I have been thinking about this:
Beeminder is extremly useful as a device/method/app to make sure that you commit to something and stick to it. As you know, it brings both a commitment device and a form of quantified self.
A few months ago I had this realization: Beeminder, of course, tells you when you derail; but doesn’t explain why and how you can avoid next time, obviously.
Imagine yourself as a child: it is like you get scolded for something you did, but without an explanation of what you did wrong and how you can avoid it next time, you are probably going to do it again. This, if not corrected, with multiple derails, can bring you to burn out and wonder why you even started on the first place.
That brings me to the following point: sometimes you start a goal that makes sense in your mind (i.e. read one book a month) and you are motivated for a concrete reason (you wanna read more because you never read), but as months go by, the initial motivation, if you have fulfilled the initial need to read more, desappears and you wander what is the point to even continue.
Especially this happens if you don’t have an end date for your goal. If I have to read 127 books by 01-01-2030, the mind thinks: what is the point, no longer motivated, just set to archive and forget it.
So, I think that I need:
a) to remind myself that even if beeminder acts as “negative motivation” (punished if you don’t do X) but you have to generate proper personal motivation to why you are doing something. If you only act to avoid the pain… you are going to burn out.
b) if you are doing something that you wanted to do, but no longer have the motivation, remember the initial idea of why you wanted to do so. Maybe to fulfill the initial goal, you don’t need to be reading forever, but maybe till the end of the year. But even that… seems so far away…
… and that’s why I am suggesting the idea of Beeminder Checkpoints. When creating a goal, think of several points where you should reward yourself for keeping on track. For example, if I don’t derail in 1 month in X goal I will buy myself a nice whatever.
So you not only have personal motivation to accomplish a goal, but also the “negative motivation” provided by Beeminder and the rewards as positive motivation to bring you to the end of the goal.
Feel free to share any ideas or even publish your rewards for accomplished goals.
To try the poll feature, what do you thing about Beeminder Checkpoints (or some kind of reward system):
- Good idea!
- Nah, I would pass on that
PD: I am conscious that Beeminder can act as positive motivation too, nothing as motivating as looking at a long graph with lots of datapoints, but wanted to show my example
PD2: Please, tell me about any “bugs” in my writing. I still sometimes don’t express myself that well in English.