Preventing burnout by creating goals using the want-can-will test

We’ve made this point before but it’s kind of spread out in a couple blog posts (Beating Beeminder Burnout and The Want-Can-Will Test for Akrasia) and @mel recently made it particularly well in a support email:

When first creating a goal, pick an amount you absolutely know you can and want to handle, an amount that would be ridiculous not to accomplish. Some of us are over-optimistic and may find that that ridiculously bare minimum is actually hard. If not, dial up the steepness later.

As Melanie put it, “even though I should be and want to be doing more, I don’t hesitate to keep a goal at a rate that’s less than ideal if it means I keep going (and keep tracking) vs giving up.”