Beeminder Forum

Ok so I derailed, now what?

I derailed on my brush teeth commitment. Now what? I’m a bit confused on what the graph is now saying.

It seems to be saying that I don’t have to brush my teeth now for a whole week. So I have one week to brush my teeth one time, and if I don’t do that, then I need to pay $10, right?

I’m confused on what I’m pledging. How long does the $10 pledge last? How many teeth brushings does that pledge last? When does it drop back down to a $5 pledge? Is the drop back down to $5 automatic as well, or do I have to manually do that?

Of course, I want to get right back onto the train and be required to brush teeth sooner than a week from now. What are one or two (or three) sensible ways that people might restart their commitments (for brushing teeth or for other things)?

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When you create a goal, you have a choice of “pledge schedule”. That decides what happens to your pledge when you derail. The idea is to find the point where you’re the most motivated, as quickly as possible. You can however add a “pledge cap” which means the pledge won’t grow more than that when you create a goal.

It never just drops back to $5, unless you set a pledge cap of $5. This is obviously confusion from the interface, so just email support to put the cap to $5 if that’s what you prefer.

That’s what “ratcheting” in the interface is for. You have 7 days of “buffer” after you derail, to make sure that you can prepare yourself again to do whatever goal you have, but if you want you can ratchet that back. If you put 0, for example, you have to brush your teeth today. If you put 1, you have to brush your teeth by tomorrow.

Additionally, you can change in the settings the “respite”, which is how many days it gives you after you derail. The default is 7 because it’s the same as the akrasia horizon, allowing you to change goal settings before you can derail again.

If anything is unclear do feel free to send an email to They’re always happy to help and looking to learn what’s unintuitive in beeminder.