I have thoughts but as per usual I might be processing them externally. I’ve definitely had the same experience you have had @michaelstepner, where it’s 11:30PM and I don’t have the time, focus, or calories to keep myself from derailing. Where I’d gladly give anyone (including Beeminder) $30 so that I didn’t have to think about the issue for a while.
•So first off, I think that’s a legitimate response. If part of the cost of getting the presentation done is that I (or you) need to pay a fee to put a beeminder on autopilot, I think that’s acceptable. I haven’t found it entirely effective to be guilty and beat myself up for taking a hit. Sometimes if work or family trumps my ability to stay on the road, I’m working on gleefully stepping off.
•The problem comes up if it’s habitual. My first attempt at regular exercise was “go to the gym 3x a week,” and it failed miserably. Sunday through Friday I’d be busy and put it off, and Saturday there was no way I was pushing through three workouts. So the beeminder derailed all the time and I started getting frustrated. I think of myself as an active person, but I also worked at a startup, and it was very hard to make things happen.
Resolution there was that consistency reduces complexity. Instead of working out on any three of seven days, I set myself a daily goal of 80 reps (initially of pushups). I could do those in the gym; I could do them in 8 hourly sets at my desk. Point being, I had to work that goal into my daily routine, and make it light enough that it could fit.
•@cgamer1 made a good point. If you only have one goal (and it’s a big one) then there’s no reason to log into beeminder until they’re about to commandeer your credit card. I.e. the issue here could be that you don’t remember beeminder. Something simple (especially something that you might already be winning at, like flossing daily) will remind you that beeminder exists and let you figure out how to work in happy reading time. I check in on beeminder as I set my alarm for bed, and sometimes that involves quickly doing a set of pushups if I’m short for the day. (My wife thinks this is weird.)
•Final thought – it could help to work this issue in to your morning ceremony. Unless the phone starts ringing and you have to hit the ground screaming, you probably have some sort of “plan out my day” thing in the AM. I’ve scheduled “meetings” for reading on my own calendar before, and just told everyone I’m unavailable then. Or I’ve worked a 7:30 - 4:00 so I can jet early and catch up (or so I can read from 7:30 - 8 before people get in the office).
But end of the day, it’s worth looking at the commitment itself. 30 minutes might not be manageable right now. I read an article somewhere once re: productivity that talked about starting habits in insanely small increments. Like, read one page a day. Floss one tooth a night. Literally. Use that to establish a beachhead in your habits, which is kinda the hardest part.
OK, hope something in here was helpful. Calendar integration could be helpful, too. But in absence of that, here’s this.