Beeminder Forum

Tracking vs. accountability

I find that simply measuring a metric, and regularly checking the measurement and visually assessing one’s progress, often has the power of improving the said metric.

My main accountability tool is a fairly convoluted Google spreadsheet with a bunch of lines of AppScript code and lots of conditional color. I live to make my spreadsheet green. It records ridiculous amounts of minutiae of my daily activities. Some say I am OCD about data. Beeminding all that existing spreadsheet data is now as easy as

= beemind("push-ups", 20);

Some say beeminding too many new goals at once amounts to overextending oneself. I don’t see it that way, not as long as my initial commitment is ridiculously low. That makes Beeminder a visual tracking tool, not an accountability tool. As I said, there is no such thing for me as too much tracking.

After a week or two of observing the tracked data, next step is accountability. I go to Road Editor and create a mini-commitment that simply acknowledges an already established pattern, with plenty of breathing room should I deviate from it. Later, if I feel it’s warranted, I may edit that again and tighten the screws a bit. Beeminder tells me I have been doing an average of 20 push-ups, and I am not feeling over-exerted? I might reward myself by editing the yellow road to make it 21. I call it “unlocking the next level”. It’s all gamification to me.

I wonder if it’s a new use case that other people might find interesting, and maybe Beeminder would be interested in throwing their weight behind it in some way?