Beeminder Forum

Derailment and ReRailment Questions

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?

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You can drop down anytime, though it takes a week! :slight_smile: Just click on your current pledge and you can reduce it to $5 there.

You can’t have a pledge below $5 after you’re derailed once, on the current pledge schedule, unless you have a Beemium subscription, in which case you can have pledges at $0 anytime.

You can’t skip any levels on free, so you couldn’t go from $5 to $30. You could if you had a Beemium subscription, though, in the same way as reducing your pledge (only it’s immediate, to increase it).

The way the pledge schedule works is covered during goal creation:

Do you have any thoughts on what confused you there? It’d be great to know how to be clearer!

Then there’s stuff like the FAQ which covers some of this too – it’d be interesting to know if you just couldn’t find that, or if there’s something unclear there?

Phew, I think that’s all the questions? :slight_smile:


You can’t have a pledge below $5 after you’re derailed once, on the current pledge schedule, unless you have premium, in which case you can have pledges at $0 anytime.

After derailment, can you reduce pledge to $0 on beeplus, or is that only reserved for beemium subscriptions? I think the answer is the latter, but just wanted to clarify. So if a beeplus subsciber wanted to reduce their pledge back to $0, they would need to delete/archive their goal and create a new one, right?

Correct! I suspect I had an autocorrect issue in my original post; it’s Beemium you need in order to allow you to have $0 pledges aside from the very first.