In looking at other folks’ goals, I’ve noticed that various goals have final target values. Sometimes huge numbers, but specific final target values nonetheless. I’ve set final targets on odometer goals related to specific books I’m reading (I can’t read more pages than the book possesses!), but I haven’t yet seen a reason I’d set a final target for other goals. So I’m really curious to hear how other folks use targets!
Generally, the target value is an artifact of how Beeminder works under the hood. There is Goal Date, Value, and Slope, and by specifying two out of the three values the third follows implicitly.
Now, for infinite goals, where you just specify a slope, Beeminder still sets an end date far out in the future (probably because an infinite end date doesn’t make sense because of the heat death of the universe or maybe it’s just easier to code that way), so that’s how the huge value arises.
I like to use specific Goal Values for yearly goals. For example, I have a yearly reading goal, a yearly minutes of Yoga goal, and a yearly Focusmate session goal. Those are examples where I kind of come up with the goal value first, and then let the slope be whatever it is for the target time frame.
so far, i’ve used target dates or rates only for a few goals:
- uni goals: there was one for finishing an application, another one for a semester’s course. both had end days for obvious reasons. (there’s a deadline for the application, and the semester ends as well at one point.)
- my goal where i went through all of last year’s advent calendar posts had an end date. (because i wanted to be done with that by the end of june, iirc. that seemed more motivating to me than setting a random rate like 2/week, or whatever .)
- my phone transfer goal had an end date and a rate as well. that was for moving all data and apps from my old phone to my new one. i was afraid the old one might break down (screen was broken really badly), and if i’d just set a rate without a target date, it would have probably been too conservative. so instead i set the final commitment (total number off apps more or less) and a date, which i believe i also set a bit before a vacation, for additional incentive.
it’s true that most of my goals are limitless, but i do always enjoy the deadlined-ones. makes for a bit of variety and also satisfaction when you can successfully archive them.
Most whittle-down goals will have a very specific end value of zero
Usually, if it’s money related I use an amount I would want to save. If we speak about studying or working I assume a level I would want to reach. For example, to pass the exam on a certain grade and I learn until I am sure I will have this grade.
Ah but then you need to change the slope to zero and let it run on, to keep the goals at their state of 0 thingumajigs!