @bee just described is a way to have a similar check-in interface, using Swarm and IFTTT, but you can also just manually do a +1 on Beeminder for every gym visit. [EDIT: Oh, sorry, @bee pointed that out too!] As @lesmhen points out though, if it’s purely manual you could be tempted to cheat. We hope that keeping your graph accurate will dissuade you from that. (More thoughts on combatting cheating on our blog.)

We definitely want to make sure this works at least as well as what you’re used to on Pact so please do keep giving us feedback on this! (Not the paying you for your success part though. :slight_smile: Presumably that has a lot to do with why Pact had to shut down. In Beeminderland the graphs and reminders – and this community – is the reward.)

As for private vs public, we do like to encourage public beeminding since that adds to the commitment aspect, but you can make any goal private. By default the datapoints are private and the graph is public but you can make it totally private.


Another new Beeminder coming from Pact.

I’m six weeks post-op and have just been cleared to start exercising again. I’m interested in using my ‘Move’ goal on my apple watch as my goal. I’m completely confused about how to do this. I have downloaded the app onto my phone.



Also, my current goal is completely screwed up. I keep trying to set the end date to 9/2/2017 (anticipating a second surgery in September) and when I update, it still shows 7/2/2017.


Hi! It looks like your steps are getting pulled in automatically from the apple watch, so that’s step one taken care of! Next, getting the road set up sensibly. If you visit your goal page (click on the graph in the dashboard view and you’ll get the big graph / goal page view), you can change the road setup on the Commitment tab:

Ok, so here you can set up what you’re committing to for each day (this is from my own steps goal at

Here you can set the end date, and how many steps you want to average per day. Then Beeminder will automatically pull your steps from your apple watch, and update Beeminder, and Beeminder will alert you if you’re falling behind. With my goal of 7500 steps per day, if I do extra and hit 8000 steps one day, then I get to keep that extra – and the next day my minimum will be only 7000 steps.

But anyway, the important thing is that blip above the graph (or on the dashboard) which says, e.g., “steps: +5130 due in 1days or pay $30” – I’ve got a big buffer on steps goal right now from a trip to Amsterdam last week where we did a TON of walking.

Link to my steps goal since I referenced it a ton above:


Oh, also though, you can also use “Take a break” under the stop/pause tab to insert a break into your goal, to take time off after your surgery, if you want. You can also do that for vacations etc.


I don’t have the link to “change goal date and goal target”


Ah, yes, sorry, in your case it’s already expanded so you can see the goal date, etc, as in @bee’s second screenshot! (Thanks for mentioning this; this is a perfect example of why it’s a bad idea to violate a UI principle we call anti-magic. :))


Thanks for your help.

How do I change from sessions per week to steps per day? Specifically changing sessions to steps?

Or can I just delete this goal and start over?


If you haven’t added data yet it might be easier to delete and recreate. Otherwise it might be easiest to ping us at to get an existing goal changed from sessions to steps. (We definitely recommend steps as a better metric. More on that in our “What To Mind” blog post.)


Long-time Beeminder-er here chiming in, because I’ve been using Beeminder to get my butt to the gym with great success for two and a half years now. I don’t like regularly-scheduled things, so it’s been invaluable in making sure I make time to get to the gym 1.5 times a week!

So here’s my chart, as another example of what that looks like in practice:

I was already a Swarm user (quantified selfer here), so the Zapier integration was an easy, zero-added-effort solution for me. I haven’t used IFTTT for this goal, but it’s similar, and @bee has covered that.

For those who don’t, it’s a bit roundabout, but if you want it extra-streamlined (that is, not even having to open an app), you can also use IFTTT to add a widget to your homescreen that you can just press to log a visit to Beeminder. I just set it up for a different goal, actually. IFTTT no longer supports sharing personal applets, but here’s a primer on setting up Button-based triggers: - pick Beeminder as the “That” and you should be good to go.


Oh hey, so I was looking at the Beeminder channel in IFTTT, and there’s also this:

If you go to multiple gyms you’d have to set it up for each, but unless I’m mistaken, as long as you’ve got your phone on you it should automatically log a visit each time you’re there, no manual checking required (and it would enforce you actually being there).

My apologies to the Beeminder peeps if y’all had purposefully not mentioned this because it’s flaky or something :stuck_out_tongue:


Ha, no, I had forgotten that! Thanks so much for helping inculcate our new Pact friends in the ways of self-quantificiation. :smiley:


Another Pact person here - i’ve been with them for years - it was great getting a few cents each week from people who were lax about their own commitments - I would have been paid out about US$100 over the time I have been with them!

Still don’t really know what I’m doing here on Beeminder but have connected my Garmin watch as a start.


Hi another Pact person here. Still trying to figure out the Beeminder system but think I have it. I don’t think its as strict as Pact was without actual check ins. I agree with those above, The few cents each week was nice. Made $170 in the years I was at pact. To get around this I set up an envelope and every week I complete my Beeminder Goal (Pact) I’m going to put $2 in it… hopefully this will feel the same at the end of the year!


Hi, another Pact person here, trying to keep myself accountable. I enjoyed getting a little $ from Pact but it was the thought of paying when I derailed that kept me going, so I think Beeminder is a good fit for me. Especially like that I can bank steps and get ahead here. Glad to be here and good luck to all!


I was also a Pact user; in the same way that it can be helpful to have multiple Beeminder goals tracking the same real-world goal, it was helpful to have an achievable Pact

One thing that always bugged me was the strict week-to-week nature of Pact. Going to the gym on a Sunday, for instance, always felt like a waste (unless it was a Pact emergency day!) because I got no credit in the system for my good behaviour.

With Beeminder, of course, your job is to stay above the average path of the yellow-brick-road, so going to the gym an extra day this week builds you some safety buffer for an unexpected interruption in the coming weeks.