Beeminder Forum

Zach's Beeminder Journal


#1

I’ve spent the last week or so dipping my toes into Beeminder pool. Made a couple goals, read quite a few blog posts, and perused the forum. I think I’m sold. I love the ideas behind this place and the openness of the creators. I also think I’m more likely to stick to my beeminding if I buy into the community. So I’ve decided to start a journal. I have been wanting to write more anyway.

How I got here, or my past struggles with akrasia

Procrastination has always been a problem for me, I can't seem to do what's in my best interest until I can feel the immense pressure of an impending deadline bearing down on me. I didn't have the concept of akrasia to build ideas and a mental model around so I built my own, from an amalgam of better thought out ideas. The basic idea is that you must convince your current, atomic self to buy in so completely to the abstract idea of your person that s/he is willing to forgo immediate pleasures to persue the goals of the person. This framed every failure as a lack of faith in myself and a selfish squandering of the day I've been given to serve the self. It gets a lot more involved but I believe anything as insane and irrational as a human mind must be doled out in measured doses so as not to overwhelm and scare off would be compatriots.

Anyways, I have always had anxiety about my lack of willpower and tried various methods of involves journaling and writing down weekly goals and habits, with mixed results. I am especially nervous about my future and feel an increased need to try new methods now. I started my first real job out of college about 7 months ago. I am getting paid very good money but intellectually stagnating. It is not giving me the software development experience I thought I would be getting and the longer I stay here the less relevant I’ll be for the types of jobs I want. I know I need to get the hell out of here asap, but it is hard for me to put in the time after work to develop my skills and look for better work. The company is an extremely corporate environment filled with boring, complacent, 9-5ers. I can feel that same mentality seeping into my being. A little voice is always whispering in my ear, asking why I should work so hard to find a job that will almost certainly pay less and be more demanding. In the last several months I have gotten lazier, fattier, and dumber, and I am scared.

I found this site through a blog post on SlateStarCodex, who I have fairly recently started following. I found that website through Ribbonfarm, which I’ve been obsessed with for the last couple months.

Current Goals

Early Riser

Stay awake from 5 to 12

I have been waking up at 5 fairly consistently most weekdays. On weekends I have been finding myself waking up at 5 but only staying awake for an hour or two before sleeping for another 3-5 hours, thus I must awake till noon to complete the goal. I think its best for your circadian rhythm to wake up consistently, rather than go to bed consistently. It allows me uninterrupted time to myself in the morning and if I want to stay out late for a social event I can just recover with caffeine in the morning and a midday/afternoon nap.

SleepUninterupted

I spend so much time in the morning and at night mindlessly browsing reddit or youtube on my phone. Plus if my phone is in another room I need to get out of bed to turn off my alarm.

losing

Just monitoring my weight. Starting next week I'll be expected to lose atleast a 1/2 lb. per week. Also next week I'm gonna start a more directly controllable goal of eating in an 8 hour window. Assuming I don't derail on any of my current goals.

I also think I’m going to add a goal of one most important task per day, as per https://blog.beeminder.com/mustdo/.

I am cautious about adding too many goals per day, plan on introducing them at a rate of about one per week.

Thanks for reading my ramblings. No idea how often I plan on updating this.


#2

Welcome! And, dang, that is a poignant description of the dangers of the Instant Gratification Monkey, as WaitButWhy calls it (see Fear of Bees).

Eager to hear especially about job-hunting and skill-sharpening goals you create.

(It sure feels amazing to see Beeminder used for such life-changing stuff!)