Example Goal: Learn a new language

Beeminder is a great tool for learning a new language! Consistent practice and study are the biggest keys to picking up a new language, and what better way to ensure your commitment to doing that than with money on the line?

Another reason it's a great goal: Beeminder has multiple integrations with great language-learning services to report your progress automatically. That way you can worry more about the vocabulary and less about remembering to update your data all the time! We have direct integrations with Duolingo, Clozemaster, and Skritter, and there's also a popular Anki plugin written by a Beeminder user if you'd like to track your flashcard reviews. Click the links for more information and goal setup walkthroughs.

But if you don't use any of those apps, you can still create your own goal for whatever metric and method of data entry you'd like, of course! One example would be a Toggl goal for hours spent practising, e.g. 0.25 hours per day. Or maybe you just want to add your time manually? Here's an example for that

Manual-entry language practice 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.

    Goal creation page: "How will you track your progress?" Below there is a button with a + sign on it, with the caption "Add progress manually to Beeminder"
  3. Select Do More as your goal type (because you want to Do More language practice time).

    Goal creation: Select goal type. Shows all the current goal types (Do More, Do Less, Lose Weight, Gain Weight, Custom, Odometer and Whittle Down), with the Do More option in the top left highlighted.
  4. Enter the units you want to use and the amount you want to commit to. In this example, I'm aiming to do 15 minutes of study per day... and if I set the units to hours, I can use the timers built into the Android and iOS apps to track my time and then add it to my graph, if I want!

    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.

    Goal creation page: "Commit to at least" followed by a stepper that you can click or a data entry box you can put the number in. Below that, you can enter the name of the units for your goal, e.g. "steps", and check a button to add extra leeway to choose when you start the goal.
  5. Give your goal a brief name. If you want, you can also write a short description with more information.

    "Give your goal a name", followed by two text entry boxes. The first allows you to enter a short slug which will name your goal and create a URL for it. The second textbox allows you to set a short description, and is optional.
  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 dropdown below to control how high it goes by selecting the cap. In the example below, I have chosen to start at a $5 pledge, which will increase each time I derail, until it reaches $270 — the pledge cap. (To read more about pledges and payments, check out some FAQs!)

    If you want to start out with a sort of trial period, you can choose to start the goal at $0. If you do that, the pledge will automatically increase to $5 after seven days. If you derail before that, it will also increase to $5.

    Screenshot of the "Starting Stakes" screen. The text says "Your pledge will increase each time you derail until you reach your pledge cap (which you can adjust below)", with a demonstration below showing the pledge progression: 5, 10, 30, 90... to the pledge cap, which currently shows $270. Below, a checkbox button allows you to choose to "Hold the pledge at $0 for 7 days while I get my feet wet"
  7. And now once I step through the confirmation and preview steps, my goal is ready to go! I'll need to get studying in 4 days to avoid paying Beeminder my first $5!

    An example goal in which shanaqui needs to study 15 minutes of French in the next 4 days in order to avoid paying $5

Keywords: example goals, example graphs, language learning

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