One Real-World Goal, Multiple Beeminder Goals

Continuing the discussion from Beeminding blogging:

A multi-dimensional example of language learning might involve:

This post brought to you courtesy of my Beeminder goal of reading In the Name of the Rose in the original Italian. It’s (almost) an emergency day, so of course I would rather tell you about my goal than actually do some reading. Is my Italian good enough to understand everything? Not by a long shot, but I’m only on page 22, and I’m certain that it’ll be much better after another 500 pages. But I wouldn’t ever read them without beeminding it.

What are you beeminding from multiple angles?


The obvious example for me and @bee is all the different ways we beemind working on Beeminder – time spent, UVIs, time spent on specific parts of Beeminder like integrations or open-sourcing or support, tocks, etc.

Another classic example is beeminding weight along with various actions (like eating and exercise) that will bring about the weight goal.

We’ve historically recommended against beeminding performance goals, like one’s 5k running time. But now that I think about it (thanks @jjb for making me think about it) I actually like the idea. You’d definitely want to beemind total miles or total minutes along with it, and not beemind the outcome goal too aggressively. But that could be some pretty cool motivation to push harder. Much like entering actual races. Or the opposite of races. Instead of winning prize money or glory you get charged if you don’t hit the new PR you need to stay on your yellow brick road.

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Theoretically I’d like to make a very non-aggressive beeminder goal to improve my minutes/mile time.

I think the abstract idea of better health and well being is sufficient to think that running is a good idea. And then that’s sort of sufficient to get me to actually go running. And of course beeminder helps to get me to go running.

But the problem with performing while out there is that even if I firmly believe that running faster will be good for my health and/or satisfying in other ways, I am just too mentally lazy to worry about it too much. I’m listening to podcasts and watching with wonder at all the normals walking home from work.

So yeah theoretically a cautiously sloped beeminder goal will do the trick.

HOWEVER – the way to achieve a faster time isn’t to feel like a lion is chasing you while you run. That works in a race or once in a while. But the way to do it is to train consistently and train well all week long.

So, maybe beeminding this doesn’t really work that well, unless you are super committed to making it part of your life, because it’s a really abstract graph that a ton of user behaviors feed into. (like to maintain my book-reading graph i just need to sit down and read for 20 minutes. to maintain my run faster graph i have to make a really good training program, make sure to have backup plan when there’s bad weather, …).

I suppose weight loss is exactly like this though. But there, it’s basically required that one be super committed and think about it all day. But having similar dedication as a casual runner interested in moderately improved performance seems sort of unlikely.

Okay that was long-winded and I sort of contradicted myself, but those are some thoughts.


how about folders or tags?


That’s coming!

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