Beeminder Forum

How Beeminder Helped Us In 2014

As the year comes to a close, I thought it would be nice to list different goals and habits with which Beeminder has helped each of us over the course of the year (and the years before, if you’d like to add those too).

Just a very small sampling of mine:

I Beeminded number of alcoholic drinks for the year, and took it into consideration on many occasions. Mostly for my own information, but also to keep peak party periods from going a little too far over what I’d like.

I Beemind a bad habit of mine that is incredibly stubborn. Although I haven’t eliminated it altogether, I’ve cut it down by more than half in the last 2 years in comparison to what I was tracking pre-Beeminder days (and I think this coming year will be the year I make it down to 0).

I’m terrible for procrastinating BSE’s, though I’m at an age where I really need to be doing them. In 2014, I set up a Beeminder goal for that (thanks to noticing that a Beeminder staffer had started using Beeminder for that) and have finally started doing them regularly.

I’ve Beeminded workout info like the amount of cardio time I’ve spent, the amount of weight lifting time, how much I lift, how many pushups. All of these things make me think of it more often and have made me keep going on days when getting out of bed seemed… undesirable.

I Beeminded time spent on the kinds of work tasks that slip into the background and get forgotten when you don’t have something prompting you to work on them. You know the kind of stuff I mean: professional reading that is never going to be urgent, improving your professional skills, getting to know new people in your field, spending time on completely unnecessary projects that lead to big leaps forward, and all those other things that will never be urgent, but that make a huge difference in the long run.

During particularly busy times, I’ve tracked bed time, flossing, meditation, and other health-related goals that I was liable to let slide when other priorities tried to squeeze them out, allowing me to have more balance when I needed it.

I’ve Beeminded calories, saturated fats consumed, cups of green vegetables, etc. and, in doing so, lost 10 lbs from the beginning of 2014.

There are more, but I’ll let someone else have a turn.

Thanks Beeminder!! Looking forward to seeing what I can do, thanks to you guys, come 2015!

9 Likes
  • i started tracking my spending (for at least the 10th time in my life) and have kept up with it for the last six months (for the first time in my life).

  • i started being a little healthier via the fitbit integration. i still have a long way to go, but i sure wasn’t walking 20+ miles/week until i started beeminding fitbit steps this fall.

  • i started reading again. over the last 3 years i went from 252 books read to 134 to 31 – this year (goal started in may) i’m going to end around 130 again. in the process, i also read all the books on my kindle i downloaded in 2013 that i’d never gotten around to. i particularly like this goal because unlike many of my other current & past goals, which are things that are hard for me (be more active, eat healthier food, learn to cook), this is something that i want to do that i’d just… not been doing. it’s nice to beemind fun stuff.

3 Likes

Things that beeminder has helped me do this year:

  • It forced me to go to the gym until I’d formed the habit and no longer needed beeminder (I’ve since stopped going to the gym because I no longer have access to the gym I was going to. I’ll be figuring out a replacement in the new year)
  • It’s got me reading long-form non-fiction, which has been a thing I’ve previously had a tendency to intend and then fail to do.
  • It’s helped me stay in touch with friends and family when I moved abroad
  • It’s helped make sure I kept up my blogging at a slightly higher rate than I probably otherwise would have. This one is somewhat unclear - I’ve blogged about half as much as I did last year, but last year was basically blogging Georg and was a statistical outlier and should not have been counted (I wrote 149 blog posts last year. No really). Not counting 2013 this year has been my highest output year.

At a meta level, it has also been helpful in terms of understanding my motivations and priorities. It turns out that there are certain things I think I should care about that I actually don’t, and that even once I remove akrasia as an element I still really really don’t want to do them and basically won’t. Observing how beeminder failed for me in these cases was interesting and fairly helpful.

3 Likes

I love this idea of doing a 2014 review! I also just started a post for 2015 resolutions if anyone wants to chime in there with plans for the comgin year! http://forum.beeminder.com/t/resolutions-for-2015/

I think the beeminder goal that had the biggest positive influence on my 2014 was my meditation goal http://beeminder.com/b/mind – I’m definitely going to keep this one going for 2015 too.

1 Like
  • Beeminder (integrated with Runkeeper) helped me bike a total of 200 miles from October through December, replacing my unpleasant crosstown train commute with a lovely 20-minute bike ride twice a day. I also took a few rides on my own, outside of commuting time, which were lovely.

  • Beeminded potential contacts for a business that I’m helping to build with a colleague of mine. (The plan is to make this business successful enough that I can quit my current onsite work and eventually be working almost exclusively from home by the time my wife and I have a kid. Clock is ticking, since we’re set to start trying this spring. Gulp!) One of those goals that’s an incredibly low time commitment (currently set to compiling five email addresses per week), but seriously wouldn’t happen if I didn’t have Beeminder as motivation to keep on doing it. Around 240 contacts listed in 2014!

  • Beeminded sleep. Over 168 hours of sleep deficit logged over a seven-month period. That’s… Not a good thing. But I guess it’s good that I’ve been keeping track, at least? Now with Sleep as Android integration it’s gonna be even easier. Sleep is definitely going to be a bigger priority in the new year.

  • Beeminded recorder practice! Considering that I’m paying $80/week for recorder lessons, I would probably get more of my money’s worth if I practiced more than once a week, but once a week is better than nothing, right? Hoping to crank the goal up to twice a week at some point in the year.

  • Beeminded chores completed around the house, using HabitRPG integration. I already have seven pets! (Just hatched a skeleton cactus today!) I think I might need to join a party to get more consistent motivation, but it’s already helped me keep my apartment a lot cleaner than I had been until now.

One thing I really dropped the ball on was business blogging. My 2012 Beeminder blogging goal had me blogging every week and really held my feet to the fire, but after the goal date came due I never renewed it and my blogging level TANKED. I’ve reactivated it, but I’ve been dragging my feet on retroracheting it so that it actually has motivational juice. Maybe once I’ve gotten the hang of the new year.

This year didn’t see any huge victories like 2013, when I finally got my RDR (stenographic certification for typing 260 words per minute at 96% accuracy) after Beeminding it for ages, but I definitely felt more in control and less slacky than I used to. Beeminder makes me feel like I’m actually filling my days productively instead of frittering them away, which is hugely helpful for my quality of life.

3 Likes

A few things Beeminder helped me with this year:

There are lots more but those are the ones I almost certainly would NOT have done without Beeminder.

6 Likes

I registered for Beeminder around the end of June 2014, after reading about it here

I’ve mostly been tracking stuff to keep up with goals I already had, including excercise, learning Spanish (Duolingo) and Japanese (Cooori and Skritter) and getting stuff done (first Trello, now HabitRPG). I’m also tracking some other stuff (FitBit, Rescuetime, etc) where I don’t have any explicit goals, at least not yet. I’ve also been tracking writing on Draft, but it turned out that it is possible to have too many goals and so I’ve put a break on that one.

I also have two spare time goals going - one to watch more anime and one to play more (computer) games - stuff that I really want to do but that is way too easy to get waylaid as not important enough.

So I guess I can sum up by saying that 1) Beeminder can’t in fact generate more time than I already have 2) but Beeminder do help me focus the time there is 3) and quantifying myself is rather fun.

5 Likes

I so relate to that! I do that with “deliberate, passive entertainment”: http://blog.beeminder.com/tv/

1 Like