« Beeminder home

Beeminder Blog

Dead bees

January 1st being a culturally significant temporal landmark, it’s not as silly as it may seem to focus on it as a natural time to make New Year’s resolutions, or to set general goals for 2019. We’d go so far as to say it’s those pooh-poohing New Year’s resolutions (including our past selves!) who are the silly ones. Why pass up an opportunity to wring some motivation out of the Gregorian calendar?

If you agree and would like to pit your resolution resilience against other resolvers, you should join Beeminder’s New Year’s Resolution Survivor. Let’s see who among us can keep our resolutions the longest, and who will remain standing as the clock strikes midnight at competition’s end.

The challenge

Pick a resolution and keep your Beeminder goal for it on track all year long.


  1. Set up a goal so that it runs through all of 2019 (or longer!)
  2. Send us an email with the subject “Survivor” and a link to your goal before midnight New Year’s eve
  3. Stay on track!
  4. Win!

The main rule for the contest, in contrast to how Beeminder normally works, is that you can’t make your goal easier throughout 2019. I mean, Beeminder will let you, but you’re off the island if you do that. Making the goal harder is always allowed, though, so start conservatively! Just be ambitious enough that you want to show your goal off. Because joining the challenge means your goal will be shown publicly at beeminder.com/survivor (for as long as you survive).

“Duck! Here comes another year!” —Ogden Nash

And what happens if you derail? Well, the ultimate survivors are the ones who don’t ever do that. That’s the point of the contest, even though in general in Beeminder derailing is not failing. And even in the contest, all is not lost if you derail — you’ll end up below the fold in the gallery of survivors and get a lesser prize. But derailing twice at the same pledge level means you’re off the island altogether.

Have other questions before you dive in? We have answers!

What if I archive or otherwise quit the goal?

You’re off the island! And, again, same if you make the goal easier. And, partially, if you ever derail.

Can I submit more than one goal?


Can I enter with a goal that has a $0 pledge?


Do I need a new goal or can I use an existing one?

Either is fine! As long as it runs at least until the end of December 31st, 2019.

Do I have to be a premium user to participate?

Nope. It’s open to everyone.

What happens if I just cheat?

Nothing; you will get to enjoy your hollow, hollow victory.

What if someone else cheats?

Other people cheating to win won’t diminish your victory, since everyone still standing at the end will be a winner. It’s not a zero-sum competition, so you don’t have to worry about other people cheating.

What do we win?

You mean the thrill of victory isn’t enough?! We’ve got a few treats in mind for the winners, but we don’t want to make that the central focus or the main motivator for joining. So we’re going to save telling you about that for around the mid-point of the competition, when an extra boost of motivation might come in handy. There will be physical prizes, though, and some of those prizes will be uniquely available through this competition, so staying on track this year will be the only way to ever get one of those!

UPDATE: Adding new questions that come in…

Are scheduled breaks allowed?

Yes, but only if you schedule them before the clock strikes midnight at the end of 2018!

Do I need to set “no mercy” derails?

No, just don’t set the derail behavior any more lenient than the default of 7 days of safety buffer when you derail.

Can my goal be private?

No, that makes it too hard to trash talk each other I mean cheer each other.


UPDATE: See the end of our “Achilles Heel” post for the final results!


Image credit: Petals and Wings