Earning carrots in Beeminder: Using both positive and negative data points in a single goal?

Has anyone tried using both positive and negative data points in the same goal?

For instance, I was thinking of creating a Beeminder goal where I get a +1 for each pomodoro I do, and a -4 for each cat video I watch on YouTube. The idea is to earn a carrot (permission to watch a cat video) for each four pomodoros. I think this could be set up with a “do more” goal with a rate of zero. As you do pomodoros, you get above the flat line; as you watch cat videos, you eat up your pomodoro data points. To not derail, you need to do more pomodoros than you watch cat videos, with a ratio of 4:1.

Has anyone tried something along those lines?


Yep, I have a goal like this! I get a point every time I go to a non-fancy grocery store and subtract a point every time I go to an expensive grocery store. It’s actually helped a lot. Before I used to get everything, even staples, at the froofroo store up the hill, every time I needed to pick up a single specialty item. Mainly I was lazy, but also I got way too excited about shopping at the fancy places, and would take any excuse to go there and browse. Now I go to the cheaper store nearby first, get everything I can find on my shopping list, and then just go to the fancy store for the one or two things I couldn’t find at the first place. One positive plus one negative means I break even! Right now I’ve got a flat road, so that even one more trip to the cheap place gets me into the green, but at some point I’ll probably dial the difficulty up a bit, so that I have to go to the cheap places significantly more often than the fancy places just to stay on the road.


Our tocks script subtracts two points every time that you declare yourself to have been distracted during a tock. Tocks are like pomodoros, periods of task focus, so giving yourself a ‘smack’ is equivalent to needing to do two more tocks.


I use such a graph in order to measure being late/coming in time. It even has a negative slope so that I need to be in time more often that otherwise…
Some backlogs are also more manageable if I enter +x, -y each time I add something to the pile / process something from the pile - rather than this being an odometer/whittle down goal.