Beeminder Checkpoints (possible idea for Beeminder?)


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

0 voters

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 :slight_smile:

PD2: Please, tell me about any “bugs” :stuck_out_tongue: in my writing. I still sometimes don’t express myself that well in English.

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I will start with myself. I have quite a lot of work to do in the following days, so I have set a new bunch of Beeminder goals. If I don’t derail on any for until the end of June, I will be rewarding myself with a Wool and Prince button-down. They look amazing, but quite expensive to be honest…


I approve! I mean, I don’t think this should be part of Beeminder itself but I think it’s great to add such schemes of one’s own. Here’s a sort of related thing I’m doing: Temptation bundling for inbox beeminding

Also maybe relevant to some of the things you said:

Delighted to help! Collapsed here to spare others since the linguistic nerdery is off-topic...

first of all, your english is great! everything you wrote here was nice and clear. if you mean “help me identify things that give me away as a non-native speaker” here’s a sampling of such things:

it brings both a commitment device and a form of quantified self

“brings” is clear enough here but doesn’t feel quite idiomatic. i think better would be to say “is” instead of “brings”. i think something like “gives us” could also work.

(i think the grammatical issue is that “brings” wants both an object and an indirect object. but “brings us” doesn’t sound right.)

Beeminder, of course, tells you when you derail; but doesn’t explain why and how you can avoid next time, obviously

the “of course” and the “obviously” feel redundant. and that semicolon should be a comma or maybe elided altogether.

and “avoid” needs an object. like “avoid that”.

can bring you to burn out

“can cause you to burn out” sounds a bit better.

why you even started on the first place

“in the first place”

i.e. read one book a month


you wander what is the point to even continue


Especially this happens if you don’t have an end date for your goal

“This especially happens if” (I don’t know why but “Especially this happens” jumps out at me as wrong. oh man, native speakers must be infuriating to get grammar suggestions from! i should also emphasizes that when i say it jumps out at me, i only mean in the most pedantic sense. your meaning was crystal clear!)


“PS” (maybe “PD” works for speaking? post dictum?)

and just for fun even though language-wise it’s totally fine:

[Beeminder makes sure] that you commit to something

this one’s subtle but technically beeminder gives you a way to commit to something and “committing” means making sure you’ll do the thing you committed to. unless you set up a beeminder meta goal, beeminder doesn’t make sure you commit in the first place. we sometimes call that beeminder’s achilles’ heel, or beeminder’s bootstrap problem: you need something like beeminder to get yourself to start using beeminder in the first place!


Oops! I think I used PD, because that’s what is used in Catalonia / Spain. PD from post-data, but I guess that a similar things is used in other countries.

Maybe to some people, but definately not me! I like to improve and I have really appreciated your help here :slight_smile:

PS. Just noticed today is my cake day - I joined the forum a year ago, to talk about my coming exams. Yay! :smile:


One thing that’s sort of tangentally useful: I have suggested to some folks to mark checkpoints in their graph is to use hashtags in the data comments. Once you enable to option to show them in the graph (under the goal’s settings), they can mark on your graph when you reached some kind of interim goal!


Good idea, had not thought about that. Thanks shanaqui!