# Pulling out hair from "aaargh! moments": my goal issues topic

I decided to make a topic for the issues I trip over for my goals. So I won’t be emailing Beeminder support every single day for the duration of my goals (most are three months, so yeah, that’s a lot of e-mail, LOL).

I have no idea how to upload pictures to this post, so I’ll just describe the current issue:

I have a 8000-steps a day goal. I got 20,000+ steps on the first day because of a long hike with a friend, so I got a bit of a buffer which was nice.

But now my “Amounts due by today” section is doing weird things

So the “total” column gets a +8000 every day (so today is 32,000 and tomorrow would be 40,000)

My “delta” column however… I reached my goal for today, it was 5-thousand-and-something which I don’t remember since it’s a checkmark now.

For tomorrow, it says I should take 3,808 steps (fair enough), but the day after that, I have to make 11,808 steps??? That’s 8,000 more than the previous day, but it keeps adding up until 43,808(!) on next Monday. If this does mean I have to take 43,808 steps that day to reach my goal, I’m very confused.

Am I misunderstanding the purpose of the delta column somehow? The description does say that it’s “what you have to do in order to be safe on a given day”.

So can anyone save me from getting a headache from trying to figure it out?

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I am assuming this is your 8000perday goal.

Look at the difference between Delta and the Total column. The Total
column goes up 8000 per day, while the Delta column shows the delta from
today
to the total due for that day.

The reason why the checkbox is there for today, is because you have already
met today’s goal total.

Let me know if you need more help!

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To add to that - it means that you need additional 43,808 steps to be safe until and including Monday - so if you walked that much tomorrow, you’d have checkmarks all the way there.

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Wow, you guys are fast! Thank you for the replies!

After reading your explanations I went back to my goal to look at the numbers again (also at a goal with smaller numbers because that’s easier to grasp for me) and I got it!

One more question: what is the ideal safety zone that makes me enter data every day, doesn’t build up a safety buffer of multiple days (I’ll be tempted to do less on those days) and doesn’t trigger a ton of reminders? And how do I get there (manual goals and auto data goals)?

I screwed up my current safety buffers of all my goals, so every day is an emergency day. But I don’t want to be off my roads every day, because of a mistake with my settings. Tried to fix it by entering double the needed data on manual goals, but I can’t edit anything in the auto data goals.

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Hi Ricky!

If you need us to adjust your goals, please do email support@beeminder.com … we’d much rather fix things than have you enter fake data just to make things start out on the right foot.

The answer might be almost none. If every day you do just enough to be on the centre line, still orange but almost blue, then every day will start off as an emergency day but take very little effort to get into the orange. And once you’re in the orange lane, the reminders go quiet.

The downside, of course, is that some days you’ll only do enough to make it barely orange, which will make the next day a bigger emergency…

What I do is set a pretty conservative (achievable) slope on most of my goals, and use the Plan Bee feature of auto-ratchet to make sure that I don’t build up too much safety buffer.

I’m sure you’ll find an approach that works for you, everyone does. Just be careful not to be too aggressive with your goals while you’re finding your own balance.

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Hi Philip,

Thanks for your reply. One sentence especially struck home: “Just be careful not to be too aggressive with your goals while you’re finding your own balance.”

That’s something I’m struggling with. So I decided that it’s better to be a bit nicer to myself. And work on being more and more nicer, of course. I guess I need something forgiving, like if I neglect two days, I’ll be in orange instead of right after one day. To reorganize my thoughts, I guess.

I mailed Beeminder support, because I’d like starting on a clean slate more than fumbling around with my goals, trying to change once-a-day goals to once-a-week goals. I’ll see what can be done to salvage my goals, but I wouldn’t mind having to start over.

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