I’ve tried Beeminder before but without really telling many people in my life (or at all) that I’ve used it, so I’m trying here anonymously to get some external feedback and feel more a part of the community.
I’m travelling with my partner at the moment and was starting to feel a little too swayed by other people’s plans and desires so I thought Beeminder could get me a little more in touch with my own goals and interests again.
I am interested in learning Spanish (for the area I’m in!) about world history, science and geography as well as maintaining general fitness and maintaining my relationship quality.
Below format shamelessly copied from @shanaqui… (shanaqui's Beeminder Journal: 2023 - #2 by shanaqui)
- I derailed on my /bookishbee goal with food poisoning but claimed not legit. I was so close to being done with One Hundred Years of Solitude (which was amazing after getting some more context on it) and had planned my day around finishing it so felt like it was justified to claim not legit. Might turn out no excuses now tho
/historyisfleeting: tracks the https://www.coreknowledge.org/ currriculum History/Geography chapters I read in full and making “fleeting notes” of as per Sonke Ahren’s How to Take Smart Notes. (I’m up to Grade 3, early people of the North Americas!). These then get converted into evergreen notes and finally Anki flashcards, all in Obisdian through the Obsidian to Anki plugin. I previously only used Anki to take in these flashcards but found I was missing a lot of connections between concepts and wasn’t sure what notes I had and hadn’t made already.
(cont. bc only allowed 5 links per post)
I am a big fan of the Core Knowledge curriculum because even though I went to a academically selective school and am a fairly avid reader, I find the gaps in my basic science, geography and history knowledge are huge from just not paying much attention in school and being more interested in sports. Now that I am a bit more interested in the world and see the literature supported (e.g. How Knowledge Helps, https://www.aft.org/sites/default/files/AE_SPRNG.pdf) I’ve found huge pleasure in reading and Ankifying basic knowledge about it. I’m aiming to complete both the History/Geography and Science sets by the end of this year.
/scienceisfleeting: same as above but for science (just finished electricity and magnetism)
/peppahours: hours of Peppa Pig watched in Spanish! Trying to follow the https://refold.la/roadmap/ method of immersion learning; currently at just below 100 hours of immersion including my time travelling.
/dreamingspanish: basically same as above but with Dreaming Spanish “comprehensible input” ie Slow Spanish videos.
/mempractice: doing my RefoldES1K Spanish reviews (1000 most common Spanish words including English loans) and personal knowledge Anki reviews daily, 10 new cards from each deck. I don’t have a separate goal for adding new cards or reviewing new cards so this one nudges me into converting my fleeting science/history/geography notes into evergreen notes.
/bagsaway: actively working on a small habit of mine my partner doesn’t like: emptying the contents of my bag whenever we get home and checking I have all my things. Small but has been effective and useful so far!
/pushups: general fitness goal…okay this is a lie, my partner just likes big chests and mine is tiny at the moment
If anyone has any thoughts on my attempts to learn very basic science/history/geography (up to the 8th grade) through Beeminder support, other learning techniques/resources or tests that would be amazing! The spirit of Scott Young’s MIT challenge resonates strongly (https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/myprojects/mit-challenge-2/) but I am not really sure where I’d go about finding similary testing resources, or if such courses/tests are really even necessary if my goal is just long term learning. Maybe ChatGPT is enough here as a check for my comprehension/transfer of material?
Whoops forgot another goal:
//ankimaints: maintaining my personal Anki collection as per Maintaining Your Collection - Control-Alt-Backspace
Very late update:
I don’t think I have the self-control to correctly format all of these links like Shanaqui’s and everyone else here but a few to report:
- mempractice - just let the reviews build up, didn’t really need to change much
- dreamingspanish - this became a lot easier when I got my partner involved and it didn’t feel like I was taking time away from being together. Also when I started watching Haikyuu in Spanish. Its an anime that I’ve previously tried to get into and have also played the sport its based on, so the intrinisc motivation has kept me going here
- kwiziq - this is a new goal I started for Spanish grammar practice. The lack of autodata here kind of got me; fell asleep without hitting the 15 minutes done…
- kwiziq - as mentioned above
- pesorydoos - spending goal to stay under budget. It’s been really effective but because I’m spending cash all the time, I’m finding it hard to record every little transaction and categorise it. I think going forward for cash I’m just going to track the cash I take out and divide it over the days I use it
- polarbee - goal for tracking words written for my joint travel blog with my partner. It’s been wildly successful as a goal and for showing my partner I care!
- readless - getting my 10k+ Readwise inbox to under 100. Not sure how effective this is in actually reading the articles but it is useful for getting rid of stuff I know I’ll never read
- weirdscience - I got rid of the Core Knowledge goals after re-reading the Astral Codex Ten 2023 Book Review Contest winner and checking out the writer’s website of science content, which is incredible! Highly recommend checking out for your kids, and just in general as it’s a well-researched and put together project. I now am trying to get through 1 lesson per week, including making Anki cards of the trivia and reading whatever material is recommended (attempting the science experiments has been challenging on a trip…)
- snankis - 5/10 Anki cards created for a topic I’ve marked as lacking in my Anki collection. Brand new so no thoughts yet
- beediallsupper - dial-up goal once per week that I stole from @alys after a couple of my goals derailed at the same time. Liking how it’s going for me so far
- pancakedialer - once weekly goal to look ahead 2 weeks stolen from @byorgey . Also liking this goal as in the past I’ve struggled with the aspect of having something moderately expected come up that I haven’t planned around, and really like the empowering feeling it gives of being in the driver’s seat of my self-control!
- abrads - weekly outdoor workout day to add variety to pushups
Changes to existing goals:
As you can see…I’ve clearly moved things around a lot!
- Cut out history/science goals, cut out Peppa Pig because it felt too specific to Peppa Pig (and being honest to myself…only so much more Peppa Pig I can take after growing up with a younger sister)
- Pushups - added +5 per day to day to make it 15/day. Wish me luck…
- ankimaints - added support goal mentioned of snanki as I felt every time I’d make a note of content to revise, it’d just disappear into the abyss
- bagsaway - none, this has gone surprisingly excellently for me! Never thought I could be this kind of person…but as I’ve found in the past with personal hygiene, study and exercise consistency, Beeminder has a remarkable motivation-discipline-confidence boot-strapping cycle that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else.
*bookishbee - deleted this, but now feeling like I don’t read enough and use my phone too much. Maybe need this back! Main reason I got rid of it was because I restricted the book criteria way too much; easy fix tho
- Still majorly procrastinate with basic to-do lists and clearing out my inbox. The solutions here seem pretty straightforward, I just need to get around to implementing them eventually
- Have been awful keeping in touch with extended family, so that’s likely a next new goal
Thanks for the pointer to the Science Is Weird site!
Glad I could help spread the word about it