New Year's Resolutions: Ride or Die 2024

I’m thinking if I make a thread like this next year, I’m going to incorporate more recognition for derailing and keeping at it anyway, somehow! Because that’s the important thing. You’ve got this. :slight_smile:


I really loved that book! I didn’t expect to like it (and The Haunting of Hill House) as much as I did. I’ve been meaning to read more of Jackson’s work for a while now.


I’m dropping out of this and have set my self-gratitude goal to be archived.

@shanaqui I still think this is a lovely idea though and am grateful you started it.

Good luck everyone with your goals!


I will derail on my goal today. It was a good ride, but the goal was a bit challenging. I think I made a bit of a mistake by setting a negative goal, ‘do not do X,’ instead of focusing on a positive goal, ‘do X.’ I will archive this goal after derailing and focus on a new goal instead.


Making it to March is a lot better than a lot of New Year’s resolutions, so anyone who made it this far should be duly proud of themselves. :tada:

I’m still hanging in there, largely because I built some slack into the goal – I haven’t eaten a yoghurt every day, by any means, but I’ve mostly done so. I don’t know how much to credit that for my low level of symptoms: I’m currently still taking acid reflux medication, since I’m at a stressful time of the year course-wise, but I am intending to try to wean myself off it for a while between April and late May, to see how that goes (resuming it in time for my exams, when I always have a major flareup, but trying to keep it to the lower dose rather than the double-dose that usually requires).


Thanks! Glad to hear you are still at it with your goal :grinning:. I will move on to the New Month’s Resolutions thread to formulate my new goal. I think the monthly format will match my use of Beeminder a bit better. Good luck to all with your goals!


then i guess i’m proud of myself! :smiling_face: even if the rate has always been a bit conservative … i’m strongly considering upping it from 2 to 3 per day after my long trip in may … (rhyme unintended ;)


Hello @shanaqui and all participants!

I was in the midst of a very hectic move between continents at the beginning of the year, so it was really not a good time to join a challenge like this. But now that I am more or less settled at my new academic institution, I thought I could really use the added accountability to boost my productive work.

Before I explain in detail my plans, I have a question about the “no making the road easier” rule. The thing is, this goal of mine only makes sense when I am at my (home) work desk, which I imagine will be the predominant part of the year. But I also have some travels planned, some for holidays, and some absolutely related and urgently necessary for the progress with the same project (two library research visits, a summer school, at least one conference). I would make the road flat for those periods - but I can’t do that beforehand, at the time of commitment, because I am not sure about the dates yet. (I can’t even plan the dates for the closest library visit to a different country, as I am still waiting for my residence permit that would allow me to return here.)
Would any work-around be acceptable to still join the challenge? E.g. if I at the beginning declare the number of days/weeks for which I am allowed to make the road flat for each of those reasons, and then report on using this pre-declared buffer?


Hmm. Well, usually the rules I set are subject to any good faith interpretation, so I think something like deciding in advance the number of days of breaks you can add would be a pretty solid workaround. :thinking: So I’d be OK with that!


Great! Count me in, then.
So, here’s what I am committing to. I am explaining in detail how this goal receives data from tagtime in the fine print. In a nutshell, the aim is to motivate myself to do focused work on my post-doc project earlier in the day. So the datapoints are pushed from three auxiliary goals in a way to make effort before 2pm count 3x and effort between 2-6pm 2x than anything I postpone to after 6pm.
The goal is weekends-off but I may work on weekends to build the buffer and free up another day of the week.
The goal is currently set up with 15-min-average-interval pings. If I find them annoying after a couple of months and decide to switch to standard 45-min intervals, I will multiply the graph by 1/3 - that will be, mathematically speaking, the exact same commitment.
Finally, as outlined before, I am declaring in advance that I will need the following flat spots:

  • 4 weeks for 2 visits to do research in the libraries, in Ukraine and Germany, 2 weeks each, as stipulated by my approved project plan.
  • 1 week for conference travel in late fall
  • 4 weeks in summer and 2 weeks after the conference for personal vacation
  • up to 2 weeks only if my summer school application is approved.
    I will be reporting in this thread any time I apply any of these 11-13 declared weeks (55-65 work days) of the flat spot to the graph.

Moreover, I would like to add my 30 Euros to the pot.


Working out three times a week is going great! I’ve had a couple of days where I had to ask support to undo a derail for me due to forgetting to enter data before my deadline (worked out at 4, was in dire need of a shower, toweled off and realized I’d derailed 5 minutes prior).

And some edge skating due to getting sick for a couple weeks, where my “workout” to avoid derailment was much less intense than I’d usually do but still made me feel like hell. So I’m counting those as wins, since otherwise I would have just stayed flat on my back.

edit: Bike commuting to work has made it incredibly easy to stay on top of this. My normal commute is about 4.5 miles per day total, so I count any day that I ride over 6 miles (take a detour on the way home, run an additional errand) as a workout day. Riding a bike is such a joyful activity it’s hard to ride moderately, meaning every ride gets my blood pumping.


I’ve decided to tap out of the challenge. I had this great vision of how I would use the data to analyze my behavior and make improvements. In reality, I’ve just been forcing myself to tag whatever seems somewhat appropriate, without actually doing anything with the data. I even wrote a Telegram bot to receive pings on my phone and on my PC without synchronization issues, but it didn’t help at all. It just feels annoying to me and has become a source of stress in my life. If it hadn’t been for this thread, I would have given up weeks ago. Now, I feel that I’ve given it at least a fair shot.

Moving forward, I will use ActivityWatch to track my time in certain apps (like I already do), and use that data to set limits on certain behaviors and encourage others that I want to do more.

Thanks for setting up this challenge and good luck to everyone who is still in the race.


I’ve got myself miles ahead of my :books:reading goal which is great!

The goal was to read 50 books this year but as of not-yet-the-end-of-March I’ve read 16. I don’t want to ratchet away any buffer as I find it really psychologically useful to have a lot of it but I’ve upped the goal to a rate of 64 books/year to stick with that kind of rate of reading.


Since it’s now April, I wanted to report on how my goal has been going (for the three weeks of March since I created it).

Extremely well, as you can see from the graph.

A brief reminder: I am tracking the time (stochastically, via tag time) spent on my post-doc project in a way that prioritizes time invested before lunch over those working hours postponed until after dinner.
It feels like Duolingo’s double time and I have often found myself eager to start working earlier or to continue working more rather than switch to a different type of activity, especially if it’s the 3x or the 2x time of the day.

Above, I outlined that I will have the right to some flat spots, including when I will go on a library research trip. Though a library research trip is also to work on the same project, I tend not to lose focus on my work when at the library, so I could have flattened the road for such days. More importantly, honestly, since one of my library trips is to Kyiv, Ukraine, I just didn’t want to have the added stress of the need to accumulate the pings for this goal when I expected I might have circumstances that prevent me from putting in the hours on the schedule I want (e.g. during air raid alarms, we have to quickly return the materials and proceed to a shelter outside the library facility).
But then I finally planned to go on this trip on such short notice that I simply didn’t have the time to schedule the flat spot! So I decided to give it a try, keeping in mind that I am still entitled to a flat spot if things go wrong. The day around March 22 when I started in the red is the day I got on the train. (I “consumed” the previously accumulated buffer over the previous days because of the pre-journey errands.) And you can see how wonderfully it has been going since then! Without this goal, I wouldn’t have cared to put in the time into my project on the trains, which is pure gain. I have also realized that I still work in the mornings and in the evenings, before and after the library visits - processing what I have written down the previous days, looking for where to find/order/download other materials I realized I would need. So I am technically also in the same “working-at-home” regime half of the time here in Kyiv, for which I initially created the goal, so it is totally fair to continue measuring the input in the same way. (For the actual time at the library - honestly, I do not answer pings on the go but just tag them in bulk after I exit: everything between the minute I entered the library and the minute I left; as I said, I am not prone to distractions there in the same way as I am when working from home).
With the accumulated buffer, I will be able to spend some of the remaining days meeting with friends - without the remorse that I am not spending enough time on my project. Which is also a pure gain. (I tend to scold myself for not spending enough time on important things, regardless of how much time I actually spent - it could always be more, right?)

TD;DR: the goal has proven to measure my effort in such a way that I feel motivated to put in more effort, and it is also gratifying to see via this measurement that I have been accomplishing something, so I can add other valuable activities into my life


i derailed last night (for 0$). i’m proud i made it this far, and i’ll definitely keep the goal for the rest of the year, and report if i do any rate changes, etc.



I have used up all of my buffer days for the year on this goal, so death looms… To ride it out, I need to be extra realistic about setting alarms.


@shanaqui , I derailed on 2024-03-25 because I forgot to add an entry even though I emailed my boss (BAAS).

I have a No Excuses Mode On.

I also derailed the other day, Thursday, 2024-04-04 because I didn’t put in any time spent on my goals due to lack of sleep, burn out.

But it’s all good since I’ve been learning to be accountable.