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Ebenezer Scrooge holding a gift

You know how it used to be that you only got three goals on Beeminder’s free plan? Well stop the presses! Now you get three goals on Beeminder’s free plan, and you earn extra goals by derailing existing goals.

Does that still sound kind of restrictive? Dare I say… stingy?

(The bee puns, in addition to the first three goals, are free.)

Let us convince you with the soothing tones of our newbee-facing webcopy / FAQ item / help doc…

How many goals can I create?

Initially just three! Why so stingy? Well, hear us out. We promise it’s not as restrictive as it sounds. (And you can jump straight to unlimited goals with a premium plan, however that’s not necessary for the beginning Beeminderer.) Mainly we believe that you should start slowly. Adding too many goals right off the bat is a sure path to overwhelm and rage quitting. But even better — you earn additional goals when you hit good Beeminder-y milestones! For starters when you derail a non-zero-pledged goal.

Wait, what? Are we trying to bribe you to fail at your goals? Not at all, I mean, well, we’re kind of bribing you to derail but derailing is not failing. More than “not failing”, even. Derailing it is nailing it! It’s like how if you never make mistakes then you’re not learning. Pushing yourself is the point and that will mean occasional derailments and that’s fine. Creating a ton of goals off the bat is a common recipe for actual failure — the kind where you get overwhelmed and quit altogether. (Another form of actual failure is setting your goals so unambitiously that you never derail but also never do more than you would’ve without Beeminder, which is part of our derailing-it-is-nailing-it argument.)

Anyway, so that’s partly why we parcel out additional goals so stingily. If you still want another one after derailing then you’re probably ready for it. Also it’s how we make money. Again, you can pay for unlimited goals directly with a premium plan.

Whatever your goal limit (check it in account settings), it only applies to active (non-archived) goals. So the other way to create another goal is to archive existing ones.

We’re also happy to bump up your goal limit in exchange for feedback. Get in touch!

What happens if I downgrade from a premium plan?

We don’t rescind goals you already have. But it is possible to wind up in a situation where you have more goals than your nominal limit. In that case you won’t be able to make any new goals for the time being, but your limit will still grow with each derail payment, so you may be able to create more after a while. Archiving existing goals, emailing us to ask for more (with feedback), or re-upping on premium are all also legit ways to get more goals.

Derails are just the first step. Next: the world!

Earning more goals when you derail is fine and well. But it got some of us excited about a more general sort of “earn goals by doing beeminder-y things” kind of system.

We brainstormed on the community Discord and in beemails and came up with a bunch of great ideas for the kinds of things we could hand out goals for. (And perhaps someday badges? If Bee ever gets in an Illustrator sort of mood.)

  1. “You get a goal for setting up your first goal”
  2. “Your first datapoint added, you get a goal!”
  3. “Your first $5 paid, you get another goal!”
  4. “You added 50 datapoints! You get a new goal!”
  5. “Your first forum post, here’s a goal”
  6. “You invited a friend, get a goal”
  7. “You set up an autodata goal, you get a goal”
  8. “Your first 100 datapoints, you get a goal!”
  9. “Your first time ratcheting away safety buffer”
  10. “Your first No-Excuses Mode goal, that’s worth a goal”
  11. “Dialing your bright red line, why not”
  12. “Making a bee pun in an email to support?”
  13. “Your first scheduled break”
  14. “Setting up a calendial goal
  15. “Bug reports, we love those”
  16. “Any feedback at all is a good excuse to give you another free goal” (Again, this one’s already true in the status quo!)

Another reason we may want to expand to a more robust, complex set of goal-earning milestones is the possibility that incrementing your goal limit with every sting could cheapen the benefit. If your number of free goals far outpaces any reasonable number of goals you’d ever create — and we kind of think it should because derailing it is nailing it — that could feel unsatisfying. If so, that could be our excuse to introduce these other milestones and only give out free goals for a subset of derails, like the first one at each new pledge level.

All that said, we like giving you goals, and we want you to be successful at beeminding things. If you stub your toe on the goal limit we wanna hear about it.