I’ve been thinking of this feature for some time; I feel would be really helpful for building habits.
It concerns habits that are countable. Right now we have choice between 2 very different ways:
either a binary “Did you do X today?”, which is very good for getting us started on every given day, but poor for pushing us to hold on the effort. (as I wrote 100 words today, what’s the point of writing 200?)
or an aggregate “How many X did you do?”. This type motivates us to do more. However the loophole is that after a couple of very productive days, it’s possible to get so much advance that on the next days there’s no need / no point to continue, and the habit is broken. Let’s say on some day I pushed hard and wrote 20x my daily goal, now I can rest for 20 days (and tomorrow’s lazy me will do it!). This type of goal is good for getting the global quantity, but not for building the habit.
I was thinking what would be immensely helpful would be an intermediate: allow us to aggregate between binary and the raw sum. I feel that something like adding sqrt(n) (or log(n)?) would do the trick. If I write 1000 words, it can be maybe 2, 3 times better than 100 words, but not give me 10 days to rest. And even at 1000 words I have a inclination to continue.
On the other hand, on a poor day, even if I manage to sit and write just 1 phrase, I’m rewarded a bit more than currently.
It follows (and rewards) the aspect that “the hardest step is the first”. And I took writing as an example, but it could be whatever else, steps walked, distance ran, …
I feel that the ability to have this mixed type of aggregation, could give us both the everyday push to build the habit, and the drive to give more on the days where it’s possible.
What do you think?