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

There’s always one of those timer lock boxes. :wink: I think @zedmango mentioned them here on the forum a while back. You could create a Beeminder goal to lock up your phone every night by a certain time.

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Yes, I am aware of that feature, maybe I should look back into it.

I think I’ve done a bad job at explaining myself. Using my phone in bed → not going to sleep on time. But the converse does not hold: not using my phone in bed does not necessarily mean I’ll go to bed on time, I can still stay up doing other things.

So not using my phone is a necessary but insufficient condition. The trouble is, even if I don’t use my phone in bed at all, sometimes I’ve been staying up late and putting fake data into beeminder.

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I like that as a practical way to exert self control (and indeed to conserve self control – once you’ve put it in you don’t need to continually resist getting it out since it’s locked!) It’s a bit expensive on a PhD budget though!

That said, as I mentioned above, my phone can guarantee that I don’t get to bed on time, but even if I locked my phone away, I can still find other ways to stay up late, so this alone would not be a solution.

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At the end of the day we can’t block EVERYTHING you might do to stay up.

What kinds of other things do you end up doing?
What is your end goal or desire?

Yes, so that’s why I was hoping to beemind my bedtime – Beeminder doesn’t care about what I’m doing, so long as I don’t stay up. But I’ve messed that up by being dishonest. :confused:

I wonder if you could get a fitness band and use that to beemind your bedtime? Does Beeminder have an integration that would do that? :thinking:

Yes, that would be great if it worked, aside from the price!

The one thing I would be worried about is if it logged when I went to sleep, rather than when I went to bed. Because if it logs when I go to sleep then I’m going to feel anxious if I’m like “I need to fall asleep in the next 5 minutes or else I will derail”, which in turn will guarantee that I do not sleep!

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Yeah, I’m pretty sure fitness bands track when you sleep, not when you go to bed.


They’ll show sleep timeframe. I currently track my sleep bedtime using an app and it works. Beeminder doesn’t currently support integration of that automatically, though I have requested it.

You could track using an automatic service (so it goes to a dashboard) and then use a service such as BaaS to enter the data.

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(I haven’t read the full thread, sorry if redundant)

@pyng, some questions in case they are helpful:

  • What actually goes through your head when you decide to enter fake data?
  • Did you do any “self-reflection”, as you put it? What was the result?

And some random ideas:

  • Could you ask Beeminder to ban you if you fake data again? What keeps me from faking data is the knowledge that if I do it, I’ve broken Beeminder permanently for myself. Could you re-create that?
  • Could you pay up all the derailments you avoided by faking data? Then you could tell yourself that even if you fake data again, you know you’ll eventually come clean and have to pay anyway.

I guess I always have some kind of excuse or justification when I’m putting in fake data. But it’s easy to do it without much self-reflection.

Well I think I’ve already burnt that bridge, and I’m hoping to re-build it…

I have actually done this before – gone back, fixed my fake data points, and payed the fine. However, I it didn’t stop me falling back into my fake data habits.

Hi pyng!

I can pretty relate with you. I have probably lost a hundred bucks using $5 pledges and still couldn’t avoid cheating at certain times. Because of this, I’ve gotten to the point of archiving my goal all together even if I would have used it for all my career.

I don’t think using more restrictive measures would help at all, but worsen the situation. You’ll always find a way to “hack” through any accountability system you use mindlessly, even with platforms like these where money is at stake. I don’t think Beeminder itself is faulty in this sense, as it works wonders for many. However, when an underlying personal issue is present, I don’t think it’s the best platform for you.

By the way, the new Mi Band 5 (even the cheapest Chinese version) is quite good at detecting sleep without having the phone next to you.

If you would like to have an accountability partner, I can also help to some extent. :slight_smile:


Yeah, I can relate to this. If I start cheating on a goal I take it as evidence that the goal isn’t working for me as defined and either modify it or archive it.

I wonder if it would help to write out why you don’t want to cheat, who you want to be as a person, and what you’ll lose by cheating, and then review that on a periodic basis? I’ve used that technique with other difficult-to-fix-with-Beeminder issues with some success


If it’s really important for you I’d recommend using Boss as a Service to get a real person to check on you and input data on your BM.

I run a similar service as BaaS, but honestly they have more experience with BM data so if you’re a lot into BM I’d recommend to try them out.


Salt liberally: I’ve only been using Beeminder a few days.

This might not be of help to you specifically, but because I have a bad habit of lying in bed and browsing Reddit on my phone, I did something a bit drastic. I got a flip phone. No apps. It means I can’t use Sleep as Android anymore, or any other mobile apps, but most of the stuff I need to do is still available on my desktop and tablet.

But then, I also have a problem with not getting off the computer early enough to get to bed in time. I’ll sometimes stay up until 4 AM watching YouTube videos. For this, I’ve decided to create an IFTTT app which will take a RescueTime alert triggered by being on the computer for more than one minute after midnight, so I have to suspend it when I’m done at night (can’t just let it go to a screensaver; a cat might bump the mouse!) and send that alert as a datapoint to a Do-Less goal with Pessimistic Presumptive turned off.

So I’ve hopefully solved it with not even having a phone to use in bed coupled with a nanny that will rat me out to Beeminder if I’m on the computer after midnight (and before 5 AM).


Another trick that has worked for me for breaking the habit of goofing off on my phone late into the night: use my phone as my alarm clock, and plug it in on the opposite side of the room. That way I can’t get into bed without putting my phone away.

(Of course the primary reason I do this is because it’s the only way I can get myself out of bed, but it has helped on both sides)


Not a bad idea. But for me, I would only be out of bed long enough to turn it off and turn around to fall back onto the mattress. :stuck_out_tongue:


Edit: though I admit when I did use @katriel’s method, it did (and still does, in a way) prevent me from staying on my phone late into the night. The only problem would be in the morning.

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This sounds like what I want – only I don’t have Beemium so I can’t make a Do-Less goal.