With nearly 5,000 total journal entries in Day One, Nando Prudhomme hasn’t missed a single day of journaling in over five years.
Nando lives in Yonkers, New York, and works for an ed tech company as a professional learning specialist. Previously, Nando was a teacher in the Bronx, then left the profession to teach teachers how to use educational platforms to improve math and reading for K-12 students.
We sat down with Nando to explore what it took to reach a 1,900-day streak and any lessons learned along the way.
How long have you been keeping a journal?
I’ve been keeping a journal for the past 15-16 years.
What makes journaling important to you?
Journaling is extremely important to me because it accomplishes several things at once at the end of every day. I am first and foremost, able to relax and engage in a form of mindfulness state as I write. It is done when no one is about and my home is quiet and still. It calms me and centers me.
It’s also important for me because aside keeping track of events over the course of days, weeks, months and years, I am able to read my journal to reflect. I sometimes feel that the part of journaling that is equally important is often not spoken much about: Reading. Writing in a daily journal is important but the reason why I journal is because I can read my own writing after many months have passed by and I’m able to reflect on my life, my actions, my behaviors, my memories and also the behavior of others around me.
What do you usually journal about?
My journal generally begins with the mundane: what I dreamt about, what I ate, my tasks for the day and my work life. In between those thoughts, I write my impressions. What are the hidden meanings of those dreams? How do I go about planning for my day and how did it go? What questions do I still have about my life in and outside of work? My relationship with my family and friends and how it’s going.
Writing in a daily journal is important but the reason why I journal is because I can read my own writing after many months have passed by. I’m able to reflect on my life, my actions, my behaviors, my memories and also the behavior of others around me.
When do you journal each day? (What is your journaling habit or routine like?)
I journal briefly in the morning when I wake up, especially if I had a dream that I still remember. Then I pick up my journaling usually in the late evening when no one’s about. I may have music playing when I journal. If I am traveling for work, I may write brief bullet points to help me remember for later when I settle down to write. If life gets too incredibly busy, I usually flesh out those bullet points. I end the journaling by giving the day’s entry a title and make it bold and large. I also make sure throughout the day that I take at least ONE photo that encapsulate the essence of the day. Photography is an absolute must to my journaling. It makes the journal entry come alive. There have been times when I’ve also included a very brief, small file sized video clip.
What tips or advice would you give others who want to build a journaling habit/streak?
Keep it simple. If you can’t write 2k-3k words a day (which I do), keep it to a few sentences or paragraphs. Using bullets to jot down main points helps tremendously and don’t consider it cheating in any sense. If you can’t write, attach a photo and give it a title. Also, if you can write every day at the same time, that helps. Write with music or write without. The important thing is to keep it consistent. Build that discipline to drop whatever you’re doing during the anointed time and write. Skip the Netflix show, pause the live programming, promise to call a friend or family member back, grab a quick snack and hold off dinner as you write.
What have you learned from keeping a journal for 1900 days?
As I stated previously, I learned a lot about myself and the people around me. I noticed a lot of patterns in my life, especially when I look On This Day entries. I am sometimes startled by something that I did X years ago is repeated without my knowledge.
I am reminded of who I am when I read my journal entries. I’ve been pretty consistent about who I am through the years but I’ve also changed. I learned that we’re always evolving and changing but our core – our true selves – remain the same.
What is your favorite thing about the Day One app?
THE single best feature in the Day One journal is On This Day. Day One offers the ability to easily go to any time in my past and with little effort recollect a memory or event.
How has Day One helped you journal consistently for 1900 days?
Day One has helped me journal consistently by giving me an easy to use platform that I can access on my iPhone or iPad AND keep those journals sync’d effortlessly across devices. This is the key!
What else you would like to share about your journaling streak?
If you cannot access Day One for whatever reason, writing things down on a physical notebook or even a piece of paper can help you with your writing streak. Simply go back and fill the missing date and the streak will be re-instated!
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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.