Can I change goal units on an existing goal?

It depends! You can definitely change what the units are called anytime, from the goal's settings... but it might be more difficult to change which units the graph is actually recording.

In general, goals using automatic data integrations should not be switched (because you can't switch the metric behind the scenes, or doing so wouldn't make sense with the previous data), but you can adjust manual data entry goals as often as you'd like... subject to a couple of caveats.

If you just need to rename the units, that's simple: go to your goal's page, click the Settings tab, and then edit the name of the units under Goal units, and the axis label under Y-axis label. If you also need to scale your goal to match the new units, jump to the section on scaling your graph!


  • If it's a brand-new goal (less than 7 days old), the easiest thing to do may be to delete it and recreate it.
  • For most Beeminder autodata integrations, it'll be easiest to archive the current goal and/or begin a new one to use the new unit. Units are defined at goal creation when you set up the integration, so you'll need help from the support team to switch them... and they may not make sense with the data already in your graph, as the process does not convert past data.
  • For manual entry goals, or goals where you've automated the data entry yourself, you have a couple of options: you can end the current goal and/or begin a new one, or rename the units and then scale your current graph to reflect the new units.

Bear in mind: even if you do scale the graph and change the name of the units, all the graph's history will still be there. So if your old unit isn't really compatible with your new unit (e.g. imagine you used to track number of yoga sessions, and now you want to track the time spent doing yoga sessions), your statistics may not be accurate and the past graph may not make much sense.

What if I need to scale my goal to make the new units work?

For example, you might want to convert a goal in minutes to a goal in hours (or vice versa). To convert from minutes to hours, use the Scale Datapoints section at the bottom of the Data tab below the graph to scale everything by 1/60 (dividing by 60) and press Scale It. Beeminder will adjust all the past data and commitment values accordingly, so you can start using hours from that point on, but your graph should look the same before and after.

"Scale Datapoints: Multiply all datapoints and all segments of the bright red line by this amount." There's a box to add the number to multiply by, and a button saying "Scale it!"

Don't add data to your graph using the new unit until after you scale the graph! If you already have a mix of datapoints, you'll want to remove that data before scaling your goal. Otherwise, that point will get scaled to the new unit (even though it's already using the new unit), and that progress won't get represented accurately on the goal. For example, a datapoint of 1 hour added before scaling from minutes to hours will convert to a datapoint of 0.01667 hours! You lose quite a bit of credit there!

Goals that are marked as autodata integrations won't let you do any scaling, since we're handling all of the data fetching and input for you.

If anything goes wrong or these instructions are terribly confusing, contact support! We'd love to talk it over and work things out with you.

Keywords: switching goal units, renaming goal units

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