Beeminder Forum

Succeeding on an emergency day but logging the day after - will I derail?


#1

I have a question considering logging on the day after a goal is due. Say I want to track every day if I did something or not. But I want to enter that into Beeminder the following day.

The goal in question:

“Days without X, Y, and Z.” Log 1 if did not do either of X, Y, or Z. Note that the goal is weaselproof.
https://www.beeminder.com/howtodowtle/days_without_kaggle_euler_comunio

Now, ideally, I would enter tomorrow if I did any of these (0) or not (1).
Why not today before I go to bed? If I log today, I could cheat myself and do X, Y, or Z after logging.

But I’m afraid to derail if I only log today’s value tomorrow.

  • Is that the case (A)?
  • Or will I have two days to log if I actually succeeded (B)?

Which is right, (A) or (B)?

(In case, it’s (A), I’ve got a solution in place. If it’s (B), there is not even a problem. I just need to know which it is as I don’t want to have any buffer for actually not achieving my goal - just for reporting.)


#2

Uuuh… If it’s (A), I’m derailing in about five hours (Europe)! I thought about emailing support, but decided I won’t use their time. The worst that can happen is that I derail and up the stakes from $5 to $10 (or maybe that would even be the best outcome?).

Still, if anyone can help, that would be appreciated. :slight_smile:


#3

Howdy,

I’m not sure I completely understand the question. So let me try to rephase and you can tell me if I’ve understood?

You have a goal that is phrased in a negative way. You want to have a data point of +1 if you have a “clean” day where you don’t do the forbidden things. The finish line is bedtime / end of day, so we can’t really know if you “deserve” the +1 until midnight. But you need to be awake to enter data, so there is this unavoidable loophole where you could always do the forbidden thing after you record the +1 for the day. Do I have this right?

The basic answer is A) is right. This goal is going to derail and charge you $5 in 4 hours 22 minutes. There is not a grace period for entering your data retroactively.

At risk of disputing your premise, would it be easier if this were a Do Less goal instead of a Do More goal? In the Do Less model, you would record a +1 when you do the forbidden task and record nothing when you have a “clean” day. This means that there is no data entry problem of the type described above because you only interact with Beeminder when you do the X,Y,Z and not otherwise.

The primary risk here is that you can just completely forget about the goal. The Do More model will nag you for a data point if you don’t enter it, whereas Do Less can sort of just succeed silently. There’s a solution called Pessimistic Presumptive Reports which is basically just the system enters a phantom +1 for you that requires you to go in and override it with a 0 to indicate a clean day. So you can’t just forget about the goal, you have to manually enter 0 to show Beeminder you didn’t forget. But if you then go on to do the forbidden thing, you can still enter a +1 to indicate that despite the fact you already entered 0 because they all get added together and 0+1=1 so no harm is done. So I believe it would solve your problem?

There’s more info on Do Less goals here: https://blog.beeminder.com/less/


#4

Also I can attest that the Beeminder Support email is real humans who love new users above all others. So don’t hesitate to reach out to them!


#5

let me try to rephase

You have a goal that is phrased in a negative way. You want to have a data point of +1 if you have a “clean” day where you don’t do the forbidden things. The finish line is bedtime / end of day, so we can’t really know if you “deserve” the +1 until midnight. But you need to be awake to enter data, so there is this unavoidable loophole where you could always do the forbidden thing after you record the +1 for the day. Do I have this right?

Exactly right! I had a bit of trouble phrasing it myself. Which is related to your second point:

would it be easier if this were a Do Less goal instead of a Do More goal?

Yes, probably. I am aware that this is goal is set up artificially as a Do More goal. Reasons are:

  • I’m very new, so I wanted to stick to a goal type I understand (I thought, haha!).
  • Don’t have Beemium (yet?), so only Do More goals available.
  • This is an emergency goal which will only be relevant for about a month, so not too fussed about how it looks, just about how effective it is. :slight_smile:

From my question:

In case, it’s (A), I’ve got a solution in place.

I will just log the day after for the previous day. That way, if I derail at time in day d, I have actually failed in day d-1.

And

Yes. I deleted newly setup goal because the Sleep as Android integration didn’t work as I thought it would. Wrote a short explanation why I deleted it and already spoke to/mailed with Bee and Nikki - just didn’t want to spend more of their time.

Thanks for helping and answering my question @drtall!


#6

The more I think about it, the worse my goal definition gets. By definition I can never score more than 1 per day, so I can never build any buffer. That’s exactly what I want right now, but it’s not long term realistic.

I’d be interested to hear how others have implemented “Do Not (At All)” goals. I’m sure I’ll find some examples in the forum, when I read long enough. :blush:


#7

Whoops, sorry. I forgot that it is restricted.

Thanks / happy to help! Good luck!


#8

Please do use our time when necessary! We need to hear from users and this seems like an interesting use case as well!