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shanaqui's Beeminder Journal: 2022

[Pre-2021 Beeminder Journal thread ] | [2021 Beeminder Journal Thread]

Ground Rules:

Feel free to join in and ask questions, poke me and give me accountability, chip in with your experiences. I’m game. If something’s out of bounds, I’ll try to just say so proactively.

I am very frank about my physical and mental health, particularly the latter. That means I’m usually happy to answer questions that others might consider impertinent or TMI… but I’ll let you know if it crosses the boundary.

Useful things to know:

  • I do a goal for every book I read. This is so I finish the books I start. The goals always have a rate of 5/day and an autoratchet to 1 day of safety, because that’s a perfect line between “small enough that I’ll always be able to do it” and “big enough to have the chance of hooking me back into reading this specific book”. I’d typically read at least a hundred pages a day, so these goals are very consciously tiny .

  • I currently make a goal for every book I buy/receive to review. This combines an idea of @dreev’s about beeminding using everything you buy, and a method I was using to keep my new books in my easily-distractible mind. I was piling my books on a chair so they were inconvenient and I had to interact with them every day… and it was working wonders for helping me read them in a timely manner. But it doesn’t work with ebooks. Happily, I interact with all my Beeminder goals every day (even if just to collapse them and say “don’t need to do this every day”) so now these goals can stand in for that!

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Derailments:

  • N/a

New goals:

  • /stopbyseven - This goal is for making sure that work stops by 7pm. I don’t just mean work-work, I mean my Beeminder goals. All deadlines must be met by 7pm, close the tab, it’s time to chill. For now the rate is 4/week while I check how viable it is. I’ve decided that this is really my New Year’s resolution: figure out how to make time for all the stuff I’m trying to force into happening to happen naturally, like it used to. So this is my first attempt at getting there, with the same principle as I had for my /clockoff and /slackoff goals of trying to find the levers that make things possible (a la Beeminding the Right Thing).
  • /thelastremnant - I was in danger of wandering off and never finishing my replay of this game, so now I have a goal to do a bit each day.
  • /moremoneychallenge - This goal has a $0 pledge cap, since it’s about saving money. It’s to help me keep track graphically of my progress for YNAB’s More Money Challenge. I initially set a goal that’s way too high, but I’ve fixed that now.

Changes to existing goals:

  • I decided to do a bit of a clean-up for the New Year, moving some of my goals to be tasks on Habitica instead. My heuristic here was to clean out goals which aren’t currently critical, so my dashboard is a bit more streamlined. I’ve kept some goals that might sound like they fit that bill because I know what happens when I don’t beemind them, namely /inboxzeroes and /tabzeroes. I feel like they are still mostly possible no matter what’s going on, and neglecting them leads to more overwhelm than keeping them ticking over. Some of the archived goals may come back if it turns out to be a similar situation!
  • Goals that are archiving: /netgalleyratio, /veggies, /fruit, /ehlyah, /streeeetch, /hands, /neckstreeeetch, /getagrip, /200squats, /journal, /thinkonpaper, /myfitnesspal
  • /focusmate - I’ve dialled this goal even lower for a bit, while I’m trying to figure out how to get the best out of it – it feels like if I use it for the most routine stuff, it becomes a bit too commonplace. So now it’s at 5/week.
  • /earning - I’ve re-calculated the minimum I can earn per week, changed the rate, and ratcheted the graph down. I’m hoping to use it as originally intended, to show me the trend and when I’m earning enough, and remind me that I can have breaks.
  • /litsyupdate - This goal came to an end, after successfully making me post to Litsy every day in 2021. It’s an experiment that I found useful, but also very narrowing – sure, it meant I kept participating on Litsy to make my own posts, but then I rarely did anything else.

Project Bookminder:

Most new goals are “flat-forever” goals. Flat-forever goal = a goal made to remind me that I have this book and want to read it someday, with a rate of 0; standard reading goal = rate of 5/day, autoratchet to 1 day of safety. All reading goals have public datapoints with daily comments describing how I’m getting along with the book… or not even starting it, if the goal is still flat-forever!

  • /thehistoryofmagic - Changed this to be a standard reading goal! It’s slow going so far, but interesting, even if I don’t agree that ancient peoples painting animals on cave walls is necessarily a sign they were exploring spiritual connections with said animals, and such arguments.
  • /materiallives - On the “one out, one in” policy, I’ve added this goal for reading Serena Dyer’s Material Lives, a book about 18th century women through the lens of things they made. It’s a flat-forever goal for now.
  • /murderafterchristmas - I thought I’d better get to this one while it was seasonal, and promptly devoured it. It got a bit overly convoluted and annoying in the end, but I enjoyed it for the most part.
  • /flowersforthesea - I finished this on the same day I created the goal, in the end. I got Flowers for the Sea by Zin E. Rocklyn as an ARC, but it wasn’t my thing – too much body horror.
  • /psalmforthewildbuilt - I got Becky Chambers’ latest novella as an ARC, and finally read it now. It didn’t take me long! Enjoyable, though not my favourite of her works.
  • /fateoftheninth - A book I got for Christmas which tries to work out, through comparing inscriptions, what happened to the IX Hispana, a Roman legion which seems to have been destroyed/disbanded at some point. Dry, but interesting to me. Finished and archived!

Other comments:

  • Well, happy new year! Here’s hoping it’s good for us all.
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Derailments:

  • /clockoff - This week has been a killer, with tons of emails. I messed up and didn’t pay proper attention.

New goals:

  • N/a; there may not be any for a while, at least until the new year rush is over in the Beeminder inbox! I am thinking about a goal to maybe incrementally get me taking walks outside again… but we’ll see.

Changes to existing goals:

  • N/a, I think!

Project Bookminder:

Most new goals are “flat-forever” goals. Flat-forever goal = a goal made to remind me that I have this book and want to read it someday, with a rate of 0; standard reading goal = rate of 5/day, autoratchet to 1 day of safety. All reading goals have public datapoints with daily comments describing how I’m getting along with the book… or not even starting it, if the goal is still flat-forever!

  • /tdir2_rising - Finished and archived! I loved it as much as ever, but I think it needs to go away in a cupboard (metaphorically) for a while so I can see it fresh next time I read.
  • /tdir3_greenwitch - Started up a goal for the third book right away!
  • /thedarknessoutsideus - Started this and finished it in the same week. It less of a romance than originally advertised, but enjoyable as a mystery/thriller.
  • /gearbreakers - New flat-forever goal for a book I got for Christmas, replacing the flat-forever goal that got started up for The Darkness Outside Us! This looks like a lot of fun, big mechs etc. Funnily enough, I got it from a friend on like… Christmas Eve, but also gifted a copy to my sister.
  • /thecouncillor - A flat-forever goal which has become a regular reading goal! This is a book I’m reading for a challenge, but I’ve only just started, so no thoughts yet.
  • /albertentwistle - Aaand another flat-forever goal to replace the one that got started up for The Councillor. This book is about a postman and that’s most of what I know. A possibility to review on the Postcrossing blog!

Other comments:

  • My /stopbyseven goal is going reasonably well, and I think it does what I want it to do. It’s surprisingly restful to just… be done with everything and have the evenings all to myself. It seems to result in more reading than I would otherwise have done!
  • I may increase the rate on /pileminding since I’m going like the clappers at the moment. On the other hand, I don’t expect it to last…

Let’s have a good year!

I’ve been meaning to ask for a while: that “megadueby” table you mentioned in the gratitude thread, is that something that is shareable? I think I’d find that really useful too. Once upon a time I suggested a “load more” link in the “Amounts Due By Day” table on the Statistics tab of goals to TPTB… Just extending it to 10 or 14 days would make a lot of difference already.

An area I’ll be working on this year is pre-planning some of my goals, where instead of doing multiple small chunks every day, I’d do less larger chunks every few days. That’s what the dueby stats would be really useful for. I’ll probably end up building something to help with that. And I’ll keep further philosophising about my goals on my own thread :wink:.

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@ianminds If @adamwolf is cool with me sharing his work, I’m happy to throw up a public version you can poke! It’s just a spreadsheet on Google Sheets that calculates for a fairly simple graph with just one kink in it, but you’d probably be able to adapt it for your goals.

Go for it!

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Derailments:

  • N/a!

New goals:

  • N/a

Changes to existing goals:

  • /pileminding - I enabled @narthur’s autodialler and force-ran it even though the goal isn’t old enough yet. I set an upper rate of 3/week, just in case. It’s now set my rate to 1.27 books per week, for a start, so let’s see how this goes.
  • /stopbyseven - The concept works well, and it’s physically possible, so I’ve set the rate to 6/week now (with 1 day a week allowed for unforeseen circumstances).
  • /earning - Since I just got this month’s pay, I’ve ratcheted this back down. I plan to do this every month so I can see real-time my progress (the line of my data) vs my needs (the bright red line).

Project Bookminder:

Most new goals are “flat-forever” goals. Flat-forever goal = a goal made to remind me that I have this book and want to read it someday, with a rate of 0; standard reading goal = rate of 5/day, autoratchet to 1 day of safety. All reading goals have public datapoints with daily comments describing how I’m getting along with the book… or not even starting it, if the goal is still flat-forever!

  • /strangebeastsofchina - Started up this goal… and have already finished the book. I didn’t love it, alas; it wasn’t quite what I expected, and I found it both unclear (when it came to following the exact relationships between characters in one of the stories) and that it was too obvious about its themes.
  • /ww2_wallflower - New flat-forever goal for reading one of my Christmas books, replacing the goal that got started up! It’s technically the second in a series, but they’re kind of episodic – so I hear, anyway.
  • /thehistoryofmagic - Finished! I found it super reductive: basically any practice we don’t understand from the past is considered to be magic, instead of realising that historic and modern humans are pretty similar so there’s a high likelihood someone just got tattooed with a tiger (or whatever) because they think tigers are cool, rather than for shamanistic reasons… But I also enjoyed the read, when it stuck to the archaeology and textual evidence.
  • /tdir3_greenwitch - Finished! Not my favourite of the trilogy, but it has a beautiful chapter under the sea and a character who deserves more attention is prominent, so I enjoy it.
  • /tdir4_thegreyking - Getting started on my reread of the next book in the sequence.
  • /moneytruestory - Started this goal from the backlog! I’m inhaling it so far, it’s very breezy.
  • /immunejourney - Another flat-forever goal replacing a started backlog goal! This is a beautifully produced book that will tell me mostly stuff I already know. That’s still valuable, though, because watching other people communicate science effectively helps hone what I do, plus the refresher is helpful, and the illustrations here are bold and colourful and the most likely way I, a profoundly non-visual person (you say “imagine an apple” and I imagine something more like the word “apple”, a concept without an image or sensory information strongly attached), will learn from example to draw and depict these complex systems.

Other comments:

  • Nothing right now, I think! I’ll get a public version of the megadueby spreadsheet up soon, but right now it’s time to end my day and read.
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Heeeere we go: Beeminder Megadueby LSHTM Goals Redux - Google Sheets

That link should let you view the spreadsheet I’m working with. It doesn’t auto-update from Beeminder or anything, so when I want to get the updated totals, I have to put in my current amount here:

image

So when I took that screenshot I was at 64 hours, 21 minutes total on this graph. (Holy crap I’m only halfway there, arrghhh.)

The graph has only ever had one rate change, and the table has almost the entire history of the graph’s rate except the initial two-week flat spot.

Derailments:

  • /thecouncillor - Fascinating book, I was just too tired to read that day.

New goals:

  • N/a, though I may make some goals for Anki reviews soon!

Changes to existing goals:

  • /fastfood - I’ve lowered the rate on this since me and my wife are agreed to reduce our dependence on getting takeout because we’re tired/not doing well mentally. It’s not disallowed entirely, and I’m not ratcheting away my buffer… but we want to step it down a bit after getting in the habit when we were both quite unwell.

Project Bookminder:

Most new goals are “flat-forever” goals. Flat-forever goal = a goal made to remind me that I have this book and want to read it someday, with a rate of 0; standard reading goal = rate of 5/day, autoratchet to 1 day of safety. All reading goals have public datapoints with daily comments describing how I’m getting along with the book… or not even starting it, if the goal is still flat-forever!

  • /moneytruestory - Finished and archived! Very quick read. It explained things well, but it’s very much aimed at light reading and I wouldn’t use it to form my opinions.
  • /materiallives - Started this up from being a flat-forever goal! It’s fascinating so far, all about the lives and material output of four 18th century women and what that revealed about them. I’ve finished the book, so this will get archived soon.
  • /hiddenhands - A new flat-forever goal for a book that seems right up my alley, about manuscripts and their makers.
  • /theabsolutebook - Started this up from being a longterm flat-forever goal. It starts off like a thriller and takes a left turn into fairyland, pretty much literally. I’m curious where it’s going.
  • /thestrangertimes - A new flat-forever goal to replace The Absolute Book in the list! Basically, what if a paranormal newspaper found that some of the stuff it reports is, in fact, terrifyingly real.
  • /humankind - This is a book I originally received as an ARC, so, I’m long overdue to read it… and it just kinda tickled my fancy when I browsed my Netgalley backlog for non-fiction. So far, racing through.

Notes:

  • Nothing coming to mind this week!