Beeminder Forum

I've been inserting fake data into my beeminder goals and I'm looking for more accountability

Hi, I’ve used Beeminder for a few months now. The first 3 or 4 weeks went well. (I only had one goal.) I then failed a fair few times (I must have spent over $50 in total by now – I often decreased my pledge). But the past few weeks I’ve regularly just put in fake data into some of my goals, and now I think I’ve messed up any hope I had of actually properly committing to anything… I guess maybe having an accountability partner would help?

I’m archiving one of my goals, and I’ve set one of my other to a rate of 0, so now the only goal that I’m focusing on is bedtime. I used to make all of my goals private, but now I’m making this one public, so you can see it here: https://www.beeminder.com/pyng/bedtime

This is not the fist time I tried to log a bedtime goal. I had multiple false starts where I messed up and deleted it before the week was over to avoid paying.

(I hope “Newbee” is the right category for this post!)

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If you use an integration to enter data for you it can make it harder to enter fake data. If course depends on the goal if that’s viable for you

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I couldn’t find any integrations that would insert a datapoint when I’d stopped using both my phone and my laptop for the day. (e.g. what if I don’t use it for 30 min and then check it again – could it insert negative values to correct for that?)

This may not be the whole solution, but for me, I’ve found that there’s a certain pledge level my integrity can sustain, beyond which I start cheating. So it can be helpful to find out what that maximum pledge is for you, and ensure that none of your goals have a pledge higher than that. Basically, what’s the highest pledge where your aversion to lying is stronger than your aversion to losing money?

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I’ve lied at every level. But I think $40 might be too far. (That was my most recent lie). I’ve paid $20 before, so I guess that means I’m happy to pay $20 in order to maintain my honesty.

(I mean, it sounds awful that I could be bought-out for $40, I wonder what that says about myself. Perhaps some self-reflection is needed…)

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If you had someone looking at every datapoint you submit, saying “Big deal, these are probably bogus…” how would you prove to them it’s not bogus? For me, for many of my goals, I could show with a little photo or a small video. What about putting something like that in every comment? Maybe this means that you have to pause on some goals, until you’ve built up a good habit of data-honesty, but maybe that’s better than continuing this way?

I’m not sure.

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I guess it’s hard with bedtime since I can easily prove I’m awake, but the converse is not as easy :confused:

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In order to get you some small successes without any cheating, to build your “personal data integrity” so you can go more directly to bigger successes, maybe turn your goals absolutely microscopic? Many folks have had a lot of success with absolutely microscopic habits–things like, “put your gym clothes on, go to the gym and step inside six days a week”, where the personal commitment isn’t to actually work out, but rather to get you right up to it. (See Mini Habits, Tiny Habits…)

One way to shrink the goal of bedtime, would be to turn it into “take a photo of you in your bed, in your pajamas, ready to sleep”. You could get up after you’ve brushed your teeth and gotten in your PJs and gotten into your bed, but maybe cross that bridge if you come to it?

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Okay that’s a good idea, except I also don’t want to keep my phone near my bed, because otherwise I tend to scroll on my phone for hours before going to sleep, and then do the same in the morning. #akrasia

So…I could take a picture of myself in my bed and then get out of bed to put my phone in a different room and then get back into bed…that seems like giving myself an opportunity to stay out of my bed. Maybe I could pull out my DSLR, on which I’m unlikely to get distracted “scrolling”.

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What about pulling the photo time back, and having a photo of you in your PJs brushing your teeth (or whatever you do as a typical pre-bed routine?)

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Yeah that could work – photo of me brushing my teeth and then phone goes straight onto charge in another room. Thanks! I’ll try it from tonight.

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Good luck!

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TBH, it sounds like Beemind is not the best solution for how you have set it up - you’re going to want to use some sort of automatic or enforced sotution. Some ideas that might help:
-Use something like Rescuetime and make your goal based on how much time/hours you use your phone total (so you use it less).
-Have someone set up parental controls on your phone or a product such as StayFocused to shut things off after a certain time (you can limit to just the non-essential apps).
-Instead of beeminding bedtime, beemind total sleep using something like “Sleep as android” or another solution.

It’s also possible that Beeminder isn’t really going to work for you - some other apps you might try are SleepTown or Forest

What do you sit scrolling on, Facebook, Twitter, etc? Use an app to set a time limit for that.

Have not read the whole thing, but just for the title, I was in a similar place. This post was, I think, recommended and it helped:

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I already use RescueTime and StayFocused and Forest. I’ve tried SleepTown too. The problem I have with my phone is not the total amount of time I use it in a day, but using it right before bed so that it delays me actually going to sleep. Also I want to wake up earlier (and hence go to bed earlier) so tracking total sleep time doesn’t help.

I have an app timer for Reddit, which I’ve been sticking to for the past couple of weeks.

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Thanks, that looks very helpful! I’ve had a skim and I will read it in more detail over the weekend.

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On my iPhone, the Screen Time ‘parental control’ (i.e. self-control) feature also lets me set ‘Downtime’ to restrict what apps are available between certain hours.

We also shut off the wifi at night, using a ‘smart’ power plug that turns it back on again in the morning.

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I use downtime as well, and greyscale. All of the Google Digital Wellbeing features. Trouble is that I just disable them. The thing that works for not using my phone in bed is putting it in a different room before I go to bed. The trouble is that this doesn’t actually mean that I’ll go to bed in the first place.

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I’m still confused - Stay Focused allows you to enforce shutting off apps at bedtime, and it has features that prevent you from disabling it after you have enabled it. I literally tried to disable it and couldn’t after I set it :stuck_out_tongue:
Are you on Android or iPhone? I’m using the app (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.stayfocused&hl=en_US) on Android in “Strict Mode”

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