Example Goal: Go to the gym 4 times per week

It's pretty straightforward to set up a manual-entry Do More goal to visit the gym more often.  But maybe you've been  weaseling a bit: entering data on your goal to avoid derailment, even if you didn't go to the gym that day.  That's not helping you achieve your goals!  Let's make this goal more useful by setting it up so that we can't enter data at all — a datapoint is automatically added by an external service only when we actually go to the gym.

For this particular goal setup, you'll need to use  IFTTT to automatically send data from an outside service to a Beeminder goal.  If you don't have an IFTTT account, you'll need to set that up beforehand.  First we need to create the Beeminder goal that will receive the data, then we'll head into IFTTT to set up our data trigger.

The example below uses your phone's location as the data source, but that's not the only option!  Foursquare/Swarm checkins are another very popular trigger used for goals like this.

Automated-entry gym visits goal setup

  1. Head to create a new goal (also accessible through the New Goal link in the top menu).
  2. Click the + icon to start a new manual entry goal.
  3. Select Do More as your goal type (because you want to Do More gym visits).
  4. Enter the units you want to use and the amount you want to commit to.  In this example, I'm aiming to visit my gym 5 times per week.  

    If you want to delay your goal's start a few days (maybe you're traveling this weekend), be sure to tick the Start this goal with extra leeway box.  Enter the number of days you want to delay and press Continue.  

  5. Give your goal a brief name.  If you want, you can also write a short description with more information. 


  6. Finally, choose your initial pledge.  This is the amount you will pay the first time you derail on the goal.  After derailing, the pledge will increase by default - use the checkbox and +/- stepper below to control how high it goes.  In the example below, I have chosen to start at a $5 pledge, which will increase each time I derail, until it reaches $30 - the pledge cap.  (To read more about pledges and payments, check out some FAQs here!)

  7. And now my goal is ready to get some data from IFTTT.  I'll need to go to the gym in the next 4 days to avoid paying Beeminder my first $5! 

  8. Now we need to instruct IFTTT how to update this goal when we're at the gym!  We're going to start with  this premade applet.  Click Turn On to begin configuring the applet.  Enter your gym's address above the map that appears, and use the +/- buttons to make the range as large or as small as you'd like.  (You'll probably want a pretty small range, so that IFTTT sends data when you're at the gym, but not when you're at the bakery across the street.)

  9. Select the Beeminder goal you just created as the Goal to send data to, then press the Save button right below.

  10. And you're done!  There shouldn't be any data at first, but after your next gym visit, your graph should look something like this — notice a datapoint has appeared from IFTTT in the Data tab.

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