Newbie wants to clarify something about post derailment - getting back on track

Hello there, I am completely new to the whole joining up apps thing and to Beeminder. I have been playing with IFTTT, Zapier, Gmail/ Google Sheets linking etc and eventually set up 4 goals using a variety of these, but I wasn’t really ready for the organisation it would take to stick with it all and then I went on holiday and of course everything derailed - because I was just playing none of the goals were pledged with money. I want to restart my goals but I’m worried that because the goals are now frozen (and have been for a few weeks now), that if I pledge money to unfreeze them that I will be in an impossible position where I will never be able to get back on the road because so much time has passed- does pledging money to restart a goal now put you back on the road, and does it give you the week lead up that you get when you start a new goal? Is it best to archive these goals and set up new goals with pledges?

Any advice on this would be great, I’ve read a few blog posts but I’m still not entirely sure. I know Beeminder will be a great tool for someone like me - and I want to get back on track :).

Many thanks




I’ll assume we’re talking about Do More goals here. Let me know if you are talking about Do Less.

By default you do get a week of grace period when you resume a goal. There is a setting called No Mercy Recommit where you can disable that, but if you didn’t fiddle with the setting, you should get a week of flat road.

An important thing to note is that because you can always change the slope of your road starting a week out, a week of flat period means that your previously dialed in slope is totally irrelevant. So you might have had it set to “Do 10000 things per week” but after you re-rail, you can adjust that to whatever you want.


Just to further clarify — when re-starting a goal you are NOT on the hook for all the time in-between. The amount of time that has passed since you derailed is completely irrelevant. Unfreezing a goal is functionally the same as starting a new goal, it’s just that your old data points are still there.


One other thing — to avoid a similar thing happening this time around, I would suggest unfreezing only one goal at a time. Unfreeze a goal, stick with it for a while, and see how it goes. After a week or two you can think about unfreezing another one. Re-introducing them gradually will help make sure you don’t overwhelm yourself. This is important because most people are overoptimistic about what they will be able to accomplish in the future.


It depends. If your goal is formulated as “Reach total value X by date Y” then your new slope will be steeper after re-rail because there’s now less time. If your goal is formulated as “Do X per week/day/month” then I agree it doesn’t matter how long you are frozen for.


Ah, very true, good point.

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This is where the flat week after a derailment comes in handy: you can adjust the road dial before the slope kicks in.

It’s common to start with a goal idea like ‘lose 10lbs before my birthday’. But usually the ‘10lbs’ part is more important than the ‘birthday’ part. So it’s usually better phrased as ‘lose 10lbs as soon as is practicable’, which in turn is a target weight and a weekly rate. The date becomes the calculated result of a sustainable slope.

Conversely, if you’ve got an exam coming up and think you need to study 100 hours between then and now, then the date is more important than the hours. To help keep the slope from getting increasingly-stupidly steep after each derailment, the no mercy only gives you a couple days off instead of a week.

(All fixable by emailing support of course. If you ever get yourself tied in knots, email support. For goal-settings knots anyway. For philosophical knots, our forum users are amazing. As this thread ably demonstrates.)

PS: it’s insanely valuable to hear points of confusion like this. For long-time users, it’s become second nature and we can’t see what’s not clear to newbees. Thanks @mangoman!


Thank you all for your great responses. It’s all really reassuring. I’m going to take it easy a get back on track slowly. All the best.