Confused why goal not marked as complete

I’m confused. I have completed a goal
https://www.beeminder.com/dave42w/readnt30
But despite meeting the value of 30 slightly early the goal is not showing itself as complete.
Shouldn’t there be a big fanfare and a Whooo Hoooo?
At least stop asking more for more to be done! :wink:

Dave

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Beeminder doesn’t know whether negative data points are a possibility for any particular goal, so theoretically you could still derail sometime before the end date.

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Thanks, that makes sense and the goal is now marked as finished in beeminder :slight_smile:

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Philsophically speaking, as recovering Akrasiatics, are we ever really ‘finished’ a goal? We are simply in remission, temporarily out of debt to our obligations.

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Well this was a very specific time bound goal (read the New Testament in 30 days) that will be replaced by others along similar lines. I could have a more general “Read the Bible for x mins” or similar but wanted some rather more targeted goals as well. Seems to me that some targeted goals with a specific end point are ok as long as supported by the ongoing, never ending ones.

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You’ve beautifully articulated one side of the divide within Beemindee-land; i.e. whether goals are of the always-and-forever-striving variety, or of the concrete-and-completable variety.

I have some of both. Here’s a proposition of sorts:

  • striving goals should be expressed in terms of slope, units-per-time, with no end date
  • completable goals should be expressed in terms of a target value or target date, not both.

The slope of a completable goal has to be somewhat distinct from the target, because it’s far too easy to get yourself into silly situations where, with every derailment, the road becomes increasingly and unachievably steep.

I haven’t thought through the cases (given the variety of goal types) but it could be that this situation only occurs when we’ve specified both a target value and a target date; i.e. the goal definition is overly constrained and rapidly diverges from reality.

It might still be desirable to specify the slope of a striving goal by entering a target value and/or date, but the day-to-day operation of the goal should be governed by the initially implied slope.

Ironically, we used to treat the slope as the most important thing to preserve after a derailment, which really annoyed me when I’d specified a meaningful real-world end date (such as a conference or an exam). Now I find myself arguing for that behaviour, when it’s appropriate to the meta-type of the goal (i.e. striving or completable).

Knowing that a goal is completable gives Beeminder a clear steer about when to celebrate success. Conversely, knowing that a goal is striving gives Beeminder a clear steer to celebrate progress.

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