Something weird is happening but I"m not sure what - Beeminder PTSD?

Some of you might know this better as shell-shock, or battle fatigue. Basically I seem to be really dragging my girth around trying to get the few goals I’ve set to stay in the orange, usually, at best. I can hardly be bothered to deal with the tasks until they are red, and even then I’m doing the bare minimum to avoid derailing instead of just kicking it as hard as I can or should be.

I am completely blind to beeminder warning emails now - they are just a nuisance buzzing around that I swipe away without consideration.

It’s almost like my willpower muscle, overworked (or more accurately, worked) for the first time ever, has mutinied and refuses to even play the game, whereas when I started I was quite keen on everything I was undertaking. I know that I’m naturally low on ‘grit’ having led a splendidly unchallenging life most of the time, but this feels new, different, terrible.

Is there a name for it, and has it been reported before? Maybe more importantly is there a way I can freshen up my willpower neurons?

edit: just read this: for the second time I think. Maybe that’s the key, I need some other more relaxed way to set less important goals. Maybe these aren’t the goals I should really be tracking.


I sometimes feel this way too.

I find myself doing this on several of my goals. I think that’s how beeminder is supposed to work, ‘become one’ with the wrong side of the road.
How much would you be doing without the Beeminder goals? Is the minimum still better than nothing?

You seem to have already started this, but re-evaluate if you still want the goals you have. Also read the blog about the Want-Can-Will Test.

If you decide to keep them think about adjusting the road:
If you think you’re not doing enough, ramp up the road and derail a few times until it gets to a motivating amount.
If you’re struggling to keep up, lower the road and/or take a break.

Sometimes I’m Mr Motivated, sometimes I’m Mr Don’t-feel-like-it. I find if I hang in there long enough I start feeling better and more productive again. But Beeminder keeps the progress ticking over until I get there.


Is this your first time burning out on Beeminder? I definitely burned myself out the first time I started using it. After a break and some reflection (some of) my problems were:

  • Too many goals.
  • Too many manual data entry goals.
  • Too many goals that don’t pass Want-Can-Will (@insti mentioned this above). This can be due to the rate selected for the goal or just inherent to the goal.

I turned off most of the reminder emails altogether, even most of the emergency-day-only reminders. I usually look at my goal gallery often enough to know what’s going to blow up if I don’t do anything.

Anything that you’ve grown numb to, like a swarm of emails, should be turned off or filtered so that you can retrain yourself to respond promptly to the ones that do arrive. Habitually ignoring anything robs it of its power…


Perhaps relevant is which will automatically archive nag emails that are older than the newest data in the goal. I got sick of all the stale reminders cluttering up my inbox.


It seems like the takeaway from Want-Can-Will is how long-term the goals are. Maybe this phenomenon is just part of the process of committing to a long-term goal? Gritty people overcome this malaise, and succeed, while the rest return to their mean standard?