Bar Prep Goal Setting and the Beeminder App

Your bar prep program will track your progress and let you know whether you’re on track with the syllabus. But other than completing your syllabus, what other goals will you pursue during bar prep? Here are examples I’ve heard from students:

  • Spend 1 hour outdoors every day
  • Take 10 minutes every morning to list 5 things I’m grateful for
  • Eat a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Go to bed and wake up at consistent times
  • Spend 30 minutes each day talking to a friend who is not taking the bar
  • Take one day per week off, with no bar studying

bar prep goals appThese types of personal goals can be important to your success. Students who neglect some of these things might overestimate how effective their study time is. No one can stare at a book or watch lectures for six to eight nonstop hours and walk away having truly learned all that material. Even during your bar study, it is important to keep your sanity. But how do you track your progress in these areas?

If you’re a geek like me, and have an app for everything, you’re going to love this one. Beeminder is a goal tracking app that is free . . . as long as you are accomplishing your goals. If you get off track, it’ll cost you. They call the concept “commitment contracts.”  If you breach, you pay.

Here is how they describe it:

“It’s reminders with a sting! Or, goal-tracking with teeth. Mind anything you can graph — weight, pushups, to-do tasks completed — by replying with data when Beeminder prompts you. Or connect with a service (like Fitbit or RescueTime) to report automatically. We plot your progress on a Yellow Brick Road to your goal. Keep all your datapoints on the road and Beeminder will always be free. Go off the road and you (literally) pay the price.”

Applying Bar Prep Goals with an App

I haven’t personally tried the service yet, but I’m interested. Beeminder’s CEO gave an interesting talk on the “Quantified Self” last year.You can track pretty much anything that is quantifiable using Beeminder, so almost any specific, actionable goal will work. I’ve seen several interesting ways people use the service. Fast Company Magazine recently mentioned it in an article about how to finally overcome procrastination. Behavioral psychology researcher James Clear wrote about it as part of his article on The Akrasia Effect, which is well worth reading, whether you’re interested in Beeminder or not. Beeminder connects with your Fitbit, Runkeeper, and a bunch of other services.  Let me know your thoughts if you decide to give it a shot.