This week I’m going to start swimming some mornings. I plan to set up two beeminder goals to track it. The first will just count how many mornings a week I go (2/week to start out). That one is easy, and I can even set it up as an autodata goal using Tasker. The other goal will be to track how many laps I do per week. This could be a simple do more goal, except the slightly nontrivial part is that I would like to increase the number of laps I do each week. That is, I would like to control the second-order rate of change of my goal — not just the number of laps per week but the *rate of change* of the number of laps per week. So my yellow brick road should be a parabola.

Of course, I could just dial in a different rate for each week. The problem is that I would either have to (1) remember to do that each week (and be possessed of enough anti-akrasia to not chicken out and actually do it each week), or else (2) tediously set a bunch of different slopes in advance using the “take a break” feature. (2) is too horrible to contemplate especially if I decide that my rate of change is not the right rate (as seems likely). I’d like to just be able to set the second-order rate of change just by changing a single number, like I can change the first-order road slope.

So, is this possible? Perhaps using a custom goal? If it turns out not to be possible I suppose I could also try writing a script that will change the road slope for me, like (1) but automated. That would be better than (1) and (2) above though still not ideal.

Arbitrary differential equations for the generalized road dial, anyone?