A week ago, I posted an announcement for the FatCyclist / Beeminder Challenge.
So far, more than 100 of you (including The Hammer and me) have signed up. Which means that more than 100 of us are serious about hitting our weight goals by June 21, and that we’ve raised more than $2000 for World Bicycle Relief.
That is awesome.
Today, I wanted to let you know that it’s the last day you can register.
Tomorrow, we reset the points back to 0, and the contest begins for reals.
And give some helpful tips for making it easy to leave comments to each other, as well as maximize your points right off the bat.
Use Retroratchet TODAY
When you start a Beeminder program, Beeminder automatically gives you a weeklong grace period — time for you to get on the good side of the yellow brick road. And, probably, even to get below the yellow brick road before the road starts dropping down. Like my chart, here:
Normally, that’s awesome. Because it feels good to look at the chart and be able to say to yourself, “I’m doing great. I’m doing better than what’s expected of me.”
But with this contest, when you’re below the yellow brick road (green dot territory), you are getting only two points per day, instead of the three you get when you’re on the good side of the yellow brick road (blue dot territory).
So, today you can use the “Retroratchet” feature to drag the yellow brick road to wherever you are, and adjust the path of that road toward your goal starting today.
Here’s what my chart looks like after I used Retroratchet:
Tada! Now instead of being way below the yellow brick road, I’m on the yellow brick road for when the contest starts in earnest (i.e., tomorrow). This way, everyone who has signed up has the same fair chance of doing well in the contest, regardless of how they did during the practice period.
Note that for the purpose of this contest, today is the only day you can use Retroratchet. After that, the feature will be disabled so you can’t constantly drag the yellow brick road to where you are, giving yourself more points in the process.
Also note that Retroratchet is a two-edged sword. You can use it today to put yourself on the yellow brick road, but by doing so you eliminate any buffer you might have built up by getting below the yellow brick road. And that means if you mess up, your odds of derailing are better.
So, do you want to Retroratchet? It’s up to you. I did, because I’m confident I can keep up my progress, and felt I had too much buffer, which for me is an incentive to slack off.
How do you “Retroratchet?” Well, log in to Beeminder and go to your personal page. Below your chart, you’ll see several links in a tab format, like this:
Click the “Retroratchet” link and then click the Retroratchet button. Suddenly, you’re right in the middle of the yellow brick road, and whatever safety buffer you’ve built up this week is gone.
It’s a gamble. You’ll have to decide whether it’s worth taking.
One thing I’ve really liked in past weight loss challenges is being able to leave encouraging comments (and where appropriate, encouraging taunts) to each other, so I asked the folks at Beeminder to add a Comments feature. Impressively, they did it pretty much instantly.
So now you can go to anyone’s personal page (the Leaderboard is a good way to see others’ pages) and leave a comment. Just look below the chart, log in with any of your popular social media logins, and you’re set to leave a comment. Easy.
Good luck with joining, and meeting your goals. This contest is gonna be great.