Okay, I think I understand better now! (Questions in the last paragraph.)
The following is how I INCORRECTLY IMAGINED beeminder worked. I make a commitment, and if I brush my teeth every day, then I don’t pay beeminder anything. If I derail, if I don’t brush my teeth by midnight, then I owe beeminder $5. At that point, I better brush my teeth by tomorrow midnight or I will owe beeminder $10. The amount keeps ratcheting up to make sure that I get “back on track” very quickly. BUT BUT BUT… once I do successfully brush my teeth, the commitment level automatically drops back down to $5.
I now see that’s not the case. It seems like the theory goes like this. $5 was not enough for me to stay on track. So now my commitment is $10. Hopefully, that will keep me on track forever. If that’s not good enough, then the commitment jumps to $30. Hopefully, $30 will be good enough to keep me on track forever. The theory is that once the “motivation point” is high enough, I will never want to suffer that penalty, and will never pay beeminder again.
I’m curious, do you have an article or video that explains this theory very simply? I have been reading a lot on your website, but for some reason I JUST DIDN’T GET IT, and I wonder why. Was it because my naive, imagined understanding just blinded me?
Questions. What if I want to drop back down to $5? Is there a way to do that, possibly with a premium plan? What if I want my initial penalty to be a token amount, like $1? Can I do that? What if I want a token amount of $1, followed by a jump to $10?