Adam's Beeminder Goals, March 2016

I’ve been a big time Beeminderer for about a year now.

I am not sure this is the most effective way, but I figured I’d write up a summary of some of my Beeminder goals (as I have some that are private), for discussion if anyone is interested, or if anyone is wondering examples on how to Beemind something.

This isn’t a complete list, but here goes:

  • Reading
    • I beemind novels read. This is not a good goal for most people, but it works for me. Some people beemind pages read, and use an odometer goal, or beemind minutes spent reading.
  • Studying
    • I beemind “minutes spent studying my craft”. This is minutes spent intensely, exclusively studying things I do or intend to do for money. CAD, PCB and circuit design, things like that.
  • Diet
    • I beemind vegetarian days. I currently have a 4/days a week goal. It works for me.
  • Happiness/Mood
    • I beemind filling out a gratitude journal once a week. I have a Google form with 3 questions–what am I grateful for from the past, happy about in the present, and excited for in the future, and I have to put a whole tweet’s worth of text in each one. This is new. It uses IFTTT.
    • I beemind “grumps”. I noticed I was going on rants that I didn’t like going on after the fact, so I have a beeminder for every time I have a “grump”, which I define as basically impulsey behavior while aggravated. This has worked very, very well for me.
  • Things I forget to do sometimes
    • I am an old man who has Netflix with disks. I beemind returning disks, so I don’t forget and end up in that Netflix shame spiral that results in me keeping the same 2 unwatched disks for like 3 months. This works well.
    • I beemind “minutes spent playing board games with family and friends”. I have a pretty big collection but somehow forget to play them.
    • I beemind hugging my wife and hugging my son everyday. On a lot of levels, this sounds horrible, but it’s awesome.
    • I beemind “minutes spent cleaning my workshop.” This mostly works.
    • I beemind going on dates with my wife. This works well.
    • I beemind blog posts, and “days blog posts are published.” This works through RSS and IFTTT. This works well.
  • Language Learning
    • I beemind Duolingo practice using the Beeminder integration for German and Esperanto. This works, but it only logs “points”. I ran into a problem with this as my only metric.
  • I beemind Duolingo lessons learned for German and Esperanto. Adding this really supercharged my language learning. It was getting easy to just practice the same lessons over and over and getting my points and Beeminder was fine with it. I wrote a custom integration for this. I am working on sharing it with everyone, as it really, really supercharged language learning on Beeminder for me.
  • Inboxes
    • I beemind having fewer than 10 read messages in my Gmail inbox, using the official integration. This works well.
    • I beemind the age of the oldest message in my Gmail inbox. Remember that Netflix shame spiral that leads to unwatched disks sitting at my house for months? This happens with emails for me too.
  • I have a few Pocket goals. This was a big problem of mine. I had 5000+ saved items, spanning years and years when I started these goals. (I now have 45 items.) I wrote a custom integration for these, and I’m working on getting these shared, too. I beemind the number of unread Pocket items and the sum age of all my Pocket items. I also beemind reading Pocket items, and that one is all IFTTT.
  • I beemind “oldest item in Remember the Milk inbox”. This is also a custom integration I wrote, and am working on sharing with everyone. This works well.
  • Health/Fitness/Weight
    • I beemind steps. I use the Garmin integration. I am not sure this has been helpful, but it works fine.
    • I beeminded my weight for a year. I lost a lot of weight, and am very happy where I am! I used 2 goals–weight, and weigh_days. I used IFTTT to automatically add a datapoint to weigh_days on days when I weighed in. This safety net was crucial for me, and was based on my largest setback during the early months of these goals.
    • I started a Beeminder for “handwashing violations” which were things like when I would touch my face or eat without washing my hands first, but I started this right before a vacation where I did a bad job tracking it–I need to restart it. (I had colds basically the entire winter…)
  • When I first started my weight loss/Beeminder adventure, I noticed that many times I would make bad decisions at a restaurant, or even choosing to go out to eat for lunch, based on the fact that I wanted some French fries. I beeminded “meals that I ate french fries with”. This was a good goal, but a few months in it wasn’t necessary.
  • Others
    • I hated that my phone was always dead when I needed to use it to get ahold of someone, so I beeminded “times my phone battery was below 15%”. I purchased a new phone and this wasn’t really needed anymore.
    • I beemind not picking my cuticles. This has helped quite a bit.
    • I beeminded getting to Level 4 for Google Local Guides. Got my free TB of Google Drive storage today, actually, thankyouverymuch.
    • I beeminded getting caught up on some podcasts.
    • On my wife’s behest, I created a “swear jar” Beeminder. It’s kinda fun, because I log the sentence I swear in in the comments. This has been a great success.
    • I beemind contributing to open source software in public. This has been done by IFTTT and Github. I beemind both “contributions” and “days contributed”–this makes it so I have to both make contributions, and also not do a bunch on one day and then ignore it for a long time.
    • I beemind “minutes spent on my side business”. This has been useful to log how much time I actually spend, but I am really, really motivated to work on this, so Beeminder doesn’t really help from that perspective.
    • On the other hand, I often work on my side business at the expense of “doing things around the house” so I I beemind “minutes spent on home projects” and that has been a great success.
    • I beeminded “noodling around on the guitar” to keep the calluses up, but archived it due to some changing priorities. It worked well when I had it.

Wait, it’s odd to beemind a reading goal by whole novels? *hides own goals quietly*

(I have a goal of 366 books total this year, though, so I think I need the goal set up like that. Pages/time probably wouldn’t keep me on track. Still!)


When you’re reading less, I think “days per book” is probably a perverse incentive, and would make people want to read shorter books–which is probably exactly contrary to why they set up the goal.

My goal is usually between 100 and 200 novels a year, and even I have noticed that towards the end of the year, I choose shorter novels. It hasn’t irritated me enough yet to switch to minutes/day yet, but I suspect I will eventually do that.

(Everything I say on this forum comes with the Adam Wolf Beeminder Asterisk–"do what works for you :slight_smile: ")


Hi Adam, would you be willing to share this script too?


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Ha, I also beemind “books read,” and I do get some pleasure from reading a few graphic novels or mangas and watching the graph go up quickly! I like reading too many different kinds of books to just pick short ones in order to get to my goal faster, though.

How does the cumulative age of items in Pocket work? Is that information available to view somewhere in Pocket, or is it a script, or something else entirely? I like beeminding the number of items in Pocket, but I think that would be useful, too.

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It’s a script. I’m slowly but surely working on a way to get these
integrations to everyone else–they’re not really programmed in a way that
it’s easy for other people, especially non-programmers, to use them. :frowning:

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I wish you good scripting, then!

Wowza! You Beemind a ton of stuff! I salute you!

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