Beeminder Forum

Resetting the pledges at intervals

To me, it doesn’t make sense that if I have a long-term goal that my pledges would increase every time I derail. It’s like I’m paying for my past mistakes forever. If I want to run every day for a year and I miss a few times, then I could be paying $90 or more each time even though I’m staying mostly consistent.

However, it might make more sense for pledges to increase in time frames that reset at intervals. If I have a year goal, I might want my pledges to reset every 30 days. So if I miss a few times in one month, then my pledges keep increasing. But the next month, I get a clean slate to try again.

For other goals, I might want a weekly focus.

To achieve, this I’ve thought of just creating a Beeminder goal that ends each month/week. But I have 15 goals and that would start to feel like a pain to do that manually all the time.

Also, I would be willing to pay for this feature. Maybe others would too.


Bear in mind that you can step down a pledge, subject to the one-week akrasia horizon:

It’s entirly reasonable to do that whenever you feel is appropriate. As with all other reductions in a goal’s commitment, the akrasia horizon is the thing that keeps it from being abused to weasel out on yourself.

(Note: you can’t lower the pledge to $0 this way unless you are on the Beemium premium plan level, nor can you increase the goal (without Beemium.))

You have to choose to lower the pledge yourself—as things currently stand, there is no way to ask Beeminder to automatically lower it for at an interval, though that’s a feature that has been discussed, and may at some point be implemented.

Until then, note that there is an API endpoint to step down a goal’s pledge, so you could always write a script that runs in a cron job and invokes this API endpoint as necessary according to whatever rules you want. Just keep take into account that the pledge is only actually reduced one week after the stepdown is requested, for the sake of the akrasia horizon.


Thanks for your detailed response. You’re right, I certainly can manually step down a pledge and what you shared can accomplish that although it would be cumbersome to do that for several goals.

I almost want a weekly or monthly reset and time for a celebration. :slight_smile:

The API method sounds almost right … other than the seven-day waiting period which makes it hard to figure for weekly goals. But certainly can work for 30-day or monthly goal periods.

Also, I’m don’t know how to write scripts. So I’d have to learn that or have someone do that for me. And I’m sure I could set up a chron job with my host though.

Now that I think about it, even doing that could be cumbersome with several goals. I have 15. I’d like to focus either weekly or monthly for some of them.

Anyhow, thanks again for your detailed response. It’s giving me food for thought.

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Ooh, we’ve been talking about a pledge decay feature – something you could opt in to after your first derailment – where every 30 days of no derailing your pledge would halve or step down a level.

Sounds like this is a strong vote for that?


Yes, that I would vote for that. I would like it to reset the pledge back to the first level though. More like a reset every 30 days. I’d also like the option to reset weekly. A shorter interval could be useful for goals that are far more challenging such as issues with temptations.

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What I used to do was have a separate Do Less goal that lets me step down pledges on other goals. So if that goal wasn’t red then I could do a step down or have a party, etc. :slight_smile:

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I’m not sure I understand how this works.

I’d set a Do Less goal. What would I be doing less? Derailing less?

And did you create a separate Do Less goal for each goal or one that covers all of them?

The thing you’re doing less is decreasing your pledges. As in, you would decrease your pledges all the time, but this goal puts a rate limit on that. I just had one Do Less goal for this and I would pick and choose which goal to decrease the pledge on depending on what was going on.