@erijohns I think you’re exactly right about where the problem lies. My typical failure might be something like this: All day, I vaguely know something like “I have to journal for Beeminder today,” so I’m tuning out the eep messages from Beeminder because “I know” already that it’s an eep day. I journal at some point (but don’t enter the data yet) and then at bedtime and realize, oh crap, I was also supposed to run today!
When I write it out like this it’s kind of hilarious how many obvious points of intervention there are.
- Read the dang eep day notifications, they’re kind of important.
- Enter beeminder data immediately instead of waiting until bedtime (so I know any further eeps are meaningful)
- Add “look at beeminder and note any deadlines approaching” to my morning routine
But I think you’re right that the primary fix needs to be adjusting my goals and my routine so that they actually fit together. Habits being much easier than conscious decisions and all that.
@dreev the point about psychological precedent definitely resonates with me. Good reason to let the pledge bump up. “Deciding to pay” is how I typically think of my derailments, but actually at lower pledge levels this seems to be a difficult decision to make rationally for me. Just like how paying $30 a month for 2 years is easier psychologically than paying $720 up front. I might be willing to say “eh, 10 bucks, oh well” every week, and then regret it in retrospect a year later.
I think this is much less likely at higher pledge levels, where I’m forced to actually consider the opportunity costs of spending $X. Maybe this is kind of the discontinuity that @lanthala brings up: a $90 purchase happens with a completely different mindset than a $10 purchase (for me, at least).
Okay–I think it’s worth a try. I’ll choose one or two important goals that are part of my daily routine (and actually adjust my routine if necessary), increase the pledge cap, and see how it goes!
Thanks everyone for your super useful and thought provoking responses.