Beeminder Forum

Never ending vs short goals: percentages?


I just realised that of my about 25 goals , only one is short time (supposed to start and end within a month). All the rest are either very long (projects running for years) or will never end (fitness, reading, language learning, etc).
I wonder if most people are like me or not.

Why not each pick a challenge for November?

I have 15 goals, all covering practices that I plan to continue indefinitely. I have made short-term goals in the past, but that definitely isn’t my habit.


3 short terms goals out of 64.


0 out of 20 short-term.


Only one out of my 52 goals is short-term (if you count my goal for reading “The Willpower Instinct”, which won’t finish within the month but has a well-defined end date). There is another short-term goal I need to create soon (for another book club, actually). I also tend to use short-term goals for things like doing reviews of submissions for journals/conferences though I don’t have any active at the moment.


I have 46 goals in my gallery that count (ie, that are personally meaningful and aren’t just testing something or dialed so as to never ever be binding) and every one of them is open-ended!


I wonder what this means.

I should say I that I often do have short goals, but since they’re short, they go away quickly! If you looked at all my goals, not just active ones, short ones would be a much higher percentage. Is anyone else like that?

Do new users often have time-bound goals?

If not, what does the fact that it seems like the majority of active goals are forever/maintenance goals mean for UI/UX things? (Nothing? Lots?)


I have 9 goals that I intend to archive once a milestone is complete, though more than one of those is tied to my dissertation, which is at least 2 years from completion. My shortest-term goal is one to close on a property I’m buying with some friends; we’re 5 months in, and hoping to close by the end of October.

I have 29 open-ended goals.

I’m actually not thrilled with this ratio, since I find “fixed” goals generally more satisfying overall. I’m incredibly proud, for example, ofteaching myself Python by making my way through a textbook. In fact, looking over my gallery, all of my “personal hall of pride” goals are in the form of “make slow and steady progress through a book related to a skill I want to develop.” I beeminded a Latin textbook, a GRE handbook, the Python book, and the Norton Anthology of English Literature, and all of them were really successful.


I always find short-term goals motivating , and I now find myself surprised at why I don’t do more of them.


Linking to a previous discussion about forever-striving vs completable goals

This split has plenty of UX implications, including what should happen to the goals end date and the slope when you derail or ratchet.


I currently have 15 goals, three of which have an end goal. One lasts a year, one lasts two months, and one lasted a couple weeks and is basically done now.

One pattern with short term goals that beeminder doesn’t quite handle perfectly is “do X amount of time until I reach Y milestone”. Currently I just move the goal endpoint to as soon as possible when I reach the milestone, and try to stay a week above the road before that - and if I didn’t I’d have to do extra past the milestone, or some closely related thing if extra didn’t make sense.


I have one goal that’ll go for 2 months, one that goes 6 months, and one that goes several years, the other 6 will carry on indefinitely.