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CoolHandLouis’s Beeminder Journal

Groundrules: Please feel free to join in and participate with my daily journal. Ask questions, share experiences, challenge me, give me accountability, or otherwise comment with your thoughts.


May 29, 2021. Here’s my first journal entry. I’m a rank beginner so suggestions and constructive feedback is appreciated.


I’ve started off with two goals, brushing teeth and cleaning room. I’ve derailed on both, both are $10 goals at this point in time.


I’m considering adding a third which is exercise. Here’s how I’m thinking of structuring it, but I really don’t know what’s best.

I’m primarily wanting to get in X minutes per day or Y hours per week cycling on my stationary bike. For example, 30 minutes per day, or 3.5 hours per week.

I’m actually thinking of creating three related goals of increasing intensity. The first two are what I’ll call ladder goals, since they are complementary stepping stones that very naturally must be achieved in order to achieve the last goal, which is the “real goal”.

  1. The first one would be to just go “sit on the bike” that is accomplished by merely getting myself on the bike. Honestly, this might be all that’s needed to establish this as a routine in the long run. Because if I get on the bike, hell I know I’ll start peddling. That gives me flexibility to decide what I want to achieve today. [EDIT: I just now read about this same concept in Ice Cream Truck Loopholes | Beeminder Blog “touching the door of your gym”]. This one might have cap of $30 (lenient) or $90 (aggressive)…

  2. The second one could be “achieve 2nd wind or 10 minutes, whichever is less” because that focuses me on sustaining just a bit, to get me over the hump, and on getting that slight euphoria one can get while exercising, which will hopefully adapt my mind to be drawn towards cycling instead of just seeing it as a chore. This one might have cap of $10 (lenient) or $30 (aggressive).

  3. The last one would be bike for 30 minutes per day. I might add a minimum number of kcal effort as a caveat as well, so that 30 minutes of super slow cycling while watching cartoons and eating bonbons is out. This one might have cap of $5 (lenient) or $10 (aggressive)…

I’m not exactly sure how to deal with sick days or rest days. I might give myself very liberal veto powers at first, until I can dial in the right mix. It could be worded something like “30 minutes on bike or veto, see fine print on veto process.” I know that introduces a big loophole, but that loophole could be patched up over time.


There are several ladder tasks on a goal ladder. The first rung of the ladder goals [EDIT: Maybe ladder tasks is a better term. ] is to just get up and get there. That might be called a touch task. It’s also been described elsewhere as “touching the gym door” or “touching the laundry basket”.

The second rung of the ladder is to sustain some minimal amount of effort on the goal. That might be called a getting started task. [EDIT: A better description might be initial engagement task.] For going to the gym that might be changing and getting on the first machine. For actually using a machine, that might be doing one set of lifts or cycling for a few minutes. For laundry, that might be moving the laundry basket 10 feet.

The third task is the goal proper, to complete the desired behavior. So on the ladder, that’s the goal complete task.

It might be interesting if Beeminder could link tasks to somewhat automate or highlight the relationship between ladder type tasks. I suspect that ladder tasks might just be one type of linked goals.


Sounds like a good way to start your biking habit. One thing I’ve heard suggested for aerobic machine workouts that also helps get people going is to only watch a favorite TV show they really like while on the machine, so that also helps you want to work out rather than avoid it, so you can watch your show.


I think the best way to deal with this is to use Beeminder or TaskRatchet to implement a hard deadline for the veto removal process.

I set up something similar, where I track every non-legit derail that I email support about. This way, I pay money even if I revert a derail, so I’m no longer weasel-motivated to call non-legit just to not pay money and only do so if it’s actually not legitimate. Because of this solution, I’ve only reverted 2 derails since November.


Yes! This is Katy Milkman’s temptation bundling idea.

For those (including myself) that like to go down rabbit holes: Katy Milkman’s temptation bundling idea. - Google Search

That must have been the podcast interview I heard it from. I believe it was posted on here, but I couldn’t remember.