Cleaning up graph - past breaks were entered as lies.

Hi, long time listener user first time caller poster.

I have had a several instances in the past where I needed to take a break from some goals, but forgot to schedule the breaks. For example, when I’m on a trip away from home I want my piano goal to be paused. But if I forget to schedule the break until it’s too late, I just enter some bunk/false data, with a comment reminding me it’s not real. That goal targets 30mins/day, so I enter 90mins with a comment “away from home for 3 days”.

Other times something unforeseen happens and I end up in a similar situation. When I injured myself and took a week off from the gym, I entered a week’s worth of workouts in one day with a comment “injured foot”. In those cases there’s the option of emailing support and asking them to schedule an emergency break, which I’ll use in future, but I’d still like to clean up the past ones.

If I’m being honest, there are some much less justifiable ‘breaks’ on there too. Yuck.

Having these discrepancies lies on my graph is a bit of a downer, because I’d like to be able to look at my cumulative totals with pride, rather than wondering how much of my 11,500 total minutes of piano practice is actually real. It also makes me less averse to weaselling, because once you have a good excuse, you’ve opened the door to bad excuses.

So, I’d like to flatten my past red line in some places and then delete the fake data I entered during those periods, to make the graphs reflect reality.

Something like the change shown in the below image:

For a while now I’d been planning to up my subscription from Infinibee to Bee Plus for a month so that I’d get access to the graph editor, and then use that to make these changes. I went to have a look at this today, and was surprised/pleased to learn that, although the regular graph editor requires Bee Plus, the fancy visual graph editor is actually free. Nice!

However, it doesn’t look like I can make the changes I want. The graph editor stops me from applying the breaks because doing so would make my goal easier in the present day. Once I delete the fake data, the current due date on the goal should be the same as it was prior to my editing, but I can’t do both of those operations (flattening the line and deleting the fake data) in one step.

Is there a way to accomplish this?


The closest I could find to an an answer was in the Weasel Heart-to-Heart blog post:

Use the x-min setting to hide your previous weaseled numbers. The lies will still be in the past data, but your graph image will be fresh and clean, ready to fill with real data. Keep it that way! (The hardcore version of this is to archive away all your dirty goals and start brand new ones.)

Hiding the old data still leaves me with an inaccurate cumulative total, and restarting with a fresh goal would reset it altogether which defeats the purpose a bit, so I’m still looking for another way.

A workaround I’ve considered would be to get way into the green.

I could either do this by going way above my current targets, or by reducing my target rate to 0 while continuing to progress the goals at my normal rate.

Eventually I could get myself into a position where I’m so far into the green that I’ll be able to use the graph editor to add the past breaks while also adding a corresponding increase to other places in my graph (avoiding the “Bright red line can’t be easier within the akrasia horizon!” error), and then delete all the false data.

But I don’t realistically see myself doing either of those - for some goals (e.g. getting enough sleep) it doesn’t make sense to try and go way above my target. Changing the target rate to 0 would remove the threat of derailing and probably take all the motivational power out of Beeminder for me.

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On closer reading, perhaps getting Bee Plus would actually work after all? I noticed this on the graph editor help page:

You may want to skip all this and just use the visual graph editor, which allows clicking and dragging, and lets you see a preview of your changes before you make them. You even have a step-by-step undo button, and it won’t allow you to submit a graph matrix with an error.

Does this perhaps imply that the regular old graph editor doesn’t have error checking, and as such it would let me bypass the "red line can’t be easier within the akrasia horizon” error?

Edit: likely not, given that it also says this:

With the Graph Editor, you have complete control over how the bright red line is drawn (as long as you don’t make it easier in the next 7 days).

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I think there’s a user-level solution to this.

Use the graph editor to make the historical changes you describe, BUT preserve the level of the red line from today forward, by having a massive vertical segment today (or yesterday).

Once you’ve done that, add an equally massive negative datapoint for today (or yesterday). You’ll derail, but the road should continue on from where the (now correct) data total is.

Then you should be able to delete the massive vertical sections.


Or maybe just logically shift your vacation? So say your actual vacation was on the 1-7th of a month, your rate is 1/day, but your forgot to plan for it in the graph, and now it’s the 1st. So actually schedule a break in the graph now, for 8-14th. Add a future datapoint for each day 1st to 7th (you can add future datapoints in Beeminder - check out the Advanced Entry stuff!) Then when you come back on the 8th, just do 7 days in a row and don’t record data - or, better still, maybe record 0 each day with a comment of “working out of the hole I dug to go on vacation - 6 more to go now!”, so future-self knows what’s going on.

At the end of the 14th, you’ll be at the same point in dataspace as you would have been, your graph will still look right, but your vacation’s on the wrong week. (And then set up a weekly goal, to check two weeks in advance each Sunday and schedule any upcoming vacations :wink: )

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