Getting back on track, and number of goals

I fell off the wagon last December, and had a false start getting going again early January, but I think I am finally set up now. I have an insight, and a few specific aspects of Beeminder that got in the way.

There’s this standard narrative where people start off with a few goals, then start adding more and pushing themselves and eventually they are just trying to do too much and things collapse. At this point you thank Beeminder for pushing you that far and start over. I’m not sure that’s the best way to look at it for me. I find that my motivation swings, sometimes over brief periods of days and sometimes over long periods of weeks or months. Beeminder is great at providing nudges to get me past the short periods. The longer period was the problem. Even though I thought I’d been pretty careful to never add too much, what happened was that I had a quite reasonable number of tasks for my average self. My below average self bent things to the point of breaking.

As soon as I saw that I was losing ground on goals I started setting the roads down, but that didn’t take effect in time, then I had a vacation coming and I forgot to set the break ahead of time. Then when I did I set it wrong for a goal and when I realized a few days later it was confusing setting more breaks to try to fix it.

I’ve found the ui not very friendly to my attempts to reset. On an individual goal it’s ok, but taking all of them together I found it cumbersome. The ability to instantly archive would be useful. The ability to set a week long break for everything at once would be very useful. I wanted to arrange things so the goals I didn’t care about or wanted to change were gone, and the ones I wanted to keep all had reasonable buffers, and it felt like it was fighting me. By design, for reasons I understand, but still.

Anyway, now I think I am set, with fewer goals than before. I find I don’t miss the ones I dropped; I floss on my own now, etc.


Beautiful feedback and helpful anecdote! Related reading: Beating Beeminder Burnout