Can I get rid of extra safety buffer?

The simple answer is: yes you can! Go to the Commitment tab under your graph, and look for the Ratchet section, and that will let you make the goal due sooner. That's the manual method, but if you have a Bee Plus or Beemium subscription, you can also set up an auto-ratchet which runs at the start of each day and can prevent you gaining more buffer than you want, without you having to step in.

Manual ratchet

Manual ratchets are available for anyone, and can be done at any time. You can check how many days you have until you derail in the ratchet section (or the header of the graph page or the graph itself — we show this number everywhere). Then, in the Ratchet section of the Commitment tab below the graph on the goal page, pick the number of safe days you'd like to end up with, and click Ratchet! to lock in the change.

Screenshot from the goal page, showing the ratchet section. It says "Ratcheting means reducing your amount of safety by making the bright line jump closer to today's datapoint. You have 8 days until you derail on this goal. This reduces the number of days until you derail. If you want today to be a beemergency, for example, enter 0." The "you have 6 days until you derail on this goal" is highlighted in red. There is a box with the new number of safe days, currently containing a 0, which is also highlighted in red.

In the example above, I have 6 days of safety. I've entered 0, so once I click "Ratchet!" I'll have 0 days of safety. My goal will be in the red and I'll need to add data today. If I don't want to have to do my goal until tomorrow (for example, I've already added data for today), then I should put a 1 in that box, and ratchet to 1 day remaining.

Important: It's a good idea to first think carefully about how much you want to ratchet, to make sure that you don't accidentally set yourself up for failure. It's not great to remove all the safety buffer on your calories goal right before logging your big birthday dinner, because then you won't have any allowance for all that tasty food. Likewise, it's not great to remove all your safety buffer after you logged your 8-mile run! Doing that will make your goal due again today, and you might not be up for that!

If you do accidentally back yourself into a beemergency day corner, contact support and we can undo your adjustment -- and at the same time, we'd love to hear about what went wrong, so we can make things better in future.


If you're a Bee Plus or Beemium subscriber, you also have access to an automatic ratchet tool, which you'll find in the commitment tab. To enable auto-ratchet, check the Automatically cap safety buffer box next to Auto-Ratchet, then select the highest safe days you want to allow yourself on this goal.

Screenshot of the "Auto-ratchet" section. A box next to "Automatically cap safety buffer" is checked, and below, the number 1 is in a box dictating how many safe days to keep.

Every day at your goal's deadline, as the new day starts, Beeminder will check the number of safe days on the goal and remove extra safety buffer if necessary. With the setting shown above, if I ever have more than 1 safe days at my deadline, Beeminder will adjust my graph automatically to remove the extra so that I only have 1.

Auto-ratcheting only runs at the deadline, so you can have more days of buffer during the day if you're overachieving!

Keywords: ratcheting, remove excess safety buffer, excess safe days, automatically remove buffer, removing extra leeway, previously erroneously called retroratcheting or retro-ratchet but that's something else, autoratchet vs auto-ratchet

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