I love reading other people’s threads about their Beeminder goals so here’s my contribution to the genre. I’m aiming to post once a week about one of my goals. I currently have 25 active public goals - and a handful private ones, and most of them could do with me writing myself a manual for what they are for, how they help me, how they work etc. And of course: here’s my meta goal for posting to this thread.
The first goal I’m highlighting is one that helps me keep on top of writing book reviews on the Goodreads website.
why I do it: I only do this for fun, not profit or even free books (which would be stressful), and have reviews dating back to 1999 that got imported to Goodreads at some point. I really appreciate the time past-me has taken to tell current-me why they did or didn’t enjoy a book. I don’t read super fast - to average a book a week is my usual aim and I miss that quite often - but it’s easy to end up with a backlog of books I want to write a bit about but by the time I get around to it I can’t quite remember everything I wanted to say.
how it works: I set up an IFTTT applet to watch the RSS feed produced by Goodreads and add datapoints to my beeminder goal, so I only need to publish a post on Goodreads and Beeminder gets updated by magic. To find my RSS feed at Goodreads (and there may be an easier way to do this!) I navigate to the bookshelf page I want and look at the page source code and search for a link with “rss” in it, it’s on a line that begins
settings: the goal is set to 3/month which is slower than the rate I usually read at, which stops the goal from stressing me out. If I miss a book it doesn’t really matter, I just don’t want to miss every book.
current state: the goal has over four months of safety buffer as I do actually get around to posting about pretty much every book I read eventually because I like having the complete how-many-books-I’ve-read stats at Goodreads as well. I’ve ratcheted the goal occassionally - and it looks like I gave myself a break another time, probably because I wasn’t reading much at that point - but I’ve never actually derailed on this goal and it’s been very successful at making me do what I want to do.
changes: I’ve only got one book I’ve finished reading that hasn’t made it to Goodreads yet, and another couple that’ll be finished this week or next so I’m ratcheting the goal back to having four days of safety buffer so I get that book written up in the next few days. And I’m also raising the slope to 3.5/month so I don’t get so far above the line quite so quickly, but I want this to stay as a goal that is easy to stay ahead of. It’s been a successful goal so far and I just want it to keep doing what it has been doing.