☀️ A Journal on Beecoming Happy


It’s been one year since I joined the forum, apparently.

I can say it was a good choice!

Beeminder and this forum definitely changed the course of my life by a lot

Next steps for happiness

  • having a really good savings plan (currently, it’s invested in a weird fund from my bank which is not really performing :sweat_smile:)
  • cleaning my room again
  • doing my beeminder goals in advance instead of day to day, at 3am
  • going to sleep earlier, instead of procrastinating it
  • having clear rules of “amount of hours of work per day”

Beeminder provided these to me at some point, but the pressure was too big and ended up giving up.

I think the first step would be to do my Beeminder takss in advance

I wish there was a metaminder way to do that? Maybe urgency load is what I need? I’ll do this tonight.

EDIT: done for the urgency load. I’m currently at 82. I will do my last beemergency of the day, and then, take the emergency load, and put a goal to reduce it 10%. That would be a great start :eyes:


Urgency load

My urgency load goal works!

I did multiple goals in advance

It looks like I did right to create it.

I feel like I’m on top of (Beeminder) things (let’s forget the fact I didn’t work on $dayjob today…)

Cleaning stuff and syncing myself back to the sun

I washed some clothes and started cleaning up my room.

I will take some melatonin and try to catch some zzz early tonight

I want tomorrow to be a “day as usual”. Yes, today, I didn’t do as much as I wanted and couldn’t work on $dayjob. I’m tempted to work now, but it’s midnight. Better go to sleep, eat the loss, sync myself back for to a good rythm.


Working on dayjob

I am not working enough on my $dayjob, and it will become hard to justify.

“why didn’t you work on day X and Y, and why is your invoice so low this month?”

I will return to starting a FocusMate session early. I totally forgot about it…

Now that I remember, my routine was:

  1. Wake up
  2. Do FocusMate
  3. Eat
  4. Work

And I was pretty happy. It’s crazy how fast I forgot!

EDIT: scheduled sessions for next week. I’ll be getting back on track for real!


Back on track

Wake me up!

I started waking up earlier, with a FocusMate session.

My rule is: once the session starts, I have to work on $dayjob

I switched from 50m (incomfortable) to 25m (ok?) today, I’m wondering how it’ll turn out

Sometimes, I have this incredible focus power when waking up.
But I direct it at random stuff. Well, I’m doing it right now, by posting on the forum rather than going outside to take a first walk

Walking in the morning

Taking a small walk around the block in the morning.

This really helps setting the tone for the day.

I also don’t feel this dread in the night: “I didn’t go out today…”

Making tomorrow interesting

I realized yesterday night that “tomorrow is not interesting”.

That’s true. There is nothing super interesting in today’s work.

So I procrastinate…

So, let me take 5 minutes to find stuff that are interesting about today’s work:

  • $nightjob: I will work on a prototype website. I should allocate at least 2 hours in order to get something off the ground for real

EDIT 1 day after - found a way to make my days interesting

At $nightjob, we miss marketing. A LOT.
And I notice that I am more productive days where I have video calls. It boosts me up. That must be the social effect.

So, I will try to schedule calls with potential customers, send texts to leads, check up with existing customers…

This will both improve our revenue, and make my days more interesting… Until it gets boring.

I also need to expand my network by a lot. I don’t have engineering school / marketing school to do that for me. It’s not about knowledge, but about relationships, and I have not that much.



Here’s a small post about relationships and happiness.
And me discovering what is honesty.

relationships… are a key to happiness

These days, I’m integrating more and more the concept that relationships are one of the big keys to happiness.

(I talk a lot about the long-running Harvard study of happiness; here is a video that sums it up very wel)

The two main keys are:

  • physical health
  • quality relationships

relationships… need honesty

I was feeling really down for a few months for something silly. I was just in love with this person, but it didn’t really get reprocicated in the same way. I thought she was semi-rejecting me, which is really weird.

So… I was feeling down, and I started expressing my feelings a bit more with this person. And I noticed that I felt better. “I feel really extremely bad… I have feelings… I should do something about this… one small step… I feel better? one bigger step… I feel really better? wow!”

This is the day that I figured out that I’m not really an honest person.
When I feel jealous, I act like I’m not. When I feel sad, I act like I’m just tired.
That kind of stuff.

I sometimes get complaints from friends that tell me that they don’t know what I’m thinking. I brushed it off.

But now, I realize that

a) I hide what I think extremely well from my peers and
b) this is a really, really, bad habit for my relationships and my mental health

So… being really honest is not really a nice-to-have… It’s more like it’s the most important thing ever.

so, why no honest?

I have the impression that this is a “strategy” that I picked up somewhere when stuff got wrong in my life, and then, I kept repeating. And I never really adapted. Of course, the best would’ve been to never pick it up, but it’s not possible to control what happens to you.

So rather: how can I find these other behaviors that are working against me without me realizing?
If I missed something as essential as “be 100% honest about your feelings with your loved ones”, I really wonder what other subtilities I am missing…

If I had to guess: “live a healthy lifestyle” and “enjoy what you have now”. Which are both stuff that I do in moderation. When will I get the peak of illumination and really integrate them into my life?

Beeminder helps, but it cannot fix this kind of stuff. Forcing me to do sports: I did it, but I stopped it.
Beeminder is only a corrective lens. If I cannot see in the first place, deeply into me, the problems; then, even a 90$ is not going to force me into acting.

So… yes, relationships are a skill. Lesson number 1: be honest and explicit

And also: how can I increase the rate of these discoveries?


Final Version

I’m trying out the “final version” productivity system I’ve seen around on the forum.

I can say that it was pretty successful for me.

The main principle at work is that it makes me do a few short and easy tasks, slowly ramping up to hard tasks.

This way, I don’t get this procrastination of “ah! this is too hard”.


“I need to call the doctor, I need to make this complex feature, I need to fix my taxes… Ah! My life sucks”.


“Ok, I need to do this in this order: 1. Call the doctor; 2. Fix my taxes; 3. Make this complex feature. Calling my doctor is easy. I am doing it now. Ah, what should I do now? Oh fixing taxes? That sounds boring, but I’m on a roll.” etc.

So, pretty good!

I’ve started using Todoist again to use this. I like the “karma points” system.

I can definitely feel an improvement in my relationship to work.


more life improvements

I decided to jog a bit today. I want to do it again.
I decided to go to sleep earlier.
I asked for a dumbphone for christmas.
I noticed that when I get depressed, my sleep schedule sucks and I watch a lot of YouTube videos / series / anime.
When I’m not depressed, I spend my time working (sometimes too much, I reckon)


too much phone

I spend so much time on my phone.

This is what happens when I get depressed.

I need to have a goal to watch over this.

Every week, I will review my phone&laptop usage and implement measures to reduce them.

I’ll start this week by adding “one sec” on the apps I use the most on my phone!


super happy

I’ve been super happy last week.

I attribute it to:

  • keeping up with my meditation practice
  • running a bit in the beginning of the week
  • cleaning my room
  • turning off my phone when I don’t use it + blocking apps I use most in the day
  • going to sleep early
  • keeping my tasks in a todo list instead of in my head

I have less trouble working, I feel better broadly speaking. I feel more honest and vulnerable in my relationships. I handle crisis better. I do stuff in advance morew spontaneously. (Like finishing my Beeminder chores at 1pm instead of 3am - and even getting some buffer in!).

I still can do better, and it’s only been one week, so I’ll keep journaling. However, I feel like I made a breakthrough. If I keep up, I hope that this state will become my new default.


Waking up well rested

I woke up well rested today, early, for the first time in a while!

I was really proud of myself.

… but having insomnia

It’s 4am, and I cannot find sleep.

Maybe it’s because I meditated to late in the night. Apparently, meditation can degrade sleep.

I must not derail!

I cannot force myself to sleep. I will likely go to sleep at 6am.

It’s okay. I will have to cut my Monday a bit short.

But I will not give up on being healthy! Yes, I made a step backward, but it’s only one bad day out of a lot of good days.

EDIT 13 december: falling back into old habits.

  • going to bed past midnight (might be acceptable if it stays around 1-2am?)
  • I am taking Modafinil because of a bad streak at work (all websites blocking me, I have to multitask a lot more than I should have to)
  • also, my back and legs hurt; I am thinking that it might be either because of another way of sleeping I tried (more straight) or running. Actually I think running came first. Maybe I am doing it wrong. My back might not be enjoying this Beeminder goal.

On the bright side, I ran spontaneously when going outside today. I thought a bit about it and started running right away. I think I got the habit of doing it right ! But it might be hurting my body.

EDIT dec 18

I’m digging up stuff from my past with pen and paper. Apparently that helps. I felt bad after the first time I did it, but maybe I felt better afterwards. I felt even more bad this Sunday after doing it. Maybe I will feel even more better afterwards? It’s kind of liberating. I wanted to do it only 4 times, but I might do it more. By writing, I realize how much stuff I have to go through… More generally, writing physically is a special tool, in my opinion. There is something that typing on a phone or computer can’t replace: not being able to go back and edit.

Outside of this psychological perspective, I am still trying to be more organized. My Todoist account is a bit more organized; I have scheduled tasks for the future. I don’t feel as much like I have a sword on my head. I know what I have to do: it’s on my to-do list!

I didn’t live very healthily last week. I am going to bzd later every day again. I want to reverse the tendency soon again. I might actually need to rework my evenings: removing phone after midnight, taking melatonin at hour X.

I feel like the psychological aspect was a glass ceiling for me. By not looking back at my past, I was preventing myself from growing. I know it sounds really cliché. Before I was thinking that there is no point in thinning about the past; what matters is the future. But this is not true. Past influences my experience of life even more than my hopes for the future.

Something unexpected happened too. While I was considering quitting on working on my own company (+2 years, big big deficit), it started getting traction.
We entered hockey curve math since I raised prices for every customer out of spite. This had a very unintended effect. They continued paying and are even sending more orders. This is very confusing. In turn, me and my partner are super motivated and give the best service ever. We started getting customers based on our good reputation (and an affiliate cut). I am thinking about quitting my freelance job. I will not leave them like this because I care about not doing a job halfway… But I will seriously plan on leaving. Big up to the startup owners who didn’t reach profitability yet. Believe in yourself, make a few Beeminder goals, and you’ll be fine.


Focusing on one thing and keeping a notebook

Two things happened:

  1. I started using a notebook
  2. I started focusing on one thing per day

Notebooks in 2023?

Yes, I started using a tiny notebook and a pen.

I use it to:

  1. Analyze my thought process from a bird’s eye: it prevents me from going to long into useless rabbit holes. Very fast, I developped an ability to course correct and to be more rational
  2. Keep a TO-DO list; instead of remembering something I have to do in 10 minutes, I note it, and forget it. This allows me to be more focused
  3. Keep information to refer back to it later. This works especially well for information that is not really hard knowledge (which can be kept on my computer for me to reference it in 6 months)
  4. A bit of journaling. What worked, what didn’t worked, what I could try to feel better.

This was really one of the biggest technique for me to improve my thinking, and my life too.

One thing per day

I started doing exactly one thing per day — I don’t care about all the other tiny tasks.

This is how I usuallly act, but by taking a job and having a company on the side, my attention became fragmented, which dramatically prevents learning.

Now, I acknowledge that I can only do one big thing per day; and then, I do it.

Beeminder handles the “minimally viable human being” aspect. It forces me to answer my texts and my mail. I wish that it forced me to do some of my Todoist tasks, but I guess that it’s something I’ll create later on

I feel more satisifed at the end of the day, because I actually learned a lot of things, instead of just pushing buttons. I am building real things and doing exactly what I want to do with my life. It’s actually quite fun to do my job when I’m not splitting my attention!

So, this is definitely another cheat-code: picking one thing, and not caring 1 iota about the rest!

Sleep fixing

Taking magnesium helps a lot

YouTube addiction

(I usually end up watching one YouTube video, then two, then I spend 3 hours on my phone and feel like shit afterwards)

Since my work is interesting when not doing task-switching, I actually don’t feel the urge to watch YouTube so much. So, this was fixed by making work look interesting.


I am getting better at it; I can definitely feel a change in state.

I usually launch a timer and go for it. When I feel bored, I look up my watch. I do between 15 and 20 minutes each time, which is above my daily goal of 5 minutes.

I hope that all the amazing benefits I read about are true! I know that I’m a bit less tense in my body because I sometimes remember: “hey, why am I so tense? There is no physical danger, so no reason to be tense”. And then I un-tense

Next steps

  • making my happiness tricks into a Beeminder goal (i.e. writing what made me happy and what made me unhappy on a paper journal every day)
  • picking one thing to focus on and doing only that, some days
  • creating a goal to do one Todoist task (and then I’ll probably just crunch a few more just for fun — the idea is just to not let them rot like they are right now)

Anyway, sorry for the long post as per usual. I hope that it’ll inspire some people.

27 Dec

I’ll now post one message per month, and edit it when I want to add stuff, to avoid spamming the forum :smiley:.

Today, I created 3 new goals:

  1. schedule: try scheduling some time on my calendar. I want to start small by scheduling focus work and sleep times. This would already be a big win
  2. ungrateful: a goal about writing everything that made me feel bad / prevented me from being happy
  3. fixeye: eye drops I need to put to fix an eye issue. Need to do it before my travel in mid january.

notebook 2

Still going strong with my notebook technique.
Maybe I should create a Beeminder goal about reading the last 7 days.
One technique that I’m doing is picking 2 key “deep work” items I want to work on. They are enjoyable once I get into it. That gives me 4 hours of effective focused work per day, which is nice (and I have to do the extra maintenance hours anyway – it only makes sense to schedule time I am avoiding because there are “pressing matters” ahead)

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starting fresh

I arrived in Bangkok; it’s a big city and but it’s cheap. There are many things to do and many people to meet. I want to stay a long time before moving on.

What follwoed me: clothes, my laptop&job, and my Beeminder goal. thankfully, my brain followed me too, even though it’s still jet lagged
What didn’t follow me: my family&friends, my bed, my music instruments.

I will build a totally different routine here.

Every night, I will make a decision of what routine element to introduce / change. I will post them here.

Overall intention

  • being healthier (which requires going to the gym)
  • having a social life (which requires maximising the overlap between wakeful time with the rest of the population — for me, sleeping earlier — which requires me having done all my work and Beeminder chores by minimum of minimum 2:00)
  • working just enough (which requires being efficient at work — which requires planning and priorization)
  • improving sleep efficiency (want to stay below 10 hours)

Routine table

Day of application of new change Change Result day 1 Result day 2 Result day 3 Will keep or not ?
16 jan I will schedule time for eating two meals. When I’m abroad I always eat only one meal and end up starved at night time, lol. Ate two meals because of it. Very happy about it. Didn’t eat two meals. Was starved
17 jan I scheduled Freedom to cut my phone and computer at 3:00. I feel the deadline way more than Beeminder. Because I am addicted to them, I look at the time and think “oh shoot, it will cut at 3am, I better finish all my work and Beeminder goals!” Worked well but didn’t sleep well because it made me rush my night-time… I was so stressed I had trouble sleeping. Nighttime should be for winding down.
18 jan I will always time-bound social time and prevent the person in advance by giving an excuse — ah I need to go at XXpm because XYZ — because it’s painful to say to someone that I want to leave because I want to work. And by the way, I am still on the edge of leaving my day job to focus on my day job. But I can’t convince myself to do it for some reason. I am stuck in a rut. Didn’t work. Because I didn’t plan well the driving time to the meetup. So I ended up walking to a parc which was closed. Come back home and scrolled on my phone. Not a good day :frowning:
19 jan I took the resolution to not do one tweak per day. It’s too much thinking. I will do one tweak per “ungratitude journaling”. This way I can focus on what’s making me unhappy and fix it ad-hoc, rather than just being ungrateful and unhappy and thinking “mh… I should do something about it”!

Ideas of routines

  • going to the gym
  • more planning restrictions (how many hours of work for each job?)
  • a goal to force me to follow my plan (I allocated 2 hours, I have 2 hours. No more)
    - planning freedom sessions
  • taking pictures