Recovery - bouncing back

How do people recover from derailing?

When I derail, it’s usually because I’ve drifted away from my goal and pretty much stopped doing it, then got busy, stopped checking Beeminder, 10:30 pm… fuck… I guess that’s going to happen.

I have a long mercy setting (flat after derail). But that doesn’t really work, because if I haven’t been doing it, it’s easy to keep not doing it, burn thru the mercy period, derail again, stop using Beeminder for 2 years. (Trust me, that’s very possible.)

I think what I really want is that when I derail, my rate drops to very little, but I have to get back to it, at least a bit. I haven’t figured out how to use the mercy period, adjust road rate, and ratchet to achieve this.

Advice?

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I had a period somewhat recently when beeminder really stopped working for me—I had a lot of goals that I was never really checking, and would maybe skate the edge for a few weeks by frantically remembering the goal at 11:30 PM until I eventually just derailed.

My approach was to archive most of my goals, and then create a couple of simple goals that would let me rebuild the habit of frequently checking in with beeminder.

Once I am in a good place, I find it no problem at all to recover from derailing—derailing is always just that I barely failed to make the cut, but it’s not like I forgot about the goal completely.

If your problem is similar to mine, I would suggest archiving your goals and trying to make a couple small, perhaps even “silly” goals that you’ll have fun entering the data for to get back in the habit. You can then unarchive your goals one at a time—or consider just making different goals that might be more effective.

I’m curious to hear other people’s (probably very different) suggestions!

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Would it be crazy to have two versions of every goal. One version is archived at all times, and has a slow slope, suitable for recovery mode. The other is the real version, and it has a longer mercy period than the Akrasia horizon… when it derails, you flatten in, archive it, and activate the backup.

Am I over-thinking this?

Well, if you want to try that, it seems like it’s unecessarily complicated—when you derail, you should just try making the slope a lot smaller. But my feeling is that if you were ignoring the goal before, you’ll just still ignore it even if you make the slope smaller.

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Right now, I’m trying something even sillier. All the goals are basically paused, and I have a new goal $0 to start using Beeminder again. That’s it. Just click a data entry every day. That’s the whole goal.

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