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


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?


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!


@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


  • 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)


  • 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!)

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!


  • 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.


  • 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 …


  • 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.)


  • 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.


  • 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