Beeminder Forum

What are your new year's resolutions for 2020?

I plan on doing a better job with a todone log this year, and I BaaS a daily journal.


It occurs to me that this thread might see more action if I change the title from

Candidate capitalizings on this big temporal landmark tomorrow


What are your new year’s resolutions for 2020?

Ok, I’m doing that. And done.


I’ve kind of off and on (ok, really mostly off) used tagtime but building some really neat visualizations might motivate me to start using it regularly since I’d be super jealous of all of the nice data you’d have :blush: Nothing really concrete here yet, but I’m thinking some 3D plots that would allow you to explore how your time is used/divided in different ways on different axes, maybe just as simple as comparing types of tags for an average day, but I suppose the tag ontology would matter a lot here.

I really like the name LOVIe. I’ve been considering a captain’s log style daily journal, but maybe this would be more interesting and might have a lower entry cost. I’m thinking of framing this as the answer to the question “what did you learn today?” that might get asked around the dinner table. An interesting extension to this might be to combine these daily items into a shared Anki deck so that not only do you not forget your own lessons, but you can learn from your friends/family doing it with you!


I have been planning to quit sugar for so long. But first thing I do when I wake up is make a chai for myself & then tell myself from tomorrow, I won’t do sugar. Happens every single day.


My resolutions for 2020 are just the 10 things I’ve beeminded. Most of them are related to my studies, 2 of them are health related. Running 4 Kilometers everyday & Intermittent fast for 5 days a week. Although all study related goals are top priority & absolute essential.


I thought I was being ridiculous but you loving it is kinda making me love it. :slight_smile: :heart:

Maybe just learning some new thing is too easy but if you learn it and add it to Anki then you’ve ensured you’ve permanently learned it and that’s a legit lovie?

I also really like the terms “todone log” and “captain’s log” (HT @malcolm on that). And any enduring thing you accomplish seems like it would count as a lovie.

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I feel like I’ve been doing something similar for pretty much all of 2019, tracking real-life UVI’s or upgrades. I’ve played with tracking productivity upgrades, community upgrades, career upgrades, health upgrades, both separately and all in one goal. I think I can say it’s been one of the most impactful things I’ve done this year.

I guess it still wouldn’t quite qualify, though, since you included the stipulation that they be “loved-one visible.” Many of my upgrades weren’t immediately visible to those around me, though the results often were.

How would you decide when that requirement had been met? Say I install an app on my phone to ensure I keep in touch with distant friends. The fact that I installed an app isn’t visible to my friends, but my new level of communication is. Would that count or not?


Good question! What’s worked great for Beeminder’s UVI goal is to have a sense of what the spirit of the commitment is and then make the hard criterion be “anything we’re willing to publicly announce as the UVI counts as the UVI”. Ie, just leverage shame/pride to keep it from getting weaselly.


Hmm, I like it. Maybe silly, but… In order to leverage the shame/pride bright line, would you literally publish your LOVIe’s in a monthly newsletter to your loved ones? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Might be an interesting social experiment… :laughing:


Don’t be silly, you’d publish them daily! :grin:

But, yeah, an email list or private Facebook group or wherever makes sense. Or do it all totally publicly…


I’m leaning more towards the “yearly themes” as popularized by the Cortex podcast.

Last year was the year of raw output, considering I had to finish a PhD and still ran my Blog on the side and was starting a Youtube channel. Next year is the year of Settling and Whittling down. I’ve spent a long long time in Academia now and I’m kind of over it. Next year I want to find a more steady job in a place I enjoy living. I’ve felt very uprooted where I live currently and that’s not good for anyone including me.

So settling down in a career sense and in a physical place. But also give my overactive ambition a small break. The last year was impressive, but I also suffered from burnout during the last 1.5 months and I need to breathe again. And also let the friendships I forged settle a bit. I have made some wonderful friends and I want to nourish these friendships. Obviously I don’t have a relationship at the time, otherwise I’d better find a better wording than “settling down” nor have the time to do half the things I do.

Whittling down in a sense that I’ve started and tried a ton of things. Created great opportunities, however, I think I’m starting to get a feel for the things I’d enjoy to pursue further and the things I need to let die for something better to grow from the compost. I’ve done a lot of volunteer work for my professional society and they aren’t particularly thankful about it. It’s something I’m very happy to let go, as I’m neither having an impact nor a positive ROI, while they’re trying to leverage my network and expertise. Thanks but no thanks. There are greater things to build. Making visually appealing explainer videos about things I enjoy doing and have expertise in on the other hand is amazing and this huge learning opportunity and creative outlet. So yeah, it’s basically a dumb way of saying “prioritize” but I want it to sound good together.

So yeah, essentially I need to build some structure in my life and prioritize projects so I can focus on what matters and regain some headspace.

In the meantime of figuring these things out, I plan to build systems that accommodate a more healthy lifestyle and do some leisure travel and not just convenient weekends after business trips.

The habits I want to keep doing is regular exercise and meditation. Writing and creative work. Play casual Pokemon. However, I do need to eat better and get back into the habit of keeping my surrounding a little less… Uhm… bachelorish? But those are well on their way already. I’m down 5kg since handing in my thesis and my place has only recently turned to a dumpster over Christmas and will be fine within the next few days again. I’ve recently fallen out of the habit of journaling too and I am in the process of changing it again.

I’m really looking forward to the new decade. (Don’t at me.)


I plan on prioritizing health with a rabid zeal. I don’t mean doing any particular health thing to extreme, but to be unflinching in making health the top priority this year. My body did me a solid in 2019; it’s time to reciprocate.

To that end, I’ve got a Must-Do-Task-syle graph for “Most Important Tasks: Health Edition”. I absolutely love the Must Do Task format for a graph, and so now I’m making one for this.

I’ve got other plans for the year, of course, but that’s the top one.


Would a resolution like “I won’t do sugar except in my morning chai” work for you? Or “I won’t do sugar after [midday | 2pm | 5pm]”? Anything that limits your sugar a little is an improvement!

If you find that successful, you could slowly make it more restrictive. For example, change the time limit from “after midday” to “after 11am” or change the chai sugar from 2 teaspoons to 1.7 teaspoons. I’ve found that as I remove sweet things from my diet, my tolerance for sweetness decreases, so after a while it gets a bit easier to reduce more.


Happy New Year @dreev, will this year also have a Survivor Challenge? :wink:


Yes, I guess that will help. I’ll try to do that. Thanks.

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I just want to confirm that this is a great idea. I went with 1 beeminder goal for each person.

ping_bartek, ping_babcia, ping_łucja and so on


OK, I rather love LOVIe… although I fear my loved one’s definition of a visible improvement and my own definition might diverge!


That’s a question for @mary but I think even knowing what an insane amount of work running a contest is, this one still surprised us and so we’re sadly not ready to repeat it for 2020!

Btw, these responses are wonderful, everyone. Thank you! Keep them coming!


Repeating from the daily beemail…

Thanks so much for sharing your new year’s resolutions (straw poll in yesterday’s beemail, in case you missed it)!

Let me collect the answers below…

There were also two common questions:

Q1. Time is continuous so aren’t humans just being silly to pretend that a new year is some kind of momentous event or for it to matter what calendar day a new goal starts on?

A1. I used to think this! Psychology research on temporal landmarks changed my mind. Or probably it was first Slate Star Codex that changed my mind, as it commonly does:

But Eugenio Bruno and Cayenne Geis both made a good point that the psychological power of a temporal landmark can cut both ways. If you fall off the wagon then it’s especially demoralizing and harder to get back on. I made a similar point in a blog post about minding streaks:

Q2. Aren’t the 20s technically 2021-2030 inclusive because there was no year zero and so the first decade was 1-10 A.D. and the second was 11-21 A.D., etc?

No, pretty much everyone who talks about a decode like the 50s means the years starting “195*”. The single-digit years from when Jesus was a kid can just be 9 years and whether you call that the first “decade” or not doesn’t matter. Or go with this Argument from Authority:


[See also the rest of this thread!]

  1. Meditation at least five days a week. (more than one person said this)
  2. Work less hours.
  3. Do one household chore a day at least three times a week.
  4. Something diet related and something brain related like daily journaling.
  5. No resolutions or goals – new systems (like a new system for dishes and laundry). More than one person said something like this.
  6. Making music! (with an elaborate strategy for beeminding it <3)
  7. Be more active.
  8. Gradually go from vegetarian to vegan.
  9. Learn to bake bread.
  10. Maintain weight after weight loss in 2019.
  11. Principles that drive goal/project creation: Learn new things, Be calm and kind, Fight for what’s right, Honor commitments, Be fast at easy things, Don’t be a distracted parent.
  12. Read a particular book and write 100 words/day of my novel.
  13. Lose a pound a week throughout 2020.
  14. Run a 10k in March and a 20k in August.
  15. Build my own data-tracking tool that integrates with Beeminder.
  16. Work on my writing career till it earns real money.

@bee @dreev

What is “neglect minding”? I missed that one.