Beeminder Forum

Clarissa's Yet Another Beeminder Journal

So it’s time for my own Beeminder journal post. I’d been dragging my heels on this because I wanted to write a full overview of all my goals but, since there never seems to be time enough for that, I’ll instead just jump into what I’m changing and why.

This is my survivor goal and I decided to be a little bold and turn it up to writing one & a half songs a month rather than just one. Still not good at writing music but February was less bad than January


This is a new one meant to get me back into watching Gregory Sadler’s series on The Phenomenology of Spirit. I got about 80 videos in last year before losing my momentum and I want to march through it at about a video a day (6/week).


I’ve been hired to create some beginner’s classes on how to program an Arduino board and getting started with small electronics projects for our local library system. This is a small goal of just two hours a week to make sure that I start now rather than getting busy and “I’ll write it soon”.


I walk a lot. It’s one of my main sources of exercise. I figure I should actually track how long my walks are. I’m setting my threshold at 8k a day even though my real goal is more like 11k. This goal got off to a rough start because oh my god our weather has been bad.


Similar to my step counting goal, I’m going to try and keep track of servings of fruits and vegetables since I think I’m eating well but I want to…wait for it…put my money where my mouth is


Well it’s that time of week again and I’m supposed to post my update. It’s an easy one because I’m still recovering from a flu I caught last week so very little has changed.

A bit of a success story, though, is that because I’ve had some goals that were keeping me working slow and steady, namely the /profdev goal, I’m not actually impossibly behind for the professional development classes I’m giving this Saturday.



I’m killing some goals this week

My intermittent fasting goal needs to go because I’ve been losing weight a little too fast just from changes in exercise and diet that I shouldn’t also be adding other rules on top of it. Besides, I already eat in like a 8-10 hour window most of the time anyway I just need to also not go to bed hungry quite so often.

I also decided to kill my goal for keeping track of all my finances in hledger. It was good for making me confront some money anxieties around knowing exactly where the cash goes but at this point the ledger itself is its own source of obsessions. We’re frugal people. We’re saving for a house. We’re debt free. I don’t need to make myself obsess any further about min-maxing our spending.


Hey I’m posting on Sunday when it’s not actually an emergency day almost like I had intended in the first place.

So beeminder has been useful in keeping me from dropping too many threads in the aftermath of the flu. I have a lot of big projects coming to fruition in the next few months but none of them are close enough to trigger my DefCon 0 Emergency Productivity System. Spending a half hour every couple of days on most of them is enough to at least keep them on track.

That being said I’m killing even more goals right now. I’ve figured out that odometer goals for reading X number of pages of a book or writing Y number of words on a draft just aren’t great for me. I get stressed out by feeling like I have to create a certain amount of product or comprehend a certain amount of material when, sometimes, I need the process of sitting with something and thinking about it for a long time. Writing and studying don’t feel linear enough between time and output and I think beeminding the time I spend will be more useful in the long run.


I switched to beeminding time reading instead of pages a while back, too. Don’t think I’ll be going back. Another big advantage is that you don’t have to do complicated conversions if you do your reading on multiple platforms (physical books, audio books, ebooks). It’s all just time!


At this point I’ve pruned a number of goals: some because they were time dependent and are no longer needed or because they weren’t useful. I think I’ve been experiencing some datapoint fatigue myself lately in this post-flu depression flare-up so I’ve scheduled breaks for a few more goals that I don’t want to archive.

That being said I’ve added a time based goal for studying stoicism because I’ve always meant to finish books like Meditations or read through The Discourses instead of just the Enchiridion but it keeps getting pushed to the back burner.

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I haven’t derailed on anything but boy have I have gotten close lately!

I’ve actually made another couple of new goals, instead of just pruning them: one to restart my blog and one to consistently study all things Husserlian phenomenology for an hour a day.


The good:

  • My /steppers goal is keeping me averaging about 3.5 miles a day walking
  • The /pheno goal has gotten me to sit down and work through intimidating books
  • I’m still on track writing music with my /music Beeminder survivor goal
  • I haven’t dropped off on watching the half-hour hegel series
  • Making goals for prepping for particular classes or deadlines has really been good at keeping me from needing to rush at the end

The rough:

  • I’m really having trouble keeping up with the data entry lately. Not that it’s too onerous I just can’t seem to remember my goals that I’m ahead more than a day or two on.
  • Toggl seemed like a cool way to handle data entry but I think it’s just adding to the cognitive overhead since only some things are toggl goals

Still divesting from toggl. I’m realizing that I need to keep my data entry simple in method and, honestly, the simplest method for me is just using the beeminder app on my phone even if it allows for less clever things. More than one kind of data entry just means I forget more.

I’m really riding the line on a lot of goals right now. I have to finish a song tomorrow or else I’m out of the survivor challenge!


Not a lot of updates here because I was sick again last week.

On the docket, though, Beeminder is going to force me to restart my blog soon!

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I did actually restart my blog and I haven’t had any derailments. I think I am a bit overcommitted though. The feeling of burnout has just been kicking my rear and I think I need to reduce the amount of time I’m schedule for on a lot of my studying goals. Does studying an hour a day sound like a lot? It doesn’t in isolation! But when you have multiple goals that add up to several hours of studying a day on top of your job that gets to be a lot. Some days I need to rest after teaching middle schoolers.

I’m continuing to sunset all my Toggl based goals. I think Toggl just isn’t a great fit for me.


Just assume I’m making whinging noises about how bad of an ideas it was to have so many hours of studying each day when I knew I was going to be teaching middle schoolers 4 hours a day five days a week for months straight. Very soon my ramp down of my goals is going to kick in.


Okay so things are still chugging along. All my toggl based goals are archived, which is nice. I did derail on my meditation goal, unfortunately, because I messed up by doing what you shouldn’t ever do: pre-entering data because you’re just about to do the thing and you totally won’t get distracted and forget about it before you fall asleep. This one stings but it was definitely my fault so fair’s fair.


Beeminder is keeping me honest on getting outside, walking a few miles a day, and working on my blog despite just how depressed I’ve been. This is the kind of brainstate where I start dropping things because it becomes too hard to even conceptualize all the steps I need to take to do anything.


I’m riding the line on almost all my goals right now. Wish me luck, y’all. I’m also trying to slowly back in some time based goals based on my experiments with Toggl.


And the dang beeminders have kept me posting on my blog, consarn it.

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So I’ve been having a lot of trouble writing these entries, though that doesn’t mean I actually want to stop writing them.
It’s more that I’ve been either depressed, in some PTSD hell because this time of year has a lot of bad anniversaries, or just so busy I feel harried due to some combination of points 1 and 2.

It’s not that I think I’m beeminding too much, but I just always seem to be overwhelmed and exhausted between my beeminder tracked tasks and all the things for my various jobs that aren’t. I’m trying to shift a lot of goals to be weekday only in the hope that helps.


Good luck. Sometimes I find taking a week break from some goals helps give me some breathing room.

I do like my weekday-only goals! Can recommend!

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So a few things. First, weekday only goals are nice. I think they help me keep a better rhythm to a lot of my goals.

Second, I derailed on my journal goal. I think this is another sign of how depressed and hecked up I’ve been because simply opening up emacs and hitting C-c a a isn’t exactly a big commitment and yet it’s been really hard to do.

Lastly, I’ve been struggling with a question: so I have my music goal that’s my New Year’s Challenge goal. The problem I’m having is that I’ve switched from doing a lot of beepbox for writing chiptunes to Sonic-pi. What’s the problem? Well my metric was “it has to be at least a minute long and contain multiple phrases”. Sonic-pi songs, at least how they’re most naturally written, are kinda infinitely long varying algorithmic pieces. My metric for what counts as a “song” in sonic-pi has been “can I listen to it for at least a few minutes without being sick of it”, but I’ve had been having some scrupulosity problems with if that’s cheating somehow.