Beeminding by k1rsty

Thanks. Yep, I know I can go through the .md files and find the stuff I’m looking for myself. What I’m after though, is something that will utilise all the machinery that other people have already built into Obsidian with plugins to do that. E.g. I have a block that uses the dataview plugin to find any incomplete tasks on pages that have been marked as #project and have a yaml status of “In Progress”.

dataviewjs
dv.taskList(dv.pages('#project')
	.where(p => p.status == "In Progress")
	.file.tasks
	.where(t => !t.completed), 
	true);

I could recode that myself but I’d like something that can hook into Obsidian and spit me out the list that is created by that or any other plugin I use, so that when I (inevitably) change the criteria I want to use I can pull it out without needing to rewrite something else as well.

I think that would be useful in numerous scenarios but also I think I’m barking up the wrong tree for my own personal use in task management at the moment though so I haven’t really investigated it further. I think something that would go in and just copy the page text out of the Obsidian app and put it somewhere else would probably do it, Alfred might be the right tool (I use Alfred all the time but also always forget how powerful it can be).

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I’ve been having a bit of a crisis of overthinking since last time I posted. I should have paid more attention to what I was writing here:

Basically things were going quite well, but I somehow felt too content with it so I ought to do better? I always feel the value in Beeminder is that it stops you looking at the tower you need to climb and makes you concentrate on just hauling yourself up one flight of stairs, or even a single step, at a time. Before long you look back and see how far off the ground you’ve got and are amazed by it. I forgot this and thought spending a week concentrating on climbing a sheer wall to give myself momentum would be a good idea. I still think there’s some value to setting a priority for the week but this wasn’t the right way for me to do it. Part of the maniac week thing is that you clear the boards to concentrate on your priority and I didn’t do that and it showed. I did do the 50% extra that I wanted but I also logged more distracting computer time than I have for ages and felt generally stressed out; it was pretty much the opposite of what I wanted.

I realised that last time I tried anything maniac like it was “maniac mornings” or something similar. Clear a few hours and use them to the max. A much better fit for the rest of my life. Plus I also said:

Well, third-parties (aka my parents using my house as a stop off point) did make it unreasonable but I decided to carry on with trying my best to get work done in the rest of the time. Because this week I also have third-parties (aka my parents on their way back) making it unreasonable to clear the decks entirely. And then next week I have different kind of third-party thing going on, and something else the week after. So treating all these third-party interruptions to my life as if they are actually interruptions is a mistake, they are the stuff of life that I really want to be involved in! I learnt that perhaps the “laid back summer” version of myself was doing a better job of balancing life out than I thought.

New goals
donestuff I realised that with my various craft and fitness goals I get a lot of value and inspiration from looking back over things I’ve done in the past rather than setting elaborate targets for the future. So perhaps my whole struggle with managing tasks and projects could take a leaf out of that book; turning round to look at things from the other direction. I decided to keep a log of things that I have done each day, rather than concentrating on the things I meant to do or didn’t do. I’ve done versions of this in the past but not kept them up for long enough to get value out of it. This time I’ve got a Day One journal and an iOS shortcut that sends a datapoint over to Beeminder each evening or prompts me to fill in the journal if I haven’t yet done so. (And yay for the TestFlight version of the iOS Beeminder app having working shortcut support, it’s much easier than using the API.)

Changes
My new taskratchetcheck goal has been annoying me despite being very simple and, if I wanted to, easily cheatable. I failed at one task where I’d done a ton of work but had worded the task badly so I hadn’t done what I’d written down. Then I had set myself something to do on a Saturday that I just didn’t feel like doing. I had set the goal to archive, but writing this now I think I’m being shortsighted and I’ve cancelled the archiving. I’m torn between thinking that setting a deadline on a task for tomorrow evening is too far away, and thinking that it’s too soon.

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I’m pleased to report that most things are going pretty well at the moment.

New goals
None. The dilemma when I feel like things are going well is do I add goals to try and keep it feeling that way, or am I feeling that things are going well because the goals I have are at the right level and shouldn’t touch anything. At the moment I’m going for the just keep on with what I have option.

Derailments
I’m going to derail today on my noms food tracking goal but I’ve not been properly tracking lately so I’m going to let it go and start over. There isn’t (yet?) a “just charge me and get this out of my way” option is there?

Changes
I finally figured out why one of my weekly goals keeps overtaking me. It was set up to be done once every 6.25 days which probably made sense when I set it up but it keeps appearing before I’m ready for it. So it’s now set to once every 8 days which’ll mean it slowly gets away from me and I can ratchet it back to where I want it. I’m wondering now if it might have been a better idea to fiddle with the graph properly and get in on the right day and every 7 days. But that would be too simple…

I halved the rate on my Instagram goal for the winter.

I ratcheted my Storygraph goal and increased the rate slightly as I was miles ahead of it. And now I’m miles ahead again, mostly because we had an evening-long power cut last week and I did nothing but sit and read on my (fortunately fully charged) iPad by candlelight. I remembered how much I like just reading and not being distracted and have carried on reading more and being distracted less since. Yay for power cuts I guess?! Anyway, I’m increasing the rate a bit more and ratcheting the goal again.

Other Comments
I’m glad I kept on with my TaskRatchet goal as it’s working pretty well now. I’m at the point where I’m tempted to ram a load of tasks into it but know that’ll probably defeat me. As well as adding a work task (or two) to do on the next working day I’m letting myself add something (probably work) to be done in a week or so, and one non-work task. I’d love if it could be a magic solution to make me make all the phone calls I need to make but I know that’ll just overwhelm me and the idea is to be realistic about committing to what is both doable and actually needs doing rather than idealistic about getting absolutely all the things done.

My clearout goal that I put a month’s break is back to being due again and I have a list of things to clearout of my house and am excited about getting back to it. [In fact I got back to it in the middle of writing this post. My online shopping order turned up and whilst trying to put it away I decided to clear out all the ancient leftovers stored in the freezer, these are things that we didn’t eat in the “actually we really can’t just pop to the supermarket” days of 2020 so I don’t know exactly when I thought we were really going to eat them.]

I have numerous craft goals that are threatening to derail at the moment, I suspect one will derail soon but that’s fine. (Cf: derailing is not failing.) My very low rate sewing goal was due a few days ago and I thought I was going to let that derail but once I made myself look at things for ten minutes I came up with a plan to finish an old project and spent all evening sorting out how to do that.

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I would use that option too. I sometimes change old data-points to derail immediately and then return them to their previous values to emulate this behavior.

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Ah thanks! It had occurred to me that I could change an old data point to insta-derail, or put a negative point in for today perhaps. But I don’t like to mess with the data. I hadn’t thought of changing them back afterwards to keep the data intact!

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I’m still feeling like I’m on top of things. All my craft goals have edge skated but I have kept up which is nice.

New goals
None.

Derailments
The weekly work goal that I mentioned last time as having been set to once per 6.25 days caught me before my changes to correct it took effect. It’s now got more safety buffer than it needs but I’m leaving it be for now.

Changes
I had a review through all of my software subscriptions and cancelled some that I don’t think I’m getting use out of any more. RescueTime was one that didn’t make the cut, and I’m kind of sad about that as it’s been collecting data on me for about 14 years I think! And beeminding it one way or another for the last about nine years (there was another goal before the one pictured). But it’s not much influencing my behaviour any more and I couldn’t justify the renewal cost. So my goal for hitting my RescueTime goals each day has been archived.

And with the RescueTime → Beeminder IFTTT applets removed I decided to ditch my IFTTT pro sub as well, so that was a bonus. It was doing other things for me, a lot of which were Beeminder->Beeminder, but actually those still seem to be running, even though I can’t edit anything in my IFTTT account.

While pondering all my subscriptions I realised I had Beeminder on a six-monthly sub and would get a bigger discount for a longer time period. So that seemed like a no-brainer. The bad news is that despite Beeminder’s very fair discount policy I got hit with a two-yearly charge that was 5.9 times higher than my last 6-monthly one. Ouch. The whole reason I got started on reviewing my subscriptions was because of exchange rates and USD being expensive to me at the moment. I could have timed that better. The good news is that I’m sticking round here for a while… or maybe the other bad news is that you’re stuck with me for a while yet!

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Ha! The other good news is I just applied a big chunk of premium credit to your account as a thank-you for your brilliant contributions to the forum! (I’d actually love to bribe you to copy some of these insights to the Akrasia category of the forum where I think they’d generate more discussion.)

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Oh, thank you for your kind invitation to extend my stay at the Beeminder hotel… I can check out anytime I like… :smiley:

Much appreciated. Thank you! And I’ll see what I can do about living up to the bribe - I’m kind of in my comfort zone just talking out loud to myself in here.

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I seem to have been doing vast quantities of messing around with my goals.

New goals
I’ve been holding back on creating new goals but when I found a work project of mine hadn’t been checked in to github for mumble mumble, an embarrassingly long amount of time, I went straight and added a Gitminder goal for it. So now I have revamp. Currently set to three commits a week while I figure out the right slope for it.

Derailments
My noms food tracking goal just derailed again, and so did my goal to track my mood (and hence everything else) using Exist. Both annoying because they could easily have been kept on track, but both justified as I haven’t been paying either much attention lately.

Archived
I’ve decided that my physio goal isn’t holding me to anything that I’m not doing anyway and I’m just setting myself a weekly reminder to check in that my shoulder is getting better rather than worse.

My read goal is no longer serving a purpose as storygraph is doing the same thing but better. I just like the history pictured in the read goal’s graph:


But storygraph also gives me a better-er long-er term-er version of that and it’s not like I deleted the statistics or unread the books, plus it doesn’t have the break in 2016 that the Beeminder one does:

Changes
I decided my time was better spent figuring out my own scripting rather than try untangle what was left of my IFTTT account. (All my applets there fell over when my account downgraded to a free one even though I thought I’d left it at the free level of 5 applets.)

  • I hooked up my bookreviews goal to my own script that grabs reviews from storygraph.
  • I thought about archiving my craft goal as that’s mostly a goal that aggregates data from several other individual craft project goals but decided I still have use for the non-specific craft goal and used the webhooks to make the datapoints from the other goals post to that one. I’ve also ratcheted it down to 7 days which is more than enough.

I messed around with slopes on a couple of things and put a break in one craft goal. Nothing major.

I had a trial at using the web version of TagTime, probably the third or fourth time I’ve tried using TagTime over the last few years. I want to like it but find it too intrusive, possibly because I don’t have a defined scheme for putting the tags in so I don’t feel like I’m getting anything out of it.

I’ve been using the pomodoro timer in Obsidian to good effect though, the non-random interruptions are keeping me on task. I’m not doing ‘proper’ pomodoro technique but it’s working for me at the moment. Basically it’s a repeating half-hour-ish timer that makes me say what I’m trying to do and keeps track of progress through the day (or lack of it but mostly it results in progress). I’ve been stopping myself from making a Beeminder goal for this but think I’ll follow @rperce’s technique to make one soon unless I decide against it.

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I’m honored to be your techniquespiration! I love your posts here ^_​^

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Current mood is mostly stressed out and trying to stop December from being a DerailmentFestival… Derailcember… putting the derail in December. Hmmm. Hence this post which is being made so that my beeminderthread goal doesn’t start adding to my stress.

New goals
I added the pomodoro goal I mentioned last time. It took me a while to work out how to get it to work. My current setup uses the QuickAdd Obsidian plugin to quickly add a task to whatever note I am working on in Obsidian. Then it starts a timer using the Status Bar Pomodoro timer. It took me a while to figure out how to get the numbers into Beeminder. I have Tasks queries that pull all the details of each days tasks into my daily notes but that isn’t something easily accessible to send to Beeminder. I figured out I could just get QuickAdd to also log the tasks to a file within my Obsidian vault and then regularly run a script outside Obsidian to count the lines in that file and send that number to Beeminder - so an odometer goal, I added a few checks to the script so that it didn’t send any data if nothing had changed and realised after that I could have made it a regular do-more goal, but couldn’t be bothered to change it at that point!

I’m deliberately logging tasks started and not when I tick them off as done. The value is in periodically writing down what it is that I’m trying to do, it saves me from solving a problem and then wondering why I was trying to do that thing. It basically makes me record a train of thought which I’m finding very useful.

At the moment the urgency load of my goals seems to be getting ever higher. (You can find urgency load out most easily at https://bui.interestingprojects.net/) I feel I need some way of tracking this over time and not allowing myself to add new goals or increase rates if it’s too high. I haven’t thought of a good way to do this yet.

I haven’t been tracking urgency load very closely other than I think it was more like 40ish until recently when it’s grown to 60ish. This morning it was 70 and now down to 52 this evening. I’m not sure if this is actually something I could beemind or just something to track and not allow myself to create new goals until it’s low enough. I suspect different people have vastly different ok levels of urgency load depending on how intensive their goals are. I guess now might be the right time for a new goal if it helped me deal with my other goals in a better way, but otherwise I’m leaving new goals until life feels a bit calmer!

Edited to add: I forgot I also added a mastodon goal to try out both Mastodon and RSSminder, but that’s not adding to my urgency load since I’m far ahead of the very gentle slope I picked and Mastodon itself is definitely adding a nice bit of de-stress to my life.

Derailments
I’ve derailed on one of my craft goals (sashiko) and my storygraph reading goal since my last post. But they were both on $0, and now I have more impetus to stop them derailing again. Another $0 craft goal (blanket2022) is likely to derail very soon.These are all fun goals which points to the fact that other parts of my life are stressful and it’s the fun I’m missing out on, which I need to be careful about as I value the balance in my life, and no fun is not good. But also, not all fun is beeminded!

Changes
I’ve been making slopes easier to try and cope with Derailcember while maintaining balance. That isn’t feeling like it’s enough and I’ve moved to putting breaks in as well. (I should have read Alice’s advent post first though!)

The only one that was an interesting enough change to write about was my ebike goal. I set this up in Sept 2020 to end in March 2023 (reasoning can be found earlier in this thread). I was really reluctant to put a break in this one but knew that I was unlikely to keep up with the goal and catch up again by March. So instead of just putting a break in I’ve extended the goal out by six months to next Sept, and put a kink in it, so it has a lower rate over the winter and then hikes the rate back up so it gets to the same place the original line would have ended up if it had carried on going straight up. That felt like a good option for keeping the spirit of the original goal but making it more achievable. I’ve also changed the x-max on the graph so I can see the kink and hopefully be ready for it, once winter passes and daylight returns.

I’m going to try and update quicker next time. There always seems to be a fine line between “I have nothing to report” and “I have too much to report”. This also might be a good clue as to why I find Beeminder useful to start with!

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I feel I need some way of tracking this over time and not allowing myself to add new goals or increase rates if it’s too high. I haven’t thought of a good way to do this yet.

Have you checked make.com?
You can set up an HTTP request to

https://www.beeminder.com/api/v1/users/USERNAME.json?auth_token=TOKEN

then read urgency_load value and log it to whenever you wish (beeminder goal, google spreadsheet + chart etc); voila:

In case make.com doesn’t work for you, here’s a simple endpoint you can use to read urgency load: beeminder-urgency-load - Deno Playground (you just need to fork it and set environment variables).

Edit: I made lots of shortcuts here, if you need any help, let me know.

From Google Spreadsheets you can have a chart that checks your past or forecasts your future urgency load (FORECAST) and outputs clear information on what’s your current status. You can also display your current urgency load as a widget on your phone etc.

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Dialling down all my goals to stop myself stressing out over them seemed like a good idea but now I am stressed out because I’m not getting stuff done. That was predictable wasn’t it?

New goals
I’ve just added myself a ratechanges goal to make a rate change on at least one of my beeminder goals at least twice a week. This is directly inspired by @alys’s Overwhelmed or In Control? advent post as my current status is veering wildly between the two. I think long term rate changes and trying to keep my goals as green as I can are, in general, much better than putting breaks in goals which are fine when they are planned for a reason like “being on holiday” but not great when things actually need doing. I’ve made the goal just “rate changes” so that I can nudge goals to be harder or easier as I feel is needed.

Finished goals
A craft goal I set up to be done with a sashiko project by Christmas reached target and the project is completed. Always nice to actually tick something off as done.

Derailments
One goal derailed before it reached the point where I’d made it easier for December. It was still at it’s initial $0 pledge and I’m quite happy with that.

Changes
I’m now tracking urgency_load just to see what happens with it and how it correlates to how I feel. I decided the sensible place to put the data was in with lots of other stats about my life that I store in Exist so I wrote a script to store the maximum and minimum levels of the urgency_load each day. So far I haven’t got enough data in there for Exist to come up with any correlations but I’m definitely feeling like a low urgency_load isn’t as good as I thought it might be because it’s been created too artificially. With all my goals in the green I’m just not getting things done! I wanted to give my brain a break but apparently my brain is not sure what to do with this space and is just jumping around driving me nuts.

And I’ll probably have run out of breaktime on my goals by the time it’s actually Christmas and I have things to do that require an actual break. I’m not dialling any goals any further down now and happy to take derailments. I feel like I’m forgetting there’s a “just pay the pledge” safety valve on all the goals.

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When it happens to me, I just get in my bed and watch anime.
This is my default state. This is my true form.

Would you mind sharing your script? I’m interested in the same workflow as you. No worries if it’s too messy and are lazy to strip out your API key, of course.

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How is exist.io working for you, have you ever found something you didn’t know about?

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I’ve been holding off on making this post because I want to make some new goals and reply to other things but I figure it’s better to catch up first before I add new stuff!

Derailments

Despite putting breaks in both my noms (food tracking) goals and revamp (work project) goals derailed over the Christmas break. I’m quite happy with that though, no terrible consequences just the realisation that I kind of needed a break from things more than I realised and that dealing with family is even more emotionally draining than I remembered.

Changes

I’m making ongoing minor changes to goals for my ratechanges goal, nothing worth calling out.

I’m planning to add new goals soon

  • to track working on my website/blog that I’m getting back into after a long time of it lying fallow, and
  • to track time spent exercising.
  • possibly a goal to track actually finishing stuff in some kind of general way, not specific to any particular field, I have lots of half finished projects/commitments lying about taking up space (some mental, some physical) and I want some way to get that space back. It’s just a random idea at the moment but I think it might be useful if I can work out how to quantify/qualify/word it.

Other Comments

It’s a good question! I’ve been using Exist for several years and certainly at first it threw up useful correlations to me. I didn’t keep any notes at the time that I can find now and I think I’ve ingrained most of the things I’ve discovered. I remember being surprised that I got the most productive computer time on the days when I also got the most distracting computer/phone time - the days I’m working at home are simultaneously distracting and productive whereas days I’m out and about are neither. Now that’s obvious to me but it wasn’t when I first saw it from Exist.

I’ve been thinking of maybe giving up on Exist as I think maybe I’ve exhausted the insight it can give me, but first I’m piling more and more bits of data in to see what new things I can find. It’s not come up with any terribly strong correlations with urgency_load so far other than it tends to peak on Monday and go down as the week goes on which makes sense. I’m going to look at moving some things away from being urgent on Mondays if I can though.

Good idea. I have a plan to share more scripts and bits this year, they are mostly badly hacked together until they just about work and I’d like to be better at polishing them up so I don’t mind sharing them. Maybe I need a beeminder goal to post useful stuff like that too!

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Everyday’s a new year with Beeminder, and though I think the first of the year in the dead of winter is a terrible time to make sudden major changes it seems that I think January’s still a good time for a stack of new goals.

Changes

I changed my pomodoro goal up so that I could send datapoints to it straight from where I create them in Obsidian. (Actually technically since the old goal was an odometer and the new one is not I made a new pomodoro goal and set it up with similar settings/safety buffer to the old one and then archived the old one.) And that workflow also meant I could send datapoints to other goals just by using a hashtag while I was at it. It’s really tempting to add a load of goals for different projects and I’ve been trying not to do too much new stuff at once so I’ve only linked it up with a couple of new goals so far.

I think the only goal I’ve removed is my taskratchetcheck one. I was finding taskratchet to be one too many pieces in my todo system at the moment, and not well enough linked into the other bits.

New goals

  • nocto this was an old goal I had for blog posts, I’ve pulled it out of the archive and repurposed it to count pomodoros working on my blog, which removes the pressure to actually publish stuff but makes it more likely that I will.
  • workwork I’m not too sure about this one. It was inspired by @alys’s “First Things First” goal for getting down to important stuff in the morning as I have a habit of doing the easy things first and putting off the hard things as long as I can. It needs a datapoint (using the pomodoro hashtag thing from above) before 10am. One reason I’m not sure about it is that entering a datapoint after 10am would just make me super early for the next day, which I won’t do deliberately but might do accidentally - is there a way to enforce a datapoint only between 6am and 10am at all? And the other reason I’m not sure about it is that it seems that doing the big work first means I don’t get round to the little work that does still need doing. But that seems like shifting things along to where there’s a smaller problem to solve, which is probably good.
  • stayfocused Something Alys said in another of her posts about using truemean to aggregate datapoints throughout the day made me realise there was a way to beemind sticking to a schedule by reviewing how I did on each block of my day. Rather than write an essay here I’ll make another post about that soon!
  • focushours A companion goal to stayfocused that logs how many hours each day are on the schedule. Made when I realised I could cheat the stayfocused goal pretty easily by making the schedule only cover very short periods of time.
  • stravatime Going through all the end of year review stats that came my way and one that stood out was that I spent 314 hours of 2022 in workouts, which is 51.6 minutes/day. My aim is that at least an hour of each day on average should be exercise of some sort so I thought it’d be a good idea to beemind that and try and up it a bit for 2023. It’s currently set to 55/mins a day and I’m trying to hang on to my 7 days of safety buffer.
  • exercisetime I set this one up by mistake. Stravatime was what I wanted, this one uses the exercise minutes from my Apple watch which are always more because they include all the odd bits of running up the stairs etc. I’ve left it because I thought it might be interesting to see how it correlates with stravatime.
  • mindfuldays While I was messing around with setting up Apple Health linked goals I thought it’d be a good idea to beemind the number of days I do anything that ends up as mindful minutes (using the nonzero aggregation setting). Meditation is the aim but reading with the Forest app and even just doing the Breathe thing with my watch also add minutes that would count. They are things I forget about until I’m feeling overwhelmed and stressed and doing them regularly is definitely a good idea but one that I forget about. Set up with a stupidly low bar of twice a week and I’m already edgeskating it.
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Excited about the stayfocused post!

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I’m interested in this as well for my “morning walk” goal, that should happen after the sun is up, but before 10am… Tagging @dreev in case he didn’t see it yet.

This is an interesting take on new year resolutions, it’s a bit comedic too, so I hope you don’t mind me stealing it and using it sparsely IRL :slight_smile:

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The stayfocused post ended up here, and I’m finding it really tough to stick too but also very useful, which is a good combo.

New goals

cleanhouse My housecleaner decided to retire after working for us for a number of years, and for various reasons I think it makes sense not to directly replace her, so I’ve made myself a goal to do the extra cleaning in the house that she usually did. Set to 3 hours/week, which was how long the cleaner came for, and I’m using the timer in the iOS app to keep track of it.

readeveryday I joined in a Storygraph challenge to read every day in January and it was good for my mental health to try and get some reading in every day and not stop for a break after I’ve just finished a book. So I’ve set up a Beeminder goal to carry on doing that. I’ve used meta-minder to run it off my regular Storygraph autodata goal. It has a tiny bit of safety buffer and is 6.5/week to account for the fact that I think it might not always fire off on schedule as looking through the storygraph goal data it sometimes doesn’t pick up data until after midnight.

Finished goals

dancemusictime A goal I set up to read Anthony Powell’s Dance to the Music of Time sequence. I originally had it set at one of the books per month but quickly dialled it back to a book every three months which fits my rhythm much better. I’m still not sure if I actually enjoyed them but I’m happy to have read them.

Other comments

My ratechanges goal is working well at just dialling things up a bit without anything feeling too overwhelming so nothing major has changed. I haven’t derailed on anything recently.

I’m feeling like I have a good balance of goals at the moment, there’s always something to focus on but it’s not overwhelming.

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