enbee's entries (a mobile-unfriendly beeminder journal)

first things first: a few things that i think you should know about me before committing/continuing to read on:

  • my strengths are not: being concise, getting a point accross quickly, organising & structuring my thoughts in a way that makes the most ideal, perfect, & logical sense for other people (or even myself, sometimes :P).

  • my strengths are more like: writing (very! [very]) long & maybe super convoluted posts & stream-of-consciousness-y rambles.

  • english is not my native language. while i like to think that i have an excellent grasp on it, i probably don’t get all the nuances & i might unintentionally say weird things. (sometimes i also like to say weird things intentionally—for fun, or to make sure you can never tell the difference ;)

  • as seen above, i like to use emojis as closing brackets when an occasion pressents itself. so you won’t see “(this :))” in my posts, for example, instead i’d write “(this :)”.

  • as much as i am a stickler for The Little Things, like tiny typos & punctuation, sometimes i forget or ignore them easily. (also sometimes i simply don’t know things, like when & when not to put a comma somewhere.) but since these posts are editable, i’ll try to right any wrongs, punctuational or otherwise, if i catch them in time. (i might absolutely not catch them in time, though!)

  • i prefer to write everything in lower-case letters. a coworker once insinuated that it’s because of laziness & he’s probably not completely wrong. however, both our native language is german & we live in a german-speaking country (no, it’s not germany), which means words starting with upper case letters are much more common than in english. so the laziness-argument, in my opinion, is more valid when it comes to german. my main excuse for preferring all-lower-case in english is that i don’t like the capitalised “i”. i’m not that important, i don’t really get why it should be “I” instead of “i”. “i” is a much cuter letter & also less confusable with a lower-case-L. (yes, i know, a stand-alone-“I” would never be read as a lower-case-L, but my point still stands, because principles!) i also don’t get why sentences need to start with upper-case letters. there’s already the full stops that show you where the sentence ends/begins! or the exclamation points & question marks & interrobangs (interrobangs are great!). anyway, the point is, i probably won’t make the effort to write conventionally most of the time, as far as big & smol letters are concerned. (i know it’s “small”, but “smol” is the much cuter word, so i’ll almost always be using that instead of “small”.)

  • sometimes i use all caps for emphasis instead of/additional to other formatting. sometimes i use capitalisation of the first letter of a series of words for emphasis as well. (Like This, You Know.) i don’t consider either of these an inconsistency with the above point, because i make the rules & i deem it consistent with them! ;)

  • i like tangents. (see two points ago.) i love brackets. (see above, & also two sentences ago. also, below!)

okay, with that all behind us on the way, let’s finally get to the point of this post: mostly unorganised & all-over-the-place thoughts about my first almost-fully-four weeks on beeminder so far—& a much longer preview of what’s to come, eventually, hopefully!

BRIEF BREAKDOWN OF CURRENT & PAST GOALS

  • beecture – enbee – beeminder is my only archived goal so far, for creating a beeminder profile picture of me, an enby bee (enbee for short). it’s archived because it was successfully completed! horray!

  • flosses – enbee – beeminder is my flossing goal, currently set to a rate of four times a week. the pledge cap is set at $10.

  • onefoot – enbee – beeminder is my daily steps goal, connected to my only recently acquired & first ever smart watch. it’s currently set to 5 000 steps a day, without any auto-ratcheting, because i don’t yet have any beeminder subscription, let alone the $12 to $16 one (price depends on subscription length, which is neat, although i am sad that i joined a good while after lifelong subscriptions were retired :P). the pledge cap set at $5.

  • whew – enbee – beeminder is my “intensity minutes” goal, also connected to my garmin smart watch. “intensity minutes” is their metric for measuring sports & sport-related activities, i think. it’s set to 5 minutes a day, currently, which is a bit of a silly number for my circumstances, because my garmin watch is old enough that it can only track ten or more consecutive intensity minutes. (but i guess i could aim for ten minutes every other day & still be fine.) the pledge cap set at $5 as well.

PLEDGE CAP THOUGHTS

  • i have so far started all my goals at $0 instead of $5 for the first derail, because a) i’m still getting used to how beeminder works, b) i won’t turn down a chance to slack off once for free :P & also c) a reason i can’t really articulate well, but which i guess comes down to “all goals i have so far are not hyper-important to me &/or i feel like missing the mark the first time shouldn’t cost me any money, because that might only demotivate me”. on the other hand, they’re all very low-commitment anyway. (almost all so low that it’s almost zero-effort to successfully stay in the green all the time. which definitely needs tweaking in the future, no doubt.) for my yet-to-be-set-up-uni-goal/s, for example, i might start at $5 right away, so that i can have less excuses for not doing the thing when i’m supposed to be doing it. (i might also not start at $5 for various reasons. we’ll see!)

  • for the same reasons, my max pledge caps are pretty low so far.

  • in my mind, the maximum pledge cap i’d set for any goal currently is $90. that’s more than i pay for one therapy session, so it’s a ridiculous amount of money in comparison. it wouldn’t ruin me financially, but the thought of loosing so much would hopefully hurt enough that i would just rather Do The Thing at whatever cost XD if it ever comes to that. we’ll see!

  • i guess i mentally put all my current & potantial future goals into one of two categories: temporary goals & potentially-lifelong goals. /steps & /whew & /flosses (all low pledge caps) are the latter category. uni-work-goals would be the former: while they would potentially be months-long or even years-long in the running, i wouldn’t keep them forever. i’d graduate eventually, hopefully. :P (or worst case, i guess i’d make peace with not graduating XD) so the goal would be archived. so a higher pledge cap makes sense, because even if i derail on them A Lot, i wouldn’t be stuck with that high pledge cap for years or decades, like i would be in the case of /steps or the others.

THINGS I’M PRETTY SURE I ALREADY LEARNED

  • it probably very much depends on the type of goal, but having a goal be green is insanely motivating for me. there’s a few caveats, listed below, but first, case & point: i’ve set /flosses up originally with a rate of three per week. (i aspire to floss no more than once a day, after brushing my teeth at night, so the commitment would never ever exceed once per day / seven per week.) so three per week seemed like a good starting point, especially since i’d already cultivated a more-or-less-regular flossing habit thanks to habitica.
    i am incredibly surprised by what it taught me: that having a goal in any other colour than green stresses me the frog out! i’m honestly surprised it took me this long to realise it—looking at other people’s dashboards even before i made my account, seeing other people’s huge lists of goals, seeing so many goals they have in red & orange stressed me the frog out even on their behalf! i don’t know if it’s the colours. or the thought of loosing money. or something else entirely. probably it’s more the colours (especially with regards to other people), what they represent & a still-reflexive “derailing looks like failing”-attitude that i have. (i am trying to properly embrace "derailing is not failing, since there’s a lot of good arguments for that & i know that objectively it’s the better & more useful position to take, but my knee-jerk reaction is still “red/orange bad”. it’ll take time!) or maybe it’s the amount! seeing five or more red &/or orange goals on someone’s dashboard makes me go :flushed: immediately. i guess as far as my own goals are concerned, the prospect of loosing money is a big part of it, too, although there’s also a potential caveat with that: once i derail once (& actually loose money on it), i might realise that it’s Not That Bad (especially for goals with a $5 or $10 pledge cap) & i might slippery down an uncaring slope?
    anyways, i guess maybe some part of it was that, when i set my flossing goal up initially, it wasn’t green, because i didn’t flatten it in the beginning. so there was the pressure to do something that day to not derail. good. that motivated me. so i got it to green pretty quickly. amazing. ever since then (& i know it’s probably not a fully relevant thought yet, because it hasn’t been That Long, but this whole thing is a constant work in progress anyway!) i’ve kept it green constantly, with the exception of one blue data point that came about because of manual ratcheting that i unintentionally set too tightly, because i don’t know numbers.
    so far, i’ve exceeded my goal by a lot, regularly. it’s set to four a week now. having the goal at seven flosses per week was never my intention. it might end up coming to that though, in a few months, maybe. very likely it’ll come at least to five or six per week. how wild to think about!
    semi-related story time: i experienced something once which i never thought i’d experience: i finished brushing my teeth at night. i was tired. it was late. i didn’t feel like flossing. i knew i didn’t “have to,” i was well in the green. i stepped out of the bathroom without flossing. then, for a completely inexplicable reason that still baffles me to this day, i turned back around! i went back into the bathroom. i flossed my teeth. i completed the goal. i got to enter the data point. this is like—i don’t even know how to describe it. i guess this is where i want to end up on, with all my goals, in the long term. even though probably beeminder shouldn’t get all the credit for this. (or maybe it should. i really don’t know. i really can’t explain what went through my mind in those moments, if anything. i just know that i surprised myself very much! it was as if i was moving on autopilot, somehow. but not in a depressed-zombie kind of way, it definitely felt differently in a good way, i think. but also very foreign. maybe it was the fact that i didn’t want to go to sleep yet? or the novelty of beeminder? idk‽!)
    the plan for /flosses, for now, is to keep it at four a week, ratched it a bit here & there when i get a ridiculuos number of safe days stacked up. maybe dial it up to five a week in a few weeks, if i feel up for it. if the data continues to look so excellent.

    • now, the other promised caveats to this “green means go! go! go faster! go harder! do the thing again to keep it green! :D” mindset being universally applicable for me:
      • i barely have any goals yet. /flosses is basically the only goal that i have so far actively & regularly focused on, apart from /beecture, which doesn’t count anymore, since it’s finished. things would probably be very different if i had 10 active beeminder goals.

      • flossing is something i’ve been doing irregularly, on/off-ish, for a long while now. it’s not a completely new habit. it’s not a habit that, like my uni work things, i am notorious at procrastinating most of the time. it’s not an activity that has made me miserable most, if not all, of the time i do it / don’t do it but know i should be doing it. it’s not as pressing as some of those Other, Yet To Be Created, Goals. luckily, i have great teeth. (thanks, dad!) i have made it over a quarter of a century basically without flossing at all & without any major dentist-emergencies—just saying this to illustrate that flossing, for me, while important to cultivate as a habit, is not as urgent to me as other things—not saying this just to brag. (only saying this to brag a little bit ;P)

      • flossing doesn’t take ages. it’s simple enough. while there have still been days where i skipped it, that’s completely fine. other goals i need / would like to create wouldn’t be so easily completed in not even a handful of minutes. others yet would be something that i wouldn’t want to think so casual about & would prefer to really do Absolutely Every Day.

  • the gratitude journaling together forum thread is one of the best & most wholesome places here! last year, my gratitude-process had been to try to think of three gratitudes before going to sleep at night & to write one of them down, optionally, on a little piece of paper so that i could collect them & look back at them if i wanted. i did pretty well with that overall, even if there were days that i skipped for one reason or the other. (the thinking part, i mean. i absolutely skipped the optional writing part A Lot of days, i think overall i wrote down about a hundred gratitudes, out of a full year of days?) since mid-january-ish the thoughts-&-paper-gratitudes have been completely replaced by the daily-forum-gratitudes. i adore them, both reading others’ & adding my own tangents! a bit of analysis about that transition for anyone who’s interested:

    • it’s (sadly) easier for me to write these things (any things, really) down online than on paper. while i always tried to keep pens & papers close by the couch (where i usually was when i wrote my paper-gratitudes), it still felt like more effort than the forum-journal does now. i’m not really sure, why. maybe because i’ve become so much more accustomed to the internet & to my laptop that typing comes more natural to me. maybe it’s the accountability aspect. probably it’s also the community aspect. probably it’s also the fact that i enjoy talking about & sharing things about my life, so it’s much more fun to put these out into the world rather then just keep them in my head / on a little piece of paper that nobody ever gets to see. it’s a little weird, though, because it’s definitely more work now, overall, even if only by a bit, some days. but it does absolutely take more time. (not only because i love to write such long posts so often :P also because even though i type decently fast, typing still takes longer than thinking) but i’m not complaining, i’m just happy i’m along for the ride! :D
  • i love/d writing this post, sharing my thoughts about my “progress” & about my goals. i hope i’ll continue to do this (ir)regular-ish! (not gonna beemind or plan to beemind it, though, for the forseeable future, for various reasons.)

  • there’s a character limit for forum posts! :D it’s 32 000 characters.

THINGS I’M STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT

  • how to perfect my /onefoot goal. (btw, for those wondering: the name is based on my walking-playlist “one foot after the other”.) i believe 5 000 steps as a starting point is great. i do aspire to get it up to 10 000 steps a day eventually, slowly dialling it up by 500 or 1 000 steps at a time. (my daily garmin steps goal changes every day based on how well i do the previous day/s, but i explicitly don’t want to autodial /onefoot, at least not at the moment!) i definitely dislike that i have zero pressure currently to reach 5 000 steps each day, because i’ve accumulated much buffer. i guess i could manual-ratched me to zero safety buffer each morning to keep me accountable. i’m not sure if the new metaminding feature could be a better (more automated :P) solution, too, maybe? it absolutely wouldn’t make sense to send +1 to a hypothetical meta goal every time there is any new datapoint in /onefoot, because i’ll always do at least a few hundred steps every day. but if there were a way to have a metagoal that only +1’s whenever i do at least 5 000 (or any number i choose) steps a day, now that would be great! (i don’t know if there is a way. i had assumed no, because that would basically be a free circumvention of autoratcheting, but then i reread a few posts & maybe there might be a way? i’m not tech-versed & awake enough currently to be sure / do more research.) also, this wouldn’t be a perfect solution either, because it would take up one additional of my Few & Precious Goal Spaces XD (i don’t know exactly how many free goals i have, i think five? i know i’d gotten two additional free ones recently because of some things i’d pointed out about help pages & stuff.)

  • how to set my garmin intensity minutes / heartrate threashhold so that they make perfect sense. if you look at /whew, you’ll see that i was doing pretty great in the beginning, very much to my surprise. i believe all those minutes were from walking fast & carrying a lot of boxes to the post office while walking quicker than usual.
    but then, one saturday, i was about to be close to derailing & thus stressed out enough that i grabbed our new loudspeaker, put on my “beats to get frogging hyped to” playlist & awkwardly jumped around in my room, for at least 15 to 20 minutes. so absolutely something i would have assumed & expected to count towards my intensity minutes, which only counts 10+ consecutive minutes of activity. (i was sweating, it was exhausting. sports!) & i definitely did more than ten minutes, so that i could be absolutely sure it would count. thing is, it didn’t count. i kept checking my watch. no additional intensity minutes added. medium annoyance.
    a few hours later i met with friends & we went to a pottery painting “workshop”. (it was like a bit of explanation about the colours & gadgets they had & then we could paint.) i got a coffee. (important backstory info: i barely drink any caffeine.) the painting process was somewhat stressful, because we only had like one & a half hour to actually Do The Thing after the explanation was over & also i decided to draw a Whole Bird from scratch (frantically looking at a reference picture, of course) & i don’t really draw often / at all / well, in my opinion. (it turned out decent, though; already picked it up & am sufficiently happy with it! :) somewhen during that time my watch poked me (vibrated) & asked if i was stressed, if i wanted to take a moment to take a deep breath. XD i guess my heart rate was elevated a lot, probably from the coffee, drinking it maybe too quickly & the mildly stressful atmosphere.
    anyway, later at night i checked my stats in more detail & i absolutely did rack up intensity minutes that day. only, it wasn’t during the time when i actually “did sports” (dancing around awkwardly in my room). it was during a time when i was mostly stationary in a chair, with a bit of walking around to refill my colours & grab pencils & brushes. plus the coffee. i guess if i just become a coffee or tea person, i could very easily cheat on my goal?? (i will not do that for various reasons.)
    i have since, a day or two-ish ago, played around with my garmin settings a little. turns out i had let the watch auto-calculate my intensity-minutes / intensity-minutes threshhold. i changed the settings & now intensity minutes start being calculated from onwards “heart rate zone 1”. my heart rate zone 1 starts at about 116 bpm, or 50%+ calculated from my max ever measured pulse. i suspect that a big reason for the huge flat line in my /whew goal had been this auto-calculation of intensity minutes. no idea how they had been calculated automatically. not in any sort of useful or motivating manner, for me, that’s for sure—so i hope that’s changed now!
    the takeaway from this story is never to blindly trust autodata goals & devices. :P

  • what & how to beemind next. these include the following list, in alphabetical order, stolen & expanded from the reply to my “beeminder account confirmation” email that i wrote almost a full month ago:

    • cleaning my room & keeping it clean after that, hopefully: my room is A Very Big Hot Mess. i do usually vaccum it once a week, like the rest of the flat, but there’s so much stuff on the floor that the vaccuuming’s not nearly as efficient & useful as it could/should be. also, there’s too much stuff on the floor. there’s too much stuff everywhere. my desk is unusable. (which is fine as far as the desk goes, because i don’t ever use it. it’s Not So Fine as far as the stuff on the desk goes, because it becomes increasingly more difficult to find the things i need, &/or to remember what even is on that pile XD) i have thought about probably creating a daily goal for cleaning it, with a commitment of around one to five minutes a day. i have additionally toyed with the thought of creating a forum thread for it, maybe even with pictures to illustrate the problems &/or share my successes. i think i am already 100% sold on the accountability-through-regular-public-posts-idea. i’m not yet 100% sold on the also-post-pictures-idea, but i’ll have enough time to formulate a decision until i actually create the goal.

    • creative things: i would not have thought about this, hadn’t i written it in the email a month ago, lol. the idea is to try & do one little creative thing per month at least. (a bit of writing, one quick drawing, etc.) i created a second (or, third, technically) instagram account a few months ago (undefinedbirb), where i post/ed quick drawings of undeb, an undefined birb. i enjoy that. it’s fun. having creative outlets for things is good for me, i think. (i haven’t actually looked at instagram for weeks, possibly a whole month or two. but that’s a whole other story/problem that doesn’t really fit the scope or theme of this already-almost-novella-long-post XD)

    • fruits & veggies: i would not aspire to start with seven per day, even though @alys’ tips (can’t remember where i found them) about not caring about the magnitude of processing & about which kinds of fruit/vegetables to eat were very helpful & encouraging to read. i would probably start with one per day & then slowly ramp it up to get to seven eventually. this would be a perfect candidate for an additional metaminding goal, actually! having the main goal at one per day, where i could accumulate buffer if, like the day of writing these lines, i manage to eat four (or any other number bigger than one) portions a day & then having the metaminding goal which gives +1 for any datapoint, at a rate of exactly one per day, which would mean i couldn’t accumulate any buffer … i guess that would mean i would have to add all portions up during the day & then enter the final number only once per day, but that doesn’t seem like too much of a hassle.

    • gmail-zero-unread-emails: i adore that this exists as an automated option, but i dislike that it’s only possible with a subscription. :P it’s a blessing in disguise as well, though, because it allows me to procrastinate on creating this goal :P (there’s a lot of other reasons why i haven’t created this one yet, also: it’s not the most urgent/important among the list & i don’t want to overwhelm my dashboard with Too Many Goals All At Once; i did that on habitica, i know from experience that it’s detrimental.) my goal wouldn’t be inbox-zero-total-emails, because i am doing well with deleting all useless ones anyway, my goal would simply be having less (& eventually no) emails marked as unread. i have anywhere between 9 & 15 unreads these days, the oldest one from 2019. so, yeah, gotta force myself to deal with all those things somehow :P

    • learning japanese: this is completely a hobby. no tests or uni requirements or any other external pressure. i enjoy language learning. i like japanese. i am having a hard time doing this currently, because my level is So Very Low still & i don’t have any “reason” to do it, besides “i want to be good at it”—which i know will take A Very Much Lot of work & time & patience. also, i haven’t been doing any japanese at all this year & for the last few weeks of 2023, so it’s even more difficult to get back out of my lazy slump & into doing even a little bit regularly. anyway, my thoughts on possible goals for this:

      • make an autodata duolingo goal, because at the end of last year i got myself another yearly duolingo subscription, even though duolingo isn’t All That Great, i think. but i already spent the money & once i get out of my Lazy Slump Of Nothingness i should probably start using it again, with or without beeminding it, because otherwise that’s even more wasted money. :P
      • make a handwriting goal. i have been historically horrible with this. i have one notebook that i dedicated to be my “japanese notebook” a year-ish or so ago. there’s maybe 3 pages filled? nothing added in the last half year or even longer. i very much still remember that handwriting was very fun for me. i enjoy memorising & practicing kanji that way. i should also still perfect my kana writing. i know i will love doing this. i simply don’t do it. typical akrasia problems i guess?
    • reading: i don’t really do it anymore. when i do it, i enjoy it. my flatmate gifted me three books last year, of which i have so far started zero. i have a lot of other books & readable things (webtoons, magazines) i would want to read. not the most urgent of potential tasks, but definitely something to keep in mind for possible future goals!

    • regular data backups: i have my laptop, i have my phone, i have one external hard drive where i archive things about once every one to three months. a bit more regularity wouldn’t hurt! (insert quip about the threat of loosing money vs. the threat of loosing data XD)

    • uni work: so i didn’t attend any courses during winter semester. i’ll have to attend (& finish) at least one course in the coming summer semester, probably. that’s i guess my official excuse for not having created this goal yet. (my “uni work” daily has historically been my continuously red habitica daily.) but if i want to get crazy, efficient, &/or crazy efficient with it, it would become more than one goal anyway:

      • one goal for the summer-semester-uni-course, or maybe two or even three goals: one for my presentation, one for my paper, one for continuously keeping up with coursework.
      • one goal (or a trillion :P) for my master’s thesis. i have an idea for a topic & a year or two ago i read some books which i could use in my analysis, but i haven’t copied any quotes from them yet, haven’t narrowed down the topic, haven’t done any research into secondary literature … so almost all thinking & planning & doing is still to be done!
    • uni application: there’s a one-year-course in a different university that i want to apply for next year. it would start in september & iirc applications would be due in july/august. i have looked at what i need to present. i have to create the things in time & then go there & have the interview. while that’s a stressful thought as well, the “creating things in time” bit will be the biggest hurdle i’ll have to overcome, successfully, in time, without loosing track of it (time, that is!).

  • how to make sure i won’t burn out from having too many / too ambitious / too many too ambitious goals &/or how to deal with my goals if i suddenly feel depressed/overwhelmed again like i did last summer.

MISC THOUGHTS THAT DIDN’T FIT ANYWHERE ELSE (after i abandoned the idea of trying to include them in footnotes XD)

  • i am actually having a hard time reconciling the need to be “productive” & the profound absurdity of the need to be productive. this is a whole other essay topic i’m neither qualified nor awake enough to write, but basically: i Very Very Much dislike the notion of “needing to be a productive member (of society) to have any value (for society / for oneself)”. such capitalist ideas. on the other hand, some things i want to beemind, like learning japanese, are absolutely things that don’t fall into that category, since i would only do them for myself / for fun. on the other hand, i still feel like i am “failing” somehow/someone (myself, i guess) by not keeping up with japanese as much as i would like—which is absurd. i don’t really have a well-though-out point here, or even one that makes sense, i think, i guess i just wanted to rant for a minute about the word “productive”, which i don’t like & this whole mindset of “i need to achieve x in order to be / become / be seen as / feel y”, which i hate even more!
  • i’m very scared of overloading my goal board &/or my goal difficulties & of getting burnt out by having Too Many Things on my plate (as one does). this is among the reasons i’ve been doing so well on my very few goals so far: i’ve picked easy/low-stakes ones &/or set the difficulties really low.
  • i orginally openly sweared in this post, until i substituted f*ck with frog. frogs are gay culture. i might forget to be this funny somewhere &/or sometime else & start openly swearing again (as i often & happily do irl XD).
  • i will almost certainly eventually get a beeminder subscription. i don’t yet know which one. i don’t yet know when. i absolutely plan to exhaust my free-goals-limit before even thinking about getting a subscription! mostly because i am Really Very Scared of “goal overload” & subsequent burnout. what’s to stop me from creating all goals mentioned above at once? *insert evil villain laugh* i guess i am absolutely smart enough to stop myself from doing that, but, on the other hand, there’s this nagging feeling that i don’t want to commit to regularly paying for beeminder yet when i don’t absolutely need it. when i decide that i Cannot live any longer without my inbox-whittle-down-goal, i will start to subscribe. when i have No More free goals, i will start to subscribe. until then, i refuse to do so :P

EPILOGUE :P

that’s it for now! thank you for reading over 5 432 words! if you made it this far, you deserve a treat! or more than a dozen! so have some random pictures of one of my favourite animals: the mara! (i always describe it as a visual mix of kangaroo & rabbit, but see & judge for yourself:)

5 Likes

I start all mine at $0. I like the feeling of security it gives me from having one free derailment, just in case I didn’t set up the goal as best I could have. It also helps ease me into a new habit because it’s initially not as high-pressure.

That sounds like this blog post: 1000 Days of Fruits and Vegetables | Beeminder Blog
Starting with one per day and slowly increasing is exactly the sort of thing I had in mind when I wrote that. Anything easy that helps you eat more veggies is good!

Excellent collection of mara photos. : )

3 Likes

Thanks so much for the journal entry! I liked hearing your thoughts, comparing where we are the same or different, and just hearing about all the different things in all the different areas.

I also like the word “smol” — although, because of subculture reasons, it tends to have a particular connotation for me, rather than being an exact synonym of “small”. Still cute, though!

And thanks for the mara pictures! I realized I probably hadn’t seen pictures of mara for several years… time flies.

2 Likes

I relate to this :smiling_face_with_tear:

How To Not Be Afraid Of Large Pledge Caps Anymore

I’ve decided to not hide it so it’s not hidden. So there’s nothing to see here. Hello :slightly_smiling_face:

If you messed up and created too much goals and end up with days where there is just too much stuff to really get things done, you can always contact the support and cancel the derailment.

It took me a few months to understand it, but the goal of beeminder is to nudge us into doing something instead of punishing us for not doing it.

I was sick a few days ago and I was overwhelmed with goals, so I picked what I could realistically do and done them. Some of the goals, I could’ve done even when being sick so i didn’t call derailment. But for the others, (e.g. doing a 5km run - i don’t really have a goal like this but it serves illustration purposes pretty well), then I felt OK asking for a cancellation. Never in any world of the multiverse I did a marathon this sick day.

So pledge caps look scary, but in reality, they shouldn’t!
You will probably never pay the 90$ fine because for you, doing the thing is worth it.

Sorry for the tangent but I hope that it helps you avoid my error of being scared of beeminder at some point (I think @grayson has some stories about this too if I recall correctly)

LOL! You should ask to remove the limitation. But you might be personally asked to contribute to the hosting fees at some point… but I’ll help because I like your posts

1 Like

As @sheik mentioned, it’s been a long hard road (still being traveled!) for me to move away from the “derailing is failing” mindset. So long and hard that I’ve been absent from Beeminder for months to years at a time — archiving everything in a fit of “aaaaaah this is stressing me out instead of helping me get things done.” I’ve always come back, though, because I know deeply and intensely that the underlying principle is powerful and if I can figure out how to use it correctly, not only will it make me more productive — it will also fundamentally change my relationship with myself.

Others have described the pledge you pay on derailing as the value of NOT doing that thing on this day: the worthwhile price of choosing self-care when things blow up and there’s too much to do. I am still learning how to harness that viewpoint. I am seeing the life-changing — this really is not hyperbole — power of a system that gently confronts me with the terrible narratives I tell me about myself. In particular, I have a narrative that I’m easily overwhelmed and can’t have too much on my plate. Beeminder gives me a structure for seeing that, weighing it, and figuring out how to gradually dismantle it. Being able to say, it’s worth $10 or $30 to me to not have to do X today, because I feel overwhelmed, and that’s okay because I have a bad story about myself and I’m working to change it and choosing to derail is a clear statement that I have compassion for me and it’s okay to be right where I am now. Beeminder goals I never derailed on would be Beeminder goals that reinforced my negative narratives.

Framed this way, it can even be something to celebrate that my pledge has risen to (say) $90 — it means I’ve made the compassionate choice three times, and the higher the pledge, the more I value being compassionate to myself.

This is where I’m headed — feels a little scary, but all the worthwhile things do.

3 Likes

I’m in love with everything you’re saying here. The following isn’t ready for publication yet but since we’re buried in the depths of enbee’s journal here maybe I can run this by you:

2 Likes

Wonderful! I love going the step further to “derailing it is nailing it.” Yes. That’s what I’ve been trying to get at — not only is derailing not laming out, it’s part and parcel of being your best self. Never derailing is playing it safe, and while “safe” is a fine thing to be, it actually functions as an encumbrance if you know you’re not your best self and you’re working to become that.

I’ve already said this a few weeks back to Alys in a PM, but let me say it here too: anything I write in this forum, past present future, is fair game for quotation in a Beeminder post / email / whatever. You don’t need to ask permission. Anything I’d want to keep private is a thing I keep far, far away from the internet :).

3 Likes

REACTIONS AND REPLIES

WOW! when i wrote that longest of rambles (the first of enbee’s entries), i would have never guessed that so many people would read along. thank you so much! <3
i’m also happy that you enjoyed the mara photo dump! i will make this a Regular Thing now, a mara photo epilogue to all my posts here. (although not with as many pictures as last time. and down the line, eventually, there might be one or two, or a dozen, that you’ve seen before, if you looked at all of them, simply because my memory is Very Often non-existent! :)


@alys yes, it was definitely the blog post i thought about, thank you for linking it!


@olimay i have my suspicions, but just to be sure: what specific connations has “smol” for you?


@sheik

It took me a few months to understand it, but the goal of beeminder is to nudge us into doing something instead of punishing us for not doing it.

this is a perfect way of putting it, thank you! i’ve been thinking about this a lot, and i’ll hopefully remember it when i tell my therapist about beeminder again XD i only touched on the topic of beeminder briefly once at the end of a session, and her reaction was something like (very simplified) “oh no, punishment bad! let’s think about rewards next time!” but nudging-not-punishing is a way better way of explaining it! (plus, it’s not like i need to think about additional rewards in my life. i don’t think i have the problem that i reward myself too little for things.^^)

about the character limit: i won’t ask to eliminate or extend it XD contributing to hosting fees is not worth it, when i can simply split my overly long posts into two. or three. or five. whatever it takes. :P also, if there’s no character limit, there’s no hard limit that tells me “this post is too long, you need to stop already and come to a point!” XD limits are useful, sometimes!

:smiling_face_with_three_hearts::pleading_face::sob::smiling_face_with_three_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


@grayson thank you for your detailed thoughts!
for me, reframing derailments as the value of not doing the thing is not very intuitive yet, but it sounds like a very good goal to reach! so far, my thought process is:

  • low pledge cap ($5, $10): for a thing which is moderately important to me and/or easy enough for me to stick to. also for things where i expect a lot of regular derailments.
  • high pledge cap ($90): i want the number/s to scare me into Really Doing The Thing, like keeping on top of my uni studies. i only use high pledge caps for things that i feel are Supremely Important, so far. [i don’t really know where that mindset comes from, that uni studies have this priority over, say, my daily steps goal, but the priorities are there, and unpacking them would probably merit a whole other post. {i guess it’s also worth mentioning that there’s a huge difference in how akratic these two tasks are for me.}]
  • that wouldn’t necesarily mean that missing 1 day of 10-minute study-time would be “worth” $90—i have no idea what it would be worth. that’s probably impossible to tell. and it might even vary greatly, week to week:
  • missing 1 day a week is easy to catch up on, and would probably be worth $5 or $10 or so.
  • missing 4 days for 2 weeks straight might also still be possible to catch up on, but there would be the real-life-cost of Horrible Mental State during the inevitable Binge-Catch-Up-Phase (which should translate into a higher monetary value, because that’s a thing that beeminder would ideally help me avoid).
  • but let’s say i would miss 4 days for 3 weeks straight. then the next week i’d only miss 1 day … i’d still have to pay $90 for that single day, even if missing Only One Day at that time wouldn’t be as bad as missing many more days the previous weeks …
  • i don’t really know what my point is, other than that “the value of not doing the thing” doesn’t seem to be an intuitive, universial concept for me (or maybe my thought process is all wrong somewhere, or maybe my pledge caps aren’t set ideally / aren’t calibrated along the right reasons!).

anyway, i wish you the best of luck with your derailing-is-not-failing-journey! sounds like you have a lot of things figured out for yourself already!


@dreev thank you for linking the derailing-it-is-nailing-it-blog-draft! super interesting read! i think my biggest take-away is that setting aspirational goals means you will reach a higher average than if you “play it safe,” but obviously it also means you’ll probably derail sometimes.
for anyone who’s not seen it yet, here’s the by now published blog post: Derailing It Is Nailing It | Beeminder Blog.

also, i love how my inability to be consice makes just 5 posts down enbee’s entries already seem like

of it XD


CURRENT PLANS FOR STRUCTURING ENBEE’S ENTRIES

  • when drafting each new post, i’ll go through my last post and make notes on everything that feels worth updating, expanding on, etc.
  • i’ll keep the same order and structure of my previous post, if it makes sense. if i omit a section once, i probably won’t get back to it, because i think i’ll only ever have the brainspace to read through only The Most Previous of my posts each time i make a new one.
  • i’ll reply to other people’s comments at the top of a new post, in the order they were posted. (i might not reply to Every Single Comment in the future, we’ll see XD)

BRIEF BREAKDOWN OF CURRENT AND PAST GOALS

  • archived: whew (autodata garmin intensity minutes goal) is now gone. between my fist and this post here, i tried a few goal changes (like occasional manual ratcheting). however, while this goal was too difficult / not at all representative enough of my “sporty” activity in the beginning, it ended up being too easy with the new heart rate zone settings later on. it wasn’t aspirational, it basically just sat on my dashboard and i didn’t do anything with it, so i decided to archive it. i might revive it eventually if i can find the brainspace to figure it out better, or i might just use a different method of tracking sporty things in the future.
  • flosses (manual flossing goal) underwent no changes to its goal settings since my last post, at least none that i can remember. i’m happy with the rate of 4/week for now. might up it to 5/week if i’m feeling brave and motivated and aspirational, in a few weeks/months. currently i don’t think that i’d ever need/want to go beyond that, but i guess we’ll see what my dentist says whenver i see her again.^^
  • onefoot (autodata garmin steps goal) underwent occasional manual ratcheting, which then turned into rigorous daily ratcheting to 0 safe days each morning. i also upped the number from 5 000 steps/day by 500 steps each week, starting february 11th. both of those things fell off the wagon when i started to get sick mid-march, and turned out to have covid. i’ve since started my consistent manual ratcheting again, and i also started upping the goal by 500 steps again each week; it’s currently at 8 100 steps/day.
    • i have this rule for myself that, regardless of what beeminder says, i need to meet my daily goal every single day. if i don’t, i have to add +100 steps to the commitment the next day. that’s why it’s currently set at 8 100 instead of 8 000. (even with manual ratcheting to 0 buffer each day, sometimes beeminder wants me to do only 5 543 steps a day, for example. if i do more than that but less than the 8 100 i’ve committed to, i need to add +100. kind of a midway-solution i came up with, to keep not only beeminder but also myself happy/on track.^^)
  • new: 1923 (manual minutes of uni work goal) is my, so far, one and only uni work goal. (the seminar i’m doing this semester is about the year 1923, if you’re wondering about the name.) not many data points yet, unfortunately, and two derails so far, as you can see. this goal has a $90 pledge cap (!!). the rate is set at 10 minutes/day. the huge, unhealthy jump comes from binge-working and all-nightering in preparation for my presentation on april 17th. i didn’t ratchet down the wild number of safe days i currently have here because the presentation is finished (yay!) and the next deadline not immediately looming (and will also be less work than the presentation, i think). the graph feels really ugly and sad to look at compared to most of my others, because of the lack of data points. i need/want/feel like i should do better. (although the purple swath i added today helps a bit to counter that perception at least?) some frogs just need to get eaten, unfortunately! (see Minding my goals (ian's corner) - #37 by ianminds and my reply post immediately after.)
  • new: 22advents (manual goal for re-reading all of @alysdecember 2022 beeminder “advent calendar” posts) is the first goal where i’ve set clear, unchangable (or i guess not-to-be-changed-able) boundaries on from the beginning. there’s a defined number of forum posts to go through (24), and i’ve given myself until june 30th to do so. (half a year into the new year seems like a pretty good deadline for this, and is also very achievable, considering that i created this goal at the end of april).
    • in retrospect, the “22” is in the title is a bit misleading, because i keep thinking “but there’s twenty-four posts!” until i remember that “22” refers to 2022 … but this is a point so minor and inconsequential that it probably won’t bother me for much longer, i just wanted to mention it anecdotally and in case anyone reading this might also be confused by the name.
  • new: dj (autodata duolingo goal for japanese) was created almost on a whim, to help me keep up a minor streak of regular japanese practice once again. so far it’s worked swimmingly, i have a perfect (!!) 50+ day streak atm. most days i meet or exceed my 50xp/day goal. on some days i just do 10xp or so to really just keep up the streak. all valid and good and i’m happy with it. manual ratcheting used to be at 5 or so days before my covid infection. i’m currently leaving it at 7 days, because i don’t want to overwhelm myself. i don’t think i’ll up the xp-min for now, although maybe i should consider this eventually. one problem that would create would be the tracking of my daily xp. if i’m not mistaken, the beeminder app only displays the total xp on any given day, so i’d have to calculate the difference in my head each day, to see if i reached, say, 70xp that day. that sounds tedious to me if it’s an unintuitive number. (the “50” i currently have is only a semi-intuitive number, but the good thing about 50xp in duolingo is that Almost Every Single Day “reach 50xp” is one of my duolingo-internal goals, so i can Very Easily check if i meet that goal each day!)
    • i created this a few days after a real-life-friend sent me a, probably automated, “message” on duolingo, asking me to come back and study again after a three-month-break. that friend being among my reasons for starting to learn japanese in the first place additionally helped me pick it up again!
  • new: ndu (manual goal to help me create things for an uni application) is my first and so far only foray into fractional beeminding. that came about not fully intentionally, but it’s proven very useful. the rate is currently set at 2/week. i’ve had my share of derailments, this graph looks sad and a bit worrysome as well, especially recently. i really need to get back to it! (that’s always the most difficult thing; isn’t it?)
    what exactly am i tracking here? for an application to a one-year uni course i want to start in the fall, i need to hand in 3-4 creative things (plus a book concept). i don’t have a habit of creating creative things, except maybe writing, but they’re not looking for text, they rather want drawings/collages/photographs, etc. i already have solid ideas for most of my things, and solid or great drafts as well. the next steps are more “difficult” (less “fun”?): doing more practice, creating the actual, finished things. it will help (i hope!) that there’s an online-info-meeting about the course in the beginning of may, and that there’s only two dates where i can take the entrance “exam” (?), one at the beginning of june (too soon, probably), the other in mid-august.
  • new: nofpy (manual goal) stands for “no foot picking yesterday”. it’s set at 1/day, all day, every day, with zero post-derail-respite. all data input counts for the previous day, to make sure that it’s accurate. (even if the last thing i did before going to bed would be +1ing this goal, i could still then proceed to pick at my feet when i’m in bed, so i can’t have it count for the same day!) the deadline is set at 15:00 to account for sleeping in. (if i set it to midnight i might forget to input data until the evening, and by then i might not remember the correct data to input for the previous day …) this was the first time i’ve set the starting pledge for a goal at $5! the pledge cap is still at $10, though. i’ve had my fair share of derailments on this one, only one of them non-legit, i think. (looking at my beeminder bank history again, this goal has made up at least 80% of the money i’ve spent on derailments so far!) the graph still looks really pretty and successfull, though, because i’ve had this goal for well over two months and it forces me to enter a daily data point.
further thoughts on my nofpy-goal / detailed descriptions of the habits i want to kick with this. CONTENT WARNINGS: mentions of skin picking and related actions, like nail biting; blood; self-harm; addictive behaviour

i’ve had the habit of picking at the skin of my fingers since childhood, i think. this came and went in phases sometimes, was more and less extreme at times, usually also went along with nail biting. a while ago, i also picked up the habit of picking at the skin of my lips. most recently, i’ve picked up the habit of picking at the skin of the soles of my feet. this surprised even me when it first started, because it’s the most cumbersome of them all, and i can’t even remember how it started. (probably a day when i had blisters at my feet. it’s always fun to pick at blisters, if they’re just layers of skin with air inside them. it’s much less fun when it turns so excessive that it hurts and/or i go so deep it starts bleeding. it’s much less fun when it gets addictive, basically.)
why was this goal created for stopping the feet-picking first, instead of the lip-picking or finger-picking? well, for one, as the newest habit i’m hoping it might be the easiest one to kick first. but most importantly, my mother wanted to send me to an orthopaedist to get insoles for my feet, which requires them to make a plaster cast of my feet. i actually had that appointement a few weeks ago. i definitely think my feet looked better than they had when i first started picking at them. they looked presentable enough. unfortunately, two days before the spontaneous appointement, i had picked at my feet, so a little scratch-like wound was still visible. doctor’s comment: “ah, you injured yourself here.” me: “…” anyway, i’m counting that as a half-success. could have been worse! i literally only learned of the appointement the day in question, so there was no way i could have used that as an additional conscious push to do better with this. anyway, the goal will stay, of course, even if the original main motivation (orthopaedist-appointement) is in the past!
i do hope that i’ll be able to archive it eventually, when the habit is fully gone. then i’ll tackle the other two issues, one after the other. however, i’ve been toying with the idea that the other goals might need to be do less goals, instead of yes/no do more goals. finger picking and lip picking comes so easily to me, it’s such an unconscious thing for me at times. and i do it way more often in a day, at times, than feet picking, which requires naked feet, and which i never did more than once or twice a day, at most. i would feel like a complete and utter failure if i decided that a single finger-pick a day could make me derail instantly. such a cold-turkey-approach wouldn’t be useful here, i think. it will probably be better to either have this as a do less goal, or to implement microstings—a great idea i learned about only recently!
judging from my notes about the first and second derailments of this goal, i have improved with this a lot! that’s amazing! i no longer have itchy feet. (if a wound is big enough, it always itches when it heals.) [itching means i want to scratch, and scratching can very easily lead to other things …] i haven’t recently noticed a lot of fully erratic/addictive feet-picking sessions where i don’t even consciously grasp what i’m doing until it’s already too late. it’s still gonna take a long while until i will only pick at my feet in a harmless manner again, but i’m confident i’ll get there by the end of this year! (fingers crossed, i guess!)

PLEDGE CAP THOUGHTS
i originally wasn’t going to include this section, it was going to be the only old one from my previous post that i wouldn’t replicate here in some form, but i do feel like writing these things down is always helpful to me, and re-reading this draft again up to here made me again have Strong Opinions on this, so here we are:

  • a high pledge cap works on my uni goal (1923) for me, so far. doing a few minutes of uni work is a conscious behaviour i simply need to make time for. if the rate is low enough (which it is: 10 minutes/day) that means i can Make Time for it any time. (which i have, so far, within reasonable bounds. the next pledge currently stands at $10, but i also very much know that with this goal, contrary to all my others, $10 would turn into $30 would turn into $90 … *scary thought make mind go panic!*)
  • a high pledge cap wouldn’t work for me for my nofpy goal, i think. this is about a mostly or partly unconscious behaviour. contrary to the uni goal, i wouldn’t always (ever? rarely? barely?) Think About The Consequences before Doing The Action. i would simply end up loosing $90 A Whole Huge Lot Of The Time, and pretty soon go broke. this seems undesirable in many ways.
  • the only other two goals i’ve derailed on at least once so far are ndu and onefoot. is a pledge cap change in order here? (i don’t think a pledge cap change in the others would do anything, since i clearly have no problems keeping up with them so far.)
    • ndu: maybe? it might help to get me out of the current derailment-leads-to-next-derailment-spiral! worth a try, probably! CONCLUSION: upped pledge cap to $30! ($90 feels excessive, somehow?)
    • onefoot: i don’t think it’s needed here. i haven’t yet paid once for this (first derailment was at $0), and i very much enjoy keeping up with this goal. at the current rate and with the current weekly committment-changes i’m still “gucci,” as the kids might say. (do the kids say that? i feel like i just stole it from some movie, so they probably very much Don’t say it. XD) CONCLUSION: fine as is!
  • if i want my $90 pledge cap to scare me away from Not Doing The Thing, why do i keep it at just $90? why not push it even further? worst case, i might one day actually reach and have to pay $90; but then i could just lower the pledge cap to $90 again and be safe (and within more reasonable monetary boundaries again) in just one week … something to ponder!

UPDATE ON OLD AND NEW THINGS I AM/WAS PRETTY SURE I ALREADY LEARNED

  • green means “go! go! go faster! go harder! do the thing again to keep it green! :D” was definitely applicable only for a little while. now, with more goals in the red/orange/blue regularly, i usually don’t look at my green goals too much, because they’re not the most urgent. /:
  • for new goals, i learned that creating the goal right after Doing The Thing (for the first time) can be a perfect way to trick myself into having a goal for it! this only works when there’s not as much starting pressure, of course. but starting the goal on a high note (= data point above 0 immediately after goal creation) feels great!
  • the longer i don’t do a thing, the more likely i am to fall off the wagon and forget about it. getting back into things is always the most difficult, isn’t it? this was visibly true for my flossing goal, where i had to get up from bed again a few times, and had to go back into bathroom because didn’t remember to floss after teeth brushing, but needed/wanted to, because i was in the orange/red. this was not true for my japanese practice, however, which the goal helped me pick up again after months with zero problems/forgetfulness, so it’s not universally applicable for all tasks/goals.

THINGS I’M STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT

  • i don’t know how people with 10+ goals do it! i get overwhelmed with just my 6 (recently 7) active ones, some days. i guess the key is probably to have green-amount-of-days of buffer on most goals. my colour-feelings right now are thus, roughly:
    • green = great; don’t necessarily need to do anything about it, and often won’t
    • blue = okay, but should do it (but often won’t :grimacing:)
    • orange = ohno! please do it, Present Me, so that Future Me doesn’t have to struggle!
    • red = :flushed::sob::scream:
  • how often to create new goals. this is not an immediate problem, since i’m pretty satisfied with my current ones. but there’s a few things i’ll eventually want to/should beemind as well, and i think setting hard limits for myself (like “no more than 1 new goal per week/month”) will do me good. and/or mentally sorting my goals into categories / by urgency. and/or getting into the habit of looking at each and every goal Every Single Day like @shanaqui does.
  • this is not strictly beeminder-related, but: how do i (want to) spend my time? right now it works roughly like this: i have 2 jobs which amount to a total of 24 hours/week without overtime. (so often much more.) i have my uni course this semester. otherwise there’s not really any consistent responsibilities. i organise freetime-activities with friends, once-a-month-ish. i visit my mother at least once a week. meeting friends often happens spontaneously / on an irregular schedule, obviously. and otherwise? my ma thesis work, eventually (after the current uni course is finished [but then it’ll still be parallel to the new uni course i want to start in the fall …])? cleaning my room regularly? more consistent japanese practice? maybe really picking up korean as well (beautiful alphabet!)? a million, trillion other things i want to do, and/or feel like i should be doing, and/or enjoy doing only when i’m doing them as procrastination for something else? trying to make new friends? taking up again lost hobbies? when what how when where when? a day only has so many hours …

THINGS I HAD TRIED TO STILL FIGURE OUT LAST TIME THAT ARE NOW (MOSTLY) SOLVED! (YAY!)

  • how to perfect onefoot: i think manual ratcheting each day to 0 buffer is the way to go! i was pretty happy with that before i got covid, and i’ve also been surprisingly rigorous and honest about it. plus, the current rule of +500 steps each week and an additional +100 when i don’t meet my aspirational goal seems to work well so far also.
  • how to perfect whew: “solved” by archiving it for now, see above.
  • how to make sure i won’t burn out with too many / too ambitious goals / how to deal with my goals if i feel overwhlemed and/or burnt out: since i don’t have that many goals yet, this hasn’t been a capital-p-Promblem so far. however, i do feel that it can quickly become a problem. i guess i will need to both be more aware of my goals / look at them more regularly and only use legit derailing as a last resort. if i derail one week, get a week of buffer, then derail again the next week, then derail again the next week, … it just gets more and more difficult to pick things back up … (so i guess this isn’t really “solved,” but also i don’t feel like i’ve burnt out on beeminder, and anyways this feels like a constantly-open question that probably won’t have a Single Solve even just for myself that’ll Always be applicable For The Rest Of My Life.)

WHAT TO BEEMIND NEXT (BOLD = DESCRIPTIONS OR ASPIRATIONAL GOAL NAMES), WITH A BAD ATTEMPT AT ASSIGNING DIFFERENT PRIORITIES

  • beeboos: lower mid priority; see last of the misc thoughts below
  • beest: higher mid priority; see second-to-last misc thoughts below
  • freg: mid priority: eating more/consistently fruits and veggies
  • getting to work on time: lower mid priority
    • for the one job i don’t really have fixed starting hours, for the other there are office hours, but so few calls come in these days that it doesn’t really matter if i’m late; i’ll have to stay later anyway to end up at my weekly total of work hours. ideally, though, i would be on time at least 3 or 4, if not all 5, days of the work week! (recently i restarted an adultris in my bullet journal again and made this one of the tasks that would let me place a tetromino, so this has become slightly less of a problem, but might still benefit from beeminding, probably.)
  • guns: mid priority: gmail-zero-unread-e-mails autodata goal
    • very on the fence about the name, on the one hand i hate it, on the other i think it’s funny
  • intea: mid or high priority: intuitive eating goal/s, like for reading the book and then also somehow tracking my intuitive eating habits, somehow
  • japanese: mid priority
    • a duolingo goal exists already, but i downloaded skritter and have yet to check it out, also i believe a handwriting-goal would be neat, and possibly others, for other apps i should/could be using again, like renshuu
  • korean: low priority, would probably start with another duolingo autodata goal. (i just renamed my duolingo-japanese goal from “duo” to “dj” because i realised that if i get another duolingo goal i’d have to either name it “duo2” or live with an asymmetric naming between the two—i’m now very happy with having a “dj” goal, and with the prospect of getting a “dk” one. XD)
  • matt: low priority: master’s thesis. low priority at least until this semester’s course is successfully completed …
  • monthly goals: mid priority. the idea would be to start a “monthly goals accountability thread” on the forum, where i have to either do some work towards any of my monthly goals each day / twice a week / etc., or i have to justify why i didn’t/couldn’t do it. (i was on the fence about this idea when i first wrote this draft, but forgetting about it in the meantime and now re-reading it, i am actually a fan! might start with just having to post in the forum and counting that as a success regardless of if there’s been work done towards a monthly goal, just to get a feeling for the goal …)
  • newhew: mid priority (a newer, improved version of my archived whew goal)
  • poe_m: low priority, for continuing to learn poe’s raven by heart
    • i’d started doing this last summer (?) and fell of the wagon so much that i’d need a few days to review the first few verses before i could even continue where i’d left off. very much in love with the goal name, though! XD
  • reading: low priority (this would refer to books; i’m realising that reading webtoons is also reading; see below)
  • regular data backups: higher mid priority
  • rooc: mid priority: cleaning my room, somehow, and then keeping it clean
  • voluntary creative things: low priority (also quite a bit on the fence about this one)
  • webtoons: mid priority. i have now for the second (third??) time fallen fully behind on all of my webtoons, and i didn’t even remember to open the app to check out my favourite one, which only updates twice a month anyway! i think it would be a good idea to use this as another “fun” thing to beemind.

MISC THOUGHTS

  • still going strong with gratitude journaling and keeping my perfect (!) 100+ streak on the forum so far! on “bad days,” this takes a little (or a lot) of effort, but i’m very proud of my perfect streak so far—without any goal about this anywhere. sometimes fun things don’t need incentives! :)
  • whenever i get a subscription, i might go for $16/month right off the bat, which gives me autoratcheting. manual ratcheting doesn’t yet annoy me to infinity, though, so i might first also go for just $8/month, because that would at least grant me the gmail-whittle-down-goal. $16 would also get me weekends off and the integrated (?) graph editor, though …
  • Grayson's Beeminder Journal - #27 by grayson — i found this to be a super crucial read!! thank you so much, @grayson! very inspirintg! both the major change of it, and the systems-divider-mindset of it. i feel like, outlining all my current and potential beeminder goals here, it will be interesting to see how i look back on this list in five, ten years. how my expectations will be different. i guess it’ll be a long and difficult road of introspection, mostly. (what do i truly want? how important is it? how can i achieve it? what do i need beemindery help with?)
    i feel like the system-devider thing is so crucial (!!) as well. i’m already doing only a semi-good job at this.—i recently-ish migrated all my work-related tasks from habitica to todoist. i don’t think i’m 100% in love with todoist, but i’m definitely 100% in love with having all my work-related tasks in one place that doesn’t have other distractions! i just need to still perfect my todoist setup, now that it’s been a few months and i actually know a bit better how todoist works / how i use it. (new potential beeminder task; beeist, or maybe beest‽) perfecting a setup, for me, is always difficult and annoying (ah, akrasia)!
    i also already contemplated what to do with all my non-work-tasks in the long run. i do dislike the current habitica-and-beeminder-double-set-up already. (i also have a flossing daily on habitica, for example. so far it’s not been too annoying to input the same data twice, but these things always tend to accumulate …) so yeah, i’ll need to grab myself by the back of the neck like a grown fox does a baby fox, and carry myself into a hyperfocus session of Doing The Uncomfortable Thing so that i’ll be more organised in the long run …
  • i feel like my beeminder forum bookmarks are in danger of getting out of hand. currently they’re a mix of “posts that will be bookmarked forever because i want to be able to refer back to them if i ever need to” and “posts that should only be bookmarked temporarily, until i have time to look through them and act accordingly (read into a productivity system, etc.)”. this smells like a great setup for a new possible goal to create in the future as well, beeboos or something (beeminder bookmarks)! wow, what a fun goal name! :D makes me want to create it immediately XD

MARA PICTURES EPILOGUE

3 Likes

time for my very late was-once-quaterly-now-more-thirdly-beeminder journal entry :)

CURRENT PLANS FOR STRUCTURING ENBEE’S ENTRIES

since i mostly ignored this thread for the past half year, i think it’s about time i aspire to make it less mobile-unfriedly (because writing these huuuge posts isn’t only mobile-unfriedly, it’s also writer-unfriendly, which means less, if any, posts will be written). in practice, i’ll try to ramble less and stick to just a few key sections. let’s see how that works out :sweat_smile:

GENERAL NEWS SINCE LAST POST

  • i now have a premium subscription (bee plus)! hooray for time based and student discounts!
    • all my goals are auto-ratcheted now; the default is 7 days, a select few have fewer days
  • in mid-september, i made everything except my email goals have only 2 days of post-derail-respite (see also my dedicated post to post-derail-respite: thoughts on post-derail respite)
  • this isn’t really news, but just to make a not of it: my starting pledge, unless otherwise stated, is always $0, and my standard pledge cap is still $5.
  • i don’t have a duolingo subscription anymore, as of today. i am already annoyed, but maybe i’ll prevail, we’ll see!

ARCHIVED GOALS

  • /1923 is archived because it’s finished; the semester is over, i have my grade, and the extra-curricular thing i agreed to do for a small fee can’t be completed unless i hear back from the prof, which at this point i doubt will still be happening. (but i already got the money, so no complaints there.)

  • /22advents was successfully completed, without even derailing once :)

  • /dlspo was created on a whim as a manual do less goal to limit my general skin pickings. i set the original rate at a maximum of 5/day, which in retrospect was way too low. after only one month i archived it, because i didn’t work for a number of reasons. (rate too low, mix of forgetfullness and sometimes intentionally not entering a data point when i should have). maybe i’ll try to work out if i can create a custom goal that displays always the same y-axis for a do-less-goal, and doesn’t steadily climb. (kind of like my gmuns goal looks.) if/when i recreate this, i will certainly set a much much higher starting rate and then over time slowly increase difficulty once i have a good picture of what my norm is.

  • /ndu was successfully completed (insofar as that i sent off the application in time and have by now already started the course; not insofar as i’d meant to create a lot of fancy things for the application that i didn’t end up creating at all).

  • /noapy was created on the same whim and day as /dlspo, this was a manual do more goal equivalent to /nofpy, to stop picking on the scar on my right arm that originated from a truly small thing (paper cut? idr). archived because the wound had basically healed, and towards the end i was more and more frequently forgetting (“forgetting”?) to enter data points / got increasingly annoyed at my derails on this. going forward, a much better strategy for these goals might be to instead track positive replacement behaviours. (still need to get a fidget ring …)

  • /nofpy is the only one of my “no/less [type of] skin picking” goals that was pretty much successfully archived. i still very occasionally pick at the skin of my feet, but it’s not a habit anymore like it was then.

  • /phonetransfer was a manual goal to finally transfer all of my apps (over 50 :flushed:) and images from my old phone to my new phone. looking back, i am surprised that i only derailed once on it! i do remember i hated the goal, but i also know i wouldn’t have gotten anything done without it, so in retrospect i very much love the goal :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

CHANGES TO OLD GOALS

  • /dj, my autodata duolingo japanese goal, underwent quite a few changes in the last months. the current rate is 150xp per day. my mean delta is currently 211, but i’m happy with the “lower rate” for various reasons (duo is not Wonderful, who knows if i’ll be able to stick with the free version, i have a lot of other apps and resources i want to focus on as well, …).

  • /flosses—i have it in my notes that i decreased the pledge cap for this from $10 (?) to $5. it is beyond me why i would have ever set the pledge cap for this goal to more than $5, but anyway. last time i wrote that i’d contemplated increasing the rate from 4/week to 5/week, but i haven’t done that and will probably wait to do that until my dentist tells me i should. (fingers crossed that won’t happen :p)

  • /onefoot is auto-ratcheted to only one safe day, and has by now reached its “peak” rate at 10 000 steps/day. i’m not supremely happy with that, but i don’t know how i could sensibly incrase it, so i likely won’t. (if i increase the rate without being more lenient with the auto-ratched i will probably just end up being more lazy than i currently am.) [case and point, some old notes about this goal: “an out-of-town-trip with my flatmate one day resulted in 34 999 steps, which gave me 3 days of buffer that i didn’t manually ratchet down (no subscription yet at the time, so no auto-ratchet). the subsequent days turned out to be much lazier, i didn’t meet my at-the-time-goal of 9 900 steps on any of them. (the immediate days after the trip were actually ok with 7 000 and 9 000 steps, but a few days after that i really ate into my buffer with only 1 200 and 3 600 steps.)”]

NEW GOALS

  • /books is a manual goal that makes sure i read at least a little bit ever couple of days. only free-time-reading books count for this. the starting rate for this was 1 page/week, which turned out to be much too conservative very quickly, i’m now at 1 page/day, which pairs nicely with the 1-day auto-ratchet i have set up for this. really really glad my desire to read has been rekindled (taking a whole course on book-making and looking at beautiful books on the internet will do that to you :purple_heart:), and really grateful that beeminder will help me keep up with it! :purple_heart:

  • /dk, autodata duolingo goal for korean, equivalent to my /dj goal for duolingo-japanese with 150xp/day, also has all the same settings. (standard 7 days auto-ratchet, standard starting pledge $0, cap at $5.)

  • /gmuns (gmail unreads) is my autodata gmail goal for having zero unread emails in my inbox. this was my first goal after i got premium, i think. i set the deadline from my regular 6-a.m.-deadline to 6 p.m., to make sure i’m awake when it approaches.

  • /immersion is a manual goal for general language immersion, counting only japanese and korean in preparation for the trip next year. one full song, one full episode, one full movie count as +1. at least 10 minutes of an episode/movie count as +1. listening to music for hours on end counts as +1 (unless it would be japanese and korean music, then it would be +1 for each.) listening to music in the morning and then again in the evening, even if it’s the same language, would count as +2, although that doesn’t really happen. i feel like the data points for this were once public, but they seem to be private now. i doubt anyone would be interested, but i might make them public again.

  • /jalup is a manual goal that tracks my jalup app practices. i get a +1 if i do at least 5 successful reviews / learn 5 new cards. in practice, i do more than that each day, but only once, so it’s been in a constant red-to-orange edge-skatey state recently.

  • /japjap is my first try at an autodata google docs goal, counting my japanese app practices. my goal is to do 1 additional japanese app practice for an app that doesn’t have a dedicated goal (memrise; i only have a korean memrise goal / kanji study / kanji tree / renshuu). i have too many resources! i can’t afford to make all of them into their own goals. let’s see how this one goes! (i’m especially curious if the urlminder integration will make it feel more, or less, or equally as tedious as my other manually entered language goals.)

  • /jkandwrite, named as a pun on “shut up and write”, was also, like /japjap, newly created this very day. (it’s probably a bad idea to create two new goals on the same day, but it’s wednesday, it’s a holiday, a middle-of-the-week-holiday, i was feeling fun and free and optimistic—we’ll see how it goes! XD) this one shall force me to handwrite at least one word/phrase/sentence of japanese and korean (each) every day. i am very hopeful for this goal, because i believe handwriting is good practice, and even more importantly, it’s something i’m incredibly akratic about and thus never end up doing (starting hurdle and all that).

  • /kem is a manual goal that tracks my korean memrise practices. also recently incredibly edge-skatey, but since i have yet to derail on this once, that seems fine. [i can practically feel my future self :grimacing::grimacing:ing all over my current ““practice”” of regularly edge-skating on 7-9 goals each day … on the other hand, i believe i get more lazy with orange goals than i do with red ones, at least where language practice is concerned … we’ll see what i’ll have to say about all this the next time!]

  • /mailog is another autodata gmail whittle down goal, to whittle down my backlog of emails which was necessary to create so that my /gmuns goal could be born … original backlog: 113 emails, which grew out of my standard 10 for a few months before my vacation in the beginning of july, and then obviously skyrocketed during the vacation. (most of the outstanding mails were luckily patreon or kickstarter notifications that didn’t really require any actions.) this one has a pledge cap of $90. only one email is left, which requires me to open a package i haven’t opened in months, and write an acquaintance i haven’t talked to in years, so we’ll see if $5 will be enough to motivate me to do that, or if it’ll take a higher incentive … (i very much doubt it’ll go up to $90, though!)

  • /skritter is my autodata skritter goal for japanese. i only became aware of this app thanks to the beeminder integration, and i’m pretty happy with it. my rate is 10 minutes/day. this is another one of the recently very-edge-skatey-ones …

  • /ttmik is a manual goal that tracks how many talk to me in korean video / audio lessons i watch / listen to / review. very edge-skatey, too. rate at 1.5/day was initially meant to mean “1 new thing (+1), 1 review (+0.5, going through a lesson for the second time and making notes of relevant timestamps)”, but recently it became more “+1 new thing; +2 new things; +1 new thing; +2 new things” … probably not the best way i could be beeminding all this …

  • /whoatidyflat is a fun name to me, because it abbreviates to “wtf” and i’m a childish kid at heart ;P this is similar, but not fully equivalent, to my /rooc goal mentioned last time. this one was set up with 5 minutes/day, by now increased to 10, auto-ratcheted at 2 safe days. the loooooooong starting buffer was to take into account a “vacation” where i wasn’t staying at my own place.
    creating a goal with a starting buffer so long that after it’s run out you can’t simply delete the goal, because it’s older than 7 days already? great life hack!

WHAT TO BEEMIND NEXT (with no assigned priorities this time, because i didn’t use them for anything, anyway)

  • /beeboos: keeping on top of my beeminder bookmarks; as mentioned previously
  • /beest: perfecting my todoist setup; as mentioned previously
  • /finger: fidget ring goal (buying/using) / general replacement-for-skin-picking goal; name is “punny”: fidget ring makes fing, and obviously my fingers are used for skin picking / would have to be used for any replacement activities :p
  • /freg: eating more/consistently fruits and veggies; as mentioned previously
  • /intea: intuitive eating goal/s, like for reading the book and then also tracking my intuitive eating habits; as mentioned previously
  • /intouch: keeping in touch with friends and acquaintances i don’t currently keep in touch with, but want to, and consequently feel worse and worse about not contacting them the longer i don’t contact them …
  • /lettering: using my lettering set; this was in my notes with a potential rate of 1/month; at the moment of writing this, not so sure if it’d be a good/feasible idea
  • /matt: master’s thesis; as mentioned previously
  • /newhew: a newer, improved version of my archived /whew goal; as mentioned previously
  • /poe_m: for continuing to learn poe’s raven by heart; as mentioned previously
  • /redabs: regular data backups; as mentioned previously (new name, though :)
  • /webtoons: catching up on and reducing my webtoon backlog; as mentioned previously
  • /wontime: getting to work on time; as mentioned previously (new name, though :)

MISC THOUGHTS

previously on “enbee’s entries”:

ha!
i guess today’s answer would be: “have a chill enough work and social life that it leaves enough time for beeminder goals and regular procrastination and also don’t have outrageous rates for any beeminder goals”.


also previously on "enbee’s entries:

this still doesn’t have an answer yet. (will it ever?) i still very much struggle with this one. (reading about my potential future webtoons goal on the last post and realising it must have been about a year or so since i was regularly up to date on all my saved webtoons makes me incredibly sad and overwhelmed and pessimistic about my time management. not because catching up with webtoons is the most important thing in my life, but because there’s seemingly a million things like that, that i really really want to do but just don’t do / don’t have the time for / don’t know how and where i could fit them into my days …)


what i’m also very much still trying to figure out: how to make myself create important / “higher priority” goals first/in time? how to measure a goal’s priority in the first place? how to know which goals i should really create, when, and how often?
how could i ever have it all: all the beeminder goals i want to work on, all the beeminder goals i know i need to work on, and enough time for my non-beeminder life?
anyway, to end all this on a lighter note … :

MARA EPILOGUE!

1 Like

Maybe another way to think about it: how can I get the most happiness out of my day?

How can I use Beeminder to increase my overall happiness and quality of life experience?

In what ways the current use I make of Beeminder is harming my short term happiness? In what ways the current use I make of Beeminder is harming my long term happiness?

Both of them (positives and negatives) are to watch for :eyes:


It makes me think of me learning Japanese 3(?) years ago. I figured out that learning it felt a bit good. But that it wouldn’t really make me happy long term (neutral). This time could be better allocated elsewhere. Of course, languages are useful, but in my case, the cost was not worth the benefits. Time is finite (hard truth :frowning:).

Another thing I’ve read somewhere: “artists don’t accumulate; they curate”.

Not learning Japanese was a good choice in the end. I like it, but it’s not necessary to the “art piece” of my life. I’ll be fine with having learned a few hundred kanjis and forgetting them after a few months :smile:


In general, I feel that life requires a lot of discipline to not let unnecessary stuff in. This party, this person, this job, this argument at work, or this Beeminder goal for a silly thing… All of that takes time and energy from what matters (which depends for everyone, but humans are pretty similar: rest, quality connections, work aligned with a purpose, health, self-directed learning… Mostly boring things)

And it’s the same with Beeminder. We should really think hard before creating a Beeminder goal. “Do I need this?”


My first impressions when evaluating a goal are mostly always bad, and the goals that provide the most benefits are not always the ones that are super obvious.

Like with japanese. Learning it looks and feels like a good idea. But it’s not, because it would take time from other areas where I should spend time.

An “inbox zero” goal sounds really boring. But it actually grants an amazing peace of mind. Same with an “sms zero” goal. (Of course, if you’re naturally inclined to keep everything clean, you don’t need it).
Both changed my life even though they appeared useless.

Same with “call mom”, “call grandma”, “text a friend”. They are boring and obvious. But they are significantly improving my life.


(Sorry about hijacking… This made me think a lot :eyes:)

1 Like

How would an sms zero goal work - where do you move the texts that you need to keep? With inbox zero, you have other folders you move emails you need to keep.

2 Likes

It’s a simple beenary goal — I empty my inbox when in a beemergency, and I put 1 manually if my inbox is empty.

By SMS, I talk about multiple networks, by the way:

  • Telegram
  • WhatsApp
  • classic SMS

I aggregate them with Beeper

1 Like

Cool - thanks for the link to Beeper! Looks like an interesting app though it’s missing many messenger services, like Session.

I’m still not understanding. How do you “empty your inbox”? By inbox do you mean every message that you’ve gotten? where do you move them or how do you save them?

2 Likes