Sharing KEYSTONE habits

Calling all Beeminders to share for the collective improvement of each other’s lives.
Without being overly dramatic or cliche about it, I’m on a mission to discover all the most effective/“life-changing” Beeminder goals/habits.
These would include both specific goals/habits and/or methods of tracking them that have been most effective.
I’ve archived most of my goals except one due to a big move to another state and starting a new chapter in life, and since we are around the halfway point of 2017 I’m ready to kick it back into high gear.
Ive always been in search for the “optimal” everything, and while everyone is different, I’m sure it would be fascinating for everyone to see what goals have made the biggest impact for people
in quality of life, productivity, fiscal responsibility, health, etc. Im sure everyone has heard of Keystone habits and how they can influence many aspects of peoples lives.
Its interesting how certain habits have leverage over many others, and would be equally interesting to know what would happen if one applied the maximum amount of leverage to his/her pursuit of excellence by focusing primarily or even exclusively on these keystone behaviors that make the most difference in life and work
The basic questions:
What 1-2 goals have made the biggest difference in your own life or work life, regardless of whether you have a perfect track record on them?

-For me, its beeminding my working hours, down to the minute, it has enabled me to be more consistent, more flexible, and ultimately more proficient in my performance.
It has improved my confidence and ability to focus in general in life as well. dealing with a physical injury related to my work(I’m a musician) beeminder has saved my ability to perform by forcing me to be consistent and allowing me the freedom to be flexible when necessary.

*If this post exists somewhere else in some other context i apologize, but thought it was in interesting question.


Number one goal pair is weight/weigh_days. I have kept off 45 pounds for
~2 years.

Second keystone goal is “grumps”. I tracked when I was doing something or
saying something just because I was grumpy or lashing out at something. (I
found that being grumpy and lashing out is something that leads to more of
the same). I also tracked what it was that nominally caused “the grump”,
and it was also insightful.

Without having tracked grumps for years, I would not have thought it would
have been valuable at all, or that it would pour over into so many aspects
of my life.


I read about this elsewhere on the forum and adopted this goal. It’s a huge win.

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I exercise daily.

Being less grumpy/not using others as punchball for my bad mood is a big goal for me too, but how do you make a beeminder out of it?

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I set up a do less goal, with a very easy slope, and marked a datapoint of
1 every time I did something because of that hot fuming irritated feeling,
and put a few words why in the comments. After the data entry habit was
established, I set the slope somewhat tougher and cut out some of the
safety buffer.


Interesting thread!

I use beeminder to track my healthy habits. I tend to snack on crap all day long. So with this, I get one data point if I restrict myself to only one unhealthy snack a day and I get a point if I reach my activity goal (tracked by my watch). That made a huge difference in how healthy I feel!

However, I still struggle most with my procrastination. I struggle with getting started and binge watching netflix instead. I do track working hours, but often I end up doing it late at night. I also tend to cheat when the goal is too unrealistic. So i try to have my beeminder goals automated as much as possible.

Anyone a great idea on how to reduce your binge watching hours, and/or to force to get started working?

Looking forward to read more keystone goals and their story!


What do you watch Netflix on, Simone? A computer?


Adam, I watch it on a variety of devices (which probably does not make this easier). But mostly my iPad…

If you watched it on a computer or on Android, you could use RescueTime to
log your netflix time, but that doesn’t stop you from procrastinating on
something else, anyway.

@simone13 just stop watching netflix. You’ll have a lot of spare time :smiley:

@simone13 I’ve been considering making a script to sync to beeminder to beemind minutes/hours spent on TV. You’d have to get your Netflix data synced into Trakt though, using something like the Traktflix extension:

If people are interested in this I’ll try to make something in my next free weekend.

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@adamwolf Thanks for reminding me of RescueTime! I used to use it. And I think it is time now to activate it again. But you are right, does not help with the iPad watching of Netflix. However, I think this can help in many other ways! Thank you!

@bcool Haha. If my brain would work like that, I would not need beeminder for anything in my life…And, I am not ready to give up on Netflix entirely. But yes, yes, you are indeed correct (but do tell that to my impulsive brain…)

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@whackedspinach Would that work similarly to RescueTime (as in only when Netflix is watched on your browser on the computer)? Or could the data be pulled from Netflix somehow differently? So generally, yes, interested. Maybe. Depending on how it would work.

Simone, no problem! RescueTime and Beeminder got my Twitter habit under
control, so I’m glad to spread the word.

It would pull all of your Netflix history (but it requires you to press a button to sync new data if not watched on the browser).

The simplest but most transformative is 100% my weekly injection. Turns out, being compliant with a prescription allows you to reap the benefits! Also, turns out, if your endocrine system hates you, you will hate everything. I “knew” for years that fudging the timing on my shot messed up the rest of my life, but I didn’t know how much better compliance would feel until Beeminder finally got me on track with it. Almost annoying how simple and how powerful this is.

Next after that is my goal to keep in touch with one of the most people in my life. We’d been drifting apart; being nudged to reach out to her made me think again of all the cool things we used to do together and to come up with new things. It worked so well I’ve expanded it to other important relationships.

I don’t know that either of those count as keystone habits, though. I use Beeminder in part because I’m not a very habit-based person, and it’s hard to stay on top of semi-regular activities when I barely know what day of the week it is; I outsource remembering what “semi-regular” means to Beeminder. I think my real most powerful “habit” is my rejection of “remembering” as a viable strategy at all, and my cultivation of an arsenal of mental-outsourcing techniques. I am either actively using information, or I have carefully ‘set it down’ in such a way that it will be to hand when I do want to actively use it (and can safely forget it until then), which lets me achieve focus and mental clarity in whatever I am completely dedicating my attention to at the moment.


A few years ago I started to beemind the time I spend learning new things for work on my spare time at home.

At the beginning it was a course on Coursera about Android development that took me around 6 hours a week for some months. After that I continued to learn about Android development on my own, always beeminding, and in the end it allowed me to get a position as Android developer in my company.

What I got from beeminding is that even when I was not in the mood, I had to open Coursera and move forward or else I had to pay.

After a few months I took the habit and now that habit is a pleasure.