Beeminder Forum

Bedtimes and the 12-hour cycle

I currently have a goal for going to bed before a certain time ( It’s a little complicated but has worked for me so far. My problem now is that I need to change my goal amount, but doing so may break how I have recorded my goal up to now.
My goal is to go to bed (at the latest) by 1am. I record this in my goal as ‘hours after midnight’. My maximum on average is 1 (hour after midnight). I need a bit of a push to go to bed a bit earlier, so I want to change my goal to midnight (0 hours after midnight). However this breaks PPRs which I rely on to persuade me to enter data. Perhaps one option is to make my goal 12:15am (0:15 after midnight), but given that my ideal bedtime is actually closer to 10pm, would it be a better idea to scale my goal up and start recording ‘hours after noon’? Or (this idea has just occurred to me) ‘hours after 10pm’, which would mean I was using negative numbers much less frequently, but they are still there as an incentive for when I (never) get to bed before 10?
With ‘hours after 10pm’ I also won’t have to scale my goal, although I would update my y minimum for a semi-clean start.
I think I’ve talked myself into the hours after 10pm option (with a goal of 2 so PPRs are still a thing), but does anyone else have any thoughts?


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My own solution to this issue:
Goal: in bed at least 30 minutes (0:30) before midnight
I record the amount of time (as hh:mm) in bed before midnight as a positive amount.
(I don’t currently record hh:mm after midnight as a negative amount; if I miss midnight then it’s zero, regardless of whether we’re talking 12:15 or 03:00! I may change that later as an extra challenge when I’ve built up a regular before-midnight habit.)
Deadline: 23:00 on the next day.

This strategy gives me plenty of time on the following day to note down when I went to bed the night before. I prefer this to writing it down at the time, because I’m also trying to banish screens from my life in the evenings and so eliminating reasons to pick up my phone.
Wed 26 Feb | 0:45
Means I was in bed at 23:15 on Tue 25 Feb
Tue 25 Feb | 0:00
Means I didn’t get to bed before midnight on the evening of Mon 24 Feb

When I changed to this “day before” approach I effectively gained a buffer day, which was nice, but otherwise it was seamless for me.

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