Project Goal

Hello everyone,

I am new to Beeminder, and I have a challenge. I have joined Beeminder to incentivize myself to do a better job completing project goals on time. Seems reasonable. Here is an example;

  1. I would like to spend three hours per week cleaning my garage until it is done. That’s it. Right now it’s pretty messy, and it will be done when I say its enough, and is neat. Like anything, that is a sliding scale. I’m not interested in scrubbing the corners on my hands and knees with a toothbrush however, just something reasonably need and clean, that others, if they saw it, would consider neat and clean. This might take 10 hours, or 15, or 20. I’ll know it when I see it. When I get to the end, I want to end the goal and mark it complete, and move on to other things. How can I do this? It appears that Beeminder is really not set up for project goals, unless I am mis-interpreting this. I find this bizarre, because most of the goals I set for myself are project goals, not necessarily long-term habit goals. Please help.
    PS: I see that you can create custom goals with the third level of membership; with this help in this case? Many thanks – JOHN

Will you know about a week ahead of time when it’ll be done? If so, set your goal as a Do More goal with a rate of 3 hours a week (remember to add a safety buffer unless you want to start right away!). When you are a week away from finishing, set the end date, and everything works out! Then you can delight in your clean garage and add another goal if you want :slight_smile:

The key is that Beeminder doesn’t let you end a goal without a one week delay so that you don’t just quit a goal without thinking about it.

Even if you don’t realize you are going to be done, an extra 3 hours will just make the garage extra sparkly :slight_smile:


Welcome to the forum! :smiley:

Another approach would be to include in your fine print that a derail is not legit if you’ve finished the project. In that case, your process for completing the goal would be:

  1. Finish cleaning the garage
  2. Schedule goal for archive
  3. Let the goal derail
  4. Reply to the charge email telling support that it isn’t legit since the project is done and you included this rule in your fine print

Support will then cancel the charge. After that you shouldn’t derail again since the break a derail creates will take you past your archive date.


Hi @johnrooks! I’ve been chatting with you about this via email, but I thought I’d explain the options here for anyone else who is checking out this thread.

So basically there are three ways to end a goal in Beeminder, with the third being sort of discouraged [edit to add: because it’s aaaall about thinking ahead, so if you can plan ahead, we’d prefer you to!].

  1. If you know a date by which you wish to be done, or an end total which you want to reach, you can set that under the “commitment” tab on the goal’s page, by clicking on “change goal date and goal total”. That way, you don’t have to worry about remembering to archive the goal: once the date or end-total are reached, you won’t need to keep adding data. Sometimes I use this to set a rough target date which I later modify, which I think can be useful with things like decluttering.

  2. The other way is archiving the goal seven days before you want it to finish. Personally, this works for me because I review my Beeminder goals every week at the same time (I have a Beeminder goal for it!), so I can tell seven days in advance that my goal is going to be finished soon and start up the archive.

  3. We do know that there are cases where that doesn’t work, so it is totally possible for people to email and say “hey, I actually finished this goal now, so it isn’t possible to do any more work on it – can you archive it?” And we’ll say yes, since it’d be silly to make you keep going seven days if you’ve completed the goal… and having this step of having to email us and explain all that avoids it being too easy.

If you want to be able to say “right, I’m done” when you feel you’ve reached the goal, well… that’s kind of counter to the whole point of Beeminder. You’re not supposed to be able to get out of it just like that – it’s a commitment contract, and it’s meant to be enforcing longer-term thinking than that, to avoid the phenomenon of “akrasia”, which is basically where short-term desires trump your long-term needs. The idea is that when you have to think seven days ahead, that’s detached from the day-to-day “I’d rather do x or y”, and you won’t be as tempted to ditch your goal in favour of short-term desires.

Users might have some ideas about how they handle this kind of project within the restrictions I’ve described, but I don’t think there’s a way to just get your goal archived whenever you want. If there is, it’d be interesting to hear about it… and possibly it’d be a bug we’d actually want to patch up!


Ah, no, this wouldn’t work, as a general rule. If you call non-legit on a derailment, we don’t let you keep the flat spot under most circumstances! However, we’d probably just archive the goal in this case, so it’s not wrong in that sense.