March 31, 2014

I’ve been using Beeminder for two months. I’m currently tracking 14 different goals. Two issues that I had with some of my early goals were not measuring the right metric and using ‘Do Less’ goals.

For an example of an incorrect metric, I started tracking how many days I follow pescatarian, vegetarian, and vegan diets. I didn’t know what my rate was, so I set a low initial rate and began to measure. After a few days I realized that I should be tracking meals, as many days I eat two vegan meals but then ate some meat with one meal, so I wasn’t capturing that information. I changed my metric to number of meals, and have been tracking that since. After a few weeks of tracking meals, I adjusted my rate to be closer to the historical data.

With the ‘Do Less’ goals, there is not enough of an incentive to report information, so they lend themselves to cheating. I don’t recall actually cheating, but toward the end of me trying them out, I decided I didn’t want it to be that easy. So, I reframed my goals to be ‘Do More’ goals. For example, instead of ‘Do less sleeping in’, I am now tracking number of days I get up at dawn.

I’ve not paid them any money yet! When I tell people about Beeminder they say that they’re willing to take my money, too. They don’t quite get it.

If and when I pay in, I’ll be paying to do the things that I want to be but wouldn’t otherwise be doing. That’s priceless.

(By the way, I wrote this blog post because I was going to fall off my blogging goal tomorrow if I didn’t!)