I just wanted to share my joy - beeminder has helped me to successfully instill a habit! I now floss my teeth every day. I’ve never been able to do that consistently before. I would have kept the goal going, but it’s one of my few manual entry goals so it was kind of cumbersome.
I’m super happy about this. Thanks to everyone at beeminder!
At one point I had a long streak going and I was concerned that I was motivated only by the fear of breaking my “perfect” streak, so I deliberately skipped a day. As it happened, this didn’t affect my consistency at all. Has anyone else done this?
Welcome (to the forum!) and you’re welcome (for the dental hygiene!)!
We have a blog post about how much better beeminding is than streakminding: The Seinfeld Hack; or, Don’t Break The Chain | Beeminder Blog
And I did a straw poll a while back in a daily beemail that went like so:
STRAW POLL (fill in the blank): If you want to ingrain a habit and wean yourself off Beeminder, the time when it’s safe to do that is when you’re consistently on the good side of your yellow brick road for ___ months, never doing the habit because it’s a beemergency.
Answers like “infinity” and “zero, because the question is all wrong” are encouraged!
And here are paraphrased excerpts from the responses. It was almost unanimous that my question was wrong and there was no way to fill in that blank…
“When entering the data feels like more of a chore than doing the thing. Or for autodata, when you start to forget that you even have a Beeminder goal for it.”
“For some habits 3 months, for some after like 8 months. Whether I regress seems not to depend much if it was 3 or 8+. My key is to establish periodic reflection points so I can see if I need the goal again.”
“6 months, but why not keep beeminding it anyway? More data, more better.”
“It’s more like an airplane trying to take off. At any point where it has become annoying to beemind the habit, go off Beeminder. If I notice I stop doing the habit consistently, then go back on (velocity not high enough, back to runway, get more speed, try again later). Then it can become a gut feeling or matter of convenience when to switch up the goals.”
“Infinity! I’ve never been able to deliberately ingrain habits, despite reading all the books. I think some kinds of brains habit, and some (maybe ADHD ones?) don’t. As soon as I stop tracking it, I stop doing it. Even the most habitual habits like teeth brushing and eating breakfast. As soon as they are no longer beemergencies, I immediately forget about them, no matter how long my streak has been.”
“Habits are far too varied and complex to have a one-size-fits-all answer to when they can be left to mind themselves. I subscribe to The Power of Habit’s Cue-Routine-Reward model, which states that you can create new habits very quickly by hacking all three segments.”
“In order to really tell a Beeminder user they can put a habit on auto-pilot you’d need to know how they built up their buffer. Was it a super-focused sprint that took all their energy, or did it just happen without them thinking about it?”
Awesome! And this is my ideal model of how I want to be using Beeminder for myself where habits and routines are concerned. I endeavour to use it to keep refining each habit’s cues and triggers until it’s well-established and I can move on to adding another. (And then I wrestle with whether to keep tracking for the QS of it, or to archive and save that mental energy in order to make room for building more habits.)
Congrats on locking in the habit! What are you aiming at next?
Yea I may have continued for the QS aspect, but for this particular goal the monotonic increment of +1 per day was not very interesting to look at
Next up is probably Studying Hungarian and Drinking More Water, though I also successfully use beeminder to make sure I spend enough time working, and not too much time on reddit and twitter.
That’s some awesome context, thanks!
Many of these responses resonate with me. I archived the goal pretty quickly (after only about two months), but it had become totally automatic, and I was at the point of buffering up several days of data to be entered all at once. I currently have my morning bathroom routine physically laid out in a row next to my sink, with floss sitting right in the middle, and that ended up being a good decision I think.