Beeminder Forum

Full-proof system


#1

Hey not sure if you offer this solution.

Problem:
If you self-report goals, there is the chance that you’ll lie if you fall off the routine and the charges get high.

Compounding Problem:
This likely makes you feel worse and each time you lie. It also gets “easier” to lie and therefore harder to complete the task. Ugly cycle…

Potential Solution:
Could there be key habits where we pay a rather high premium by habit for someone internally the verify we completed the habit? It could also be other community members that own the process.

We could send a screen shot or photo that somehow confirms the action.
This will not apply to everything but I foresee that it could cover key goals/habits like working out / body fat percentage (as a proxy for eating well). etc.

Happy to brainstorm


#2

Before the premium plan revamp of 2016 there was an option for a kind of “ultra-premium” plan called Beekeeper, where someone at Beeminder would serve as your goal-setting life coach. That probably served the purpose you suggest but there wasn’t enough demand for it to keep it around.

The “Weaselproof me” checkbox goes a little ways towards implementing it, but like you say, determined weasels can always lie.

@chelsea wrote about how it gets easier and easier to lie in the great Weasel Heart-to-Heart blog post. That might offer some solutions as well.

Finally, there is a bit of community policing going on in the “Let’s nag each other into greatness” thread.


#3

if you tick the “weaselproof me” setting, we (in support) will ask you to provide some kind of proof that you actually did the work when you reply “not legit!” to the legit check. so if you say you actually contacted 3 leads but just forgot to enter the data, we might ask to see a screenshotted section of your outbox or your call log or something :slight_smile:

i want to highlight this too, cause i think it’s important – the Ideal Pledge for each goal is a value that you don’t want to pay, but you’re willing to pay if you legitimately derail on the goal. sometimes users bump their pledges to $270 or $810 immediately, thinking that the big scary $$ threat will magically make them productivity superstars. and sometimes it does! but if you are not truly willing to cough up the money when you don’t do the work, you’re going to enter the weasel spiral i wrote about in the blog post austin linked. not so good!

you’ll probably never see me pledging more than $30 on any of my goals, for example. i just know myself (from experience!) and i won’t pay $90; it’s too much for me and i will lie about it. so i cap my goals at $30, which is low enough that i’ll pay, but high enough that i’m super-irritated with myself when i derail – so i don’t do it very often :slight_smile:


#4

Anything that could be verified via picture can probably be achieved by tweeting a picture and tracking with a Twitter integration. If you’re tempted to bank on anonymity and tweet unrelated or false data, let people in your life (or this forum) know what the account is and invite them to randomly check that everything is legit.

Other sorts of goals would take a bit more creativity. In general, your goal could be to set things up so that it takes nearly as much effort to falsify data as it does to just do whatever the activity is. That can be achieved either by making it really difficult to lie, or by making the goal really easy, as with the “floss one tooth” sort of tiny habits.

When I was breaking my weaseling habit, I had a lot of success with Beeminding my weaseling. It gave me just the mental wiggle room I needed - I could weasel on a goal, but was it really worth burning up whatever weaseling-buffer I’d developed (and possibly derailing that graph)? This of course requires you not to weasel on your weaseling graph - it might be a good idea to cap the pledge at a low value (or even $0), so that you’re not ever tempted to lie. If you can make that a firm line, it might be an effective technique for you.