George Bonelli has been journaling consistently for over ten years. George grew up in in New Jersey and New York, and currently resides in Austin, Texas. George currently leads the sales efforts for a software design and development firm.
Recently, George reached the remarkable milestone of over 3,700 consecutive days of journaling. We spoke with George to learn more about the importance of journaling every day and for any advice on how to build a long-term journaling habit.
How long have you been keeping a journal?
Over 3,700 consecutive days. That’s over ten years.
What makes journaling important to you?
Journaling is a way of capturing your life one day at a time. It is a wonderful way to be able to reflect on your past whether in good times or bad. It is really easy to forget how wonderful your life is in certain times, and a quick look back allows you to see the people, places visited, and get some perspective.
What do you usually journal about?
It’s pretty simple—journaling is simply a remembrance of what might have happened that day and maybe some thoughts or reflections on events, people, or gratitude
What is your journaling habit or routine like?
Typically I snap pictures of what is going on each day that I deem as photo-worthy. Since my memory is much more image driven, I find it easier to use images as my memory anchors.
Every few days, I will go and add 2-3 pics for each day that I have taken. I may not actually journal at that moment, but then every few weeks I will go back when I have a bit of time and sit and capture some thoughts about each day using the images that I saved as a way to recall and share a few thoughts of what happened that day.
“Journaling is a way of capturing your life one day at a time. It is a wonderful way to be able to reflect on your past whether in good times or bad. It is really easy to forget how wonderful your life is in certain times, and a quick look back allows you to see the people, places visited, and get some perspective.”
What tips or advice would you give others who want to build a journaling habit/streak?
I guess journaling is like anything else: the first step is to get started. I am not sure of the science, but if I am correct it takes about 30 days to build a habit. So take small bites and make sure you do it every day for a week and then build on that, and then before you know it you will have a few weeks in the books and then it becomes easier and then you just don’t forget.
That is why I love my approach because there are days that I don’t have the time or the desire to write but snapping a picture only takes a moment. One of the elements that I do believe is important to me is that my journal is MINE. It is MY process and it is not for social media or anyone else. This is my record. I often have friends ask if I plan to post something or whatever and my answer is “nope, this is for my journal and that I do not share anywhere or with anyone”.
What have you learned from keeping a journal for 3,700 days?
- Life is never as bad as it might seem at certain times.
- Relationships are what really matters.
- The story arc of your life evolves over time.
- I take pride in my habit and have no reason to stop.
What is your favorite thing about the Day One app?
Day One constantly evolves and improves. The biggest game changer for me was when images were added. The fact that Day One is on all devices is great, but I primarily use it on iPhone.
How has Day One helped you journal consistently for 3,700 days?
My journal is in my hands at any time during the day so I can apply my image-driven process to it. That’s what really makes journaling something that I can do as time permits and still build the story over time.
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The Day One journaling app makes it easy to build and maintain a daily journaling habit. Daily reminders, daily writing prompts, and journaling streaks are designed to help keep you motivated and consistently journaling.