How do you handle changes to your fine print?

So I’m increasingly using “bucketing” goals where I have a smaller number of goals that I can count a larger number of things. The example that brought this to mind is that I’ve bundled all my exercise goals into a single goal where I either get to count a day as an exercise day or not. Another example is my “fun spending” do less goal.

This means that there’s more of a question as to whether something “counts”, and the rules will tend to evolve over time.

The behaviour I’m using is that changes to fine print count retroactively(ish) only if it would make the goal harder. So I can go “That should really count as fun spending. I’m going to record that and change the fine print so it does” but I can’t go “Man I did a lot of walking today. That should totally count towards my exercise goal” (but I can go “Hey if I do that again that should definitely count towards my exercise goal”).

Does this roughly track what everyone else is doing? Do you have positive/negative experiences to report or suggestions to make?


I don’t make any of the changes retroactive; they only apply to the future. I figure that long term it doesn’t matter if I create a loop hole and slip through it occasionally, especially since what I am really interested is stopping bad habits and reinforcing good ones. I trust that I will notice that I am developing a bad habit and add it to the fine print before it becomes a problem.

The other reason is that I want to keep the process as stress free as possible, and that means avoiding mental games with myself where I wonder if I am rationalizing some treat on the spur of the moment or if I am trying to force myself to be too perfect.


Thanks, that’s a good point. I might switch to doing it that way.

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