I thought I understood odometer goals, since I have some understanding of how a car odometer works. My goal is to start skipping rope (for some kind of aerobic exercise in the middle of a polar vortex that prevents even the hardiest of asthmatics from venturing outdoors for weeks at a time) and so I thought I would record the actual number of skips - aiming for about 1000 in my first week.
I thought I would just enter data as often as I like and that Beeminder would auto-aggregate the data to create a sort of cumulative total. However when I look at my goal: https://www.beeminder.com/callumm/goals/skipping That’s not what’s happening. I’m even worse off than when I started because my data point is dropping to the lowest number entered.
Have I chosen the wrong kind of goal type for my goal? Am I supposed to do the tallying myself and enter progressively larger numbers every time I exercise? That doesn’t make sense; adding things is what computers are good at.
An odometer records the total number. You read the number off the odometer and enter it into beeminder. If you want beeminder to auto-sum things then you use a do more goal. Think if you actually had an odometer recording what you did (total number of steps taken, total number of Anki reps done, total number of pages read, or something like that), it would be a pain to calculate the difference from the last datapoint so you could enter it into beeminder, so with an odometer goal beeminder lets you just enter the total.
When you derail, tell them that you misunderstood how an odometer goal
works. They won’t give you a problem about it.
The odometer goal is for things like “page of the book I’m reading that I’m on”. It’s so you can go up to a number (like page 275, for example) and start back over at 0 when appropriate without that being like losing ground (like when you finish that book, or if you reset the odometer on a device/in your vehicle).
The type of goal you’re looking for is a “do more” goal, which goes progressively upwards. I’m sure if you email support they’ll make the change for you.
Equally, if you email support, we can change your goal type behind the scenes and adjust the yellow brick road so that it’s where you expect.
PS: we all start out dumb when it comes to making the best use of Beeminder. Don’t sweat it