This isn’t a new idea but I keep noticing how great it is to have Beeminder make you do something fun. Ahh, Beeminder… hearteyes-emoji! Here’s how Bee put it in a 2013 blog post about beeminding outside the box:
I especially love beeminding hobbies because it is both an enforcement and an excuse. I beemind my craft projects because sometimes I don’t spend enough time on them, but when I come to an emergency day it’s wonderfully liberating to sit down without any guilt. Maybe there are other things that seem more important, like if I’m not playing with the kids or working on Beeminder maybe I should be cleaning the bathroom or folding laundry, for some values of should. But it turns out those are usually pretty stupid values of should and if I have an emergency craft day, well, I conveniently planned last week that crafting would be the most urgent and important thing today. I can sit down without guilt and spend 25 minutes knitting because I want to and because I have to.
Having Beeminder make you do something you like is quite great. If it’s ever not quite great, just adjust the slope with the commitment dial!
[Lectio divina] feels like something I’m doing for myself, whose timing is more flexible than socializing, work, laundry, etc, so it always winds up getting short shrift. Beeminding a period of lectio each week wouldn’t wind up forcing me to make time for this reading — it would permit me to, because now it wouldn’t feel like lectio always had to yield before other scheduling commitments.
(This strategy worked great for me when I started beeminding my bedtime as an Advent discipline. Before I started using Beeminder, I had trouble exiting late night conversations, but “Sorry, I have to log off or Beeminder will charge me $5” tended to satisfy all my friends.)
Or here’s me in the forum, musing about beeminding my way through To Kill A Mockingbird:
In case that makes it sound like it’s a slog and I’m reading it purely to stem the embarrassment of being a fully-grown human who managed to never read that book before, it’s not like that! The book is great and I love beeminding fiction reading so much. Even the most page-turn-y pageturners can find themselves languishing on my nightstand indefinitely if I get busy. It’s pretty great having Beeminder tell me to / give me the excuse to take a break and read. I know some people’s psychology is different and having anyone or anything make them do something fun makes it not fun. But that seems to not be an issue for me.
Of course all of these are really just more cases of the want-can-will test: if you definitely want to do something, and you definitely can do it, but based on your history you’re not sure you will do it, then that’s akrasia and you should absolutely beemind that shiz-knit.